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Open Mike with Callum Keith Rennie, Feb. 99 (interview)






Open Mike: Broadcast live before a studio audience in downtown Toronto's legendary Masonic Temple, Open Mike with Mike Bullard features two or three panel guests and one musical or comedy performance nightly. Runtime: 60 min - Country: Canada

Callum was guest in February 1999, right after he won a Genie for his performance in Last Night

Transcript from Rebel without a comb

Mike: What can I say about our next guest that hasn't been said. He stars in Due South, Hard Core Logo, Double Happiness and he won a Genie last night for his performance in the movie Last Night. Now-- (cheering from audience) hang on a second-- I want everyone to be really, really nice to him because he's very, very nervous and he loves me right now cause he didn't think we were going to have time for him. Please welcome Callum Keith Rennie.

(Callum comes onto the stage carrying a water bottle, and gives Mike Bullard's hand a shake and then Callum leans in so Mike can whisper in his ear, he then goes to his seat, and he greets the other guest with the hollywood kiss on both cheeks and takes his seat. He's wearing a black suit with the jacket open, and a blue shirt with the top undone. Sorry no glasses this time guys! ;) And who were the people in the back ground screaming, I'd like to know who were the lucky people who saw him in person!!! Also, through out the interview he is jiggling his legs up and down nervously, chewing his gum, shifting in his chair repeatedly, playing with his thumb along the arm rest of the leather chair, and quite frequently he's thumbing his eyebrow and his nose.)

Mike: Callum Keith Rennie, ladies and gentlemen. Now I never know what to call you. Callum? (Pronounced Call-um.) Keith?

Callum: Callum. (pronounced Cal-um.)

Mike: Callum?

Callum: Callum.

Mike: See, I got them all wrong. So it's Callum.

Callum: Yeah.

Mike: Alright. Well, what a pleasure it is to have you here and we're very excited because I know you left last night (Callum thumbs his eye brow), without your Genie and they sent it to us today. There it is. (Callum then laughs/scoffs embarrassedly as Mike pulls out the Big Genie, and Callum smiles at it, eyes fixed on it for a moment.)





Mike: Alright, let's take a look at this.

Callum: Thank-you

Mike: And we, uh, here at the show are going to treasure it always and treat it the same way you would have.

Callum: What? As a bottle opener? (He mutters this, and smiles.)

Mike: Your Genie. They sent it to us today. That's a beautiful thing. It's very heavy. Now, Paul Gross was here in September and he was your co-star on Due South so I'd like to tell you that this is your first appearance on the show, but it's not. Would you like to see your first appearance on the show?

Callum: Uh, yes please. (Slightly hesitant, smiles and looks out at the audience, and lifts his eyebrows for a second.)

Mike: Alright, let's take a look at this.

** They play the clip from PG's appearance on Open Mike -- Sept. 98 **

Excerpt from the transcript for Open Mike with Paul Gross

Paul: You know, I was trying to get Callum to come with me.

Mike: Callum Keith Rennie, your co-star.

Paul: Yeah, but he's sort of pathologically... give me that pillow. I really do need that. He's sort of pathologically afraid of live television. Well, more or less live audiences. Sorry. No, you're great. I apologize.

Mike: Yeah, slag 'em.

Paul: So, he sent... he sent this along (pulls a piece of paper out of his sleeve) and he says it will work. He assures me. It's a, uh... Callum is my co-star in the show, by the way. a stick figure of Callum It's a hologram representation of him. And you can actually... if you could get a close-up. You can address questions to him. puts the paper on the seat next to him Are you okay, Cal? He's good.





** Back to Callum’s appearance **

Callum: I've been working out since then.

Mike: You've been working out since then?

Callum: Building up, yeah.

Mike: Good, good, good. Now you rarely do perform in public anymore, Callum, but you started on stage, I guess.

Callum: Um, I started in Edmonton doing a radio show , ah, for some friends. Who put together a live show every Saturday. It was like a half hour and they asked me to listen to the show and I said, Geez, this is really horrible.' And they said, 'Do you want to come down and participate?' And I went, (eeeeehhum) 'Okay.' So every Friday we would, you know, sit in a bar, write this sort of half hour live, do all the sounds and do the whole bit and uh--

Mike: You don't think that sitting in a bar, writing it, may have contributed to it being terrible?

Callum: No, umm (looking down, pause, then looks up smiling at mike and at the same time thumbs his nose and then opens that hand out as to exclaim) it got better, let's say. Okay? Um, so--which led on to doing some plays in the Fringe Festival.

Mike: Right, and from then you went on to the Fringe Festival. Tell me about your first experience in a play? I heard it was very funny.









Callum: Um, so it was a couple of the same people who did the radio show with me and I had never been on the stage before. You know, I was 25 years old (He then leans really far back into his chair) --sort of feels a bit like this. (audience laughs, he then looks around the crowd quickly, does a stretched out smile, almost a grimace, and opens his eyes really wide quickly, almost like how a person would try to wake themselves up, then leans forward) So, you know, we rehearsed the play for three months-- get out there, you know-- it's, lights come up, I'm sitting down and I have the first line of the play and I can't remember what it is. And the co-- the, you know, other person who's in the scene with me is starting to pace around, pace around, pace around. And so I-- I'll just smoke a cigarette. So I light a cigarette. It'll come to me. I'm sure it'll come to me. Ten minutes goes by. The cigarette goes out. And **snaps fingers** oh, that's it. "What?" Then we start.

Mike: Now you ah, won the Genie last night for Last Night and I saw your performance. I thought it was marvelous. The thing I think I enjoyed most was this was this guy's last night on earth as it was everybody else's, I guess and you decided that you wanted to have all kinds of different sex with different people

Callum: (Mutters very quietly,) yeah, (smiles, looks down and plays with the arm rest.)

Mike: and I don't know if anyone told you this but there was one particular scene that really stuck out in my mind. I thought it was hilarious.

Callum: Which would that be? (He mutters this really quietly too.)

Mike: That would be you calling your grade eight French teacher.

Callum: Oh yeah, that was kinda funny. (He also says this quietly.)

Mike: And telling her you wanted to consummate the relationship. I thought that was one of the most amusing things I've seen on film. It was a great, great piece.

Callum: And Genevieve [Bujold] was great.

Mike: And Genevieve was great, yes. Now somebody told me today, I don't know if Genevieve knows this from the film, but you have a tattoo of a Champion spark plug?

Callum: Yeah.

Mike: Where's that?

Callum: It's on my cock. (He says this all seriously and leans back into his chair, CTV beeped this part....... but on the close captions it read cock.) Do you want to see it? (He gets up, and is going for to pull down his pants)

Mike: No. (He sits back down, and smiles mischievously, and then covers his mouth with his hand, and you can see him smiling. The audience is really going at it for a few seconds...)

Mike: I ah, uh, I ah... (Mike's laughing, and as usual he's bobbing his head up and down like he usually does.)

Callum: It's actually right here. It's right here... (and he begins to pat his right shoulder.)

Mike: You know what I find difficult to believe? I guess I missed that in the Globe and Mail story on you today. I want to thank you very much for coming. Pop back again. And once again, congratulations.

Callum: Thank-you.

Mike: Callum Keith Rennie. We'll be right back with Kaybe.



Most pics would be from Cap it! Before I die of waitin'! but link seems to be broken :( (temporarily down) – thanks to akamine_chan for pointing this out. ETA: site is back up!

Scriggle posted a picspam.

You can watch the interview on You Tube (thanks to leonandra for the link!)



Further excerpts from the transcript for Sep-98 Open Mike with Paul Gross, where paper!Callum "intervenes" (the whole transcript is completely surrealistic):

Mike: So how'd you spend the old summer? Were you shooting Due South? (...)

Paul: No, I went to Newfoundland. Callum, what did you do? He was in Los Angeles. No, I spent a month in Newfoundland. (...) In a place called South Branch. (...) And I picked up the accent. (...) And South Branch is particularly -- particularly thick. There's a guy next door to us, Clayton, and I didn't understand a word anybody said, really, for about three days and Clayton still was tough. And at the end, he would actually... this is what it would sound like. '...the schonar and you knooo you goo up therrr and you'-- Once you get into it --

Mike: Perhaps he was talking to Callum.

Paul: Did you understand that Callum? Callum didn't understand that either.

(talking about meeting the Queen of England)

Paul: Well, she's really, really small. Like, kinda like about that small.

Mike: About the size of Callum Keith Rennie?

Paul: She is. Callum, have you met the Queen? No, he --

(introducing a clip from Due South "Dr. Longball")

Paul: It's baseball. We did a show on baseball and it's the opening episode and I think yet again, Fraser seems to know how to do something and this is instructing my partner, Callum, who's unspeaking at the moment, how to concentrate on hitting a baseball.

Mike: Yeah, rather than show the clip, why don't you just bounce Callum up and down awhile. That's good.

Paul: (doing Callum's voice) Watch it, Mike. It's really funny.

Tags: .genre: interview, .genre: pictures, .genre: transcript, year: 1999
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