Published on July 23rd, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
“Bit Playas” Stars Kris Siddiqi & Nigel Downer On Their Excellent CBC Gem Series, Gaming & More
Bit Playas is an acclaimed CBC Gem series (now available for streaming in the United States via Amazon Prime) following best friends Ahmed (Kris Siddiqi) and Leon (Nigel Downer) as they spend their days hustling in the casting room, navigating the dating world and deflecting the occasional “soft racism” — all while dealing with their own identity crises. With strong emphasis on comics, movies and video games, the show goes thematically far beyond diversity, also incorporating plenty of reality.
Going beyond Bit Playas, co-star Kris Siddiqi is a Toronto-based actor, improviser, sketch performer, writer, director and producer. He has written multiple main stage revues, as performed on-stage via the Second City Toronto troupe, beyond appearing on MuchMusic and MTV Canada and co-creating the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated shows Dreadwood and Battleawesome Awesomestar.
Siddiqi’s co-star Nigel Downer is a Toronto-based improviser, actor, teacher, director, and Second City alumnus. Downer wrote and performed in 5 critically-acclaimed revues for Second City Toronto, beyond directing for the Second City National Touring Company and Family Company. He can be seen on Baroness von Sketch Show, Frankie Drake, and Netflix’s Titans, beyond extensive commercial work.
As embedded below, I had the pleasure of speaking with both Kris Siddiqi and Nigel Downer — two of the most personable interview subjects I have ever encountered in 20+ years of conducting interviews — on July 23, 2020 about Bit Playas, whether the show has a planned second season, how Canada’s comedy scene factors into the States, Detroiters, comics, video games, Second City, and even wrestling legend The Junkyard Dog. More on all things Bit Playas can be found online at www.bitplayas.com.