Belfast Telegraph

Jason Priestley says role in new show is ‘more gratifying’ than teen drama part

The actor’s new show Private Eyes sees him star as a hockey player turn detective.

Actor Jason Priestley has said it is nice to be talked about for his performances in his latest series, Private Eyes, as opposed to his role in teen drama show Beverley Hills, 90210.

Priestley plays Matt Shade, a former professional hockey player who teams up with private investigator Angie Everett (played by Cindy Sampson) to solve crimes around the Canadian city of Toronto.

Priestley, 48, rose to fame by starring as Brandon Walsh in the 1990s teen drama series for 10 years.

Jason Priestley stars as a hockey player come private investigator in Private Eyes. (Michael Crabtree/PA)

Speaking ahead of the return of Private Eyes to screens in the UK on Monday, Priestly told about the enjoyment he gets from playing Shade.

When asked if his new character provided a break from the associations some viewers have with him and his breakout role, Priestley said: “It is, yeah.

“Other audiences outside of the UK have come to see a lot more of my work.”

“I’ve done a couple of other series that were very successful, very critically acclaimed and did very well, but for some reason didn’t travel to the UK.

“So I understand that you guys haven’t seen me for a while, so it’s good to be back on television here.

“I just hope that people here respond to this show as well as other audiences around the world have so far.”

Priestley said that Private Eyes, which is inspired by the novel The Code by GB Joyce, stands out from other crime dramas as it is slightly lighter in tone than some of it gritty equivalents.

He also said the show set out to capture the spirit of older detective series like The Rockford Files or Moonlighting, but with a contemporary feel.

Monday’s episode sees Shade and his partner having to solve a crime within the world of female boxing.

Priestley spoke about the enjoyment he gets from playing Shade and how it was a more fulfilling role than Brandon Walsh.

Priestley said: “Shade is a far more multi-faceted character and he just has a lot more depth to him than Brandon had.

Jason Priestley played Brandon Walsh in Beverley Hills, 90210 for 10 years (Sean Dempsey/PA)

“Maybe part of that is just age, obviously Shade is a little bit older than Brandon was so obviously he has a lot more depth to him.

“That’s not to say that working on Beverley Hills, 90210 wasn’t a great experience – because it was.

“I certainly had a lot of fun working with a lot of great people and learned a lot, but I find the work I’m doing nowadays is better and more gratifying.”

Private Eyes returns to Universal TV on Monday at 8pm.


From Belfast Telegraph