Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster is the true story of the largest manhunt in Canadian history. And when the Boyd Gang broke out of jail for the second time in 1952, it became the first ever news story on CBC Television.
Scott Speedman plays Edwin Boyd in Nathan Morlando's film, starring alongside Kelly Reilly, Brian Cox, Kevin Durand and Charlotte Sullivan. After the announcement of the nominations for the 32nd Genie Awards, we sat down to speak with Durand, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Sullivan, up for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
Congratulations on the nomination, how does it feel to be part of such a legendary Canadian story, to tell it on film...?
Charlotte: I'm feeling very, very honoured! When I read the script I was completely in love with this character. I think Nathan wrote an exquisite screenplay. The movie, I'm so proud of. I can't believe I was in it! The character I got to play... come on! She's a fur coat wearing gangster girl from the 1940s and '50s. She's just a party animal and just so wicked. She was so smart, and I got to play her. That was kind of a rad, rad scenario.
You're getting quite the accolades with yourself and Kevin and Scott all up for awards...
Charlotte: I'm certainly in a really stiff category with amazing people, and I'm very pleased to be here!
Tell us about the filming process... winter in Sault Ste. Marie...
Charlotte: Basically, I've never been more in trouble in my entire life than on this film. We had a lot of party sequences and we definitely took it to that level on set. Our fellow actors are just so extraordinary in this movie and when you see other artists doing really well, it sort of inspires you to take the next step and be really ballsy with your own performance. I think my fellow actors, like Melanie Scrofano - she played Anne - deserve a nomination. I think my nomination is also her nomination because without her I wouldn't have been able to do anything. Being in the Sault you're away from home, so you get in to a lot of effin' trouble when you don't have the confines of your home and... Jack Daniels... that's kinda what happens! I got in to so much trouble... the people at the hotel that took care of us in Sault, God bless your souls. Thank you so much for putting up with us and our shenanigans!
Congratulations, tell us how you're feeling after the nomination.
Kevin: The feeling would be... elation. It's been such a long trip, you know? To get here. I'm so honoured to be recognised by the Canadian Academy, and what a fun, amazing time we had making that movie. To get the nomination for playing Lenny is huge.
How was it being in Sault Ste. Marie - at winter - for filming?
Kevin: Well, I'm from Thunder Bay, Ontario, so the climate in no way shocked me. I actually felt really at home, and the people of Sault Ste. Marie were just so incredible. Wendy, who worked at the front desk at the hotel where we were staying... I asked her if she could call me a cab to go to the gym and she just threw me her keys. She let me drive her truck to the gym every day! You don't get that... anywhere... other than in the north. It was really fantastic, it was like being home.
Tell us what it was like to be part of the retelling of such an important Canadian story.
Kevin: I wasn't so aware of Edwin Boyd or the Boyd Gang before I got this script. I got the script and read up on them... I thought, 'wow, what a fantastic opportunity to tell a bit of Canadian history and just play with it.' What's really fantastic is that my uncle Tom remembers the fear that he felt. People, back then, were terrified of these guys. They were so hyped up in the media as these crazy killers, when, you know, they were just human beings trying to find a means... obviously misguided but what a cool story to tell.
How does playing a real person compare, knowing it actually happened, to playing somebody completely scripted?
Kevin: Well it totally depends, there wasn't that much information for me to get a hold of about Lenny. Most of the documentation was about Edwin, so everything that I could get my hands on I did. It's great, because you have so many hints... the way that he thought, you know, through that psychology you try and figure out the idiosyncratic behaviour. There's a lot of room to connect the dots. It was a tremendous experience.
Kevin: You know, Allan Hawco came out to England when we were shooting Robin Hood, because he's good buddies with Alan Doyle. I think we were having drinks one night and Russ had said "if your show gets picked up, we'll all come out and guest star," and Allan held on to it. Kudos to him, they made it happen. We had a ball. We'd shoot all day and then we sang songs all night. We sold out this great theatre in downtown St. John's twice and it was just a ball. It kinda comes across... I watched it the other night and I thought it was fantastic. Everyone did a great job.
Kevin: I'm not. I get so much crap from them! And Milla Jovovich was on me a bunch of times, "what is wrong with you, why aren't you on here...?" I'm just scared that I might say something stupid in the heat of the moment! I stay away from the Twitterverse, or at least I have at this point... there are apparently a couple of pages that say they're me but they're not, for the record.
Those guys seem to have a lot of fun, you should get in on that...
Kevin: I'm not much at poking fun... I think I'm too sensitive... (laughs)
You can also watch our interview with Scott Speedman, producer Allison Black and writer/director Nathan Morlando below: