The words “beach” and “Manitoba” may seem like an unlikely pair, but, right now, the hottest sand and surf north of the border is along Lake Winnipeg.
Dubbed Falcon Beach on primetime, these prairie shores form the perfect backdrop for the fictitious locale where cottagers and townies unite.
You’ve probably already caught an episode, or, at the least, you may have downloaded songs from its star-studded score (including Canuck rock hotties Bedouin Soundclash, Hedley, and Broken Social Scene).
But here’s an FB crash course if it somehow slipped past your radar: It all takes place in a waterside resort town near Winnipeg. There’s the token beautiful city girl, Paige Bradshaw (Kydd), and the hometown hottie, Jason Tanner (Byers), whose bronzed bod and surfer styles have landed him in a love triangle with Paige and his ex, hometown sweetheart Tanya Shedden, who has returned home a troubled girl after four years pursuing modelling. (Still with us?) There’s the infamous city boy, Lane Bradshaw (Paige’s brother), who brings mayhem, drugs, and suspense to the small town. Of course, there’s the resident geek, Danny Ellis, Jason’s best friend, and lifeguard Erin Haddad is the apple of Danny’s eye.
Although the plot lines, characters, and picturesque setting are reminiscent of that other hit teen beach saga, The O.C., Falcon Beach ups the real-life quotient by avoiding far-fetched love quadrangles (fear not, there are still love triangles a-plenty!) and adds a touch of Canadiana cool.
“Fear not, there are love triangles a’plenty!”
The fact that Falcon Beach has all the best elements of steamy television is not the only factor in its watch-worthy appeal. The show has the ability to seamlessly bring two worlds together: the townie (Jason) and the big city outsider (Paige). The actors themselves hail from different backgrounds (Byers from Toronto and Kydd from small-town Nova Scotia), proving that the combination and acceptance of differences is the perfect recipe for success.
The show itself has even found its place in a land of outsiders. This Canadian-made drama is already a hit in the U.S. as well as at home. Who would have thought a series shot in Winnipeg (on a beach, no less) would show up on teen TVs in Orange County? Perhaps Manitoba and the beach are not such a mismatch. After all, no matter what the situation, out of differences or difficulties, lasting friendships (and successful projects) are possible if you have faith and stay open to whatever comes your way.
An Interview with the Cast of Falcon Beach
What sacrifices do you have to make as an actor?
Steve Byers: I think the money woes hit you the hardest. There were periods when I didn’t have anything and my friends had new cars and their own places, but I couldn’t afford to even go out with my friends.
Jennifer Kydd: I’m from outside Halifax, so it’s a huge sacrifice being in Toronto. But I had to put myself in Canada’s centre to have more opportunities.
Morgan Kelly: As an actor, it’s usually better to date other actors. Otherwise, problems arise when you have a kissing scene and they don’t understand how mechanical and how unromantic it is.
Devon Weigal: I moved to Vancouver three years ago from Calgary. I miss my family. You also sacrifice any sense of security, because you never know when your next job will be.
Ephriam Ellis: I’m away from my family and friends a lot and that’s tough because I love the circle of people I have back home. Education also suffers. I’m currently a university student and it’s really tough to keep up during the school year.
What is the most difficult aspect of the industry?
SB: A lot of the time, you just can’t get the audition, so you have to keep up your other interests. Otherwise, you become this person who is waiting by the phone and that is no good.
JK: You have to have a thick skin and realize that when you’re rejected for a role, it could be for a number of reasons such as simply your height. There are so many variables and it’s not personal.
MK: Not knowing when your next job is. You’ve got to stay sharp, take workshops, and keep your mind going or else you’ll go insane. And the hardest part is nailing an audition and not getting [the job], but you have to forget it and get over it.
DW: Auditioning is the worst. It’s hard to not be nervous about being watched and judged. But as long as I feel like I did my best, I don’t have a problem with it.
EE: It’s difficult having your life disrupted so much. One week you might have an audition, and a week later you’re on a plane.
INTO THE FAZE STUDIOES FOR OUR FALCON BEACH PHOTO SHOOT
Steve Byers and Jennifer Kydd are the blond bombshells from different worlds who come together on Canada’s new teen drama, Falcon Beach
STEVE & JENNIFER ON HOW TO DEAL WITH …
an overprotective parent
He says: Do what they say more often than not, because they’re probably right!
She says: Tell them you have to make your own decisions – and that includes making mistakes.
He says: Ditch ’em!
She says: End the friendship.
an irritating sibling
He says:Ask for a lock on your door.
She says: Be irritating right back.
He says:Tell them. Life’s too short.
She says: Enjoy it. It’s fun having a crush on someone.
an incessant ex
He says: Make them think you’re not worth pursuing.
She says: Lay down the law and stress that it’s over.
a jealous best friend
He says: See backstabber.
She says: Remain a good friend and boost their confidence.
an annoying classmate
He says: Change seats.
She says: Ignore them.
a ridiculous boss
He says: Ask for a raise. With more money, you can deal with anything.
She says: Laugh about it. That’s all you can do.
Photography by Mark Burstyn.
Makeup by Yin-Lynn Low for Cover Girl.
Hair by Paul Tambini for Alberto.
On Jennifer: skirt, $50, light pink tank, $8, H&M. Tank, $65, Punky Fish. Bangles, $9-$18, earrings $22, Accessorize. Beauty: Shadow Squease in Lagoon, $7. Eye enhancers 1 Kit Shadows in Disco Ball, $4. LashExact in Very Black, $9. IncrediFULL Lipcolor in Port Pout, $9. Wetslicks Lipgloss in Clear Radiance, $7. All by Cover Girl. Alberto Heat Defence Go Curly Springing Curl Spray, $4. Alberto Flexible Hold Hairspray, $4.
On Steve: Buffalo jeans, $110, belt, $25, Jean Machine. Shirt, $40, H&M. Beauty: Alberto EXTREME Style Texturizing Gum, $5.