I have a theory. And that is: Canadians are taking over our entertainment industry in Hollywood. I pass no judgement on this, in fact I’m quite pleased with the level of talent they have brought to TV and movies over the years. But really, it’s kind of uncanny how a good, really strong majority of all my favorite people on screen right now are Canadian.
And frankly, after that it’s U.K., Australian, and New Zealanders, distantly followed by Americans. So… um… god save the Queen, I guess.
Anyway, I was thinking about Canadians and Sci-Fi, and the fact that a good chunk of the most iconic roles over the years were in fact played by our neighbors from up north. So here is my list of, in no particular order, the top Canadian actors and the iconic sci-fi roles they played.
Kristin Kreuk, Laura Vandervoort & Erica Durance
Starting with the Superman in High School show Smallville, where by the end Supes was clearly in his late 30’s, we have three women from the land of maple syrup: Kreuk, Vandervoort & Durance. Seriously, three of the four main ladies on the show were Canadian, with only Allison Mack (Chloe) not hailing from Canada… and she wasn’t American either, she was born in Germany. Kreuk played Clark’s long-time love interest Lana Lang, Vandervoort played his older cousin turned younger cousin Supergirl/Kara, and Durance played the indomidable Lois Lane. All three ladies were surprisingly strong in their parts, and over the course of the (frighteningly long lived) show brought real depth to already well established characters.
Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite & Stana Katic
Nathan Fillion acts as the bridge between two awesome (and nerdy to varying degrees) shows, Firefly (and the follow up movie Serenity), and Castle. Fillion himself is possibly the biggest geek in Hollywood, or maybe not, but he’s up there. He loves sci-fi, loves his fans, loves the geek culture, and generally is just a great guy. And Canadian. One of his costars on Firefly, Jewel Staite, who played the quirky Kaylee Frye and later went on to play Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate: Atlantis hails from British Columbia. And Stana Katic, who plays Fillion’s costar Kate Beckett on Castle (which is quite a lovely geeky show in its own right), also had a role in Heroes, a Librarian movie, and did voiceovers for Talia al Ghul (in the Batman: Arkham City video game) and Lois Lane (Superman: Unbound).
Was there a more flattering photo of these two? For sure. Was there a more fabulous photo? Hells no!
Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss
OK, I’ll admit Keanu wasn’t actually born in Canada, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. And it wasn’t a direct route from there to Canada either, it took a few years of his very early life before his mom settled him in the Toronto area. But that’s where he spent his formative years, and without him Neo in The Matrix just wouldn’t be the same. Or Ted from Bill & Ted. Or whatever his name was in Point Break or Jonny Mnemonic. The point is, this paragon of emotionless acting has been in some of the most iconic sci-fi movies over the decades. Huh. And speaking of emotionless acting (OK, that’s really not fair, she’s actually good), Carrie-Anne Moss has had some solid sci-fi roles of her own, from Trinity in Matrix, Natalie in Memento, the commander in Red Planet, and possibly my favorite role she played, Gertrude Verbanski in Chuck. Oh yes… Chuck. God I miss that show.
William Shatner, James Doohan & Christopher Plummer
Saving possibly the most iconic for last, I give you these three. What’s there to say about them, really, that hasn’t already been said. Shatner is James T. Kirk. Kirk. Sure, he’s done other, amazing roles as well. I loved him in Boston Legal. But really, it comes back to him being Kirk. Because Kirk. And who knew, but James Doohan, the possibly always drunk Scotty, was also Canadian. Those two, Kirk and Scotty… beam me the F to Canadian nirvana. But no, it doesn’t stop there… the unparalleled, the peerless, the incomparable Christopher Plummer played the vicious Shakespeare-quoting villain General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, as well as… well… hell, the man has been acting since 1953, the list is just simply too long. You’ve clearly got the internet if you’re reading this, just go Google the man. He’s amazing.
Go ahead. Google me. I’ll wait…
So there you go. Some of the best sci-fi, geeky roles, played by Canadians. There are more out there, oh yes there are more. The Canadians are taking over. But frankly, if this is what they have to offer? Yes, please let them take over. Our entertainment will be all the better for it.