I felt it only fitting to make my first entry into my Love Letters category about Mr. Stephen McHattie, one of Canada’s hardest working actors.
It all started one late night a few years ago. I was up with my darling sister channel surfing, and we happened upon a sequel to Rosemary’s Baby, which is my all time favorite movie, Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby. Indeed! This 1976 made for T.V. movie starred a young, handsome Stephen McHattie as Satan’s son Adrian, all grown up and torn between his devil and human sides. Shlocky and groovy, I was immediately taken with this piece of horror cheese, and was determined to own a copy. It would take some diligent searching, but after a few months, I tracked one down on Ebay. During my search, I was delighted to find that Mr. McHattie was a Canuck! And the amount of indie horror and sci-fi films he was in made me like him even more! It made me think that he loves what he does, and although he has done gripping serious roles (Life with Billy), he also has a sense of humour. He has also been nominated for Gemini and Genie awards several times, and took home one of each in 1995 and 2007 respectively.
Mr. McHattie has one of those faces that you recognize from a million things he’s been in. He is a chameleon and I feel like I’ve only seen a fraction of what this versatile actor has done. From Broadway to big budget blockbusters like 300, and made for T.V. gems like Red, he continues to pop up, adding much-needed originality and natural grit to his roles. I even sat through most of that stinker Exit Humanity because of him. I thought he was the best thing in that film with his devil-may-care delivery. He was definitely a prince among thieves (of my time) that night.
I almost met him too. If I remember correctly, it was when Pontypool debuted at TIFF 2009. He happened to walk through a department store that I worked in at the time and I saw him ask another salesperson for directions. I so wanted to say hello, but I was swamped with rabid ladies desperate for a touch of lippy and lashes. And so I watched as my chance to shake his celebrity hand ascended the escalators to a shopping no man’s land. Sigh! Such regret. I wished I had shoved those ladies aside since I hated that job anyway, and gone after him, but then they would have called security. It’s not like I fantasized about being his neighbour and trading recipes over our backyard fence and having barbeques and getting free tickets to his premieres and stuff. Not at all! Because that would be weird.
Hollywood has been good to him, probably because he is talented and tenacious, has a good agent, and I suspect because he is a good guy. I mean, he is from the East Coast where the friendliest Canadians I’ve met hail from. Anyway, I just felt compelled to give props, a shout out, or whatever the kids are saying these days, to Stephen McHattie. He is an amazing Canadian talent. I feel he is on par with Donald Sutherland (whom I also love-I mean, Don’t Look Now?!!! Creepy classic!) and I’m waiting for his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame. What the heck are they waiting for?!!