Yanic Truesdale Gets Cozy With His Serious Side For Fallen Angels Murder Club - Exclusive Interview

While Yanic Truesdale is often remembered for his comedic role as Michel, the uptight concierge in "Gilmore Girls," the actor is excited to step into a darker role for Lifetime's "Fallen Angels Murder Club." The two-part movie series centers around an unlikely cast of characters brought together by their shared love of books and their criminal records, but when a member of their murder mystery book club is killed, the evidence points the police straight to the other members. The first movie, "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For," is premiering on April 2, with the sequel "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Fellons" following on April 9.

Prior to the film's release, Truesdale sat down for an exclusive interview with The List to discuss the project. During the conversation, Truesdale shared his thoughts on playing an ex-convict, how he connected with his character, and what the cast was like behind-the-scenes. The actor also reminisced on some of his favorite moments for "Gilmore Girls" and where he thinks his character Michel is now.

How he connected to his Fallen Angels: Murder Club Charact

I loved the movie, and I was wondering what it was that first drew you to the project?

The genre that I had never done. I grew up [for] half of my childhood with a grandmother that watched a lot of murder mysteries. It's something that I was drawn to because I had never done it. It's a different tone. I've done a lot of comedy, and I also thought the scripts were really good, which is always a draw for me, the writing. The character was interesting — a dark past, making bad decisions that leads you to prison, which is pretty dramatic, as far as a bad decision goes. It was done out of love, and I'm always interested in human behavior when it's not completely black, it's not completely white, it's somewhere in the middle — where you're not a bad person, you try to protect someone, and you do bad things in the process.

With your character, did you feel like there were any similarities that you could connect to with him? [Are there] any big differences between the two of you?

Similarities? It's funny, I don't really think about that when I work on a character. Now I have to think about him.

Not the similarities, so much as ways you were able to connect with him.

I was able to connect with him through trying to redeem yourself and fix things from the past and move forward in your life in a positive way. That's what he's trying to do. He's trying to fix his life, but what you will discover eventually is that [he is] having a hard time doing that and using alcohol to help him do that. His humanity, that's where I connected with him, and his desire to be a better person and fix bad decisions from the past.

Were there any elements to him that were more difficult to understand or that you had to sit with longer?

Not really, because, ... Hopefully, I don't think I [would]. I could end up in prison by my decisions, but it's something that I can relate to at a human level. No one is perfect, and everyone is trying to do the best they can. [This past Sunday] was an insane display at the Oscars of what love can make you do. Love can make you do crazy things, and we saw that.

Why he was happy to play an ex-convict

Were you excited to be part of a project where ex-convicts are kind of the heroes throughout it?

Yeah, because we live in a cancel culture, when someone does something wrong or even says something wrong, we want them to go away forever. I find that insane. Everyone needs or deserves a second chance, or a third or a fourth. We're human, and I love that none of these people, in any way, are bad people. They were in circumstances that made them do what they did. So, yeah, it's great. If they were all serial killers, I wouldn't have that conversation.

Yeah. There are levels to it.

Yeah, there are levels of criminals.

One of the things I found the most fun watching it was seeing this kind of unlikely group that bonded. How did you get along with the cast behind the scenes? Did it feel like that?

Oh, great. I've worked a lot with Brain Power, and they kind of have a family of actors. You end up working with actors over and over again. I had worked with Rainbow (Sun Francks) before on a movie; I forgot the title. And I [worked with] Lisa (Berry). There's something to be said ... Where are you in the world?

I'm in New York.

You're in New York. Okay. Because a lot of those actors were Canadian, Canadian actors are usually hard working, very humble, and super friendly. That was the case. The wild card for me was Toni (Braxton), because I knew her as a singer, but didn't know her as a person, and was really happy [when] I discovered she's hard working and kind and humble and super warm. It was great.

If anyone in the cast was actually put in a scenario where they had to solve a mystery, who do you think would be the best at that?

That's a good question. My character wouldn't be bad at all; he's very smart and savvy. The little intellectual genius code thing is the character of Rainbow. Maybe him, maybe me?

What it was like working with Toni Braxton

Do you have any favorite memories from making this movie?

My first day was with Toni, and it was just the two of us. Unfortunately, [it was] a great scene that didn't make the cut, it was too long at a bar. I love the first day because it's like a first date. You're checking each other out, and you know you're playing best friends, so everyone is on their best [behavior]. She was so — how can I put it? — generous, because she sat and she's like, "So where are you from?" She engaged in the conversation and made the connection and the relationship natural and easy to connect with her. For me, that moment on that first day, I was like, "Oh, this is going to be fun. Okay, good."

Were there any elements to behind the scenes or the production that made this movie challenging at all?

Challenging? No. The only day that was very challenging for me ... I hate cold. We ended up shooting a scene outside with something very light [on], and it was snowing and icy on the ground, and my character was drunk. It's in the second movie. I was frozen to death, and we had a little heater in the corner, outside, in the tent. That I hated, and that is challenging for me. [Those are] not my ideal conditions to film.

Since this movie also has the sequel coming out, was it exciting to be in something where you get to stay with the same cast and character?

Yeah, for sure. I always feel like the first season — so let's say this, the first movie is the first season. [It] is when you discover the tone and the relationship with the other characters and yourself and layers for your character. Then, it's established and then you can be free and play. I always look forward to the second season or the second movie. That part was great for me. I like that. I feel that's when the real work and freedom starts, for me anyway.

What kind of book club would Yanic Truesale start?

Do you ever read murder mysteries yourself?

I don't. I used to be a reader. It's a sad part of being an actor, or for me; other actors actually do it. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I used to read a lot. With work and all the scripts, I'm looking at you, and I have scripts on my table that I have to read and lines to learn. It becomes, for me to grab a book, it almost feels like work. I don't do it as much. That's why I said "yes" four years ago. There's a big show in Canada called "Canada Reads" that promotes new Canadian writers. You go on the air on CBC for three, four days. You defend a book, you champion a book, and it's a battle of the book, and it's four [or five] celebrities. We all choose a book, and we battle, and books get eliminated.

I did it because I knew I was going to be forced to read about 20 novels to find mine and read all that. I was like, "I need to read. I need to go back to read." I did it, and I loved it. I thought, "Oh, I'll never stop reading again" because I loved it so much. Sure enough, I did stop.

If you did find the time, amidst everything else, to read and you were forming your own book club, is there any specific genre you'd want to read?

There are a couple of really awesome biographies that I had read during the process of doing that show. I love when I learn something when I read. There are two books that I read during the process of that [show]. One was called "By Chance Alone," which was written by a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.

[There was] another book written by a 16-year-old a teenager that survived the war in Syria. I'm forgetting the title. I find it fascinating because the writing was fascinating and it was beautifully written, but it was also — I was in Syria. I experienced what he experienced through the writing. I love when you learn at the same time that you are touched and at the same time that it's, the words are beautiful and the writing is good. The combination of all of that is usually what I'm drawn to.

Yanic Truesdale's favorite memories from Gilmore Girls

Switching gears a little bit, you're also in "Gilmore Girls." In an alternate reality where there's a murder at the hotel in "Gilmore Girls..." we're combining the two movies here. Who do you think on the show would be forming the dream team to solve the mystery?

It [has] to be Michel, I think. Certainly not Suki. Lorelai and Michel would be the ones, but Michel, I feel, would be leading and would know all the facts and all the little things that he would have noticed everything.

Lorelai and Michelle always kind of made the best duo.

That's true. Yes.

They balanced each other out.


Do you have any favorite memories from your time on "Gilmore Girls?"

Oh boy. That's a long time ago. The moments of laughter with Ed Herrmann, moments of laughter with Melissa (McCarthy) and Lauren (Graham) ... For me, when I laugh at work and giggle, it's my happy place because acting is my favorite thing in the world. Laughing is the ultimate happy moment. The combination of both when I, I've had a lot of moments like that with them, and those are my favorite moments.

If there was to be another "Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life" type of reboot, is there anywhere you would want to see Michel's character go or anything you'd want to see happen for him?

Well, it'd be funny, for sure, to see him with the kids because they were expecting kids. I would like to see his behavior with the kids. What probably would be interesting is, I know he says he hates kids, but at the end of the day, Michel has a good heart, and he's very sensitive. It'd be beautiful to see a tender side regardless of how annoyed he is with the children, and to see him in the relationship. What kind of relationship is that, and what does he look like in a relationship? All of that [which] we've never seen that would be very funny and revealing and interesting.

What it was like switching from comedy to drama

With "Gilmore Girls" and a lot of the other work you've done, like you said, is comedy. Did this movie, and the sequel, "Fallen Angels," feel a lot different switching into a darker tone for that?

Yeah, but I've always been surprised that ... people decided that I was a comedic actor, that I was a funny actor. I never thought of myself as being funny. I'm much more comfortable in drama. It is more my nature. So no, for me, I'm surprised that it took all this time for me to do stuff a little more serious, if I have to be honest.

Recently, I did some self-tape, really dramatic self-tape, that my team and my agent, my manager were like, "Oh my God!" They were freaking out because they loved it so much, but to me, it was like, "Yeah, I can do that. This is what I can do." I ended up doing comedy.

With the sequel of this movie coming out, is there anything you're excited to see how people react to watching the characters develop?

It'll be interesting. As I said, it's a genre that I'm not used to. Also, I discovered things about this guy [Gene Donovan] towards the end of the first movie that we used a bit in the second one, the alcohol thing. I'm discovering him as the public will discover him. Because it's like dating someone, you don't know everything from the start. You got to be dating to know. I'm dating my character, and I'm getting to know him better.

The first movie, "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For," premieres on Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Lifetime and will be followed by the second installment, "Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons," on Saturday, April 9. The movies are based on the books, "Fallen Angels Book Club," by R. Franklin James.