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Creativity drives Colantoni’s on-screen accomplishments

January 28, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons
Almost everything stems from a person’s own creativity.
You’re an artist if you take an idea – a passion – and bring it to reality. It doesn’t matter if your passion is writing, operating a bakery or acting.
For Enrico Colantoni, he’s content when he has an outlet for his own creativity. His personal journey so far has been an interesting one, but he’s still trying to figure out the meaning of it all.
The soft-spoken Nobleton resident can switch from a calm, reassuring mentor to an underworld kingpin or an emergency ward doctor – all on cue.
Best known for his role on the popular Canadian TV series Flashpoint, Colantoni is happy to be a sought-after commodity in the entertainment biz.
He just finished shooting the 10th and final episode of a new Global TV series Remedy, slated to premier following the Sochi Olympics.
Described as a high-stakes, prime-time medical drama, Remedy promises a distinctive “upstairs-downstairs” glimpse behind the scenes of a downtown hospital, and goes beyond the OR and the ER to reveal the compelling community who together make the healing happen.
The series follows Griffin Conner, son of the acting chief of staff, and brother to the strong and resourceful Sandy, an ICU nurse, and the highly disciplined, perfectionist Melissa, a general surgeon. A med school dropout, having left in a haze of disgrace, Griffin is forced to return to Bethune General Hospital as its newest orderly. Working “downstairs” alongside a cast of colourful characters, Griffin gets a new perspective on a world he thought he knew.
Colantoni plays the chief of staff and family patriarch. Dillon Casey, (Nikita, The Vow, MVP) stars as the charismatic, med-school dropout and prodigal son Griffin; Sara Canning, (The Vampire Diaries, Primeval: New World) plays Melissa, a general surgeon, with her own set of complex issues and Sarah Allen, (Jozi-H, Murdoch Mysteries) plays Sandy, the eldest daughter, ICU nurse and bride-to-be.
The family dynamic provides a new element to your typical medical drama. As patriarch, Colantoni was pleased to be on board for this series, which was bought on spec and backed by a “genius of a writer.”
Colantoni also plays criminal mastermind Carl Elias in the high-tech crime drama Person of Interest. Viewers will see this fan favourite again. Colantoni’s role is the ultimate good vs. evil, likeable bad guy.
Colantoni resurrected his character of Keith Mars in the new movie Veronica Mars, slated to be released this March.
He was happy to be part of this reunion production, which stars Kristen Bell and James Franco.
It was “nice” to relive a character and work with his cast again – most of whom are now adults, parents, etc. It’s based on the popular TV show that ran 2004-2007.
A summary of the new film is this: Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown – just in time for her high school reunion ­– in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who’s enrolled in an unraveling murder mystery.
Colantoni is currently the national spokesperson for the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, a foundation started by fellow King resident Vince Savoia.
Flashpoint creators met Savoia in Nova Scotia and facilitated the relationship with Colantoni. When he met Savoia himself he was deeply moved by his passion and it almost seemed like fate brought them together. He’s met so many people through the foundation who have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Talking about the issue is vital, and addressing challenges like perception and judgement are keys to curbing critical incident stress among first responders.
“We have to break the cycle,” Colantoni said. “Everyone is ultimately responsible. Why wouldn’t we want to help those people?”
Flashpoint, a Toronto-based police drama that stacked up with the best of them, really brought Colantoni into the limelight, both here at home and south of the border. It was the first time a director approached him (a character actor) to play a lead role. Sgt. Gregory Parker was a complex character – emotionally sensitive and intelligent. “Parker was the uniform and all it represents,” he said.
The show also revolutionized the Canadian product and the quality of shows that come out of Canada. It opened many doors for other shows that followed, he said.
From Louis Utz on Hope and Gloria, Elliot DiMauro on Just Shoot Me! and Keith Mars on Veronica Mars, Colantoni has had many varied roles, and enjoyed his share of acclaim. His favourite role was Mathesar in the 1999 sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest, starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. It’s one of those gems with legs and viewers continue to rediscover it.
Some of his own favourite current TV shows include New Girl with Zoey Dechanel, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
Life is good and work continues to come his way. Colantoni said he’s pleased that he’s considered a valuable commodity because he loves his craft. At the same time, he dislikes being a “commodity” and that one day he won’t be in demand. He really enjoys expressing his creativity and not simply being a “gun for hire.”
Fame is all relative and while he’s enjoying success, he’s not at the point where he’s tabloid fodder. There’s an “iceberg” to success and it takes many shapes and forms. “If I feel creative, I’m successful,” he pointed out.
His children keep him anchored and he has many familial responsibilities, from his family here, his parents in Italy and his two teenage children in the U.S. He admits he does find it difficult at times being both a caretaker and being creative.
But he’s blessed that he gets to do what he loves and his kids are healthy. He’s been able to “see the world in colour” and learned to be less judgemental.
His “bucket list” involves inner contentment and being okay with being human.
He hopes to write more and make movies. He enjoyed directing an episode of Remedy and he would love to do more of that in the future. One day, he’d love it if his children would be at his side in the business.
Fame or not, Colantoni has to deal with life itself and family commitments. Just like the rest of us.
As long as the creative juices flow, we’ll be seeing more of Colantoni in the future.

         

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