With four films coming out practically back to back in the next few months, actor Jay Baruchel jokingly suggests he’s worried about overexposure.
“It’s been a heck of a year for me,” he says on the set of the thriller he’s shooting in his own Montreal neighbourhood. “I hope people don’t get sick of me.”
Baruchel is reteaming with his director and pal Jacob Tierney from “The Trotsky,” which hits theatres in May, for a character-driven feature about three people whose lives intersect when they become neighbours in a Montreal apartment building.
The film has the working title “Notre Dame de Grace,” named for the west-end Montreal district where Baruchel grew up and which he still calls home.
In it, three people – played by Baruchel, Scott Speedman and Emily Hampshire – cope with a serial killer who is terrorizing the neighbourhood. But none of them are any serious contestants for a Mr. Nice Guy contest either.
“If there’s a good guy, I’m the good guy,” says Baruchel, who plays Victor, an elementary school teacher. ”
“But I can’t say I’m the good guy because my character’s friggin’ crazy. He’s got his own issues.
“But compared to the other two, I am the good guy.”
Baruchel says that’s the genius of Tierney, who doesn’t write good guy characters that are 100 per cent good and bad guys who are 100 per cent bad.
“When does that ever exist in reality?” says Baruchel, whose list of credits includes “Knocked Up” and “Tropic Thunder.”
“He’s created actual people and I love what he does, so to get the chance to inhabit another one of his beautiful characters is something that I’ll always jump at.”
That’s echoed by Speedman, whose character was crippled in a car accident that killed his wife and left him in a wheelchair.
“He’s a bad guy,” Speedman says with a smile, confessing it’s tough to describe the character without giving away too much of the plot – but he notes he may not be the worst person in the movie.
Playing someone confined to wheelchair was also a challenge for Speedman, who is often seen in physical roles in action films like “Underworld.”
“I think that’s why Jacob wanted me to do it, to make me sit still for a while,” he said. “It was challenging but not as much as I thought it would be. I got a wheelchair down in L.A. for three or four weeks and rode around in it in my house and got acclimated and tried to figure it out.
“It’s pretty interesting how little you can really do.”
Tierney based “Notre Dame de Grace” on the novel “Chere voisine” by Chrystine Brouillet.
“It’s a book that I read for the first time in high school, really, really liked and have been reading fairly consistently over the years,” Tierney said. “I would read it intermittently, and by the time I sat down to write it (the script) I barely looked back at the novel because I knew it so intimately.”
Producer Kevin Tierney, Jacob Tierney’s father who co-wrote and produced the box office smash “Bon Cop Bad Cop,” agrees the movie is more a who’s-gonna-get-it rather than a whodunit.
“The movie starts off with this triangle being constructed, and we know at the end … it ain’t going to be three,” he says.
The movie is a bit of a departure for Baruchel, who will appear in the Dreamworks romantic comedy “She’s Out of My League” and the animated feature “How to Train Your Dragon” from the same company, both out in March.
Baruchel will also star alongside Nicolas Cage in the Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney flick “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which gets its inspiration from the Disney animation classic “Fantasia” and opens in July.
While he described “Apprentice” as “amazing,” “cool” and “totally a movie that I’d see in the summertime,” Baruchel said it was a tough shoot with lots of night work and special effects. Much different than working on “Notre Dame de Grace.”
“I’m not shooting plasma (rays) out of my hands in this one,” he says.
Source: Metro News