When you are casting a he/she series, chemistry is everything. The producers behind the new Vancouver-based cop/caper hour Wild Cards struck gold with their leads: Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale) and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy).
He plays a by-the-books, wrongfully accused cop trying to clear his name after being demoted to harbour duty. She plays a daring schemer who can con her way out of just about any corner. When the two are thrown together to solve a case, these wild cards make for a pair of Aces.
Surprisingly, when it came time to cast this series, the two actors did not meet in person for their initial chemistry read together — they performed it over a zoom call.
Gianniotti was born in Italy and raised in Toronto and besides his seven seasons as Dr. Andrew DeLuca on Grey’s Anatomy has appeared in Italian-made movies. He agrees that zoom casting and/or chemistry reads can be “difficult and strange.” TV being an international business, however, the two were in different cities and had to try the remote route. Meeting for the first time over Zoom, however, didn’t dampen their natural connection.
“It helps when you’re actually friends and get along great with your co-star,” says Morgan, who was born in Ottawa and was also featured on The Shannara Chronicles.
Morgan spent seven seasons on Riverdale and was happy to bust loose playing Max, a character who keeps putting on accents and wearing disguises. The former Junior Miss America might also be familiar to fans of The Amazing Race Canada. She and her sister Celina placed third in the very first season of that series.
Wild Cards, which counts the creative team behind Private Eyes — Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan — didn’t have to look far for another star on this series: Jason Priestley. Wild Cards premieres January 10 on CBC and CBC Gem.
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