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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.


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?



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