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‘X Company’ star Connor Price previews ‘huge’ two-part finale (Includes interview)

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for ‘X Company.’

Connor Price has appeared on film and television screens for so many years it’s hard to believe he’s only 21.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” he says. “I started when I was six years old.”

And that start, the Ontario-born actor claims, was accidental. Tagging along on a commercial audition for his younger twin siblings, he hopped up when a casting director called for the next actor in line. “He pulled me in the room, and before my mom could stop him, I was already jumped up and ready to go,” Price recalls. “I was sort of an extrovert and I was willing to try anything, and it went well and I got that commercial. It was just a fluke experience.”

He hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve never been tempted to step away, which is interesting because I’m one of five kids in my family and all five of us were actors at one point, full actor union and all that jazz, and I’m the only that stuck with it,” he says. “The only thing I’ve been tempted to do it is try other things, to try directing, to try writing, just sort of immerse myself in the other-side-of-the-camera type jobs. I know I’ll always stay in film, but whether I stay in front of the camera or behind it, as for right now, I’m up for trying everything.”

Price — who phones from his new home in Los Angeles — may be interested in working behind the camera, but, so far, acting hasn’t let him down. Since his early start, he has consistently landed gigs — including his breakout turn as Russell Crowe’s son in Cinderella Man, a regular stint on TV series Being Human, and numerous guest spots on Alphas, Saving Hope, Flashpoint, and Dead Zone — somehow skipping the awkward teen phase that trips up many child actors as they attempt to transition into adult roles.

“I think I went through it, it just didn’t show on TV,” he laughs.

By the time he auditioned for his current role as young radio operator Harry James on CBC’s World War II spy drama X Company, now airing its second season, he was an acting veteran — which may have helped him beat out the competition.

“When I first got the character breakdown of Harry, one of the words that was used in the character description was either ‘geek’ or ‘nerd,'” he says. “And I think, while talking to [series creators] Mark [Ellis] and Stephanie [Morgenstern] about the casting process, that a lot of kids came in with that word in their mind and really overdid the geek and nerd thing with the glasses. But I just couldn’t get attached to that word because reading the sides and reading the first episode when I first got it, he wasn’t your regular, typical nerd. He was just a quietly intelligent person who was very good at what he did and knew exactly how to do what he did and was quietly confident. So, just by reading the scripts, I had this perfect idea of who he was, and I went in there and I auditioned, and, luckily, Mark and Stephanie had the same idea of who Harry was.”

If Price knew exactly who Harry was during the show’s first season, he found Harry’s Season 2 arc a bit more daunting. “Season 1 Harry is very idealistic, he’s very hopeful, and he does a 180,” he says. A series of horrifying events — including girlfriend Siobhan’s grisly suicide, a boy gunned down by German soldiers, and brutal Nazi reprisals on innocent townspeople — pushes the youngest member of the spy team to his breaking point, leaving him disillusioned and grappling with post-traumatic stress.

“There was pressure because I had to portray and explore something that people have gone through, and if I wasn’t able to portray that properly, it was almost offending to the people that had to go through that,” he says. “So there was always kind of that voice in the back of my head reminding me to make sure that I’m exploring every option and keeping it as real and as honest as possible.”

Neil (Warren Brown)  Harry (Connor Price)  and Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) in  X Company  2.09:  Butcher...

Neil (Warren Brown), Harry (Connor Price), and Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) in ‘X Company’ 2.09: “Butcher and Bolt.”
Courtesy of CBC Television

A real and honest moment happened while Price was filming episode 2.05, “Nil Nocere,” in which Harry snaps and stabs to death a French doctor who was murdering Jews. “The prop knife wasn’t a real knife, it was plastic, it was retractable, and on one of the last takes that we were going to do, the director, Kelly [Makin], just kind of screamed out to me, ‘Connor, this time I want you to really go for it,'” he recounts. “And I said okay and I went for it. I was screaming and I was lashing out. I kind of, in a sense, as Connor, lost my mind, really just sort of went for it. And it was one of those experiences where you’re high on adrenaline, and I did not realize that the knife had broke in my hand, and it cut a gash into my palm.”

He required a trip to the hospital and a few stitches, but his commitment paid off. “It was such a surreal experience because I really didn’t realize and then they used the take, which was brilliant,” he says. “I was happy that it worked out, and it didn’t cause the take to stop. It was the first time in however many years I’ve been doing this, 13 or so years, that I’ve injured myself in a scene.”

Going into tonight’s penultimate episode, “Butcher and Bolt,” and the finale — which airs April 6 — Price says that Harry is still battling his demons and his fellow spies. “He’s annoyed with Aurora (Evelyne Brochu), he’s questioning everything and everyone around him, he’s questioning her leadership, and that tension is definitely continued into this last two-part finale that occurs around Dieppe, France.

“These last two episodes, it’s definitely going to be the biggest test that the five have had. I feel like it’s larger than all the conflict that they’ve had combined. It’s really going to lead to this huge finish for Season 2. It will create a confrontation that will definitely have to happen — and will happen — and it will create a possible solution. Will they remind themselves what was important and the reason that they’re there and put everything aside and figure out how to proceed? Or will this tension and conflict that’s been growing just snap and cause the team to separate? It’s definitely going to lead to some gasps.”

In fact, he says the end of Season 2 is so epic that he’s anticipating a fan meltdown on social media. “I can just see the response on Twitter already,” he says. “People are going to go crazy.”

Price certainly knows how to set a dramatic scene. Does this mean he’s ready to direct an episode of X Company next season? “No, no, no,” he laughs. “I’m not going to overstep my boundaries yet.”

But after a slight pause, he adds, “Maybe Season 4 or 5.”


‘X Company’ airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC

Follow Connor Price on Twitter

Follow A.R. Wilson on Twitter

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