CELEBRITY TRAVEL CORNER
A conversation with actor and director RH Thomson.
RH (ROBERT HOLMES) THOMSON isn’t one to mince words. Unbridled passion is clearly evident in the roles he plays and how he pursues his life. The award-winning stage, film and television actor embraces roles that challenge him intellectually and emotionally while actively engaging in promoting Canadian culture and diversity, First Peoples and honouring and naming those killed in World War I.
Thomson has had a very successful career for many decades playing historical figures ranging from Dr. Frederick Banting, Edsel Ford and Samuel Lount to his current role as Matthew Cuthbert in CBC TV’S second season of Anne with an E. (He also played the role of Jasper Dale on the Road to Avonlea with Sarah Polley in the 1990s.)
Growing up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, it was geography teacher N. Roy Clifton who inspired Thomson to unleash not only his acting talents but to venture beyond the norm. “He was a non-conformist, eccentric and independent thinker.” Thomson spent time in Los Angeles, New York and London before deciding to make Toronto his permanent home.
Besides performing Thomson has directed theatre productions across Canada from Halifax’s Neptune Theatre to Theatre Calgary. For Thomson words matter and he has scripted his own play, The Lost Boys, as well as other acclaimed works over the years. His commitment to Canada’s arts and culture community has been acknowledged with many awards and he was named to the Order of Canada in 2010.
A pet program he has spearheaded since 2010 is “The World Remembers,” an international centenary project, which individually names the millions killed in WWI from the 40-plus nations who were involved. It is a Herculean project, which will culminate on November 11, 2018. The intention is for each country involved to name individually those who died in WWI. Thomson has elicited support from governments, schools, libraries, cultural and military organizations and the private sector.
Thomson may act for a living but his passion for the profession, Canada and all its people is as real as it gets.