The 'Rookie Blue' set is buzzing as the cast and crew work away on Season 2. The biggest change here since Season 1 is the addition of a toilet in one of the cells –- part of the painstaking efforts to make the show as realistic as possible.
The breakout hit from last summer is filmed on location across Toronto, but its base is here, inside a non-descript warehouse just outside the downtown core. Right now the cast is gathered in the briefing room as the crew films a meeting scene from every possible angle. While the rookies may not be brand spanking new, they still have a lot to learn. Season 2 has lots of curveballs in store, including the addition of Lauren Holly ('Dumb & Dumber') in a recurring role.
We caught up with stars Missy Peregrym, who plays Andy, and Gregory Smith, who plays Dov, between takes to get the rundown on what to expect from their sophomore season. (Hint: there's gonna be a love triangle!) They also dish on second-season jitters, newly found admirers and feedback from real-life cops.
In Season 1, you learned a lot of lessons. What were your characters' biggest mistakes?
Missy Peregrym: I think not having my gun loaded was pretty bad. But that happens a lot. I actually talked to a real cop and he said that's one of the most common mistakes. They forget to load their gun.
Gregory Smith: I guess for Dov it was settling into the job and the power of being a cop. He was so excited and giddy. It was the moment he was waiting for for his entire life. And then just growing up a little bit with the job and losing a little bit of the innocence but not too much. Losing a bit of naïveté but keeping the innocence.
How have your characters evolved from Season 1?
MP: That was a hard thing to understand how to play for me. Andy had seen a lot of stuff. What comes up a lot is that I'm doing everything right, and I'm still finding myself in bad situations. That's coming up more consistently. Things just go badly sometimes even if you go through all of the right protocol.
GS: Dov is, when he first started out, maybe a little too confident, a little too quick to color outside of the lines. Which is something that gets him in trouble in Season 2.
How has Andy's relationship with Luke the detective changed?
MP: Love triangle, first of all. We've got a new character coming in this season who's his ex-girlfriend. They dated for six years. So she's coming back into the picture, which is a bit awkward (obviously) for Andy. I can't tell you too much but I can tell you that the situation gets pretty extreme and heavy.
Dov ended Season 1 single. What can we expect from Season 2?
GS: Yeah. So I think he bites off a little more than he can chew in the romance department this year. There's a hot ETF chick, and then there's a dark horse lurking in the shadows.
MP: OK, I'm going to say this.
GS: I don't know if you're allowed to say it.
MP: I don't care, I'm going to say it! I can say whatever I want! [Laughs] Dov likes somebody he shouldn't. The end.
GS: He sort of debates -- oh, I can't really say that.
MP: It's a risky little -- I guess I can't say that.
Hmm. Riskier than a stripper? Or a detective?
MP: No, not like that. I'm not going to say anything else because I like how you have no idea what we're talking about right now but when you'll see it you'll go "Oooh!" [Laughs]
What about Andy's relationship with Sam?
MP: She can date him now, officially. He's not her training officer anymore. But it's very complicated because there's already stuff happening between Luke and me. I can't say anything! It's more than a triangle, because I still work with Sam. We're constantly going out on jobs together and there's still an attraction. They can't deny that, but Andy is very committed to Luke. She really wants to make this work.
What are each of your characters' biggest issues in Season 2?
GS: I think the general theme the writers ran with in Season 2 is that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
MP: You have a bit of confidence, so you think you know more, which is obviously putting yourself in a scenario where you're extending yourself into situations that you should not be in. I think we got the same reality check as last year. You think because it's your second year on the job that you've seen it all.
Do you have any female real-life cops who are consultants for the show?
GS: There's the lady who gave us training last year. She's like a real-life Lara Croft.
MP: Nicole. She's a badass. It was very cool to see her do what she did. We have women cops who are on the set when we shoot on location. I try to talk to them as much as possible. It's very interesting to hear them relate to the show.
Were you surprised by the success of the show?
GS: It was pretty crazy when we first started shooting this year and Season 1 was still airing. Last season when we shot on the streets, people would just go about their business. The beginning of this season, people were chasing us down in the middle of a scene, shouting 'Rookie Blue,' yelling our characters' names. I had a note with a phone number attached to my trailer door when I came into work one day. Stuff that was kind of inconceivable when the show first started.
MP: I got surprise flowers with a riddle.
GS: Not creepy. Just, uh -- surprising.
MP: It's cool. I just wasn't available to -- uh -- call. But yeah, we're all working hard to create another great season.
GS: It's nerve-wracking.
MP: I hope everybody likes it. I hope it's even better than the first time around.
GS: Most shows are on for nine months and off for three, and we've been off for nine months. So I'm a little nervous that people won't remember us!
Season 2 of 'Rookie Blue' premieres Thursday, June 23 at 10PM ET/PT on Global TV in Canada, and 10PM ET/9PM CT on ABC in the U.S.