Canadian Actor Kevin O’Grady went from small city to big screens

Growing up in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kevin O’Grady found a love early in life: drawing. He dreamed of one day becoming a comic book artist, setting his sights on that aspiration for almost twenty years. However, it was in his early twenties when his life dramatically shifted. He was living in Vancouver, often referred to as “Hollywood North” and by chance ended up befriending a group of actors. He quickly absorbed their passion for performing, and it wasn’t long until he began studying, and now, years later, he is at the top of the North American film and television industry.

“Ever since I’ve been on this path, Vancouver has just always had an abundance of opportunity.  Whether it be features, TV series, voice over, motion capture for video games, you name it, Vancouver has a thriving industry full of so many competent people top to bottom. It’s world class. I’ve always been such a huge movie lover growing up, so it was really a no-brainer decision for me at the beginning to put my focus train on that track once I finally figured out that this ‘acting thing’ was going to be the new route for me,” said O’Grady.

Now, O’Grady’s resume is extensive. He has been part of major motion pictures, such as the romantic comedy This Means War starring Academy Award Winner Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies, Walk the Line), Chris Pine (Wonder Woman, Star Trek) and Tom Hardy (Venom, Mad Max). Kevin played Agent Boyles, the right-hand man to Hardy’s character.

“When I got to work with Tom Hardy on This Means War as a vital co-star role, it was very exciting.  It was an experience that proved to me that I could play with the big boys. It was a blast,” he recalled.

Another career highlight for O’Grady includes Garage Sale Mystery, his first lead role in a television series. The show became an instant hit with a dedicated fanbase, running for seven years. As the series went on, O’Grady’s role of Detective Lynwood grew larger, and with that he was more than up for the added responsibility. 

“We all really had a great time together on Garage Sale Mystery. The fact that we all liked each other came through the screen and I believe was the secret to our success,” said O’Grady.

Kevin’s success with Hallmark continued with the film A Summer Romance.  O’Grady plays one of the leading roles as Buck Roberts, the husband and father of the family that lives on and helps maintain the ranch in Montana with Sam played by Erin Krakow (When Calls the Heart).  Buck is a critical character to the story and O’Grady was thrilled to play such a large part in its success.

“There were so many really great things about shooting A Summer Romance. I got to play a completely new role directly alongside the lovely Sarah Strange, one of my co-stars in the long running TV series Garage Sale Mystery,” he said.

Despite the dozens of productions he has been a part of, O’Grady says the most memorable was being cast in the Emmy Award winning series Fargo. Having been a Coen Brothers fan since the early 90s with the original Fargo film being amongst one of his all-time favorites, O’Grady jumped at the chance to be a part of the show, playing Sam Hess, the high school bully of Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock Holmes).

“To have the chance to play that role, within that world, with such truly unbelievable writing that just sprung to life off the page, I mean wow! And then to get to do it alongside Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton. Come on now. Although some people will say I’m biased, I think that the first season of Fargo is one of the best amongst the TV landscape. It is, without question, one of those really special gigs,” he described.

So what’s next for O’Grady? One of his latest projects, Day of the Dead, premiered on October 15th, 2021 on Syfy, with new episodes every Friday at 10pm EST. O’Grady plays a leading role in the series that is inspired by the very popular movie of the same name that was written and created by George A. Romero, who is known as being the godfather of the zombie genre. 

On top of this, Kevin’s upcoming series Peacemaker is premiering in January 2022 on HBO MAX. This is the huge upcoming spin-off series that is based on the Peacemaker character (played by John Cena) who was introduced in the hit theatrical movie released this past summer, The Suicide Squad, of which James Gunn also wrote, produced, and directed as well as being the writer, producer, and director of the mega hit Guardians of the Galaxy movies. 

“I think fans are going to love it.  I’m very excited for people to see a few key scenes that we shot.  I can’t say anything more or else Peacemaker will kill me,” O’Grady concluded.

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