Actor JR Bourne will have to go a long way to find two more diverse roles than his recent work in the Lifetime movie “The Preacher’s Sin” and his guest spot on the CW Network series “Arrow.”
In the Lifetime film, Bourne plays a minister who has written a book on parenting. His world begins to unravel when an 18-year-old son he never knew he had shows up at his front door. And, his teen-age niece, who has moved in with his family after her mother commits suicide, begins to spiral out of control.
On “Arrow,” Bourne spent hours in a makeup chair being transformed into the mega villain known as Double Down. His weapon of choice are the endless supply of cards tattooed to his body that can be peeled off and used as deadly weapons.
One role is a man of God and the other is an ungodly terror. That didn’t affect how the actor approached the roles.
“I look at every character I play in a very honest way,” Bourne says between bites of lunch at a small restaurant on Melrose Avenue. “Are they all honest? No. But, they are all human beings. In real life, when we are lying, we don’t always acknowledge that we are doing that. When we are doing bad things, we don’t always know initially they are bad things.”
One way Bourne kept his role in “Preacher’s Sin” as honest as possible was to avoid playing him with a holier–than–thou attitude. The character has not lived a perfect life, as shown through the illegitimate son. Instead of the film taking the minister into dark areas or having him deny his past, he embraces his flaws.
Bourne believes that makes the character more relatable.
The story tells you that Evan was a troubled kid growing up who had to deal with abandonment issues. All of that informed who this man was. This guy isn’t close to having all the answers. He’s still trying to figure it all out.
JR Bourne on his character in “The Preacher’s Sin”
Bourne has more than two decades of professional acting experience, which includes roles on the series “Cold Squad,” “Stargate SG-1” and “The Secret Circle.” His most recent work includes playing the sinister Kenny Ryan on “Revenge” and the mysterious Chris Argent on “Teen Wolf.”
Bourne was born in Canada but spent most of his young life growing up in Barbados. He has had an interest in acting since he was young, but it wasn’t until he was in his mid 20s that he realized that it would be a way for him to make a living.
No matter the role, Bourne likes to create a back story for the character. That was relatively easy with “The Preacher’s Sin” because Bourne could understand a flawed man looking just to do the right thing.
It took a little more work for him to prepare Double Down on “Arrow.”
“I couldn’t find out a lot about him. Double Down was not as easy but a lot of fun,” Bourne says.
It was fun once he got through the hours it took each day to apply the massive amount of tattoos on his body. The tattoos were applied in multiple pieces that had to be matched up perfectly each day.
“I’ve been really lucky and blessed,” Bourne says. “There were definitely more times when I was conscious of roles and would say I didn’t want to do certain roles. Now, I see there is a lot more I want to do. I do like the range.”
The Preacher’s Sin
- 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, Lifetime