High-level CIA officials filled the room, but all he wanted to do was get in, deliver a message and get out without overhearing something above his pay grade.
This was the day-to-day experience of a CIA agent named Patrick, a popular character that Canadian actor Ian Fisher thoughtfully brought to life on the USA Network’s hit spy-action-drama show Covert Affairs.
While Fisher is no newcomer, he was much younger than many of his counterparts on the series, which included accomplished actors such as Piper Perabo (The Prestige, Looper, Coyote Ugly), Christopher Gorham (Justice League: War, Ugly Betty, Felicity) and Peter Gallagher (American Beauty, The O.C., While You Were Sleeping). However, the dynamic approach Fisher brought to his character on the series made his performances flow seamlessly in line with those of the veteran actors as though the cast had been working together for years.
When Fisher first landed his role on Covert Affairs, he decided early on during the process of developing his character that he would approach Patrick with a quote from the film Ocean’s Eleven in mind.
In Ocean’s Eleven, Rusty explained to Linus, “He’s got to like you, then forget you, the moment you’ve left his side”; and, as Fisher’s character in Covet Affairs was continually the show’s bearer of bad news, the quote was the perfect inspiration. Ironically, though Patrick was known over the course of the fifth season for bringing the kind of news that would throw a monkey wrench into the CIA’s plans, this was actually good news for Fisher as his character gained traction with fans and social media.
“My character did this so often that the writers of the show once tweeted ‘Patrick, the harbinger of doom’ during an episode broadcast,” Fisher said.
Fisher’s roles span the gamut. The actor has proven his prowess in practically every genre, but where he truly thrives is in the world of comedy and drama. Last year he guest starred on the series Reign, which received a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama the very same year, as well as Beauty & the Beast, which won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show that year as well.
Fisher’s impressive career has allowed him the rare opportunity to become a range of different people through his characters, but few have hit home for him like his recent role in Glory River, a film about a small town obsessed with its hockey team.
“It’s kind of along the same lines of what Friday Night Lights did with football,” Fisher said.
Fisher connected with Glory River because he grew up in the small Canadian town of Vernon, British Columbia. Vernon’s local hockey team of 17- to 20-year-olds was so popular that its players were “treated like gods,” he said.
Fisher used his experience of living in such a hockey-crazed town to his advantage for his role as the film’s star, Noah Gallagher, the town’s most-admired player with long shot hopes of someday playing professional hockey.
“I loved playing Noah in Glory River because of the personal connection I felt to him,” Fisher said. “We came from very similar worlds. We both were raised by single mothers, both from small towns, and both have big goals.”
The story of Noah has been the story of countless Canadians, Fisher said. Hockey’s deep and meaningful roots in Canadian culture was a large reason for Fisher wanting to play the part, and play it well.
“I knew I could do him and that story justice,” Fisher said. “It’s a story that is so ingrained in the lives of Canadians. I was really excited to be able to bring it to the screen.”
Glory River, which opened at the 2015 Calgary International Film Festival on September 29 and will screen again on October 4, was directed by Blake McWilliam, whose films have previously been nominated for awards at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW Film Festival.
With Fisher’s passion for his craft, there’s no doubt that the talented actor will continue to shine for years to come, and his role in Glory River is definitely going to clinch some award nominations on the festival circuit this year.