Suits actor Patrick J. Adams travels through time in the CBC adaptation of the Québec psychodrama Plan B
Patrick J. Adams wasn’t exactly comfortable showing up on set to play – in his words – a liar and manipulator every day.
But first suits Star takes on one such role in CBC’s Plan B, a high-profile psychological drama about a man who travels back in time to salvage his crumbling relationship at the expense of, well, almost everything else.
Based on a 2017 Radio Canada show of the same name, the series follows Philip and Evelyn, a Montreal couple exhausted by the disappointing turn of their lives. When Evelyn breaks up with him, a distraught Philip calls a mysterious company that promises to help him fix his mistakes.
But changing even one aspect of his destiny will have disastrous consequences for him and his loved ones, forcing him to walk a moral line.
“It takes a lot of lying for a guy to do what he’s doing here… There’s a lot of cover-up. There’s a lot of manipulation going on,” the Toronto actor said in an interview with CBC News.
“And as much as I hate to admit it and I don’t like thinking about myself like that, there have been times in my life where I can relate to it. And one of the gifts of doing what I can do for a living is exploring that.”
Karine Vanasse, a Quebec actress who starred in the CTV series cardinal and Denis Villeneuve’s film PolytechnicShe had seen the original series six years ago, well before she was tapped to play Evelyn.
“My memory of just watching it and the fun I had as a spectator and everything that triggered it like, ‘Oh ok, what do I think of this? How would I react to this situation if I had the power to go back in time ?'”
After watching the French-Canadian series as a viewer and now experiencing the English-language version as a member of the main cast, Vanasse said that adapting the series to the country’s English-speaking audience bodes well for the Canadian entertainment industry.
“Many of our creators have been fortunate to work internationally. But it’s great to see actual Quebec content have the opportunity to travel,” she said.
The series is to be adapted in three other countries
Plan B is a “difficult chemistry,” said Louis Morissette, the Montreal actor and showrunner who starred as Phillippe in the original French-language series and played the same character as Adams.
The show takes place in multiple timelines as Philip attempts to juggle his fate and that of others without revealing his time travel abilities. When something is going right in his relationship with Evelyn, Something goes wrong with his brother, who struggles with alcoholism, or at his law firm, where success and financial stability are fragile.
“We’re looking to adapt it in an English version, a Canadian version and a 2023 version, but staying pretty close to what it was,” Morrisette said, later adding, “if.” [you] play with one part, there’s a domino effect where you play with everything and it doesn’t end up adding up.”
“It’s that sweet spot that’s been hard to find for the last two or three years, but once we had it I’m really really happy with the end result,” he said.
CLOCK | suits Star Patrick J. Adams travels through time in the CBC series Plan B:
Jean-Francois Asselin, who wrote and directed the original series and its adaptation, is planning additional versions of the show to be broadcast in Germany, Belgium and France.
“When we had the opportunity to revise it, we wanted to improve it and thought that the first two [seasons] were a bit slow in rhythm. We want to try [heighten] at stake,” Asselin said.
By Morrisette’s standards, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to screen the same show filmed in Montreal to two different viewers in Canada. “There are so few moments when you get the chance to do a French project in English knowing that suddenly you have the opportunity to work worldwide there,” he said.
Adams made no conscious effort to distinguish his own performance from Morrissette’s, but “I certainly had the things about the story that spoke to me and that piqued my interest in this journey,” he said.
“I think that focus and interest for me probably caused something else to happen.”