With his TV drama Revenge coming to a close after four seasons, James Tupper tells Hello! to “expect the unexpected.” And yet, for all the double-crossing on screen, the Canadian actor says the cast is actually quite close.
“You never know who’s behind the crime,” says James, 49, who plays David Clarke, the father of heroine Emily (portrayed by another Canuck, Emily VanCamp). “We’ve bonded because we all really enjoy each other. Can you believe it? Then you go into the scene and have to do some really heinous things!”
At home in L.A., the good-humoured star is happily partnered with his Men in Trees co-star Anne Heche, raising sons Homer, 13, and Atlas, 6. In our conversation, he revealed the one way in which he’s similar to his Revenge alter-ego, his family’s favourite TV show and a few of his hidden talents.
I think I relate to my character David in the amount that he’s committed to and loves his children. I really do like being a dad. It’s a lot of getting up at 6 a.m. every morning. I’ve seen every episode of SpongeBob SquarePants if that’s what you’re wondering. Our kids understand what Anne and I do and they get some attention at school because of it, but we do everything in our power to give them a normal, loving family life.
We’re a very active family, but when we do find the time to sit down, the four of us will watch The Voice. It has something for everybody. We’ll all be singing and saying, ‘I can’t believe he voted!’ We all have our favourite coaches, mine’s Blake of course. I feel like I’m just like Blake. Everything he does makes me think, ‘Of course he does it that way.’ He cares about people, he’s very smart. But I like them all, to be honest with you. When we’re with the kids we always watch children’s programming. I’ve seen Rio 2 about 14 times. When Anne and I are hanging out, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is one of our favourite things to watch. He’s hilarious.
To be honest with you my guitar playing lacks rhythm, style and tone. It lacks all of the three major things you want in a musician. That’s the thing I’m really terrible at! Anne’s a terrific singer. We have a piano and the boys are learning how to play. We’re the family band! When we get together I’m definitely the one that sticks out. Actually, Anne and I just got back from our first weekend without kids in six years. We spent three days at Coachella, where we saw a bunch of bands with friends.
BUILT TO SUCCEED
For 10 years I didn’t work as an actor so I supported myself as a carpenter. I joined a crew that built homes, and then at night I’d do theatre. It was a job and now it’s become a hobby. I really enjoy trying to figure out how to put in a deck, or a garage or a roof. I go to sleep thinking about it, and then I’ll wake up with a solution.
Growing up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, I applied to build boats up on the Eastern shore and to drama school. I thought I could build boats or be an actor. But I think if I had gone ahead to boat-building school, I eventually would’ve thought, ‘No, I want to go into acting.’
WISH YOU WERE HERE
When I was 19, I lived in East Africa, and have travelled quite a bit for work. Now I don’t have wanderlust, I have ‘staylust.’ My wife just shot a series in Europe so she was flying back and forth and we were in Winnipeg and Prince Edward Island this year. She was in New York, then working in Mexico City and the kids went down there for a week. Now that we finally have time off we’re just staying put. We’re staying at home, reading books, catching up. It’s going to be wonderful.