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Rennie's Hot On Ice (article)



by Steve Tilley, The Edmonton Sun, March 22, 2001

Callum Keith Rennie is now officially the coolest actor in Canada.

Not because he grew up in Edmonton and still visits often, though that certainly has something to do with it. Not because he's starred in seminal Canadian indie flicks like Hard Core Logo and Last Night, or our country's most popular TV export, Due South.

No, Rennie is officially the coolest actor in Canada because he's going to be in Slap Shot II. Yes, you read that right. A sequel to the greatest. Hockey film. Of. All. Time.

"Yep," a clearly pleased Rennie said yesterday, on his cellphone after wrapping up a rehearsal for the shooting-in-Vancouver feature. "Monday was the first day on ice."

Given that the interview was supposed to be about Rennie's co-starring role in Suspicious River, screening tonight at the Local Heroes International Film festival, it was tough to be polite and not grill the actor mercilessly about this revelation.

Rennie did say he's playing a character who's sort of an amalgamation of two characters from the 1977 original, which starred Paul Newman and introduced the world to the Hanson Brothers.

"They originally wanted me to come in for some other part and I said, 'Look, I'm 40.' "

Like any red-blooded Canadian kid, Rennie played minor hockey while growing up in Edmonton. When working in Los Angeles, he also plays pickup games with other actors from Toronto and Vancouver.

"As soon as I started spending time in L.A., I needed a lot of distraction," said Rennie. "When I'm down south, I just feel like I'm in a foreign country, and I'm away from friends and people who keep me connected and interested in what I do."

No doubt, eh. Not that Rennie is spending undue amounts of time south of the border. The bulk of his recent films have been with top-flight Canadian directors like Bruce McDonald, David Cronenberg, Don McKellar and Suspicious River's Lynne Stopkewich.

Not bad, considering Rennie didn't begin seriously pursuing an acting career until his early 30s. While growing up here, he worked at odd jobs, attended the U of A for a while, and drank. A lot.

A bar fight that ended up with a window being shattered and a sliver of glass lodged in Rennie's left eye (which he nearly lost sight in as a result) became a kind of epiphany. He went off the booze and got serious about acting.

His breakthrough role was as Sandra Oh's nerdy boyfriend in 1994's Double Happiness, with John L'Ecuyer's Curtis's Charm and Bruce McDonald's punk band mockumentary Hard Core Logo (also starring the Headstones' Hugh Dillon) following in successive years.

And although he prefers film over TV, Rennie is probably best known for his Gemini Award-winning role in the kids' series My Life as a Dog, the recurring character he played in Nikita, and especially for Due South, in which he played Chicago Det. Stanley Kowalski opposite Paul Gross's Mountie.

Suspicious River sees Rennie playing a dangerous drifter who fulfils Molly Parker's character's disturbing desires.

"In the book (by author Laura Kasischke) the character is described as unremarkable, and I kind of liked that," Rennie said.

"He wasn't this, he wasn't that. He's one of those characters that's a fine line to play, so he's somewhat sympathetic in some way."

Found here.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
china_shop
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
o.O (ETA: And that's just to the link text. *g*)

Edited at 2008-03-26 09:50 pm (UTC)
c_regalis
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
See? SEE? Apparently it seemed like a good idea at that time. Even though they must have known about the Baldwin already. Hm.
china_shop
Mar. 26th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Hee! I haven't seen it. Which Baldwin?

(Also, the idea of Callum being best known for (among other things) being a BotW on Nikita is... just wrong.)
c_regalis
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Like I know. One of the Baldwins. Not Alec. And not the good Baldwin (Adam). One of the other Baldwins. Stephen?

Callum being best known for (among other things) being a BotW on Nikita is... just wrong.

Well, that was 2001! Still, why that? Why not Hard Core Logo? Why does HCL make him cool (although not as cool as being in Slap Shot 2), but not well known? Why so weird, world? Although he was quite awesome in Nikita. And it got him the job on Due South, no? I think I read that somewhere. I think George Bloomfield was the director or something.
vsee
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
I really like watching him skate. I hung on to the DVD of SS2 longer than necessary before sending it back to Netflix, on the theory that I might watch parts of it again to get to watch him skate. It never happened, but now Netflix is under the impression that I love it so much that I kept it for a week. *g* My secret shame!

That said, I am surprised that he's supposed to have as much experience on skates as this implies. I've always read his skating as the same kind of confident fakery that his "guitar playing" is. Granted, I didn't watch SS2 all that closely. :)

Strange little article, thanks much for digging it up.

ETA: You know, at some point, I would love to see a CKR on skates picspam. I have a bit of a thing, and I was just talking with someone the other day who has never seen most of the C6D stuff, including anything he's skated in. She couldn't believe that he could do it. Do you take requests, c? :)

Edited at 2008-03-27 12:07 am (UTC)
scriggle
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
Callum's quite good on skates. If you want to see him skate, you don't have to watch SS2 again. He skates in 2 or 3 eps of My Life as a Dog. I much prefer to watch Johnny over Palmberg. *g*
vsee
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
I've watched that quite a bit--it is my friend who has never seen him skate at all. And yeah, I couldn't bring myself to put that rotten movie back in the player, even for the sake of that kind of good thing.
c_regalis
Mar. 28th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
but now Netflix is under the impression that I love it so much that I kept it for a week. *g* My secret shame!

HEE! Not SO secret anymore now. *g*

And... I am not really sure if you can actually fake skating. I was always assuming that all Canadians can skate. Or something.

And ooh, a CKR skating picspam? Not easy do do. There's only SS2 and MLaaD, and the only available MLaaD copy is pretty bad quality. Plus, it's skating. Not sure if pictures actually do it justice. Hmm. I'll have to think about it. Might be interesting to see if it can be done.
vsee
Mar. 29th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
I may well swoon if you manage it. :)
bluebelle789
Mar. 26th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
It really was one of those "looks good on paper" scenarios, wasn't it. End result = Why, Callum? WHY?!!! *weeps a little*
c_regalis
Mar. 28th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
It must have looked good, yeah. For some reason. I still don't quite get it. THERE WAS A BALDWIN. ARE THEY BLIND?
gammaraychick
Mar. 27th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Wow - I can think of several words that could be used to describe Suspicious River's Gary. "Sympathetic" is NOT one of them.
c_regalis
Mar. 28th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Yes! It's really strange, isn't it? Because... yeah. I mean, maybe, maybe just a little bit... then again... no. /c\
neu111
Mar. 27th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
"Yep," a clearly pleased Rennie said yesterday, on his cellphone after wrapping up a rehearsal for the shooting-in-Vancouver feature. "Monday was the first day on ice."
He never spoke of it after, did he?

"They originally wanted me to come in for some other part and I said, 'Look, I'm 40.' "
Which other part would that be? Kinda remember one guy in the team was younger than the others - that one? To be noted, for when I watch it next...

"He's one of those characters that's a fine line to play, so he's somewhat sympathetic in some way."
Oh, Callum, please explain some way. He is somewhat sympathetic in some way before we find out what a bastard he is - other than that?

c_regalis
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
He never spoke of it after , did he?

HEE! And, um, no, not that I know of. How strange.

Kinda remember one guy in the team was younger than the others - that one? To be noted, for when I watch it next...

I always was assuming he meant that guy, yes. I would have been quite grateful if he had been played by someone else. Anyone else. No Baldwin though. /c\

before we find out what a bastard he is - other than that?

Even then. Gary is just... um. No.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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