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13 Ways of Being Gross

Few mentions of Passchendaele itself, but it's a puff piece of the best kind, with a great new pic in the link as well:


13 Ways of Being Gross
by National Post




Paul Gross brings new meaning to the term "renaissance man." Actor, director, curler, heartthrob; indeed, at times it seems there's nothing the army brat from Alberta can't do. So with all eyes on the 49-year-old today as Passchendaele opens the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival, we thought it best to let those who know him explain the 13 hats that Paul Gross might wear at any one time.

1. As Canadian ambassador

"Paul is our Mel Gibson without the baggage, our Robert Redford without the sun damage. He writes, directs and stars and is the only real movie triple threat Canada has ever birthed." Robert Lantos, producer, along with his son Ari, of Adoration, Real Time, screening Sept. 7 and Sept. 8

2. As a curler

"By the end of the second training session, he drew the button - the dream shot of every skip. He had a good sense of balance. I mean, what you see in the movie is good, but he was even better than that." George Karrys, silver medalist, curling, Nagano Olympics; publisher of The Curling News; trainer, Men With Brooms

3. As a comedian

"It's hard to be a funny, good-looking person. Virtue isn't funny - Joan of Arc is a terrible comic character - but Paul has this thing where women swoon and guys feel like he wouldn't steal their girlfriends. Like Dean Martin, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck, Gross has timing, a facility for language and can draw a laugh by playing back on his heels." Andrew Clark, director, Humber College comedy program, author, Stand and Deliver, a book on Canadian comics

4. As a fund-raiser

"No matter how rich you are, a few hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money, and we never sold investors on a business plan - Paul would just tell them to do it for the country. People were appreciative of the honesty, but next time we get the idea of raising $20-million in Canada, as good as Paul is, we're going in with a financial plan." Niv Fichman, producer, Passchendaele and Blindness, screening Sept. 6 and Sept. 8

5. As a cultural export

"Paul Gross translates, but I don't know how many people actually know who he is. People remember Due South a little and Slings and Arrows was a cult favourite, but that means like four die-hard fans. Does he care about being famous? He's not really going out for the 90210 dad." Kate Aurthur, television editor, Los Angeles Times

6. As a collaborator

"With Gross Misconduct, the first draft of his script was very linear and quite formulaic and I had a crazy idea of mixing things up, and he was violently against how I wanted it structured. To his immense credit, he came back with this draft that was exciting, and that side of Paul is moving to me - he's strong-willed and set in his ideas, but he's also quite open. I'd love to collaborate with Paul again." Atom Egoyan, director, Adoration, screening Sept. 8 and Sept. 10

7. As a business partner

"We'll look at a budget and I'll read his script, and he'll say with a wry smile, ‘Can we afford this?' He knows the answer, but ... when there's a will there's a way. With Passchendaele, there were scenes that would require hundreds of thousands of soldiers and we'd say, ‘OK, what can you do with 250?' And he'd come back the next day with pages. He's sensitive - he's an actor - but he respects that this is a business. We have another feature film we want to bring into production in the next 18 months." Frank Siracusa, partner, Whizbang Films, Gross's production company

8. As a husband

"He's responsible for all the light bulbs in the house. Right now I'm noticing three are out in the kitchen. He must be distracted by something." Martha Burns, actress, director, How Are You?, screening Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 in Short Cuts Canada

9. As an RCMP constable

"I love Due South. This polite Mountie letting everyone on the elevator before him? It reflected the core value of who we are. We may not all be as handsome, but he was an excellent ambassador of the uniform." Superintendent Greg Peters, 28-year veteran, RCMP

10. As a pin-up

"I wouldn't send him out on the runway ..."

OR:

"Dsquared in Milan probably wants a certain shape - übercut - but I've seen Dolce & Gabbana send guys on the runway with silver hair; Paul has some salt and pepper coming in. He has a typical Canadian guy next door look - women think he's hot, guys want to sit next to him at a hockey game." Tara Lanoway, director of the men's division, Elmer Olsen Model Management

11. As a thespian

"The only time I've seen Paul Gross on stage was ten years ago at the Stratford festival when, at the height of his television fame, he played Hamlet. It was an amiable, sometimes touching but incomplete performance: a nice guy without much temperament. Subsequently, though, in the three series of Slings and Arrows - especially the first, which saw him, ironically, as a director of Hamlet - he's played the romantic, tortured classical leading man to such effect as to raise hopes that he might actually have become one. God knows, he has other things to occupy his time, but it would be good to see him put himself to the test in the theatre again." Robert Cushman, theatre and television critic, National Post

12. As an actor-director

"When he's working, he's right in character, but as soon as he says ‘cut,' he's back to being a director. I tried not to bother him on the set, but if I really needed him, I barged right in - and he was wonderful. Carol Spier, production designer, Passchendaele; other credits include The Fly, Videodrome and Eastern Promises

13. In his own words

"I probably can be a stubborn bastard; I don't know, at least with this movie, that's worked out for me." Paul Gross, writer, director and star of Passchendaele, screening Sept. 4 and Sept. 5


http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/story.html?id=766775
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