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Actor Still Blossoming (article)

By Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Sun, October 3, 2002

Callum Keith Rennie insists he only looks like the busiest actor in Canada. In a decade of working in showbusiness, Rennie has appeared in more than 50 feature films and TV shows.

“I don’t take everything that’s offered to me, but there’s plenty of jobs to go around if you’re willing to pursue them,” says Rennie, adding, “but I like my career and I am happy with the way it has worked out.”

Rennie was born in England, raised in Edmonton and educated in Calgary and Victoria.

He has appeared in such films as Memento and on such series as Due South but it’s his dedication to small independent films that has made him one of the most respected Canadian actors of his generation.

He popped in from his home in Vancouver for the festival presentation of the powerful family drama Flower & Garnet which screens Oct. 4 at the Globe 2 Cinema at 9 p.m.

In Flower & Garnet, Rennie plays a man so devastated by his wife’s death that he alienates himself from his daughter and son. Eight years after her death giving birth to their son, he is forced to deal with more tragedies that his emotional absence has caused.

He has nothing but praise for Jane McGregor and Colin Roberts who play his children and for director Keith Behrman who he says “had a really delicate hand when it came to working with these young actors yet he never condescended to them which explains why he got the performances he did.”

For his part, Rennie says he “stayed his distance” from McGregor and Roberts.

“That was the relationship my character has with them and I thought it was important I have the same kind of relationship.

“A film like Flower & Garnet can be as emotionally wrenching for the actors while filming as it is for audiences as they watch the story unfold. Your emotions definitely get pushed and pulled. At certain times your own personal experiences resurface. I pretended I could just wash it all away at the end of each day but often it was just pretending. Things lingered.”

One thing that has not lingered and for which Rennie has no regrets is a decision he made in his first year as a struggling Vancouver actor.

He turned down the role of Alex Krycek on The X-Files.

“I didn’t have any money back then, but the offer they made me wasn’t fair. I refuse to have regrets. It’s the same as with a relationship that doesn’t work out. You move on forget about it.”


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
i really loved that movie. the father/child relationship was so well done and was so moving, so true to life at times that it was hard to watch. i especially loved jane mcgregor's performance in the film.
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
This movie is among my CKR favourites, too. I think all the actors were indeed excellent. My favourite scene is when Ed tells Garnet he's sorry and tears up.
Jan. 18th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
the one that really got me was the delivery scene. first of all, as someone who has actually given birth, that was one of the most realistic birthing scenes i have ever seen on film. it's the part where ed is holding flower's hand as she's breathing and then as the labor gets more intense, you can see him start to remember his wife and he lets go of her hand and leaves the room. that scene damn near broke me.
Jan. 18th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
I've never given birth, but I thought that scene looked very realistic, too. And I remember the terrified look on Ed's face. All the actors did such a great and subtle job, nothing was overplayed. I hope we'll see more movies like this one with him.
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Love those insights into CKR's acting, in his words. Specially for this movie. Flower & Garnet was really a turning point for him. Thanks for posting!
Jan. 18th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Love those insights into CKR's acting, in his words.

Yep, especially this got me thinking:
Your emotions definitely get pushed and pulled. At certain times your own personal experiences resurface.

Also, this about the X-Files was new to me:
I didn’t have any money back then, but the offer they made me wasn’t fair.

Of course he made amazing stuff instead of X-Files, but a tiny part of me wished he wouldn't have turned down the X-Files job. Because then it wouldn't have taken me until last year to discover him. ;)

Icon twin! *glomps*

Jan. 19th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Great find, I love reading interviews. It's a wonderful quote on Flower and Garnet. Wouldn't it be nice have him talk more on that "resurfacing experiences" part? :)

I was surprised to read that he was essentially broke at the time. I heard him say that money reason, not that explicit though. It was in the Battlestar Galactica interview (click).


Also, another thing I picked up from IMDB, so let's see if
this is right then, is that you were offered the role of Alex Krycek on X-Files.


That is true? But you turned it down, because you didn't want to commit to a regular series role?

Well... That was sort of a money thing that we sort of agreed to, my manager and I, at the time. And we felt like it wasn't met. I mean, it wasn't an exorbitant amount of money. The show had just started to take off as the sort of culture hit it was going to become and there was no real, you know... Part of it was me being locked into a show, and at that time I don't think I was ready. I was still very new to the industry, so I thought it would be better that if it wasn't going to be a good financial reward over the next couple of years, then it would be better for me to work on as many projects as I could, starting as late as I did. For me to play a whole bunch of things and to figure out myself through the industry was probably better off for me.

Did you regret the decision afterwards?



No, that's the thing to me. You make those choices. It wasn't about the money. It was more about what I needed. It's always implied, that okay, if you don't take this it will be foolish, but at the same time you have to trust that the kind of work you want to do, is what I wanted to do, so... The character always dangled as you could be rewarded with this... It depends on what you want to commit to and what kind of work you want to do.
Jan. 19th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks for quoting this, Ela! :D I was about to look for it for comparison purposes.

Wouldn't it be nice have him talk more on that "resurfacing experiences" part?

Jan. 20th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
I would have loved to see Callum on another weekly tv show, but Alex Krycek was such a bastard I'm glad he passed on the role. But I'd like to know what he means by this:

“I didn’t have any money back then, but the offer they made me wasn’t fair.

Love this guy so much.
Jan. 20th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
I guess he would have managed to make even Krycek somehow likeable, don't you think?

Love this guy so much.
Me, too. :)
Jan. 31st, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm a recent CKR fan, but I'm also an X-phile and maybe he would have been great in Alex Krycek but Nicholas Lea made a VERY good Krycek... And I don't imagine Alex played by anyone else, not even CKR :)

Now, I can't seem to be able to find Flowers and Garnett anywhere... :(
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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