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by Lynne McNamara, Vancouver Sun, January 23, 2002

Callum Keith Rennie has been called "the coolest actor in Canada." Best known for his edgy role as rocker Billy Tallent in Bruce McDonald's punkumentary Hard Core Logo, over the past decade Rennie has become a favourite of leading Canadian directors with starring roles in Mina Shum's Double Happiness, John L'Ecuyer's Curtis' Charm, Don McKellar's Last Night (for which the actor won a Genie), David Cronenberg's eXistenZ, and Lynne Stopkewich's Suspicious River, which earned him a Leo.

He also had a role in American director Chris Nolen's recent hit Memento and is on the ice in the upcoming hockey sequel Slap Shot 2.

On the TV side, Rennie is probably best known for his Gemini-winning regular role in the kids' series My Life as a Dog, for his guest-star turns on Nikita, for a costarring role on Due South (where he played Chicago Detective Stanley Kowalski) and roles on Twitch City and Da Vinci's Inquest.

But his latest part may prove to be the most shocking. Forty-one-year-old Rennie becomes a grandfather in Keith Behrman's low-budget indie Flower & Garnet.

In the film, he plays Ed, a father of two who has never recovered from his wife's death several years earlier. "He's just getting by. He's not a bad person, he just doesn't understand how to get through this thing that happened. It colours both relationships with his children, Flower and Garnet (played by Vancouver actors Jane McGregor and Colin Roberts). Both of them have to live out some of his problems. It starts with a death and ends with a birth. Full circle," explains Rennie, shivering outside the film's St. Mary's Hospital set in New Westminster.

Born in Sunderland, England, Rennie travelled across the pond with his family at the age of four, landing in Edmonton, where he grew up. There he began his acting career on stage in his mid-20s. Early on he gained a tough-guy reputation -- a nasty 1993 Vancouver bar brawl left a sliver of glass in his left eye, almost costing the sight. That was the end of his boozing days.

So is he still looking for edgy roles? The question cracks him up.

"See I don't know, I think that's a version of me that people have decided to look at ... I guess if you look at Twitch [City], Hard Core Logo, some of the Bruce McDonald projects, it's a bit more rock and roll, but Double Happiness, or Curtis' Charm ... Okay some of them are ... [dissolves into laughter]."

And how about his 1993 film with the provocative title, Frank's Cock?

"Oh yeah, that's a bit off," he says, calling the experimental short "really quite brilliant."

And the same year, his very first film, Purple Toast -- what was he thinking? "I know," he says and grins. "Exactly." Again, he cracks up.

"Hey, you're startin' out!" he adds, doubling over. "Actually, Frank's Cock is a good film. It's a great film, actually. Super effective. I've never seen it. I've seen bits and pieces."

In the past couple of years, in fact, Rennie hasn't looked at any of his own films. "I think there was a narcissism that existed originally and a need to watch the results of what I was doing. But lately, I just want to be in the moment of what's happening and try not to think that I'll ever see it, 'cause I don't need to see myself."

"I need to be there. I don't need to be thinking about myself down the road. It's always disconcerting, so I thought maybe I won't put myself through that for a while and see how I feel."

And why Flower & Garnet? "I knew he (Behrman) was going to handle this film delicately -- it's a delicate piece and I haven't done that in a while. I haven't done grassroots Canadian -- well that's not true," he says recalling his work with McDonald and Stopkewich. "I'm full of s---," he adds with a smile.

Found here.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Aww...and that's why we love him. Very cute interview. I think I had this, but wasn't sure, so I saved a copy. Thank you!!
Mar. 9th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
That's why I want to put them up here. A lot of those have been posted before, but I never remember where and when. So, you know?

And yes, very cute indeed. :)
Mar. 9th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
"I'm full of s---," he adds with a smile."

Amen! *lubs very much*
Mar. 9th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
*g* Indeed. <3
Mar. 9th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)

And I love you for undertaking this project, because while I've read many of these (although I think not this one) it's really great to have them all in one place!
Mar. 9th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
That's what I thought as well! *beams*

And thank you! <3
Mar. 10th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
is on the ice in the upcoming hockey sequel Slap Shot 2.

Forty-one-year-old Rennie becomes a grandfather in Keith Behrman's low-budget indie Flower & Garnet.
I've seen the movie, and read this article already. But it's the first time I realize he played a grandfather.

Also, it gives another perspective to re-read these articles here. Nice!

Mar. 11th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
But it's the first time I realize he played a grandfather.

Uh-huh. Me too. Strange, isn't it?
Feb. 12th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Great articles and insight.
Thanks so much for these kinds of articles. Since discovering Mr.Rennie I've discovered films and series really worth watching! What haunts me is that the theatre bug bit me at age 21 and though I took professional classes I only ever did community theatre, a little semiprofessional stuff and film extra work, because I felt it was "egomaniacle" as Callum once said to suddenly decide to become an actor! I became a special ed teacher...but a really good one, I think.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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