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Callum Keith Rennie on On The Arts (interview)








Laurie Brown: Callum Keith Rennie is known for his relatively late start in the business. You may know him from his film performances in Hard Core Logo, Curtis's Charm, Double Happiness. On television, you may remember him as the convenience store guru in Twitch City, and he was on Due South. But first, his Gemini-nominated role in this CBC movie [For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down]. Not bad for a late starter.

(clips from FTWHTWD, Due South, Twitch City are shown)

Laurie Brown: For someone who started as late as you did, you had some incredible successes.




Laurie Brown: You've had some good roles, some good films and you've done some really good work. What was it that made you decide to focus so hard on acting. Like after so long to say, this is it and I'm going to work incredibly hard to do this.

CKR: Food, clothing and shelter

Laurie Brown: ...Paying the rent?

CKR: Yeah.

Laurie Brown: So now you've got this career. What do you want to do with it?

CKR: What do I want to do with it? Um, how do you... I want to continue. But I want to continue in... you know.



CKR: I want to do the best work that's available. And I mean... and there's certain things that the U.S. has to offer but I... I've been given an opportunity because I'm from Canada. Because I was given this opportunity here and so I respect that.



CKR: When there's opportunities that come up here which may be, you know? That aren't the biggest money. They aren't the biggest thing. But there's a certain respect with working with Bruce McDonald. (clip from Hard Core Logo) And working with Don McKellar. This is where I'm from. So this is where I think I have to... to tell my stories. Or the stories that are from our country.

Laurie Brown: There's been a lot of press and media about the fact that you used to drink and you don't drink now.

CKR: Really?

Laurie Brown: Is that still true?

CKR: Yeah. We did a scene on Due South in a bar and... it was just like the bars I liked. And it was a bad day. It was just like a bad day because you're getting the smells, you're getting the atmosphere, you know? This wasn't that long ago so, I mean, that's a bit hard.



CKR: Through, I don't remember... the party scene, maybe. That was a bit hard, where you get caught up in... you know, a time. It was another time. And it's a bit... you know, you just have like a weird day 'cause it's around and... and... you realize there's a certain amount of willpower still being used to stop you from doing... things.



CKR: It was... I mean, after the incident of why I quit drinking, it was... 'what do I like to do? Now I'm focused. I'm clear. What do I like to do? I'll try that. If it doesn't work, I'll do something else.' But I touched base with it a couple times before and it always worked out and I liked it and I think I had sort of been running from it because it had worked out and I did get a kick out of it so... and I was focused on it and I enjoyed it. And it... yeah, if it didn't work out, I mean, there was a time limit. I made a time limit that if it doesn't work then I really don't want to... struggle forever doing this.

Laurie Brown: Nice way to make a living?



CKR: Um, there's the good and bad, like anything, you know? Some of this stuff [interviews] I'm still not used to and, uh... but I still have those moments like once a month, I say, geez, I'm a working actor. This is... this is good. I like this.


Tags: .genre: interview, .genre: pictures, .genre: transcript, year: 1998
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