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Enrico Colantoni: Allegiance

What makes Allegiance stand out from the ocean of other “cop dramas”?

This show is beautiful because it’s a futuristic look at policing. Vince and Sabrina are idealistic. They care. They wear their hearts on their sleeves . . . We’re representing the heart and the soul of policing — what they come in with and, hopefully, what they can maintain throughout a career. You know, nine times out of 10, you just build a wall and you want to drown the things that you’ve witnessed, because no human being should actually witness the injustices, the unfairness. My heart goes out to them . . . Supinder and I jokingly call ourselves “weepy cops.” There’s no way we would survive in the workforce, because everything just moves us so deeply. I’m reminded of why I want to do shows like this. It’s for my brother, who was a police officer; it’s for his peers, for the people that wore the badge proudly and were good at what they did, and somehow were vilified just by association.

Allegiance on CBC. Pictured: Enrico Colantoni plays Vince Brambilla.

Speaking as someone who has worked on both American and Canadian productions, is there a difference, for you, between a U.S. and a Canadian series?

I think there is. I’ve been lucky enough to be in two police shows in Canada that take place in the actual cities they’re [filmed] in. We got to feature Toronto as a city [in Flashpoint], and now we get to feature Surrey as a community — so, that element is already front-and-centre. Very Canadian. We’re not shying away from who we are and what we do. Canadians are very much a collaborative sort. We do want to talk first and shoot later. Americans like to see themselves as cowboys; they like to see themselves in the polarity of the issue. Policing on television is usually depicted as . . . you’re on the wrong side of the tracks or you’re superhuman. I think we have an element of both on this show. Supinder’s character is remarkably superhuman in a lot of ways, but there’s a human element that allows us to bring her back — there’s a nice balance.

You’re in another mentor-mentee relationship here. Did you find yourself thinking back to Veronica Mars?

Yeah, it’s hard not to. The “father figures” are certainly my wheelhouse now. But they’re all different, because Keith [Mars] didn’t have much of a sense of humour — only with Veronica. He was pretty intense. And unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to go into the amorality of that kind of private detective world that Rob [Thomas, Veronica Mars creator] wanted to do. What Rob wanted to do was really make them a lot darker — inside that “noir” world, where morality is blurred. So Keith ended up being more of a “standup guy” — and I think the intention with this show is the same. I think Vince just has a better sense of humour than Greg Parker [from Flashpoint] did. He’s much more jovial and good-natured than Greg was, or Keith. That’s what makes him more fun for me. They allow him to have a sense of humour.

Veronica Mars has come back twice since being cancelled in 2007 . . . with a movie and then with a sequel season. Do you ever talk to Rob about the next potential incarnation?

He’s always trying to [revive it] . . . He would love to just reinvent Murder, She Wrote with Veronica! And Keith at an old folks home. That would be funny.

Watch the series premiere of Allegiance on Wednesday, February 7 at 9 p.m., CBC


An exceptionally versatile character actor, you’ve seen this Toronto native in everything from 1990s NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me! — playing fashion-mag photographer Elliot DiMauro — to cult-hit teen noir Veronica Mars as small-town sheriff turned P.I. (and world’s absolute best dad) Keith Mars. He’s also popped up in Steven Soderbergh’s COVID-presaging flick Contagion and as S.W.A.T. team leader Greg Parker in TV thriller Flashpoint.


Another homegrown cop drama, shot and set in Surrey, casts Colantoni as weary patrolman Vince Brambilla, who is on the verge of retirement when he’s partnered up with Sabrina Sohal (Sort Of alum Supinder Wraich), a rookie whose bold idealism rekindles his passion for the badge.

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