You are at home watching the CBC. If it is Monday and someone has been murdered or a bank safe has been cracked, chances are Romaine Waite is involved.
The up and coming Jamaican Canadian actor has an incredible oeuvre, which includes two of the Canadian shows (and an American show to boot) in which he appears regularly on Monday evening. And yes somebody usually gets murdered, the bank’s safe usually gets blown open with sticks of TNT and nice-guy Waite usually helps solve the mystery.
“Ha, Ha” laughed the Toronto based actor when the Caribbean Camera pointed out the Monday mayhem to him. “Yes I did appear in a Murdoch Mystery or two, and yes it airs on Mondays, but so too have a lot of other actors. Season Three of the Frankie Drake Mysteries series is airing now on the CBC and it runs on Mondays right after Murdoch. It is a coincidence but I am happy to have the work especially on such a ground breaking series as Frankie Drake.”
Frankie Drake Mysteries tells the story of the fictional character, Frankie Drake, who is the first female private detective in 1920s Toronto. The show follows Frankie (Lauren Lee Smith) as she solves crimes with her partner Trudy Clarke, played by Canadian-Jamaican actress Chantel Riley. The show airs on CBC, in the US on the Public Broadcast System and around the world on a number of stations including Ovation (Direct TV), UK’s Alibi TV as well as in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on a variety of networks.
“I think what has sparked the world interest in the Frankie Drake Mysteries series, from my perspective is that the show has two strong female leads, which I believe is a real breakthrough,” said Waite. “And, over the course of the first three season there is the diversity in the cast, race was not a factor in the casting!”
Waite has what is called a reoccurring role. Although not a principal star he gets considerable camera time most weeks as Bill Peters, a young eligible bachelor who works at Toronto’s City Hall. He has access to all the offices including City Records and is often asked to find information on the sly for Frankie and Trudy. Clearly, Bill is smitten with Trudy Clarke from the start and will do anything for her.
On screen Chantel Riley and Romaine Waite have a real chemistry, as they flirt and kiss and even talk marriage on screen. He assures the Caribbean Camera that in real life they are not an item.
“You can see the love interest developing. In Season Two there are big hints that my character Bill is going to marry Trudy Clark (Chantel Riley), but it doesn’t happen this season.”
Romaine is in two of ten episodes in Season 3. He was slated to be in a third but had to be written out of the script because of a time conflict with another TV gig! No worries, he is back for Season Four, assuming the show gets picked up again (the CBC is apparently in on the next season).
“ I was in North Bay working on two murder mysteries for Hallmark at the time. I don’t know how many of your readers can get the Hallmark Channel but they are showing the two Crossword Mysteries next month!”
Waite stars as Winston Sams in “Crossword Mysteries: Proposing Murder” and “Crossword Mysteries: Abracadaver”. Although the Canadian Jamaican actor isn’t talking, rumour has it that Hallmark will be back in Canada to film at least three more Crossword Mysteries movies next year.
He was born in Montego Bay, but his Jamaican accent can’t be heard until he drops out of his acting mode. Although he has been constantly working since finishing St Augustine high school in Brampton, he still can live a normal life here in the GTA. “I do get a lot of looks and people staring at me like they know me from somewhere but nothing intrusive.”
Like most of Toronto’s actors these days he is always on the go. Commercials. TV. Films. “I love theatre, and I used to do it, but because of the low pay and the time commitment, it isn’t in the cards right now.’
So what is next? He produced and stars in the independent film Salvage. It tells the story of a homeless man who answers an ad in a newspaper and ends up in the kidnapping, and murder of a young girl.
Salvage had its Canadian debut at Canada’s Black Film Festival and it is currently being shown at filmfests in the US and the UK. He is hoping to get a distribution deal for the Salvage be it in multiplexes, on TV or online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
He obviously wants to be own boss and is not ruling out making the move to Hollywood. But Frankie Drake fans can take heart, Waite is waiting and hoping there will be Season Four and so he can find out if his character marries Chantel Riley and he gets to help the female sleuths solves some murders and bank robberies!