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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The chess grandmaster who walks about barefoot solving mysteries

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

We found this lovely interview at Collider with Shawn Doyle who plays this grandmaster solving mysteries. Endgame is an original drama series, currently seen on Hulu at and centering on brilliant chess master, Arkady Balagan (Shawn Doyle), who has become a prisoner in his luxury Vancouver hotel, terrified to step outside after being traumatized by the murder of his fiancée. To pay his bill, the arrogant, brilliant and charismatic Russian starts solving baffling mysteries, imagining events and scenarios in his head while using an unlikely band of hotel employees and chess fanatics to do his legwork.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Shawn Doyle (from the hit HBO drama series Big Love) talked about his initial reluctance to sign on for the Canadian series, what finally spiked his interest in the show and character, finding the Russian dialect that best suited him, deciding to change his look for the role, having his own panic attack the first week of shooting, and how the fan support and loyalty has helped ease the pain of the show not being picked up for a second season. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Collider: How did this show initially come about for you? Was it just an audition that was brought to you?

SHAWN DOYLE: No. In fact, I was just finishing up four season on Big Love and we were choosing to move back to Canada from L.A. I had some other opportunities for various series there, and then I got the script for Endgame, with this crazy Russian character who basically never leaves the same location. I read the synopsis and read the pilot, and there was no doubt that it was a good show, but I was moving to Toronto and didn’t foresee myself leaving my family and moving to Vancouver to shoot the show. Secondly, I thought I would be bored to tears, playing a character that was on the same sets for seven months, so I basically said no to the show. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me, at the time, for those reasons.
DOYLE: Well, I didn’t do a lot of research about the chess. I play a little bit of chess in life. We had chess experts on set when we needed to play, so I would rehearse the moves of any particular game, as if it were a dance. The chess really served as a metaphor for the fact that we all require strategy to get us out of the corners that we get backed into. That was the important element of what the chess was. In terms of him being a chess expert, that’s not something that I really focused a lot of time on. (Don't forget to read further at Collider.)

New episodes of Endgame will be available on Hulu, each Monday through March 26th.

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