A c:c Monte-Carlóban: Szarok én az imidzsemre (I don’t give a crap about my image)
Alkoholistából karakterszínész (Character actor out of an alcoholic)
2010.06.30 - sixx
No one would be able to tell that CKR is 50 years old. He’s been in the business since 1993 although he's been interested in acting from the age of 25, but after some not so successful plays he started drinking, and didn’t stop until 1990. He’s a severe alcoholic and all those who’re aware of this disease know not to talk about it in the past tense – although when he does, he says he's been clean since 1993 and he hasn’t drunk a drop since then. From his smaller parts, Memento and eXistenZ might be known, and he was one of the Cyclon characters in Battlestar Galactica.
I’ve got time to look through his biography because Callum is late for the interview. After ten minutes I start getting worried and I ask one of the helpful assistant girls to have a look and check what happened to the three o’clock interview. The actor’s PR girl comes in blushing and says that there’s a slight delay, because it’s hard to shut Callum up. It's every reporter’s dream to have a talkative subject, one who doesn’t communicate in sparse sentences, like the gorgeous lead actress of V, Morena Baccarin. I haven’t talked to her, but a colleague of mine had to sweat to get half a page together. 'Let’s go, Keith is on the terrace', says the PR girl, who (as is common in the profession) is tall and good looking.
Rennie is sitting on a designer chair which looks rather uncomfortable, wearing jeans and a dark grey shirt, and is drinking a coffee. He looks a bit tired and irritated, just like I’d imagine an actor who’s had to deal with interviews all day long since 11 o’clock. 'Is it okay, if we do this outside? I’ve been dying for a smoke, sorry.' Not a problem at all, this way I can smoke myself, too. 'Try this, don’t smoke that crap. Natural American Spirit, do you know it?' Yeah, I’ve seen it in commercials. I ask him whether I can write about him smoking. Since it’s image and all. 'Sure. I don’t give a crap about my image.' We’re smoking when Rennie points at my Battlestar Galactica t-shirt. 'Can I have this? I love the design.' It’s an XXL size, I point out, and besides I don’t have another one with me. He nods - reasonable excuse. I first ask him about Battlestar Galactica.
'It’s been the most pleasant experience of my life. It started out like all the other tv projects, my agent told me that they were shooting a sci fi pilot in Vancouver and that there was a side role that would be perfect for me. Alright, I’ll go, I said, but I’d had it with guest roles and would have liked to shoot my own movie - but then you’ve gotta eat. This was in 2003, at the time of the mini series. I wasn’t even in the first episode, only in the second, but the part was really good, although I didn’t quite get the last scene where there is a duplicate of Leoben from the first reading. Then they explained it to me, which helped a lot, cause when I had scenes with Eddie (Edward James Olmos), I started to create a kind of doubt towards Leoben from the first scene on.
We finished filming, everyone said goodbye and everyone went home like ok, it’s time for a new job. I did two movies and a tv episode, then they called me and told me that there would be a series made out of this thing and that they were counting on me. I’ve played in 20 episodes during those 5 years and also in the movie called 'The Plan' and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The crew is amazing, we were a big family, and this is not an exaggeration or crap talk, even though I know they’re all saying this, but we really were close to each other. We’ve become really close friends with Katee (Katee Sackhoff), we’ve had incredibly intense scenes, for which I will always be grateful to her, and besides, she’s a great woman, right?'
Yeah she is, I nod. And the end of the show? 'If I’m satisfied? It’s weird, cause when you’re doing it, you only really know your own scenes, the big picture only gets together when you see the end product, so in this regard I had no idea about the end while we were filming, I only knew about my own character. When I got the raw version, I wasn’t in the last scene with Baltar and Six and I kind of liked that better, although that’s only my opinion.' Rennie got a 3-episode guest role in 24 after BSG, which he deflects with a wave. 'This has been another job among many. I don’t want to always be the bad guy, so in this case I didn’t mind them killing me off.'
In addition to the sci-fi series filming he also got an important role in the second season of Californication: he played music producer Lew Ashby. 'That was a fucking awesome role, I really liked the guy. I can only thank David (David Duchovny), you should really write that in your article, he’s a great guy. He made it happen that I could get the job, cause the studio didn’t really want me. There really had been a music producer who behaved like that, and they all become like that after a while in my opinion and then they either survive or they don’t. Now you see, him, I did regret to have been killed off, I would have loved to work some more years with David.'
We start talking about Canadian productions and I point out that there has been a lot of good products recently, beginning with Durham County, continuing with Flashpoint, The Border and most recently The Bridge, not mentioning Rennie’s new series, a crime series called Shattered, where he plays a detective with a multiple personality disorder. This had seemed to me a bit farfetched from reality. I can hardly imagine a Mr. Hyde looking into my, let’s say, cat’s kidnapping. 'But that’s the most realistic about it all, trust me. There is a detective in Canada who’s suffering from this disease and he’s working like that, I’m not kidding you. I’ve talked to him several times and I’ve read loads of books about this illness, you can keep it in line with specific medication. The punchline about the story, I mean the series, is that my character doesn’t know that he’s sick and in the beginning he doesn’t understand what’s going on, but that’s what makes it so exciting. The writers have created an amazing story, there will be quite a few alternate personalities of my character in the first 13 episodes, I think the audience will like it. A friend of mine is producing 'The Bridge' by the way, so I’ll tell him that there also fans of the show in Hungary.'
At the end we talk about Edmonton, the town where Rennie grew up, and about the Oilers, the hockey team he’s rooting for. 'I love to play and we still get together with friends, and if the weather’s right, we go out onto the ice. I grew up under Gretzky’s magical spell, he was an amazing player.' True, but he wouldn’t have been anybody without Messier, I say. 'You’re right here, but not only Mess, the whole team was necessary for success. Then and there a team was created that could do wonders and I’ve always appreciated that. It’s just like a good movie or series with a great script and a great crew and director. It’s a magical feeling.'
from here, translated from the Hungarian by akasha_lilian, thanks to roadrunner1896