Thursday, January 27, 2005

Additional casting by J. Kelly Nestruck

In the fall of 2003, a few days after I interviewed Canadian actor, writer and director Don McKellar for the first time, I went to interview American indie actor Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction, etc.) about a miniseries he was in called Out of Order. So, Stoltz started talking about what a fan of Canadian actors and filmmakers he is and...
For the second time in the interview the American actor, who splits his time between New York, Los Angeles and his New Mexico ranch, brings up Canadian filmmaking, this time citing his favourite actors. "I like Molly Parker and Don McKellar. I'm a big fan of the film scene up here."

But Stoltz does have one beef with his northern neighbours. "They rarely seem to hire American actors," he complains. "We hire Canadian actors all the time ... probably because Canadian actors are a lot nicer than American actors."

When I tell Stoltz that I was interviewing McKellar the day before (that story ran in Monday's paper), he perks up and perches on the end of his chair. "Were you really? What a coincidence. Gee." He inquires about McKellar's latest projects and so I tell him about the Canadian actor and director's movie called Child Star which will begin filming in November.

"Put it in your article: Eric Stoltz would love to be in Don McKellar's new film," Stoltz instructs me.

All right, will do. If McKellar or any other Canadians would like to see an audition tape, they can tune in to a repeat of the first episode of Out of Order tomorrow night.
Anyway, long story short, Childstar -- Don McKellar second feature as director -- opens in Toronto and Vancouver tomorrow and has a cameo by Stoltz in it. McKellar's producer Jennifer Jonas spotted my Stoltz interview and passed it on to McKellar, who called him up and offered him the part of the titular child star's father.
My latest interview with McKellar about this and other Childstar-related things is online for free at the National Post website:
"Once I thought about it, I realized that Eric was genetically the perfect father to Mark Rendall, who plays the kid, with Jennifer Jason Leigh, because Mark has red hair and sort of Jennifer's face," recalls McKellar. "If you see them together, it's really a perfect family. It's one of the best genetic casting coups of all time that you -- you, sir -- engineered."
Anyway, in case you were wondering, this is a pretty unusual thing to happen in journalism. Thank god Stoltz does a good job and doesn't ruin the movie or anything. If that had happened, I wouldn't be shamelessly bragging about it...

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