MAG: Well, the minute you accept the job, you are accepting to be in front of 40 or 50 people, and having someone tell you that you aren’t doing your job well. Most of the time I’m not going to direct myself, and I need a director to help me navigate the story. It’s just insane knowing that, considering how the movie turned out. Jean-Marc wanted to shoot in Jerusalem but there was no insurance company that wanted to cover the shoot so they opted for Morocco. We had the wrap party and then eight of us went for two weeks to Morocco. I’m not necessarily looking for a friend, but for someone that I’m going to respect, that I’m going to be comfortable talking to, be honest with. And then there was one producer left and he was doing television and he wanted to do features and he met with Jean-Marc and he said “I’ll do it”.
We all had a lot of freedom to come up with our own interpretations. We talked about the part for a while from the first draft he sent me and I really liked the whole thing, but there was still a lot of stuff that I wasn’t totally comfortable with that we addressed and he was really open to.What was it like working with having the writer, Jay Baruchel, on set a lot of the time and having to act opposite him in one of the film’s major scenes? Because, you know, it’s tricky when you play a French Canadian, as a French Canadian, and the only one in the film, and you’re playing a douchy asshole, and even though it’s a comedy you don’t want to fall into this category where French Canadians are going to look at you like it’s being offensive. It’s funnier this way because I’m playing a character who doesn’t speak English well, not because he can’t, but because he doesn’t care.And the whole prep of the movie where the costume designers are calling you up to set up looks for the character, you know, I just imagined someone like Ovechkin, you know, really, like, him in a party with a bunch of bling and Ed Hardy.I Google image searched a lot of Alexander Ovechkin party pictures a couple years ago while trying to find the look, and the costume designer had a lot of fun going around shopping for the clothes, especially in Winnipeg where we were shooting.His sketchy older brother shows up and they end up in a bad situation. I really wanted to do the show even more after coming out of the audition, and he has been was really easy to work. MAG: He plays the bad guy, but he is a nice gentle funny guy. We talked a lot about the UK, Ireland and the Brits, the culture and the French. But you can’t be too involved in the character because you are just going to be depressed all the time. I am always on TV or movie sets, so I feel really feel comfortable regardless of what I do. Sometimes people look down at the drivers, or the runners, but you know what, if your driver is late, the whole shoot is fucked up the rest of the day. That is why even if I love a script, I will always ask to meet the director, just to see if I can trust that person enough. Right now is the only time where I am not questioning myself, and hoping that there is going to be another season of It’s a beautiful project. I just went back a month ago to do some pick-ups and I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it. It’s set in France as if they didn’t have electricity, just coal. In Quebec, in Canada, we censor our stories a lot because we say “o no, we aren’t going to be able to get the money if we say that so let’s not write it.
It was just really interesting to have conversations that you don’t usually have when you work in France or in Canada. Or if the runners are in a bad mood, or not doing their job well, it affects everyone. Everyone has a job to do, and when everyone is doing their job well, it makes everyone happy and everyone can enjoy it. A: How do you get to the point that you are able to be vulnerable on set? To accept the fact that he is going to criticize what I’m doing, and push me forward. I’m going to set it somewhere easy and cheap to shoot, put it in Gaspésie, not New York City.” He never held himself back, he let go, and he allowed himself to write what he wanted to write and then he went to every single producer in Montreal and they all said no. He has a family, and a company that specializes in cleaning; doing the jobs that other companies don’t want to do. A: How has it been working with the cast of Denis Ménochet, Brendan Coyle and Miranda Raison? Especially with Denis who I have most of my scenes with. When you see him act, he plays a charismatic bad guy, and then you sit down and he is super light, and smiling and talking about a bunch of stuff. MAG: Well, most of the time when you do something really dramatic, that’s when you need to compensate and have more fun off camera. You meet a lot of really talented people and it takes a lot of talented people to make a movie. He spent almost 10 years on and off writing that script and the story changed a lot, the character changed a lot. He was touched by the story and he was inspired, he asked him to write down notes from his childhood and Jean-Marc took that and mixed it with his own memories and created this story. Whenever someone dies and the police find the body three months later, he takes care of it. When I auditioned with him, it clicked really quickly. I have done some movies that are inspired by true events and it is heavy, because you know that those things really happened. I was a production assistant, props master, whatever I do I am just going to be happy to be on set. It doesn’t just take an amazing actor, or director or writer. There are no jobs on a set that don’t affect everyone. There hasn’t been one year in the last 10 years, well more than ten years, that I haven’t questioned myself or doubted what I was doing. It’s dark and dirty because of the coal, so it’s pretty interesting. The reason he is able to make such movies and continues to, is because he doesn’t censor himself. So the minute we started shooting and after talking with Jay we knew what we had to do in order to stick to the character, and Jay was always on set which felt good to have him always looking at what I was doing.When you’re getting scrutinized like that, you’re more assured that you must not suck that much, or else someone would say something., especially with Michael and Jay, so you finish your day and you know if they’re satisfied or not. He seems about as far away from the flashy and occasionally loathsome burnt out hockey hotshot Xavier Laflamme.