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Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.

Latest posts by Jovin Tardif (see all)

Interview with Bernard Robichaud

Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with Canadian actor Bernard Robichaud.  Bernard is a Los Angeles based, actor, writer, and comic.  You may have seen him in the hit television series Trailer Park Boys as Cyrus or on Haven as Kirk.  Today in our interview, we discuss his voice-over work on CBC, his role in both Trailer Park Boys and Haven, writing tips, performing as a stand-up comic, and his dream role.  

 

Bernard Robichaud https://www.bernardrobichaud.com/ BIOGRAPHY Boston-born, Los Angeles based, actor, writer and comic, Canadian Bernard Robichaud, known to fans worldwide as Cyrus, the gun-toting, drug dealing nemesis from the hit television series Trailer Park Boys, started his life in the spotlight as a sought after model. That is, until the day he crossed paths with a Toronto talent agent, who insisted he missed his calling and should try his hand at acting. With that advice in mind, Bernard enrolled in the Theatre Arts program at Dalhousie University and later honed his skills under the private tutelage of esteemed vocal coach Dorothy Ward, and later under the wings of award-winning director Tom Kerr at the prestigious Neptune Theatre.  Believe it or not, this athletic man who grew up playing hockey and basketball and today is an avid golfer was hired to voice the characters of both Robert and Becky in the CBC radio drama In Becky’s Name. Governor-General Award-winning playwright and author, Kent Stetson, took the liberty of contacting ACTRA on Bernard’s behalf, stating that anyone who could play a man and women on the radio in their first performance deserved to be given their professional status…and he was, and he hasn’t looked back.  His uncanny talent of being able to transform himself into a rough and tumble lowlife to a ruggedly handsome good guy has garnered Bernard a variety of most interesting roles over his career including performing alongside such Hollywood icons as James Caan and Kathy Bates. He co-starred with Billy Zane and Estelle Warren in Blue Seduction, and he co-starred in Hostage Game with his friend, the late Corey Haim. Bernard also had a recurring role as Kirk in the hit Showcase TV series, Haven. He also had a supporting role in the pilot, Sea Change, which is based on the New York Times bestseller book.  Bernard wrote a screenplay titled Kitchen Sports, which is an adaptation of his successful 1995 play. He also penned A Woman Scorned, which is a screenplay feature film thriller, and he co-wrote 13 episodes for a TV sitcom titled The Adventures of Black Bart.  When not gracing the small or large screens, Bernard tours North America with his standup comedy act titled Perfect, That’s my life! The comedy act was originally a portrayal of his character on Trailer Park Boys, but after his first tour, Bernard realized that comedy was an expression of truth, and the character, Cyrus, was far from his truth, “it was like being a cartoon, and difficult to find my voice,” and he developed material that would be transformed into the real Bernard Robichaud.
Bernard Robichaud from Trailer Park Boys and Haven

 

cinqque5tion with Bernard Robichaud

1. Let’s start from the beginning. Can we discuss the voice-over work you did with the characters Robert and Becky for CBC on the radio drama ‘In Becky’s name’? 

The story was written for radio and produced by Sudsy Clarke. Robert was a troubled young man, and his alter ego was Becky, but this was 35 years ago, and the details as you can imagine have dwindled over time, but not easy to do a Man and Woman voice without the range and a great producer.

2. You are known as Cyrus from Trailer Park Boys. Was there ever a time on or off-screen where a joke was told that made you laugh unconditionally?

No, to be honest, I don’t recall. It was a great team of actors, and there was always something funny being said or done; however, Season 5, my character and Terry and Dennis are chasing Bubbles on his go-cart, and the scene breaks to Bubbles coming to a screeching halt to let the Boys know we are coming. But, on the first take, the brakes of the go-cart snapped. It appeared the go-cart was coming to a stop. But when the cable broke, the cart sped up again, crashed into a Lilac bush, propelling Bubbles headfirst into it, and Mike Smith, Bubbles, jumped out of the lilac bush like nothing happened and delivered his lines, that was hilarious.

 

Bernard Robichaud SELECTED FILM Trailer Park Boys III American Sunset Blue Seduction Trailer Park Boys II Black Eyed Dog Ambulance Girl Irish Eyes are Crying Glimpse of Hell The Coo-Coo Cafe Beefcake Bernie’s Going to Hollywood Lifeline to Victory Life with Billy Cyrus/Recurring Principal Supporting Lead Supporting Lead Cyrus/Recurring Principal Principal Actor Principal Principal Principal Supporting Lead Principal Lead Principal Actor TPB Feature III Prod- Mike Clattenburg American Sunset Prod- Michael Masucci B&J Prod/Star Ch- Tim Bond TPB Feature II Prod- Mike Clattenburg St. Glinn Glinn/Grana Prod- Pierre Gang VZS Halifax Pictures- Kathy Bates Irish Eyes Prod- Daniel MacArthur Glimpse of Hell Prod/Fox- Mikail Salomon Copro Prod- Jacklin Giroux Chi Chi films-Tom Fitzgerald Waldo Peebles Films- Barrie Dunn Primedia/Cochran- Eric Till Salter Street Film – Paul Donovan
Bernard Robichaud from Trailer Park Boys and Haven

 

3. You played Kirk in the hit Showcase series ‘Haven.’ How does playing comedy compare to a drama? Is it any different or the same? Please describe.

I don’t think there is any difference, the lines are the lines, and if delivered honestly, they are either funny or not. Of course, that’s my opinion, but when you try to make something funny, it’s usually not.

4. Can we get some insight into the process of creating a screenplay or a TV sitcom? Do you have any tips for writers?

The format is different from writing a play. My tip would be, just be honest with yourself and your writing. If you can’t be honest, it will be difficult to get your feelings onto the page. Just keep writing; there are no right answers to what will or will not work, but honest writing always prevails.

 

Bernard Robichaud SELECTED TELEVISION SEA CHANGE HAVEN 510-512 TRAILER PARK BOYS IX – 4,9,10 TRAILER PARK BOYS VIII – 2,5,8,9,10 Call Me Fitz 409-410 Haven 310, 313 Trailer Park Boys 2008 Special North South #6 October Crisis #6 Trailer Park Boys V – 1,2,7,9,10 Trailer Park Boys IV -24 Trailer Park Boys II – 9,10,11,13 Trailer Park Boys I – 1 Daring & Grace Gullages 11 #7 Black Harbour #5 Principal Kirk/Recurring Principal Cyrus/Recurring Principal Cyrus/Recurring Principal Principal Recurring Principal Recurring Principal Principal Principal Recurring Principal Recurring Principal Recurring Principal Principal (Gemini Nominee) Principal Principal Actor Seawalker Prod/Chris Grismer Haven 5 Prods/R. Bota/G. Harvey Sunnyvale Prod 9/J. Torrens, W. Sonoda Sunnyvale Prod 8/Jay Baruchel Amaze TV & Film/E One – Bill Flemming Syfy/E One Ent- TW Peacock/S. Pillar Trailer Park Prod- Mike Clattenburg CBC/North South Prod- Michael Kennedy Apprehend Films- Don McBrearty Trailer Park Prod- Mike Clattenburg Trailer Park Prod- Mike Clattenburg Trailer Park Prod- Mike Clattenburg Trailer Park Prod- Mike Clattenburg CBC/Dick & Tracy – Scott Smith CBC/Snig The Goat Prod – Bill MacGilvray CBC/Three Sheets Prod – Peter Rowe
Bernard Robichaud from Trailer Park Boys and Haven

 

5. Can you describe what it is like to be in front of an audience performing stand-up comedy? Do you have a favourite venue, and why?

Performing stand-up is quite exhilarating, yet demands so much of yourself to be on that it’s very difficult psychologically if the night is one where everyone is just staring at you. Because some evenings everyone gets the jokes, and some nights they don’t or aren’t as engaged, therefore leaving you wondering, “what the heck’, and as a performer first and foremost, I believe we are a bit perfectionist and want to do a great job. It leaves you sometimes wondering if you should even be there, and hopefully, it doesn’t prevent you from giving up. Never give up.

Bonus

6. Just for fun. Do you have a ‘dream role’? Can you share some thoughts on working collaboratively with others? (i.e. James Caan, Kathy Bates, Billy Zane, Estelle Warren, Mike Smith, Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, Jonathan Torrens, Sarah Dunsworth, Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour)

All roles I am fortunate enough to be handed; I am grateful for and humbled that those in power felt I was the right person for the task. Every role thus far has been rewarding as I expect all future roles will be for the opportunity to create a living being on stage or in front of a camera that viewers can appreciate. Maybe the remake of ‘On the Waterfront’ or ‘Street Car Named Desire.’

All these talents have been very giving to me and helped me further my career, that’s all I can say about them, I have been privileged to work with them all!

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Other stories at What On What’s Good

Interview with Gilluis Pérez

Discussion with Actor Hans Christopher

Discussing Capone with Tilda Del Toro

Interview with Actor Wolfgang Weber

A Conversation With Carolyn Bridget Kennedy

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The following two tabs change content below.
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.

Latest posts by Jovin Tardif (see all)

By Jovin Tardif

Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.