Since Series 1 of Letterkenny, Andrew Herr has played Jonesy across all episodes of the comedy series, with the most recent Series 10 releasing at the end of 2021 on Hulu, and over the years, the show has picked up numerous awards and is heading out on a live stage tour of the US from March. Having started his screen career in Mr. Hockey alongside his Letterkenny co-star Dylan Playfair, Andrew has since gone on to appear in many screen projects including Status Update in 2018 playing Oliver and Adventures in Public School as BDC the previous year. Alongside acting, Andrew is also a writer and has just finished writing a screenplay with his writing partners. We spoke with Andrew about being in the cast of Letterkenny, playing Jonesy over the years and seeing the viewers’ response to the show.
You play Jonesy in the comedy series Letterkenny, can you tell us about the character and the show?
The journey of Jonesy, along with his main man Reilly, has been an interesting one. Spoiler Alert – we went from being kings playing junior hockey to flexing our asses for camera to get “VidVok” famous. We’ve joked that Reilly and Jonesy get a new concussion between each season (I mean, we didn’t know how to spell hockey). But in other ways we’ve grown a lot too. I think they’ve increasingly been able to show their feelings and their empathy and in other ways nothing has changed. Hockey, gym, protein, and girls. Letterkenny as a show overall just keeps getting better like a fine wine. There are so many characters that I think people can relate to and as those who’ve watched know, it has a language of its own. It also showcases a slice of rural Canadian culture that hadn’t been tapped into yet until Keeso made it happen.
Was there anything that drew you to the script and series?
Letterkenny has amazing writing. The word play and punch lines are always so good. Each new season I read makes me laugh out loud when I read it. This past season, the new challenges Jared (Keeso) wrote in for Reilly and Jonesy were really fun to play with and it was easy to get drawn in.
What is a typical day filming as Jonesy and what is it like on set?
Being on set presents two challenges – coming into scenes with the right pace and try not to laugh. Trying not to laugh is a constant challenge. Our filming is fast-paced and when you have a good take, you don’t want to be the one that potentially ruins it but, in many cases, it’s too funny not to laugh. A typical day on set usually starts early with Dylan (Playfair) and I enjoying our coffee while we run our lines a few more times. Then we become Jonesy and Reilly, and everything gets very silly until we hear the final cut.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the cast?
The cast has long compared filming on Letterkenny to being like summer camp. We have a lot of fun on and off set. There are so many great people in the cast and crew, and everyone kills it. There are many experiences on this show I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.
How was it seeing the viewers’ response to the show including the recent Series 10 which was released at the end of last year on Hulu and what do you think has made the series so popular?
It’s obviously great. A lot of people work hard on this show and it’s nice to see it all pay off. I think the series has gotten popular because the show has a lot of universal traits. There are a ton of relatable and maybe not so relatable characters on the show, and they all bring their unique presence. Plus, there are no bullies in Letterkenny and when there is? The town teams up and take care of business.
What was it like having the series be nominated for and win numerous awards including for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2017?
I don’t think that’s why we ultimately do it, but that being said, it always feels good to see the show and the people in the show being recognised by their peers. We work on a show with lovely people, and it puts a smile on my face when these things happen.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from your time in Letterkenny so far?
There are too many to count. The first season was really special to me. It’s when we all first came together and started to get to know one another. We didn’t fully know what this show was going to be or how it would be received and that’s what made it such a cool feeling. In a lot of ways, it was unexplored territory.
Your character in the show is a hockey player, and as a former junior hockey player yourself, where does your love of the sport come from?
True to Canadian form, I grew up playing hockey. I always had a lot of fun playing when I was a kid, and I was fortunate enough to play some junior hockey when I was in high school. I was quite fast as a skater, but I had bricks for hands. My experience playing hockey has had an influence on my acting career for obvious reasons and most definitely, I knew a couple of Jonesys and Reillys growing up. I’m not always up to date on the game now but hockey is an amazing sport and had a huge impact on my life.
With the 2018 release of the feature film Status Update, you play Oliver, can you say more about this?
I filmed this shortly after Letterkenny and it was fun to be on a set that was comedy yet had a different tone than what I was used to when filming Letterkenny. It had a lot of fun and talented cast and crew. We had some great times and the film turned out nicely.
Over your acting career so far, you’ve appeared in a number of roles and projects including Adventures in Public School and your screen debut in Mr. Hockey, can you tell us about some of them?
Mr. Hockey was my first acting gig. It’s had a huge impression on me. I learned what to do and not to do quickly. It just so happens that Dylan Playfair and I portrayed Mark and Marty Howe together in that film before we embarked on Letterkenny. I was excited, nervous, and trying to be a sponge at the same time. Plus, there were a ton of funny people on that set. I can say a lot of the same about my time on Adventures in Public School. Daniel (Doheny) and Judy (Greer) really put on a really great performance, and it was a pleasure to be a part of that project. Overall, I feel very fortunate to have had the career and the experiences I’ve had so far.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I’ve always wanted to add writing to the repertoire, ever since I was in university. I love reading and learning about new things, I’ve always been very curious, and I think that can naturally steer you towards writing. My high school English teacher once told me that I had great ideas, but my grammar was horrible. And so, there’s been some challenges along the way but over the last year especially, my writing partners and I just finished a screenplay we’re really excited about. When I’m not doing that, I love playing tennis and golf, and skiing when I can. I do still strap on the skates from time to time which is always fun especially the post game pints. And last but not least, I love chilling with family and friends.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?
The Sopranos has to be one of my all-time favourites, from beginning to end. I’ve always been drawn to the thriller, mystery, action, and neo-noir genres. A Bittersweet Life directed by Kim Jee-woon is if not one of my favourite films. All in all, this is a hard question to answer because I love watching films. Tarantino, Anderson, Kim Jee-woon, Coen brothers, Coppola, Villeneuve and Fukunaga are all some of my favourites directors to watch.
How did you get into an acting career and what are you hoping 2022 brings for your screen work?
I started acting in my senior year of high school. I got a great part in this play called Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor. When I auditioned for the role, I was so nervous, I kind of bombed it. I say “kind of” because I did show potential, but my nerves got in the way of consistency. One of my fondest memories was rehearsing for this play and being able to perform it. The first time I performed on stage in front of a live audience I was hooked. In this business you just never truly know what’s up next but I’m excited to be on tour for the Letterkenny live show that’s touring around the United States. I’m also excited to see where these writing projects take us.
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