The mad­ness and the man

Up close and per­sonal with Colm Fe­ore, who tack­les one of Shake­speare’s most chal­leng­ing roles, King Lear, at this sea­son’s Strat­ford Fes­ti­val by Ron John­son

Midtown Post - - News -

Colm Fe­ore acts. He does it in Hol­ly­wood block­buster films, small but com­pelling roles in Cana­dian TV and, first and fore­most, as a mem­ber of the Strat­ford Fes­ti­val of Canada. This sum­mer, Fe­ore, com­ing off a bad-guy role in The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2, stars in King Lear— one of Shake­speare’s most chal­leng­ing roles. What was your first re­ac­tion when ap­proached with the pos­si­bil­ity of do­ing the role of King Lear at Strat­ford this sea­son? What a ter­ri­ble idea. It’s a dumb thing to do. But it’s crazy enough to work. I wish I’d done it at 35. It is way too hard to do prop­erly; it is a roller coaster of phys­i­cal and emo­tional stamina. But I’m re­ally glad that I’m get­ting to do it now. Why are people still in­ter­ested in see­ing King

Lear, and how is it still rel­e­vant? It is sim­ply the finest play prob­a­bly ever writ­ten. It speaks most di­rectly to us as civ­i­lized com­mu­nal be­ings, as evolved mam­mals who came down from the trees, nur­tur­ing, nurs­ing, pet­ting each other to de­velop in ways that are com­mu­nal, gre­gar­i­ous, en­gaged. Lear is all about fam­ily, tribe, com­mu­nity.… It is rel­e­vant to all of us ev­ery day. We need sim­ple, un­var­nished truth. You had to miss the pre­miere of The Amaz­ing

Spi­der-Man 2 for re­hearsals. That must have

been tough. That was a pesky prob­lem. I thought maybe I could just get out of it, have some­one else read the lines. I had a very dis­ap­pointed 17-year-old on my hands who was plan­ning on whisk­ing Andrew Garfield away from Emma Stone. You have quite the rep­u­ta­tion for play­ing bad guys in film. Who’s your favourite? Oh they are all fun. It’s not bad to be a frost

gi­ant in Thor; that was fun. But my guy in Spi­der-Man, he’s not evil, he’s just con­trol­ling. He has a plan, and if you get in the way, that’s a prob­lem. What orig­i­nally in­spired you to pur­sue act­ing? My par­ents, God bless them, took it as some sort of en­dorse­ment that I got ac­cepted into such an exclusive venue as the Na­tional Theatre School. So, I thought, well, why not give it a try. By the time I fin­ished, I had a craft, a tiny piece of paper stat­ing that I’d been there a while, noth­ing else. I set to work on an ap­pren­tice­ship, and I’ve worked ever since, partly through de­sire and partly that I’ve fi­nally been do­ing this so long I can’t think of any­thing else to do. What’s your fond­est mem­ory of Strat­ford? I’m mak­ing new mem­o­ries there ev­ery day. I an­tic­i­pate that what will be­come my fond­est mem­ory will be show day,

when there is a mati­nee of King Lear and an evening per­for­mance of my wife’s

Crazy for You, with my chil­dren in at­ten­dance. So, I can say, ‘Kids, this is what your crazy par­ents have been do­ing. We need you to go out and be­come doc­tors and lawyers or what­ever else.

Cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary this year ( June 13 to 22, 2014), the North by North­east Fes­ti­val (NXNE) re­mains the per­fect plat­form for emerg­ing artists and ma­jor­la­bel head­lin­ers. Al­though some of NXNE’s alumni in­clude huge chart-top­ping bands, such as Bare­naked Ladies and Bro­ken So­cial Scene, other less high­pro­file bands de­serve men­tion. One band in par­tic­u­lar had a hit that helped de­fine the ’90s — NXNE alum and Toronto pop group Len.

Len was founded by sib­lings Marc and Sharon Costanzo and are best known for their sug­arysweet pop hit “Steal My Sun­shine,” which co­in­ci­den­tally cel­e­brates its 15th an­niver­sary this year.

The brother-sis­ter duo re­leased their first al­bum,

Su­per­star, in 1995 and se­cured a spot per­form­ing at the NXNE

fes­ti­val that year. Back then, the mu­si­cal cli­mate was teem­ing with funky pop bands such as S Club 7 and Su­gar Ray. Len had no prob­lems fit­ting in.

Re­cently, NXNE fes­ti­val reps have even paid homage to Len on the NXNE web­site with a throw­back to 1995 stat­ing, “Len also played … be­cause it was the nineties.”

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