RJ Featherstonhaugh plays Nolan Gaillard, a tough Irish kid from the wrong side of the tracks in Montreal. He’s the troubled yet talented striker for the Montreal Thunder, the fictional team of our story. RJ was not only a gifted actor who reminded me of a young Willem Dafoe, but he was a phenomenal soccer player! He was probably in the top three of our players, whom we had cast from U-21 and university teams around Montreal. He tears up the screen with his co-star Clark Backo, who plays Nolan’s girlfriend Emma. She is a raw and talented newcomer whose career is about to take off when this show hits the airwaves.
Nolan is surrounded by his teammates, played by Emmanuel Kabongo, Kevin Claydon, Andres Joseph and Jonathan Kim who were all just killing it every day bringing this story to life. Their coach is played by Stephanie Bennett, an amazing and stunning actress who came to us from Vancouver to round out the cast as Olympian soccer star Christie Cook.
I’m particularly proud to have found a newcomer in his debut starring role on television, Ryan Pierce, who is a bona fide ex-soccer pro from the premier league in Scotland. This guy was the real deal and fit the bill perfectly, playing the soccer superstar à la David Beckham, tattoos, good looks and all. He is going to be a star when people discover him on screen this summer.
It was a joy to work with this young cast, as they were all passionate about the show. These guys were bringing it every day, on and off the screen. We trained, we rehearsed and shot and when we weren’t on set, I’d see posts from this gang on Facebook, hanging together. So cool to see them bond and become a family…