Craig Olejnik says he’s a good ‘Listener’
|Craig Olejnik stars in The Listener as Toby Logan, a paramedic who can hear people’s minds.|
LOS ANGELES — Ask anyone who knows Craig Olejnik — except for any ex-girlfriends, he jokes — and they’ll tell you that he is a pretty good listener.
He is not much of a talker, he offers, and instead is the kind of guy who lets his silence speaks volumes, drawing you in with his quiet mystique.
That is fitting, considering he is starring in NBC’s summer series The Listener (Thursdays 10 p.m. ET/PT), a show about a paramedic with a telepathic ability. The supernatural drama follows Toby Logan (Olejnik), who can hear people’s most intimate thoughts.
The procedural show, which premiered last week (5.3 million viewers) with two back-to-back episodes, contrasts his life as a do-gooder with that of the daily struggles of a twentysomething who’s looking to find himself.
“My mother taught me at a young age that if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all. And,” says the single 30-year-old in a phone interview, pausing for dramatic effect, “I usually don’t have much good to say! So I just listen. You don’t have to say much.”
Olejnik, who’s from Halifax, Nova Scotia, has appeared in the film Thir13en Ghosts with Tony Shalhoub and more recently in the CW television series Runaway.
Olejnik most related to his character’s search to figure himself out.
“In my mid 20s, I was certainly at that point. I was like, ‘Oh, my God! What have I amounted to?’ So you begin to read the books. And watch Oprah. And then finally accept who you are,” he says.
It was that average, good-guy aspect that attracted him to the Listener role.
“He doesn’t run any quicker, he isn’t any stronger than anyone else. He can’t go to bed without these images in his head. And he’s driven to act upon them morally, ethically, and he wants to help these people out of these situations,” he says.
Still, Olejnik would never want to have that type of supernatural power himself.
“I’d rather fly. I would like to fly from 1 mph to light speed at will. I’ve always had dreams of flying. The sensation is incredible.”