This had to be Billy Campbell’s career plan all along, right?
Back when he started out as a young American actor, he had to know that someday he would be representing Canada at the International Emmy Awards®.
Campbell laughed hard and replied, “Well, I have to admit, I had little hope in my breast of representing anything at that point. But this nomination is awfully gratifying, because as I tell anyone who will listen, I am spiritually Canadian.
“So I’m just super happy not only that we made a decent show but that it is Canadian and that it is representing Canada favourably.”
The show in question, of course, is CTV’s CARDINAL. Campbell, who plays lead character John Cardinal, has been nominated for an International Emmy in the “Best Performance by an Actor” category. The ceremony is Monday, Nov. 19 in New York.
“Thank you, it was entirely unexpected,” said Campbell, responding to congratulations while on the phone from Norway, which is where he now makes his home. “In fact I had no idea that there was even such an animal as an International Emmy. Until, actually, Lars Mikkelsen, with whom I’m nominated, sent me a text to let me know. And then he offered to play hoops for it.”
So, did Campbell take Mikkelsen up on the basketball challenge?
“No, I told him that was rather disingenuous, because he’s better than me at hoops … and acting,” Campbell said.
Honouring television that’s being made outside the United States, the International Emmys have been around since 1973, making this year’s edition the 46th annual. In previous decades the field might have been somewhat sparse, but that certainly isn’t the case these days, with so much great TV emerging from all over the world.
“Oh yeah, that’s for sure,” Campbell agreed. “I can only imagine what kind of difficulty it is for them to choose. I don’t think I’d want that job.”
There are four nominees in the “Best Performance by an Actor” category, including Campbell and Mikkelsen, who is nominated for a show from Denmark called Herrens Veje (Ride Upon the Storm). The other two nominees are Julio Andrade in Um Contra Todos (One Against All) from Brazil, and Tolga Sarita? in Soz (The Oath) from Turkey.
“I’m honoured to be nominated, especially amongst such distinguished company, particularly my friend Lars Mikkelsen, who is as much an inspiration as he is a friend,” Campbell said.
“I don’t know if you know, but Lars Mikkelsen is the older brother of Mads Mikkelsen, who has had more international success (including the lead role in the TV series Hannibal, which was filmed in Toronto). But Lars is widely considered in Scandinavia, especially in Denmark, as the finest actor of his generation. His little brother Mads has sort of jumped the gun internationally, but Lars is hot on his tail in that regard now.”
Campbell said he isn’t really sure what the ceremony and festivities are going to be like at the International Emmys.
“I have not a clue, and I’m missing some of the events in the days leading up to it, due to a family commitment,” he said. “But in addition to the ceremony, I also plan to get together with some family that I haven’t seen in a long time. My aunt lives close to New York, and her son, my cousin, and so forth. And I’m hoping my sister will come up to New York and be there for a day or two when I’m there.”
In addition to his own extended family, Campbell also will be thinking about his CARDINAL family as he represents Canada at the International Emmys.
As he put it, “I’m excited about this for a host of reasons, not the least of which is, hopefully it’s really gratifying for everybody who works on the show.”
Keep waving that maple leaf, Billy.
An all-new season of CARDINAL is set to stream on CTV in 2019
By BILL HARRIS – @billharris_tv