Some­thing fishy about film­maker’s new flick

Don McKel­lar brings new com­edy ‘The Grand Se­duc­tion’ to TIFF Sub­ject: Jor­dan Pren­tice, star of ‘Howard the Duck’

Richmond Hill Post - - The 905 - By Ron John­son

Toronto film­maker Don McKel­lar is one of the faces ev­ery­one ex­pects to see at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. Be­fore ap­pear­ing in his first TIFF film — Bruce McDon­ald’s Road­kill — he worked at the fes­ti­val. But he hasn’t had a film at the fes­ti­val since Blind­ness in 2008. But he’s back. The Dun­das Street West res­i­dent, who can of­ten be found din­ing at the restau­rant Cam­pag­nolo, has a new film at TIFF, star­ring Gor­don Pin­sent, Tay­lor Kitsch and Bren­dan Gleeson, which is get­ting the gala treat­ment. Post City chat­ted with McKel­lar about The Grand Se­duc­tion.

Tell me about

It is about a small fish­ing vil­lage hav­ing a tough time in New­found­land, and they find out they have a pos­si­bil­ity for a fac­tory that would em­ploy them. To qual­ify, they need to have a res­i­dent doc­tor in town and they don’t. So when they have an op­por­tu­nity to find a doc­tor, they do ev­ery­thing they can to se­duce him to stay. So it isn’t a sweep­ing ro­mance, it is about a town se­duc­ing a doc­tor.

How im­por­tant is TIFF?

For this film, I felt that it was ab­so­lutely the only place in the world it could pre­miere. A Cana­dian film of this scope, with a largely New­found­land cast, ex­cept for Bren­dan [Ir­ish ac­tor Bren­dan Gleeson], had to be at a Cana­dian fes­ti­val. And I have such an as­so­ci­a­tion with the fes­ti­val. I think it’ll be a real crowd-pleaser and can play Roy Thom­son Hall. Not many films play re­ally well in that en­vi­ron­ment. TIFF seemed the only pos­si­bil­ity, and I don’t know what I would have done if we hadn’t got it. It would have been very sad and pa­thetic. It’s a great cast you’ve as­sem­bled, in­clud­ing a cur­rent Hol­ly­wood heart­throb. How was Tay­lor Kitsch to work with? Tay­lor is fan­tas­tic in this film. His last few films were all those big ac­tion films, so this was a bit of a de­par­ture for him. He’s very charm­ing, but his comic tim­ing was a real sur­prise. He was ex­cel­lent.

What will sur­prise peo­ple about this film?

It is one of those films that sort of sweeps you up. There are quite a few big sur­prises, and they are al­most all comic sur­prises. What I loved most about the script was that it was re­ally gen­uinely un­pre­dictable. There are some big and beau­ti­fully imag­ined comic set pieces that are quite a de­light. What is the best part of presenting a film at TIFF and tak­ing part in this ex­pe­ri­ence? For me, you know, it is dif­fer­ent than for a lot of peo­ple. It is my home­town, and I have such emo­tional mem­o­ries from the fes­ti­val — of work­ing there and show­ing all my great­est tri­umphs of my ca­reer, and all my friends will be there. It is com­pli­cated but such a rich ex­pe­ri­ence for me.

A new re­new­able en­ergy source?

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