Laziness, not a Psi Factor
By TRALEE PEARCE (Ottawa Sun)
Wednesday, April 8, 1998
If Psi Factor’s Nancy Anne Sakovich doesn’t get back to work soon, her knees might never forgive her.
Just back from the gym, she’s settled into a cozy spot in her Toronto home, decaf coffee in hand and bags of ice on her sore knees — ready for an interview.
Shooting for the paranormal drama, which is now in its second season, wrapped in December and could resume later this month.
“Since the show’s finished I’ve gone back to a really strict gym regime…,” she says by way of explanation, giving no indication of workout regret.
After a gentle suggestion she might consider slowing down, Sakovich utters a sheepish “Yeah…”
One of Canada’s busiest actors, there’s little chance Sakovich will downshift her heavy workout schedule until she has to.
For now, Sakovich is relishing her freedom, and her personal trainer.
“It is really nice. I’m so comfortable with (down time).”
On Psi Factor, which airs at 8 p.m. Fridays, Sakovich plays Lindsay Donner, a member of a scientific team which explores paranormal phenomena from apparent alien abductions to hyper-realistic dreams.
As part of the show’s ensemble cast, Sakovich had to assimilate a number of changes this season, especially two new characters.
Matt Frewer, know best for his 80s turn as Max Headroom, steps in as Lindsay’s new case manager. Despite his somewhat dour role, Frewer cracks up his coworkers on the set, she says.
“He’s very funny. He keeps things light.”
And there’s Michael Moriarty, who might be the only famous American actor who, for political reasons, has left the U.S. to work in Canada’s relatively tiny entertainment industry.
“I was thrilled because I watched him on Law & Order. I so admired his work,” says Sakovich of her famous co-star, whose role is as a mysterious informant who feeds Lindsay and her team secret info.
Sakovich calls Moriarty a “generous” actor. “He never changes his performance based on whether it’s your close-up or his.”
Another major shift is from a half-hour format to an hour.
“It’s so much better. We used to have so little time to tell a story. In a half hour you have 22 minutes. And Dan (Aykroyd) does the intro and the extro, so that takes off another few minutes.
“We had 17, 18 minutes to tell a story.”
Sakovich also welcomes the chance to explore Lindsay’s personal life.
“In the first season all the characters were in the same boat, in that there wasn’t time to know anything about them personally. Now the hour allows us all to reveal more of who these people are.”
Sakovich casts her mind back to episodes filmed long ago for examples.
One instalment in particular, called Bad Dreams, Sakovich says, explored a lot of personal territory.
In Bad Dreams, a series of women are suffering physical abuse — only the attacks happen while they’re dreaming. They actually wake up with wounds.
“Lindsay becomes a part of that. She becomes aware that it is possible to affect one’s destiny. Everyone has the ability to control their own fate.”
It may sound like a simple principle, but Sakovich says she learned similar lessons only recently.
Sakovich says the experience of shooting a made-for-TV movie about Canadian Olympic rower Silken Laumann — which aired in the summer of 1996 — taught her everything about seizing control of one’s life.
“She refused to succumb to twists of fate. After the accident in which she almost lost her leg, she wasn’t going to let it stop her from her dreams.”
Suddenly the swollen knees come into perspective.
“I always say go big or go home,” she admits.”