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 Rossif Sutherland’s

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PostSubject: Rossif Sutherland’s   Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Quote :
Rossif Sutherland’s not-inevitable entry into the family business
From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 4:30PM EDT

“It’s a big reason why I moved from L.A. to Toronto [a year ago], because I like to wander the streets and observe,” Sutherland says. He bunked at his half-sister Rachel’s house for six weeks (“She normally has a two-week rule, but she made an exception,” he rumbles), and found work in film (The Con Artist) and TV (King). “Canada’s been the place that’s helped me nurture this love I have for acting,” he says. “It’s so wonderful to be part of a community.”

Sutherland’s first acting gig happened by accident, though: When the lead in a short film he was directing stood him up, he stepped into the part. He showed it to his dad, who told him, with tears in his eyes, “Kid, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

He signed up for acting lessons with a New York-based teacher, Harold Guskin, whose students included Glenn Close and Kevin Kline. Sutherland would go to Guskin’s basement apartment, where his wife Sondra would feed them dinner “and we’d talk about life for 50 minutes out of the hour,” Sutherland says. “Then the doorbell would ring and he’d realize, ‘Darn, that’s right, I’ve got to teach you something.’ And we’d pick up the book. It was all about taking it off the page. Giving some reason to a line. It was the constant exercise of connecting.”

Sutherland found it diverting, but remained uncommitted to “pretending” – until Guskin set him straight. “He said, ‘Acting is not about pretending to be other people,’” Sutherland remembers. “‘It’s about celebrating all the people you could have been. It’s you at a different address.’ When I heard that, it sounded like permission to live all the lives I could have lived. And for somebody who’s trying to figure out who he is, that seemed like a really lovely shortcut.”

When writer/director Leonard Farlinger (The Perfect Son) approached Sutherland to play the initially straight-laced Robert in I’m Yours, the actor wrote him a 20-page reaction to the screenplay. “I do that for my own sake,” Sutherland says. “I walk my way through a script, making sense of it. Robert has followed the capitalist mould, he’s gone to the good schools, he’s making a bunch of money, he was engaged to the right girl. But he was waking up every morning, putting that blade to his face to shave, and starting to think, ‘I don’t know who I am any more.’ So when he finds himself in this girl’s car, he decides, ‘I’m going to go for the ride and see where it takes me. This is what I want my life to be from now on: I want to live.’”

Similarly, Sutherland now thrills to his profession, because “ultimately, it has the weight of a very simple truth, which is that life is about connection. It’s about love and never forgetting you’re surrounded.” He pauses, melting me with his gaze. “We find ourselves in this concrete jungle and we make it our home,” he says. “But on this beautiful little Earth, there’s enough to see to fill up a lifetime. To fill up a few.” Whatever he’s saying, I agree.

“It’s a big reason why I moved from L.A. to Toronto [a year ago], because I like to wander the streets and observe,” Sutherland says. He bunked at his half-sister Rachel’s house for six weeks (“She normally has a two-week rule, but she made an exception,” he rumbles), and found work in film (The Con Artist) and TV (King). “Canada’s been the place that’s helped me nurture this love I have for acting,” he says. “It’s so wonderful to be part of a community.”

Sutherland’s first acting gig happened by accident, though: When the lead in a short film he was directing stood him up, he stepped into the part. He showed it to his dad, who told him, with tears in his eyes, “Kid, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

He signed up for acting lessons with a New York-based teacher, Harold Guskin, whose students included Glenn Close and Kevin Kline. Sutherland would go to Guskin’s basement apartment, where his wife Sondra would feed them dinner “and we’d talk about life for 50 minutes out of the hour,” Sutherland says. “Then the doorbell would ring and he’d realize, ‘Darn, that’s right, I’ve got to teach you something.’ And we’d pick up the book. It was all about taking it off the page. Giving some reason to a line. It was the constant exercise of connecting.”

Sutherland found it diverting, but remained uncommitted to “pretending” – until Guskin set him straight. “He said, ‘Acting is not about pretending to be other people,’” Sutherland remembers. “‘It’s about celebrating all the people you could have been. It’s you at a different address.’ When I heard that, it sounded like permission to live all the lives I could have lived. And for somebody who’s trying to figure out who he is, that seemed like a really lovely shortcut.”

When writer/director Leonard Farlinger (The Perfect Son) approached Sutherland to play the initially straight-laced Robert in I’m Yours, the actor wrote him a 20-page reaction to the screenplay. “I do that for my own sake,” Sutherland says. “I walk my way through a script, making sense of it. Robert has followed the capitalist mould, he’s gone to the good schools, he’s making a bunch of money, he was engaged to the right girl. But he was waking up every morning, putting that blade to his face to shave, and starting to think, ‘I don’t know who I am any more.’ So when he finds himself in this girl’s car, he decides, ‘I’m going to go for the ride and see where it takes me. This is what I want my life to be from now on: I want to live.’”

Similarly, Sutherland now thrills to his profession, because “ultimately, it has the weight of a very simple truth, which is that life is about connection. It’s about love and never forgetting you’re surrounded.” He pauses, melting me with his gaze. “We find ourselves in this concrete jungle and we make it our home,” he says. “But on this beautiful little Earth, there’s enough to see to fill up a lifetime. To fill up a few.” Whatever he’s saying, I agree.

Source: www.theglobeandmail.com

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