Interviews / TV

Romaine Waite Cracks Cases in Hallmark Movie Series “Crossword Mysteries”

Romaine Waite never intended to be an actor. A chance to audition for an indie film got his wheels turning as to whether acting could be a viable professional career – and his success in the ensuing years provides a resounding answer to that question. Waite currently plays rookie detective Winston Sams on the highly popular Hallmark movie series Crossword Mysteries, which enjoys a fiercely loyal following. Winston is confident in his ability to be a detective, but he still has a lot to learn. You can also catch Waite in Frankie Drake Mysteries and an upcoming Clark sisters biopic, airing April 11th on Lifetime. 

Cliché: What drew you to the Hallmark Movies Mysteries film series Crossword Mysteries: Proposing Murder and Crossword Mysteries: Abracadaver?

Romaine Waite: The universe seems to be sending me a lot of shows/roles that centre around crime and mystery. I don’t mind at all. I like what Hallmark Channel provides to its viewers. It is clean family entertainment and it’s a great feeling to be a part of that. Not to mention, the Hallmark Mysteries fanbase is very interactive. That’s a nice bonus, when the audience is already engaged. My only hope is that I can add something unique to an already amazing series.

Can you tell us a little about your character Winston Sams?

I play a rookie detective (Winston Sams), who is eager to prove himself to his partner Logan O’Connor. In the script, my character is really sharp. He’s focused on finding inconsistent elements in each case and making them available to his partner for further investigation. I was given the freedom to bring Winston to life in my own way, which involved understanding all the unique tactics forensic investigators use to solve crimes. I’m excited to see where this character goes.  



How will your character Winston handle becoming a rookie detective after four years of being a patrol officer?

I think it’s going to require developing trust between him and Logan. I know Winston is confident in his abilities, but there is a learning curve to being a detective. In order to be successful, I think he’ll have to trust Logan to lead him down the right path, which I’m sure he will.

How was it working with Brennan Elliot and the rest of the cast on set? Any favorite or funny moments?

Coming into a project that is already established can sometimes be difficult. However, in this case, I felt right at home. Most of my scenes are with Brennan, Lacey and John who made me feel very welcome. Having the opportunity to watch these individuals work has been very motivating. There have definitely been some funny moments but it’s one of those things where you have to be there to really appreciate the humor.

 Growing up, did you always know you wanted to be in this industry?

When I was younger, acting never crossed my mind as a career option. I actually wanted to be a computer animator. In high school I took drama, which I really enjoyed; even then, I didn’t think of it as a possibility. It was my experience on a small indie film, that made me think about acting as a career. I only auditioned because it was something I hadn’t done before. Little did I know it would be the catalyst for my journey.

What has been your favorite moments as an actor so far?

Wow, this question takes me back to one of my first theater roles. Early in my career, I took on the role of Aaron Levinsky in the play NUTS, at Scarborough Village Theatre. I remember getting the role and feeling excited about the opportunity to prove to myself that I could manage a role this size. The play ran for about 2.5 hours with a 20-minute intermission, and I was on stage the whole time. In this production, I really gained confidence in my skills as an actor. I also developed a great understanding and appreciation for the craft. I’d say this is one of my favorite moments.

When searching for movie or television roles, what kind of stories speak to you?

Different stories resonate with me for various reasons. Sometimes you’re not really searching for it. However, when you come across something different it just hits you. For example, it was a random visit to the bookstore, where I came across the Raymond Arsenault written biography of Arthur Ashe. To be honest I didn’t know about him prior to this chance encounter. However, when I took the time to research and dive into this man’s life, I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t known about him and his accomplishments sooner. Fast forward to June 2019, I put together a short trailer taking on the role of this tennis legend. Needless to say, his story has made an impression on me, in more ways than one. I think it’s really about leaving yourself open, to appreciate different stories and roles.

Frankie Drake Mysteries has returned to CBC for its third season. What can fans expect from this season?

More fun filled mysteries. The whole gang is back, bigger and better. The third season sees Frankie face a family secret while episodes bring her and the Drake Private Detectives team into the world of British aristocrats, illegal boxing, the supernatural, and political fundraisers. The first episode has Agatha Christie helping Frankie to solve a disappearance case. However, there is one small thing that I am strangely excited about. For season three, Frankie Drake has an awesome new intro. I guess I’m a sucker for good typography.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share?

 I will be in a LIFETIME channel biopic. It’s about the prominent American gospel group The Clark Sisters. I’ll be playing the husband of one of the sisters. In case people aren’t aware, I’ll give you a small idea of who they are. They have a catalogue of hits, they’ve won multiple Grammys, and worked with numerous artists across varied genres. Including artists like Missy Elliot and Snoop Dogg. Mostly recently, you can hear them sampled on the Jay-Z hit ‘Family Feud’. The film is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Mary J Blidge, and Missy Elliot. Directed by the lovely Cristine Swanson.

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Romaine Waite Cracks Cases in Hallmark Movie Series “Crossword Mysteries.” Photo Credit: Jack Phillips.