Jason Priestley on Private Eyes, Beverly Hills 90210 and punching Harvey Weinstein

We sat down with the Canadian star for an exclusive chat about the return of his detective show Private Eyes on Universal, his thoughts on the Roseanne cancellation and much more...

Jason Priestley shot to fame when he joined the cast of American teen drama Beverly Hills 90210 back in 1990. Since then he's starred in several TV series, appeared in dozens of movies and even trod the boards in the West End production of Side Man.

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Now he's the star of hit Canadian detective drama Private Eyes, in which he plays hockey star-turned-private investigator Matt Shade. Now into its second part of its second series, we chatted to Jason about what's coming up and much more.

We're living in a crazy time fo​r television! We've just had the Roseanne cancellation...

"The continued fallout from the Roseanne Barr is fascinating! Donald Trump keeps on winging in and of course he thinks the show should be bought back and demands that Bob Iger apologise to him. The back and the forth of it all makes for great reading!

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"Because America is so polarised right now in its politics, a show like that just became a real political football with the right and left tossing it back and forth. This whole thing with Roseanne Barr’s tweet it’s just become a big political football again!"

What kind of cases will Shade and Angie be cr​acking in the new episodes of Private Eyes?

private eyes

"In the first episode my character is thrown into the world of female boxing which was very cool. We have an episode where Shade and Angie [his boss, played by Cindy Sampson] attend a Murder Mystery Weekend where someone actually does get murdered. Shade and Angie have to solve a murder at Medieval Times, which is very funny!"

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W​hat are some of the challenges Shade will face this series?

"As we head into this next block of episodes Shade and Angie are in relationships with other people and I think that those new relationships complicate the relationship between the two of them. This is one of the challenges they have to figure out, how to be partners in their relationship while also dealing with relationships outside of theirs – whether they can manage to do that or not."

Will Angie and Shade ever h​ave a romantic relationship?

private eyes shade and angie

"I don’t know! That’s the million dollar question! Is it a possibility? It’s a possibility I think... but ultimately I don’t know! I think you’re going to have to wait and see."

What makes Private Eyes different from other detective series?

"We looked at the television landscape and we saw that there was a lack of private detective shows on TV. There have been private eye shows since the beginning of television – but there were currently no private eyes on TV.

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"We set out to make a show that wasn’t super dark or gritty like most procedurals, we wanted something that felt a little lighter and more like popcorn TV – like The Rockford Files or Moonlighting."

Why should people tune in if they have​n’t watched it before?

private eyes season two

"They should tune in because the show is a lot of fun! Shade and Angie solve a mystery every week but they have fun doing it! They really are enjoyable to watch!"

You're Canadian. What’s ​it been like filming back in your homeland?

"Filming in Toronto is a joy. It is a beautiful, multicultural, exciting city that has a lot to offer. We shoot in Toronto as Toronto which not many shows do - it often doubles up for another big city."

You gained ​worldwide fame from starring in Beverly Hills 90210. Is a younger generation now recognising you more for Private Eyes?

beverly hills 90210

"Yeah I consider a younger generation are now recognising me more! Yeah it is."

If you could cast ​any of your former Beverly Hills 90210 castmates on Private Eyes – who would you choose and what role would they play?

"I would have Brian Austin Green [who played David Silver] show up! And I would have him come and play something totally random or stupid like be a server in a restaurant just as a little Easter egg for fans to see if they noticed him! That would be funny!"

You famo​usly punched Harvey Weinstein in the face. What do you make of the shocking allegations against him?

"Well my situation with Harvey was a situation between two men at a cocktail party that had nothing to do with what is happening with Harvey and the maelstrom of women that have a very serious beef with him.

"I never want my situation to be conflated with that situation. I think Harvey has some very serious issues ahead of him and legal issues and he’s going to have to deal with all of that. "

How to watch Private Eyes on BT TV

New episodes of Private Eyes are on Universal, BT Channel 320 on Tuesdays at 9pm.

Catch up with Private Eyes episodes on BT TV now. 

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Image credits: Universal/REX Shutterstock

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