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I’ve been a fan of Don McKellar since seeing THE RED VIOLIN and LAST NIGHT. That was over a decade ago and he’s never let me down since those first sublime experiences, and I’ve never stopped hoping that I would get to interview him one day. I told him as much before we got down to our phone interview on May 22, 2014, and in endearingly self-effacing fashion, he said he hoped it would be worth the wait.
THE GRAND SEDUCTION is based on a 2003 Quebecois film, SEDUCING DR. LEWIS, and the first thing we discussed was why he wanted to direct a remake that he hadn’t written. We moved on to the now almost alien notion of attachment to place, why Gordon Pinset is a New Foundland treasure, and filming by moonlight. We finished up with McKellar graciously reliving for me the time David Cronenberg screamed at him back when he was a fledgling filmmaker working a day job that involved wild raccoons.
THE GRAND SEDUCTION is a film about home, romance, and telling the truth. Brenden Gleeson stars as Murray French, whose roots in the tiny harbor of Tickle Head go back for generations. When the town’s future is threatened by an economic downturn, Murray comes up with a bold scheme to secure a new factory by convincing a doctor that Tickle Head is the perfect place to set up shop. A scheme that involves the entire town pretending to be something that it’s not. The film co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Gordon Pinset, Liane Balaban, Mark Critch, and Rhonda Rogers. McKellar directed from a script by Michael Dowse and Ken Scott, based on the 2003 Quebecois film SEDUCING DR. LEWIS written by Scott. McKellar’s previous work includes co-writing and co-starring in THE RED VIOLIN, writing, directing and co-starring in LAST NIGHT, as well as the television series TWITCH CITY and SLINGS AND ARROWS among many others projects on the large and small screens. So many, in fact, that he has had a film, or films, Toronto Film Festival every year since 1989. In 1998, he had four.