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Another interview from Monte Carlo TV Festival

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


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 4th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
What a great article!
Jul. 4th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is! Sounds more "natural" than some.

You can read a funnier version at my lj, luckily akasha_lilian came in to put some sense into it :D
(no subject) - love_jackianto - Jul. 5th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Great read :D thanks for posting and a big thanks to akasha_lilan for translating, because the other version was funny but confusing :)
Jul. 4th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
We've been lucky to have her on-board! Would have been a shame to miss a great article.
Jul. 4th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
\o/ Brilliant article. He comes across so relaxed, too. :D

'That was a fucking awesome role, I really liked the guy.

Me too. I still miss Ashby!

Thanks for posting! <3
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Kudos to the interviewer for achieving this!

I still miss Ashby too. I'm not sure how it would have turned out though with him staying on the show - apart from the pleasure to have more Callum. I wish that at least he'd got his happy ending *sighs*
Jul. 4th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
there’s a slight delay, because it’s hard to shut Callum up.

I'm also relieved that Google translator was wrong re: problems with a certain body part. Ahem.

Thank you, ladies!!! Awesome job, awesome interview.
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
I'm not so surprised with talkative Callum. Often happens with shy people, when they get in the mood...

Google's got a great sense of humor :D
(no subject) - shelley6441 - Jul. 6th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Interesting interview (though not as wacky as the first translation). I miss Ashby, but it made sense for the show for it to end the way it did.
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Well, it's great to have both versions! Though the first one would have me fearing Callum was suffering from Tourette syndrome or something :D

I share your thoughts on Ashby *still- sighs*
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
LOL! First things first: I'm Hungarian. Few weeks ago, I mentioned some other place (at scriggle's LJ), the interviewer (who is a big fan of BSG, btw) offered he'd mediate fan questions to Callum.

*goes to check the translation*
Jul. 4th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
It's a PERFECT translation!
(no subject) - neu111 - Jul. 4th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - candibearblog - Jul. 4th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neu111 - Jul. 4th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ride_4ever - Apr. 1st, 2017 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
Hey, I learned something new; I didn't know he grew up in Edmonton. Kind of funny that my two biggest celeb crushes grew up in the same town...
Jul. 5th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Good breeding place then!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 5th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean, he's definitely relaxed in this one, without forcing the charm - he doesn't have to :)

cracky, in double italic even! but it's great to have it, for real!

he had *sadface* about saying good-bye to Ashby too
the only show where he got to play golf with kilt and motorbike boots \o/
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - neu111 - Jul. 6th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 5th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
IMO, it's a wrong quote or the girl didn't know him that well. In fact, in pics he's often called "Keith Rennie Callum" or any other combination, probably because people know "Keith" better as a first name than "Callum" specially in France...
Jul. 5th, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
Awesome interview, thanks for posting this version also. \n/ \a/
Jul. 5th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)

Yes, it's great to have this one also :D
Jul. 5th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
I'm very disappointed to find no mention of cats solving murders. This article really loses something when translated property.

But it's a good article anyway.

Jul. 6th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm very disappointed to find no mention of cats solving murders.
specially since it's been known to happen...

This article really loses something when translated properly.
Yes. The cats, and- okay, the cats!

But it is a good article :D

Jul. 6th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
He’s a severe alcoholic and all those who’re aware of this disease know not to talk about it in the past tense

My mom had this problem. Needless to say I do not drink alcohol.

but I’d had it with guest roles and would have liked to shoot my own movie - but then you’ve gotta eat.
Jul. 6th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)

Oh, dear, I messed up again.

I'd like to see Callum shoot his own movie, too.

Thank you for posting this!
Jul. 6th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
I do respect the strength it takes to live with a "past" addiction.

And, well, Callum has Shattered now, for which he's one of the producers, so there's that!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 7th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 17th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
he doesn't give a crap about his image? Oh cmon! Give me a break. He does give a crap. He wants to be the guy who doesnt give a crap.

Let me say you fan girls. You don't know him. It is all fake. Nothing of this is real.
Aug. 18th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Well, do you know him? Because you must be extremely sure about the fact that all is just a fake. Or do you mean it generally ?
Aug. 19th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
I know him
personally. This vulernable, very reflective and tormented image that he is presenting in puplic, I wish it would be real, cause it is so lovely isn't it? But unfortunately it is just a false image, he is nothing like this, he is lacking empathy, using people, manipulating, and he can become cruel and heartless even. He has a lot of friends sure, most of them woman though, but he using them all and fooling with them around, playing with them. There is nothing sweet in that.

And if the cameras are off, in privat he bitches about co-workers, friends and ex-girlfriends...all fake, when he is giving an interview, he is acting, that's why he is always so nervous, cause it is hard work.
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