With an upcoming role on an acclaimed Canadian sci-fi series, a new novel and a rock and roll album in the works, award-winning writer and actor Joel Thomas Hynes has a lot going on.
In an interview with CBC Radio's Weekend AM, Hynes said he first heard about the role on Orphan Black through a casting call. He taped his audition while at home in Newfoundland and sent it off.
'It's a really great team of people, there's no egos around.' - Joel Thomas Hynes on the cast and crew of Orphan Black
"Initially it was kind of a nerdy computer hacker-type role and I didn't have much energy to play a nerd, so I generally just played a version of myself," he said in an interview.
Hynes said, based on his audition, he felt he "didn't have much hope," and was "very surprised" when the network was open to letting him tweak the character.
"My guy is some kind of edgy hacker who scours the internet for conspiracies and dances around the peripheries of these weird sub-organizations," he said.
Orphan Black follows the lives of several identical women who discover they're clones. A complex, conspiracy-laden storyline follows.
"Tatiana Maslany plays several different characters — she plays all these clones. So they all have storylines and I'm only attached to one of [the women]."
Hynes said he can't reveal much, but let slip that he'll appear in "a few episodes" in season four, which launches April 14 on the Space network. The actor also had a lot of positive things to say about his on-set experience.
"It's a really great team of people, there's no egos around, a really well-oiled machine ... really fast paced," he said.
"Basically, if they say they need you in two minutes, you're on camera in two minutes. It's really technically challenging."
Rock and roll writer
In the meantime, Hynes is working to complete his latest novel.
We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night is the last in a trilogy, which follows previous works Down to the Dirt and Right Away Monday.
"I've had a lot of fun with the writing of it. It's a bit ridiculous, too," he said.
He's partnered with HarperCollins Canada on the publication, and hopes to have it in stores in September.
'I'm trying to write and record a good, crunchy, clean, honest rock and roll album' - Joel Thomas Hynes
"It's about a kid, he's around 20, 21, he sort of grew up in the system, came from a violent background — outport — who's expecting a federal sentence," he said.
Something happens at the beginning of the novel that "changes the course of his expectations," and the young man embarks on a cross-country journey.
And if that's not enough, Hynes has recently teamed up with Canadian producer Eamon McGrath for a music project. He said it's the latest in a list of goals he hopes to accomplish before his 40th birthday in September.
"I'm trying to write and record a good, crunchy, clean, honest rock and roll album that sounds like the kind of album that I'd listen to."