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Callum Keith Rennie poses for photographers after accepting his Genie award for Performance by an actor in a Supporting Role for his role in 'Normal' at the Genie Awards in Ottawa on Saturday April 4, 2009.

TORONTO - Canadian actor Callum Keith Rennie has built a career out of playing very bad men.

With roles including a manipulative cylon on "Battlestar Galactica," a bad-boy rocker on "Californication," a serial killer on "Harper's Island," and this fall, a Russian mobster on "24," the rugged performer says it's good to be bad these days.

"I've played it quite a few times," Rennie admits in a recent interview from Los Angeles, where he was shooting three episodes of "24."

"(The bad guy) always has lots of twists and turns, right? You don't get caught into certain styles of having to play it, so I like doing it."

This weekend, Rennie goes bad in a TV remake of one of the most iconic stories of literary lore: the "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

In the three-part miniseries "Tin Man" on Space, the L. Frank Baum novel is reimagined with a modernized, sinister style.

The tale's winged monkeys are replaced by a band of thugs led by Rennie's character Zero, who's dispatched to capture Dorothy.

"He's sort of a henchman who enjoys acting out ... on underlings and trying to make his way up the ladder. And wearing an outfit that's very Nazi-esque and very stylized and Storm Trooperish," says Rennie, drawing comparisons between the leather-clad bruiser's military-goth wardrobe and "Star Wars" armour.

Rennie raves about the blown-out archetypes that populate the series' fantastical realm known as the O.Z. - for Outer Zone - instead of Oz.

Indie favourite Zooey Deschanel portrays the determined heroine, DG - harkening the original's Dorothy Gale - while Neal McDonough is Wyatt Cain, also known as the "Tin Man" for being locked in an iron suit for rebelling against the evil scorceress Azkadellia, herself an incarnation of the Wicked Witch of the West.

In lieu of the Cowardly Lion, Raoul Trujillo plays the fearful but telepathic creature Raw, while Alan Cumming reinterprets the dim-witted Scarecrow as the tortured Glitch, a genius who was robbed of half his brain.

Rennie says he was offered the role by British director Nick Willing, with whom he had been in talks for an unrelated film project in Halifax. He credits Willing's wild vision with crafting a fanciful, even operatic, world tinged with madness.

"I just jumped at it. I had no idea what it would become or be," Rennie says of the miniseries, shot in Vancouver and originally broadcast on the U.S. Sci Fi channel in 2007.

"Some things appear so big that you go, 'Well, how is this going to be accomplished?' And this was one of those. Nick had this sort of energy and enthusiasm and broad stroke view of it, it was like, 'Oh yeah, OK, this should work, this should be fun. And it was all of the above."

"Tin Man" makes its Canadian premiere Saturday on Space and runs through Monday.

Found on July 28th 2009, here, here and here.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Not another Russian bad guy! Oh Callum!

Callum, please take some nice guy roles!
Jul. 29th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
It's probably a totally different Russian bad guy! Maybe he even has good teeth! (And, well, we knew what the chances where for that particular project, right? *waits not so patiently for Shattered*)
Jul. 29th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
Oh I knew he'd end up being a bad guy. I was just hoping to avoid any unfortunate accents. *g*
Jul. 29th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
Right. That wouldn't have been too much to ask, right? Maybe he doesn't get to talk at all.
Jul. 29th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
I was actually kinda of 'meh' when I heard he was going to be on 24...
Jul. 29th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
Well. And now you know why! \o?
Jul. 29th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
"Tin Man" hasn't been shown in Canada yet? I hope the audience doesn't actually expect a "fanciful, even operatic, world tinged with madness." Or that it's actually good, or anything. *hides*

I couldn't watch the whole thing, even though he was in it.

Maybe Callum should start looking before he "jumps at" roles? Sheesh.
Jul. 29th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
Hehe. Yeah, really, I should feel kind of bad for all the 'Oooh, Tin Man! Callum in Tin Man!' people, but somehow? All I can manage is a 'Just wait until you actually SEE it. Mwahaha.' Um. Sorry, Canadians.

Maybe Callum should start looking before he "jumps at" roles? Sheesh.

Well, to be fair, I would have jumped too. It sounded like it could be awesome. Biggest problem was the script (which might actually have been the editing in the end, cut scenes and whatnot) and the CGI. And, well, no one could have known at that stage, right? So, well. I guess I'll forgive hat one. *is totally generous and stuff*
Jul. 29th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)

Didn't he "jump at" Slap Shot two? I vaguely remember an interview bubbling with boyish enthusiasm from before the release. And silence after. */dour*

Tin Man looked pretty, and Glitch was a lot of fun, but I wish along with the rest of you that CKR had a more nuanced part in it.
Jul. 30th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
vaguely remember an interview bubbling with boyish enthusiasm from before the release.
Hee, I know. He was all happy and proud AND he gave up being in Men With Brooms for this. /c\ So it must have seemed like a good idea back then. (It's here btw.)
Jul. 29th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Another new interview! c, you are as busy as Callum, doing your thing. Good for us! \\o//

Russian mobster? Ah, well. But You don't get caught into certain styles of having to play it and since this is really true for him, I'm okay with this. Three episodes is not nearly enough though.

Jul. 29th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
Well, I blame the Canadians! They are all excited about Tin Man and write articles and post them all over the internet. (Poor them, I hope they won't be too disappointed.)

since this is really true for him, I'm okay with this.

See, I like you. You are all optimistic and stuff. *feels a tiny bit more optimistic as well now* \♥/
Jul. 29th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
Dude! ♥ ♥ ♥

Hm. Over the last two months I've watched what felt like a gazillion movies and stuff featuring Callum, but haven't gotten to Tin Man yet. I don't know if I have the strength to skip it. But it can't be worse than Smallville, right?
Jul. 29th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, you shouldn't! Skip it, I mean. Zero is kind of hilarious. Most of the time. And hey, Callum as a grown-up school yard bully in black leather. There's no bad here. (I just wish he wouldn't play ONLY bad guys, that's all.)

Tin Man itself... well. It was a good idea? It's just that they put all the money into the sets and costumes, so that they had nothing left for the script. Or even the CGI. Also, they didn't seem to have time for actual directing. Most of the actors are kind of speaking their lines in the approximate direction of other actors, without any, you know, actual acting involved. (Okay, that might be a bit harsh. A little bit.) Zooey Deschanel as Dorothy D.G. is appallingly bad. And... yeah. There's a post about it here at the CKR Files (Sadly with no pictures anymore. Hm. *writes email to poster*).

Sooo, well. You know?
Jul. 29th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
a Russian mobster on "24"
Aren't we surprised? Maybe he improved his accent and added it on his CV? not that I'd notice that much, still...And yes, as long as no bad teeth are involved *shrugs*

I like doing it.
It kind of shows! Good thing that he enjoys it - he seemed to be more bothered about it some time ago? - and he's not the only actor to say it's more fun and challenging to play a bad guy. But there's nothing left to prove here, mostly, so what about a new challenge? Lucky for him and for us that there are still Canadian productions :)
Jul. 30th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
Aren't we surprised?
Not really, right?

Maybe he improved his accent and added it on his CV?
No more roles without accent from now on! (/c\/c\/c\)
And yes, please at least no bad teeth. I am still kind of traumatized.

And, well, yeah, he is amazing as a bad guy, and it's good that he likes it. And it looks like fun. But still. And yes, he definitely seemed more bothered in the Name of the Game interview, and I seem to remember other, more recent occasions as well.
Maybe it's one of those things that sometimes bother you and sometimes not? Depending on your mood that day? Or maybe he just got used to it and now he makes the best of it. A 'when life hands you lemons make lemonade' kind of thing. Which, you know, on principle, I totally approve of.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )



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