Quebec Actress Karine Vanasse relishes her return to CTV’s ‘real and raw’ Cardinal

Cardinal has been a dream gig for Karine Vanasse.. “She’s very intuitive,” the Quebec actor says of her character in the complex crime drama, whose second season debuts Thursday, Jan. 4.

Karine Vanasse portrays detective Lise Delorme in the gritty crime series Cardinal. "I think we start Season 2 knowing more about who she really is," says the Quebec actor. BROOKE PALMER / CTV

Cardinal has been a dream gig for Karine Vanasse.

We talked almost exactly a year ago, just before the première of the first season of the gritty CTV crime series, based on the bestselling novels by Giles Blunt. At the time, the francophone Montreal actress was pumped to finally be starring in her first English-Canadian series, and was happy that audiences in the rest of Canada would be able to see her in a homegrown drama. Prior to that, she was most famous outside Quebec for two high-profile American network series, Pan Am and Revenge.

In the year since that interview, Cardinal has taken off. It was the top-rated Canadian drama of the past TV season and has been sold in more than 100 countries. It has done well in many of those territories, including on BBC Four in the U.K., Canal Plus in France and Telekom in Germany. That success prompted CTV to give the green light to two more six-episode seasons, both of which have already been shot. Season 2 of Cardinal premières on CTV on Thursday, Jan. 4, and makes its bow in its dubbed French version on Super Écran at the same time.