Your new series The 410
- in a few words, what is it about?
The 410 centers
on Suri (Surpreet) Deol, an Indo-Canadian wannabe-Instagram-it-girl
who’s forced to return home to the suburb of Brampton, ON (Canada)
after her truck driver father is arrested for smuggling narcotics across
the border. The series explores a fractured father-daughter relationship
within the structure of a fast paced family crime drama.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing The
410, and is any of the film based on your own experiences?
2014/ 2015 I began to notice a reoccurring narrative in the Indo-Canadian
community where South Asian truck drivers were arrested at several borders
for attempting to traffic narcotics. I imagined the lives of those truck
drivers: what aspirations drove them to commit
crimes: money/power/social rank? While the series is not based on my
personal experiences, my father used to be a truck driver, so growing up I
had a fair bit of familiarity into this world. When I began to see these
stories about men who reminded me of my father, it really struck a chord.
talk about your series' approach to the thriller genre for a bit!
I personally love a good thriller, so when I was writing The
410, I knew I wanted it to be fast-paced with twists and turns
because those are the kinds of stories I love to watch!
were the challenges of bringing The
410 to the screen from a producer's point of view?
cast schedules, all the normal issues that arise with large ambitions
paired with limited resources. I would say though that our wins
outweighed our losses. We had so many instances where we thought we were
stuck on some aspect of production, and then some lucky break would
happen to make that thing work. For example, we were shooting this scene
in a parking lot behind some residential houses and we got every
resident except one to move their cars out of the space. Later that day
our production manager went to that residence to ask them to move their
car, but no one was home. Our production manager randomly snapped a
picture of their mailbox that had their name written on it and texted
me. As luck would have it, I knew them! Immediately, I gave them a call
and within minutes the car was moved. That sort of thing happened so
many times that it truly felt someone, or something, was looking out for
also play the lead in The 410
- so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to
bring her to life, and have you written Surpreet with yourself in mind
from the get-go?
was very important for me to write not just a female protagonist, but a
South Asian female anti-hero. So often as an actor, the characters I’m
asked to play are very much written as a ‘good girl, educated, follows
the rules’ sort of archetype. I wanted to play a lead character that
was messy, and nuanced and troubled, and often you don’t see those
roles cast with South Asian women, so I wrote it for myself.
Do talk about the rest of your cast,
and why exactly these people? And as writer/creator/producer, how much say
did you have when it came to casting?
Our cast is wonderful! We got so lucky with the actors that agreed to be
a part of this project and that we were able to make it work with
everyone's schedules. I've been acting for the last 10 years in Toronto,
so when it came time to cast the series, I just drew from the incredibly
fertile well of talented South Asian Artists within our industry and
thankfully they all said yes!
What can you tell
us about The 410's director
Renuka Jeyapalan, and what was your collaboration like?
Renuka and I have known one another since my time at the Canadian Film
Center (CFC). We'd worked on a few projects prior and it'd always been a
very collaborative, engaging and rewarding experience. I knew her
incisiveness in directing was exacting what the series needed. Renuka is
extremely sharp and has an acute sense of story-telling that I haven't
seen in other directors, the fact that she's also South Asian and that
the story resonated for her as well was just icing on the cake.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The shoot was quite challenging but always positive!
$64-question of course, where can The
410 be seen?
The series is currently screening in Canada on CBC Gem, link
Canadians! And pretty soon we'll be able to share the series with our US
neighbors to the South. (More news coming soon!)
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of The
I think the series touches on some tough issues, which can be
polarizing for certain people. Generally the reception has been
positive. The thing that touches me most is when people from my
community respond to the series and share their pride about having a
series centered around a South Asian family on our national broadcaster.
Also, we just received three Canadian Screen Award nominations, so
that's very exciting!
Any future projects you'd like to
We're currently in development on three more episodes of The
410, so I'll keep you posted. I also did a feature last year called
Hazy Little Thing directed by one of my best friends, Sam Coyle, that's
having its premiere in March 2020!
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I've always loved to be a part of telling stories. I did plays when I
was younger, I went to film school to understand the technical aspects
of this industry, and I trained at the Canadian Film Center within their
the years, you have also stepped behind the camera every now and again as
writer, producer and at times even director - so what prompted that move?
Control. Lol. As actors, we have very little of it, and I wanted the
challenge and reward of seeing a story through from beginning to end.
How would you
describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your
characters to life?
I think I try to always motivate myself by finding what is true and
real. I don't have a singular technique, but I am always researching and
asking myself questions to ground me in what is fact and true.
Actresses, writers, filmmakers,
whoever else who inspire you?
These always change, right now I love Julia Garner for her tenacity,
Khaled Hosseini for his clarity, and Taika Waititi for his wit.
Your favourite movies?
The Lives of Others and Parasite!
and of course, films you really deplore?
Hmmm, Transformers, and pretty much any movie where it's 80% CG robots
fighting one another.
series' website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Nope, you've really covered your bases. Thank you!!
for the interview!