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I am not quite sure this is the right magazine cover, since I wasn't able to determine the year. But it is from Now Toronto and mentions Hard Core Logo. The "Harris rigs 1999 election" headline is... confusing though. Please ignore that it's apparently taken from a website called Gay-Male-Celebs.com. *shrugs*
ETA: neu111 confirmed that this is the right cover. Or at least that it's from 1996. Thanks to her I could exchange the scan for a better one. And add a second one that looks like it's from that article too. (right-click->View Image for the bigger versions)


By Cameron Baily, Now Magazine, October 17, 1996

If Canada wants its Brad Pitt, Callum Keith Rennie is here for the taking. Blessed with the same fashionable scruff and bad-boy-on-a-good-day attitude, he's the first local leading man who doesn't seem too slight, too scared or too ugly for the job.

Rennie's co-starring gig in Bruce McDonald's shit-sharp punk elegy Hard Core Logo is only his latest career-making performance. The Edmonton-raised, Vancouver-based actor first bust out as the white boyfriend in Mina Shum's Double Happiness, then took a role as a questing ex-junkie in John L'Ecuyer's Curtis's Charm.

He's also done two award-winning experimental confessionals for Mike Hoolboom, and recently played opposite younger confection Alicia Silverstone in her new, Vanity Fair-hyped movie. It may be a bellwether or a fluke, but Rennie's screen presence has none of the deliberate infirmity favoured for so long by local leads, nor the never-neverman quality of export boy-wonders Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey and Michael J. Fox.

In Logo, Rennie plays Billy Tallent, the one member of the band Hard Core Logo with something approaching a life.

Tallent gets called back from his tryout gig with Los Angeles alterna-gods Jenifur to tour with HCL one last time. On the road between Vancouver and Saskatoon, they tear through the old hits - Rock 'N Roll Is Fat And Ugly, 10 Buck Fuck, Edmonton Block Heater - until their own demons start to gnaw at them again.

Rennie emerges as a credible rock star, with enough angst to temper Tallent's self-absorption and enough scars to complicate his looks.



Unsettling questions

Of course a Canadian Brad Pitt would have to be less slick, and more thoughtful. Talking by phone one morning from Vancouver, Rennie tackles the subject of himself with hesitation. He walks around questions that unsettle him and offers the same map of reflecting surfaces that characterize his on-screen work.

"There was something about Billy that I always understood completely," he asserts. "Like Brando says, there are certain parts you'll work like a Turk on and still be way off. You're doing all the stuff you can do and you still can't get... in. With others, you get it right away.

"With Hard Core it was more me than a lot of other things I've done. Knowing it's in a documentary style meant I couldn't play anything but who I was. There was no affectation to hang onto.

"Blocking didn't have to be as precise. We didn't wear a lot of makeup, so you could be touching your face all over the place. The focus was on being as real as possible, and prepared enough to allow mistakes to happen."

Still, Rennie admits that "You feel safer when you're not giving yourself away. Usually, you've got these layers of performance that protect you."

When it comes to talking about himself, Rennie's got layers like phyllo pastry.

Ask him about his place in the face-first economy that governs leading men and he'll stumble and falter and finally say, "I can look a lot of different ways."

Pressed further, he retreats and gets abstract.

Withholds information

"You take a photograph of five people and there's one you can't not look at," he theorizes. "It's not a technique you can find, it's something about the person. It's a withholding of information."

Yes, and?

More than once during our conversation, Rennie starts out in one direction, only to reconsider and trail off into, "What was the question?" or "I don't want to get into that."

In an almost shocking display of humanity, Rennie actually thinks during interviews. In person and on-screen, the thing he most wants to avoid is being what he calls "talking meat."

But despite his artful dodges, Rennie can be surprisingly direct. He answers my question about his pre-movie star years with a blunt confession.

"I was drinking."

Drinking?

"Yeah, I called it research.

"Honestly," he continues, "at this point, it's a blur. It was setback after setback, stuck in the same routine." He pauses, then offers that "There was probably a certain fear of success."

Everything changed one night, he recalls, when he was in a bar and - he slips into the abstract - "a fight ensued.

"A piece of glass went into my eye. It damaged my retina and, you know, in a millisecond your life changes. There I was, three days later, almost having a heart attack realizing where I'd sunk myself. I haven't had a drink since."

His left eye has mainly healed, though those big black glasses he wore in Double Happiness were his own.

"I've played a lot of bad guys in the past," he continues, "because in my mind there was a history of me being a bad guy. But at some point, all of a sudden that was stripped away, and all the characters I started to get were about redemption. And that coincided with where I was."

He pauses to think about that for a moment, then concludes.

"This is one of the only jobs in the world that tells you who you are."

Originally from Now Magazine, gone after the redesign of their home page. Also still available here.

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
china_shop
Jul. 2nd, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
\o/!
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
I knew you would like that one. /smug
avada_kadaver
Jul. 2nd, 2009 11:48 am (UTC)
I fuckin' love him *_*
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
And how could you not? *beams*
(no subject) - avada_kadaver - Jul. 2nd, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
pharis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
God, that's a beautiful picture of him.

Thanks for posting this!
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
It's pretty old, but since Now Toronto took it off their website it's nowhere to be found anymore. Can't let that happen, right? Right.
(Deleted comment)
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
!
akamine_chan
Jul. 2nd, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
What a great look into CKR's head! Thanks, C!
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
He gave some great interviews back then. I wish he'd take that up again! (And you're welcome, provider of all C6D news! !)
meresy
Jul. 2nd, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
Eeeee. ♥
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
Eloquent as always. *smooches*
akite
Jul. 2nd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, Callum. *shakes head*
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
*grins at you* Yeah, I know. (Still back then he apparently gave interviews all the time. He should do that again.)
neu111
Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
recently played opposite younger confection Alicia Silverstone in her new, Vanity Fair-hyped movie.
Right, opposite, like for 2 x 1 minute...

enough scars to complicate his looks
this one I like

Knowing it's in a documentary style meant I couldn't play anything but who I was.
Awww, that does say a lot.

he slips into the abstract - a fight ensued.
The interviewer probably never was in a fight. Not what I'd call abstract. Not getting into details maybe, but that's not getting abstract, that's keeping to the point IMO.

"I've played a lot of bad guys in the past," he continues, "because in my mind there was a history of me being a bad guy. But at some point, all of a sudden that was stripped away, and all the characters I started to get were about redemption. And that coincided with where I was."
And soon after that, he got fully redeemed and could play the bad guy again. Oh, Callum, it's time to go back to that redemption thing some!

Oh, and you're right about the pic going with the article: see bigger pic, original name "now1096", if you zoom on the top left "free" box, you can check the date. And this one might be part of the article (original name was "nowbox" I think - and he's precisely into an abstract fight, so...
nessreader
Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)

I bloody bought Excess Baggage (still bitter) Have never seen anyone overact reading a broadsheet before. What annoyed me about it was that the 2 scriptwriters are legends in the BBC, have done amazing sitcoms way back a couple decades ago. But when they did a story in a US setting, they lost their nerve quotey lines and interesting characters and all the things that made their better work memorable.
(no subject) - c_regalis - Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 2nd, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neu111 - Jul. 2nd, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
"knew what I was getting" - nessreader - Jul. 2nd, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neu111 - Jul. 2nd, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
nessreader
Jul. 2nd, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)

O thank you for posting this - he is so interesting when he lets himself think in public. I also really like the journalist's comment about "map of reflective surfaces that is his work."
c_regalis
Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he is. Then again, isn't he always? :D?

And yeah, I like that comment too. It's like poetry and it describes especially Billy pretty damn good.
(no subject) - nessreader - Jul. 2nd, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Jul. 10th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
surya74
Jul. 3rd, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for fueling my new obsession that is CKR! Awesome article, awesome archive (I've spent far too much time at lately)! This guy has a unique and honest style of acting I utterly adore. And, on a shallow note, he is oh so hot...<3
c_regalis
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
for fueling my new obsession that is CKR!

Ha! You are very welcome indeeeeed. *g*

(I've spent far too much time at lately)!

\c/\c/\c/ <- *wins a lot*

And yeah, he is a pretty awesome actor in (almost) everything that he apperas in (no matter how crappy the part). And yes. That too. :)
love_jackianto
Jul. 3rd, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting the article; I've heard people talk about it, but I've never seen it. How I love Callum.
c_regalis
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
\c/ Love for Callum is very much appreciated here, so you are WELCOME. We are trying to collect all his articles and interviews here. Sadly, some seem to be lost already, but we'll do what we can.
kuonji14
Jun. 17th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you. What a gorgeous article.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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