Justin Skinner / Inside Toronto
With a laundry list of appearances on TV already under his belt, Distillery District resident Randal Edwards is finally set to embark on his first lead role.
Edwards is the star of the sitcom ‘Package Deal’, which will air on CityTV this fall.
He plays the role of Danny White, the youngest – but most normal – of three brothers who are living together.
“The story’s about three maybe overly close brothers and my character was basically raised by his two older brothers,” Edwards said. “That changes when Julia Voth (who plays the role of Kim Mattingly) shows up and threatens to break that up.”
The show marks a departure from the recent move toward single-camera sitcoms, with a live studio audience there to let the cast know instantly whether a joke has hit or not.
“It’s a different game, for sure – kind of like doing live theatre but on film,” he said. “The great thing is, it’s a sitcom for adults, but you look out into the audience and you see everyone from 14-year-olds to 64-year-olds and they’re all loving it.”
While Package Deal features an ensemble cast, Edwards’ character serves as the show’s focal point around which neurotic brother Ryan (played by Jay Malone) and wacky brother Sheldon (played by Harland Williams) revolve.
The show also features recurring guest roles by talents such as Eugene Levy and Pamela Anderson, both of whom left Edwards somewhat star struck.
“It took a certain amount of luck to be able to work with such incredibly talented people,” he said. “Working on a comedy with Eugene Levy was almost too good to be true. You basically get a free education in comedy with that guy.”
The excitement of working with Levy, however, paled in comparison to the nervousness he felt working with Anderson. Edwards admits to being intimidated by her due in part to her status as a sex symbol.
“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to complete a full sentence in front of her that wasn’t scripted,” he said. “You get in front of her and you’re in awe – you’re drawn to her but you can’t say anything because she’s Pamela Anderson.”
After a short while, however, Edwards felt more comfortable in front of the big-name talent.
The Distillery District resident is no acting neophyte himself, having taken on recurring roles as Mr. Townsend on ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’, Ray on ‘The Killing’ and Marcia on ‘Papillon’ among others.
Edwards’ rise through the entertainment ranks came about almost by fluke. He moved from Victoria, B.C., where he was working as an insurance agent, to New York at the age of 21.
“I wanted to try living in New York but needed an excuse to be there,” he said. “I started to take acting classes down there and it was unbelievably hard at first. I kept at it, though, and then moved back to Vancouver and hammered away (at an acting career) there.”
His career eventually brought him to Toronto and he fell in love with the city almost instantly.
“I love the energy here because it’s got kind of a New York appeal,” he said. “You’ve got to go chase something if you want it or someone’s going to beat you to it.”
Package Deal will begin airing on CityTV at 8:30 on Mondays starting Sept. 30.