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Forwarded by Susan Bunting

Found an article in the morning paper I thought you might want to
see... as seems to be the custom, comments from me will be in
brackets [like this].  Enjoy!

'Studly Do-Right'
Paul, Paul, he's our man catching U.S. viewers like no Canadian can
By Richard Helm

  Canadian actor Paul Gross is developing a whole new
appreciation for W.C. Fields while working with Diefenbaker on
the surprise hit series Due South.
  Dief, of course, is the trusty "wolf" that pads alongside
Gross's TV alter ego upright RCMP const. Benton Fraser.  Fields
was the guy with the noted aversion for performing with dogs.
  "The problem with the northern breed is that they're
unbelievably stupid," says Gross, a drama graduate from the
University of Alberta.
  "They're great if you just want to feed them a little bit of
food and have them run around for 12 hours.  But trying to train
them to do the tricks that we're asking them to do is really arduous."
  This is evidently a pet topic for Gross, as well as David
Marciano, who plays the the street-smart who inherits Fraser when
the Mountie is assigned to the Canadian consulate in Chicago.
Both men warmed quickly to the subject in an off-the-cuff
interview here.
  "We've got this one-it's kind of ironic-who has this thing
about the suit," Gross says, now laughing.  "We can't figure out
which part, whether it's the hat, the boots, or the red coat, but
it frightens him. [Okay...] We have to be r-e-a-l-l-y careful
when we get in close."
  "And then there's the one where you say 'Action!' and he just
runs," [And people wonder why there are pet psychiatrists.]
Marciano adds.  "So we can't say action anymore."
  The best of the multiple cast of Siberian huskies who fill the
role of Diefenbaker is actually a young female, Gross says.  So
Dief's a she?
  "Dief's mostly a he but we may be trying to work the she in a
bit more."
  Diefenbaker is just one of the Canadian in-jokes that have
turned up in the show, now past the midway point of its first
season on CTV in Canada and CBS in the United States.  There has
also been some fun with a tough-talking Windy Coty reporter named
Mackenzie King.  Gross says the scripted winks will continue from
Paul Haggis, the show's Canadain-born creator, write and
executive producer.  Haggis has also regularily inserted
background music by various Canadian performers as the series
progressed.
  Fresh off a 10-day break at his parents' ranch near Calgary
[izzatafact? =], Gross says Due South hopes to return to Canada's
frozen north soon for episodes that will that will see Const.
Fraser doing something other than solving the social ills of
Chicago [so long as he takes Ray].
  The show also is finally getting around to addressing Fraser's
painful romantic past.  Expect a "dark lady" to soon resurface. [AHA!]
  It's an angle worth pursuing if you can believe the trades.  A
recent Entertainment Weekly feature on Gross, 34 and married, ran
under the headline:Studly Do-Right.
  Still surprised by the show's popularity in the U.S., Gross
suspects viewers might be taking some comfort in the moral fibre
and idealism represented by Benton Fraser-"the idea that being
honorable and honest and trustworthy and capable is actually a
desirable trait, and not some thing to be sneered at."