Callum Keith Rennie on being Shattered
by Melissa Leong, Canwest News Service
Canadian actor Callum Keith Rennie has more than 100 television and film credits to his name, including Californication, Battlestar Galactica and the film Memento. He earned a Gemini nomination for his role as Det. Stanley Raymond Kowalski on Due South. Now he's back playing a cop, under slightly different circumstances. His character on Shattered, which is premiering on Global this fall, is a homicide detective with multiple personality disorder. He spoke to us about his character's condition.
Q: Your character has multiple personality disorder? As if murder investigations were not complicated enough.
A: He's trying to maintain a life, trying to do his job, and maintaining a hold on who he is.
Q: What triggers his personality switches?
A: For people who suffer from multiple personality disorder, it's stressors and triggers from early childhood experiences and unresolved issues, so it depends on what's going on for him that checks him out. It could be sights, sounds, moments of tension.
Q: How does your character deal with that?
A: He has learned to lie his way through some of it. He loses time and is not completely aware of what happened. He has to solve his own moments of what happened when and through the show, he starts to discuss it with his therapist.
Q: How did you prepare for this role?
A: I picked up a lot of books on the subject, talked to some health care professionals. Some of the work was trying to find out the reality of it, how it functions, how it appears to others. We were trying to find a way to present it in a way that wasn't over the top or trivial. I had a coach and we worked through different characterizations. I have a hard enough time playing one character. We would create different identifies and histories for those individual identities. Each one has a different type of voice, a different type of movement, different lives completely.