Not long after reconvening in Calgary to start shooting Season 2 a few months back, some of the cast of Jann decided to take a field trip out into the city.
“We discovered that Calgary has scooters,” says actor Patrick Gilmore. “We took these scooters out and it was like ‘This is amazing! Calgary is the best!’ I think we went for Chinese food. We stopped at a bar.”
It was an appropriate exercise to further familiarize themselves with the city, which star and co-creator Jann Arden has always maintained is a major character in the show. But, on top of that, it was also a good way to build on something created in Season 1. Spend any time on the set of Jann, and it becomes clear that an authentic camaraderie exists between members of the ensemble cast. The series, which wrapped earlier this week, ended its shoot on a quiet suburban street in the city’s southwest, not far from its production headquarters in the Currie Barracks and Mount Royal University, its “home-away-from-home” where a good deal of the show’s eight-episode second season was shot. Gilmore plays Dave, the amicable brother-in-law of a fictionalized and diva-ized version of singer Jann Arden. On this particular day, a scene for episode 7 is unfolding in the kitchen of a house Dave shares with his children and wife Max (played by Zoie Palmer), fictional Jann’s exasperated and practical sister. Without giving too much away, it involves guest star and former Calgarian Elisha Cuthbert, who plays a lusty neighbour that arrives unannounced. Eventually, the action will also include Jann’s mother Nora (played by Deborah Grover), her former sad-sack manager Todd (played by Jason Blicker), her current manager Cale (Elena Juatco) and university-aged niece Charley (Alexa Rose Steele). There is a lot of catty back-and-forths and bickering, sort of like hanging with the Bluth family in an episode of Arrested Development. But the scene is also interrupted from time to time with sudden outbursts of laughter.