Donal Logue is pure gold on Copper

Donal Logue accepts the key to a 2001 Sebring. Besides
acting and writing, the dude owns his own trucking biz

Took a walk back in time Monday and ran into Donal Logue. The Ottawa-born actor was in Toronto where he is shooting Season two of Copper, returning to Showcase and BBC America this fall. We chatted in the office of his character, a former general in the Union Army who has returned to the gritty Five Points area of Lower Manhattan to re-assert his presence at Tammany Hall.
The Cineflix drama takes place in the 1860s and is shot on the largest standing set I’ve ever seen. The converted Toronto auto parts factory houses several blocks of cobblestone streets, tenement shacks, blacksmith shops, police stations, brownstone apartments, and, of course, a tavern and a whorehouse. Horses, pigs and goats are stabled right outside the building. A port and ship were added to the soundstage vista this season.
Versatile Logue is living an actor’s dream, appearing in three well-regarded TV shows at once, all shot in different countries. Part of the year he’s in Ireland, land of his kin, starring in Vikings. He’s also a familiar face now on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. He joined all three shows after they launched and says he’s fit in nicely with the various casts and crews.
Logue is one of those guys who always works. He needs two more credits to reach 100 on IMDb. He first gained national attention as a headliner on the sitcom Grounded for Life and is full of stories, including the time he tested the Late Late Show chair during the hand-off between Craig Kilborn and Craig Ferguson. Ferguson later became a next door neighbour. The two had a thing where they would jump off Logue’s roof into his pool every New Year’s. The two of us got so deep into Late Night stories I kept Copper‘s outstanding and very patient set designer, Tony Ianni, waiting far too long.

One small part of the vast outdoor street
set used in the production of Copper

Logue looks like an outlaw biker dude these days with his long reddish hair, beard and leather jacket. The 47-year-old says being on the FX drama does gain him an extra measure of respect. People tend not to screw around with that cast, although a more erudite bunch, he says, you’ll never meet.
He’s grateful to all three showrunners who have been extraordinarily accommodating in allowing him to jump in-and-out of countries and series. Not a bad bunch of bosses: Tom Fontanna and now Tom Kelly (Blue Bloods) on Copper, Michael Hirst on Vikings and Kurt Suter on Sons.
Logue was having a good day when I met him. He had just returned from a meeting with his publisher where he learned his first novel, a young adult adventure based somewhat on his own shenanigans as a lad living close to the Mexican border, has been given a green light. He says he never aimed to be an actor and kind of fell into it after studying history at Harvard. His real ambition was to be a writer.
Right now, he’s got the best of both worlds and is pretty stoked about both his day and night jobs.
More on Logue and Copper in the coming months.

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