"Crying's easy. Of course, for me it's like, 'Oh good, I get to cry!' Comedy's hard."
– Janet Wright
Guy MacPherson: Next season you have more scenes?
Janet Wright: Yeah.
GM: Because you bring the real acting chops to the show.
JW: (laughs) Yeah, really.
GM: No, because you have this dramatic edge with the comedy.
JW: Yeah, I know. It's sort of like me.
GM: It's interesting because to do comedy, I hear, the key is to act like you're not doing comedy.
JW: That's right.
GM: Just play it straight because the writing is funny enough.
JW: That's hard, too, just to say it. I guess it depends, though. If someone didn't have a sense of humour and they just said it and they just said it... It's hard to know. But the worst thing you can do is, say you've got a line and you start going, "Hmm, maybe I should hit that word." As soon as you do that... So I try never to think of anything until I say it.
GM: Ah. But you have to memorize it.
JW: I just never do it out loud. I just learn the words as much as I can. It also depends on what the other person is doing. It's mostly, for me, anyway, the reaction.
GM: And do you get a lot of direction from the director saying, "No, do it this way"?
JW: Sometimes. If he doesn't like your take on it.
GM: Have you done mostly drama in your career, or have you done lots of comedy?
JW: In film, I've done mostly drama. But I did theatre for 30-odd... I don't know how many years. So I've done a lot of comedy in theatre. But it's funny, I've never done ... I did a couple. I did the last episode of that Paul Gross, uh...
GM: Yes, the Mountie.
JW: Yes. I liked that show. I did the last... I was a Mountie in that one. I've never had so much fun. It was a really silly show.
GM: Due South!
JW: Due South. I had so much fun doing that because it was really, really funny. I like doing comedy.
GM: Is the approach any different in drama and comedy?
JW: No. You just internalize and whatever comes out. Of course, if you're doing something where you have to sob. But that's easy. Crying's easy. Of course, for me it's like, "Oh good, I get to cry!" Comedy's hard.
GM: This show must have been a huge shock to you, and everybody, the success of it.
JW: You know, even when they said it, you go, "Oh yeah" because it's your show. "This is a big hit."
GM: It must be hard for you, because everyone will say "Love the show! Love the show!"
JW: Yeah, that's true. But when the producer said it's a big hit... You know that wishful thinking? That's what I thought right away. And then I was on the ferry one day and this man and lady kept walking around and I kept looking to see what was wrong and then they came over and they said it was their favourite show. And I said, "Really?" You know what I mean? I didn't even know if people were seeing it.
GM: That's the thing with Canadian TV series, and particularly comedy. It's either going to last three weeks and nobody watches it, or it's going to last 15 years and nobody...
JW: Watches it! (laughs) I think this is better than most Canadian sitcoms. I think in the past we always tried to do sitcoms that are take-offs or like an American sitcom. Because the last big sitcom, it might be The Trailer Park Boys. I've never seen that. But that's a different thing. But the last big Canadian hit was The King of Kensington.
GM: And this is different, too, because it doesn't have the laugh track or audience.
JW: No. And the thing is, we're funny people. Canadians are funny.
GM: We have this reputation of producing the best...
JW: We've got This Hour Has 22 Minutes. I mean, my favourite show is still SCTV. And Kids in the Hall, all those great shows. They're more like skits but do them brilliantly. So being able to do this, it's truly Brent. His mind.
GM: When you read the scripts originally, you were probably skeptical. You still thought the scripts were good...
JW: Hilarious. What happened was, skeptical... My agent said, "They want you to audition..." You know, it's feast or famine in this business. So she phoned up and said "They want you to audition for a sitcom called Corner Gas." And I went, "Oh, you've gotta be kidding." A Canadian bloody... How Canadian is that? And I just went, "I'm not..." She said, "Well, the script's funny." And I read it and I laughed my head off.
GM: But sometimes don't you get a script that's really good and it turns out...
JW: To suck? I think it's just the combo. It's just one of those things like sex. The chemistry between everybody just kinda works.
GM: Tara was saying there's no weak link.
JW: I don't think there is.
GM: But who would be the weak link if there was one?
JW: Me. (laughs) No, I don't think there is one. I didn't know until I watched it. I didn't realize how good people were inthe show. Because when you're playing with people off camera, they're good, but you don't know what the camera's seeing. I'll tell you my favourite character. It's Davis. The cop.
JW: I just love him. He's so sweet and he's so sincere and he really tries to do a good job. He's got great stuff this year. Lorne is so good. I just love that character.
GM: It's an ensemble cast and everybody's given almost equal time, I'd say.
JW: Yup. And more this year.
GM: The scripts are just as good?
JW: Yeah, you go get them and you shoot two scripts in eight days. And you get your scripts a couple of days before, and you have a reading. And you go, "God, how do they keep doing it?" Because the story lines are so odd. They're so good.
GM: Do you have a favourite moment from last season?
JW: You know, I think it's the same as Eric. When he made his own coffin. That just tickled me. We couldn't stop laughing.
GM: I think what next needs to be done is a theatrical movie. Corner Gas: The Movie.
JW: Corner Gas: The Movie! (laughs) That would be cool. But I hope this goes for a long time.
GM: Well, it's lasted for more than a year. So 25 years...
JW: That's right. 25 years. Then I won't have to work again and I can just die.
GM: There you go. But don't die during the run of the show. Because then they'd have to have one of the tear-jerker shows. You don't want one of those.
JW: Oh yeah. Saying farewell to Emma or some crap. We don't want that.