'Flashpoint's' Amy Jo Johnson having 'awesome' time as actress and mom
The "Felicity" and "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" alum has had a run with the Canadian-made police drama enduring enough to see it switch American networks. After four cycles on CBS -- where it was used principally as summer programming -- the show moves in-season when first-run episodes resume Tuesday, Oct. 18, on ION.
In continuing her role as hostage negotiation team member Julianna "Jules" Callaghan, the Cape Cod, Mass.-born Johnson has relocated with husband Olivier Giner and their almost-3-year-old daughter Francesca. They now live full-time in Toronto, where "Flashpoint" is filmed (and shown on its producing network, CTV).
"You know what's funny? I've never stayed on a show fully until its life has finished," Johnson tells Zap2it. "I left 'Power Rangers' a few years into it, and I left 'Felicity' two years in, so this is the first time I'm riding the train right into the station. And I'm really enjoying it.
"I think it's just a different time in my life. I don't need to jump off and hope for something better. I love the show and I love the people involved, and I feel really blessed that we've been picked up for another season. It's kind of amazing."
Johnson actually did take time off from "Flashpoint" early in the series for Francesca's birth, with Jessica Steen (who still recurs on the show) filling in as another officer.
"I finished the first season at about seven months pregnant," Johnson recalls, "then everybody came back about two months after I had given birth. I waited two more months before coming back, so I think I missed about six episodes ... but I needed that, for sure."
Also a musician, as are many of her "Flashpoint" co-stars, Johnson feels she has to stay active professionally to be effective as a parent. She reports that when she returned to "Flashpoint" after having her child, "My husband took a paternity leave, and it was really an amazing time. He was with the baby, and they'd come to the set while I was working. It was awesome.
"I realized how much I need to work to be a good mom. I'm the kind of person who needs to be fulfilling myself creatively. I'm off for four months now, which is great, since I really get to focus on Francesca and play my guitar and write. During this season we just shot, I worked only three or four days a week, so it hasn't been that hard. It just really worked out."