Getting the job was stressful. I’m convinced the process of auditioning is designed to weed out the weak. Yet somehow, I still got it. There was the other actor up for the role, of whom I’m a huge fan. There was the fact I had to do the audition four or five times. There was the huge stack of contracts in triplicate to sign, potentially spelling out how I was going to spend the next seven years—or eight months, whatever the case may be. The stakes continue to rise throughout the process. Actors get knocked out of the mix, narrowing the choices. More and more faces show up to watch you pretend to be a spaceman. The offices get bigger and there’s a special room for the audition. Meetings are held afterward while you wait outside. Trying to keep your cool during this traumatic affair is down to the individual, because there isn’t anything that anybody can say to make it any easier. You are on your own. But I wanted this part badly. All the things we love about Mal were staring me in the face. The humour (spelled that way on purpose for Canadians), the questionable morality, the darkness, the anger, the almost imperceptible softness. It was all just out of reach like some toy in a window at Christmas, with Tiny Tim on the cold side, fogging up the glass. Or a brand new crutch or something. A gold crutch. No, a cure. Anyhow, it’s safe to say the part was all I wanted.