Eugene Lipinski Talks The Romeo Section + A Preview of “Forced Entry”

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

The tangled webs tighten on The Romeo Section this week as Rufus sets a plan in motion to declutter his complicated drug trade while Mei Mei explains just how high the stakes are. On the home front, he gets a visit from his dad (the always-welcome Donnelly Rhodes).

Norman makes a miscalculation about Sonya after he and Wolfgang attempt to gain intel on the former wetwork man from their old field days only to learn he’s actually trafficking in something much more sinister.

Speaking of sinister, Sproule certainly seems to be setting the stage for something for someone, but if you’ve spent any time watching Chris Haddock, it’s most likely not what and who you think. Lily returns to her mission for Al without tipping her hand about her own clandestine meeting with Wolfgang.

Eugene Lipinski, who plays Al, is a familiar face to viewers from his longstanding career and his roles on two popular genre series, Fringe and Arrow. A few years ago, he was sidelined by a spinal cord injury after a fall at his home. Despite a doctor’s snap verdict that he wouldn’t walk again, he recovered, and his role on The Romeo Section is his latest collaboration with Haddock — he previously recurred on both Da Vinci’s as well as Intelligence.

We sat down to chat when I visited the set last month, and talked about where the show and his character are heading. “Last season, there were more storylines to follow. This season is more focused [and] I think … more action-packed,” he says. “We’ve become more global. It has expanded. It’s going down a rabbit hole.”

Thing have also ramped up for Al. “There’s one point [this season] where there’s a confrontation [between Al and another character] and I thought, ‘one of us has to go,’ so I created a fake petition that [Al had to live]. We have another petition, ‘Do not send Al to Ottawa,'” he laughs.

“Al is an enigma. He’s a contradiction. He’s a [shit stirrer]. I don’t think he wants anything for himself. He wants to stir the pot and drag people into darkness. I’ve worked with Chris a long time [and he] worked my accident into the story. On my tired days, my gait is not perfect, so [the audience] can wonder, ‘what’s going on [with Al]?'”

Lipinski is no stranger to spy stories, and he finds parallels between The Romeo Section and one of the greats. “I was in the original Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. This is of that genre,” he says. “I think Andrew [Airlie] has that charisma and … depth. He becomes almost like a George Smiley, going into this world, peeking into that world, extracting something.”

“I think Al and Wolfgang could be narcissists. It’s in a very subtle way. They’ll take what they want because they’re self-serving. At the end of day, I think Wolfgang is his only friend. Better the devil you know than the ones you don’t know. They become significant allies. Even though people try to badmouth him to me, I take it with a grain of salt. I think it’s a very interesting season. I’ll be anxious to see how the audience reacts.”

One thing that remains this season is the distinct look and Lipinski credits Director of Photography Brendan Uegama with The Romeo Section‘s gorgeous visuals. “Brendan has created another character with the atmosphere on the show,” he says. “It’s beautiful.”

Before Motive wrapped up last summer, Lipinski popped over to do an episode, which arose out of his friendship with series star Louis Ferreira. “We worked on a movie together 20 years ago. We lost touch with each other and then six years ago we reconnected,” he says. “He did [The Romeo Section] and I did Motive. It’s a beautiful-looking show. I found it so beautiful when Louis was sitting on the log [at the end of the finale]. It was almost like a Charlie Chaplin kind of thing.”

The Romeo Section airs Wednesdays at 9:00/9:30 NT on CBC. Here’s a sneak peek of “Forced Entry.”


Photos and Video Courtesy of CBC.

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