When the time came for Richard Harmon to move out of the family home, there was no doubt in his mind where he wanted to live: as close to Stanley Park as possible.
The 21-year-old actor – who appears as the brooding Julian Randol on Showcase's hit sci-fi crime procedural Continuum, and as Richard Sylmore on A&Es Bates Motel – moved into an apartment a stone's throw away from Lost Lagoon in 2012.
"I'm so close to downtown, yet at the same time, when I go to sleep at night, it's quiet outside my window," says the West Vancouver-raised thespian in a recent interview at Denman Street's Central Bistro. "There's so much natural beauty here."
Outdoor activities are a central part of Harmon's West End routine: playing basketball and football in Stanley Park, running along on the seawall, and traversing the gravel paths around Lost Lagoon. This last activity is not without its hazards: namely, what Harmon playfully refers to as a frenzied ongoing turf war between himself and a gang of angry birds.
It started, he explains with mock gravitas, nearly six months ago. A goose hissed at him during one of his walks. This would be followed by months of "honks, hoots, and stink-eyed stares from a motley band of ducks, geese, and swans. And not two weeks ago, I'm walking down my street and I hear hissing and there's a goose on my street and I was like, 'This isn't your turf, this is not where you belong, sir,'" he says, laughing.
In many ways, Harmon's tranquil West End life (angry birds notwithstanding) provides a perfect counterbalance to the stress of his high-profile acting gigs.
"There's a lot of responsibility that comes with the jobs, because I want to make the people who are kind enough to actually pay me to do what I love proud of me," says Harmon.
On June 8, Harmon took home a best supporting actor Leo Award for his work as the dark and nuanced Julian on Continuum (one of seven wins for Continuum that evening). "I read the scripts and Im wowed because I don't know if anyone has ever trusted me to do things as much as they have," he says. "It's very fun to be evil."
Audiences dont often get to see Harmon's characters having fun, given his proclivity for grey roles. "I think it takes a lot of people by surprise when they first meet me that I'm actually a happy person," says Harmon. "I don't brood in real life."
If Harmon were to brood about anything at all, it would likely be his ongoing war with the Lost Lagoon birds – a war to which he doesn't see an end in sight. "If we could just coexist with each other and respect each others boundaries, I think it'll be a war well fought on both sides," he says with a deep sigh.
Continuum airs Sundays at 9pm on Showcase.