“The murder rate in these small towns is off the charts!” Colin Ferguson noted. “I guess that hearkens back to Murder She Wrote and Angela Lansbury? There are like 200 people who got killed in that small town.”
Luckily, Lighthouse Cove is nowhere near as dangerous as Cabot Cove. At least not yet. To date, there have only been a couple of grisly mysteries in this idyllic community, which is the home of best-selling crime author Macintyre “Mac” Sullivan and renovation wizard Shannon Hughes. However, on Sunday, March 11 at 9/8c, the body count is going up again and it’s up to Shannon and Mac to figure out who did it! That’s right, it’s the third installment of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries popular Fixer Upper Mystery series, Deadly Deed!
“I find that a lot of times, if you’re watching episodic television, the way they do it now, it’s always pretty clear who the killer is,” Colin began. “Partially because of the stature of the person playing the role. What I like about Teena Booth’s writing is it could be viably any one of three or four people.”
The Hallmark series, which also includes Framed for Murder and Concrete Evidence, is based on best-selling author Kate Carlisle’s Fixer-Upper Mystery series. In the films, Mac Sullivan is played by Colin and Shannon Hughes is played by Jewel. Like all great romances, theirs began with an awkward meeting and has been gradually developing into something more over the duo’s past two adventures.
“I really like how things have been progressing on two fronts,” Colin expressed. “In the first movie, people were just getting to know Jewel as an actor. She was nervous and there was a lot of pressure and a lot of eyes on her and me to make sure things went well. Sometimes, when you’re putting so much attention on something, you just need to relax. This is movie three, so we’ve relaxed into it now, and it’s fantastic!”
“From a character standpoint,” he continued, “they are getting to know each other. One thing that I really like about Hallmark is that the relationships are earned. Usually in Hollywood, they use love and relationships as an emotional boost or a ratings bump. It’s not earned. It’s so 0 to 60 that it’s a little off-putting. As an actor, you really want to earn it. When you consummate a relationship or take it to the next level, you want everyone behind that relationship saying, ‘Yes, this is perfect. They’ve paid their dues and had their fights. They really know each other and they deserve to be together.’ Mac and Shannon are slowly moving down that road to getting there.”
“On Hallmark, it’s about the love, the chemistry, and a connection,” Colin added. “But on other networks, it’s about the sex. They want the scene where one of them pushes the other one up against the wall and there’s a passionate embrace. Cut to the next morning and one of them is getting out of bed. As an actor, you roll your eyes at that scene. How many times have I pushed someone up against a wall? On the first date? They might not be into that. That might not go the way you think it’s going to go.”
Colin is a veteran actor. His earliest IMDb credit is for his portrayal of Tommy in an episode of YTV’s hugely successful Are You Afraid of the Dark? called “The Tale of C7.” The horror/fantasy themed series went on to be picked up by networks around the world, including Nickelodeon. After that, Colin’s career blossomed, and the actor found work in numerous series including Eureka (Syfy), The Vampire Diaries (The CW), Cedar Cove (Hallmark), the Stephen King based Haven (Syfy, Showcase), and You’re the Worst (FXX).
When asked if having such a long acting resume that was filled with memorable characters from so many different genres made it easier to get roles, Colin replied, “I would love to say that it did, but the way that Hollywood works is they only know you by what you did last. I came up through the ranks doing comedy and Second City and improvisation and all that jazz. However, when I recently did a season of You’re the Worst, my agent said, ‘This is great. This will really help us with comedy.’ I’m thinking, ‘I need help with comedy?!’ Like I said, Hollywood only knows you by what you did last.”
“It’s a blessing and a curse. Part of me would have loved to have just been known for one thing because then everybody knows where to put you and you know that’s where you belong. Being able to do a bunch of different things — or at least wanting to do a bunch of different things — means you have to spread yourself a bit thin. You do Eureka for a bunch of years, but then you have to reestablish yourself in half-hour television. After that, you have to reestablish yourself back in hour television again. It makes for more of a journey, and from my perspective, it’s a very satisfying one.”
In Hallmark’s Fixer Upper Mysteries, Colin plays a successful author who is there to lend a hand whenever Shannon stumbles upon a body. The pair solves crimes that baffle even the local police, mostly by utilizing Shannon’s keen observational skills and her insatiable thirst to uncover the truth.
“I like that Mac helps Shannon solve crimes in proper and complicated ways. He’s not just asking, ‘Is this the pen you needed?’ Which, to be honest, is a lot of what these sorts of movies were like when the roles were reversed. In the books, Mac is an ex-Navy Seal. I’d love that aspect of his physicality to come into it at some point. It would be nice to see him take someone down. And to be honest, I think that would make Shannon turn her head a little bit. She’d be like, ‘I didn’t know you had that gear. That’s attractive.'”
Deadly Deed: A Fixer Upper Mystery premieres Sunday, March 11 at 9/8c on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.
Featured photo: © 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman.