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Noel Fisher’s Guide to Vancouver

The Shameless star talks his latest project, National Geographic’s The Long Road Home

Rosy-cheeked Shameless star Noel Fisher can currently be seen in his most intense role yet on National Geographic’s mini-series The Long Road Home, which premiered this November. Based on Martha Raddatz’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, The Long Road Home follows the true story of a platoon in Iraq whose original peacekeeping mission is thwarted by a deadly attack, an event now referred to as Black Sunday. Fisher plays Private First Class Tomas Young, a young man motivated by the tragic events of 9/11 to serve his country—only to end up in a situation he never saw coming.

Though a native Canadian, Fisher says he sympathizes with his character’s predicament as an American citizen. “When someone has a completely false definition of their mission, that changes your perspective,” he passionately says of his first reaction to reading the script. “This country has been at war for over a decade, and I think there’s a growing disconnect amongst those who were born during the period of this war. This story can serve as a bridge because it focuses on the human aspect. It’s not this vague, far-away concept that we normally think of war as.”

In these uncertain times, when the threat of conflict seems imminent, the story of The Long Road Home was one that hit close to home for the cast. “You can have a political position on this, everyone should, but there’s two different issues: your perspective on any particular war [and] how we deal with individual soldiers,” says Fisher, who, along with castmates like Michael Kelly and Kate Bosworth, felt a sense of duty during filming to get the story right. “Everyone met either the character that they were playing or that character’s surviving family,” he says. “Tomas’s story is a pretty good look at the state of our veteran’s care and I think it speaks volumes that we allow our veterans to not have nearly enough support.”

With his years of theater training in Vancouver, Fisher is known for nailing his parts regardless of difficulty. “One of the really cool things about growing up in Vancouver and being an actor there is that the competition pool is a lot smaller,” Fisher recalls. “If you’re starting out in LA you’re lucky if you get one thing, but most actors I knew growing up were working three or four times a year.”

Below, see where Fisher frequents while visiting his own hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Cup of Joe: JJ Bean on Main Street. Great, strong coffee and a fireplace. What more would you want? Bring a good book and enjoy.

Power Lunch: Shizen Ya sushi. Simple, responsibly-sourced sushi that is ridiculously good.

Date Night: A walk along Kitsilano beach is hard to beat.

Hidden Gem: Solly’s! Best cinnamon buns on the planet.

Main Image: RICKY MIDDLESWORTH Photography