From Harry Potter to heartbreak: Xavier Dolan talks ink and inspiration

Four months after it won him the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the Montreal filmmaker's sixth feature is hitting Montreal and Toronto theatres.

The Montreal filmmaker's sixth feature opens in theatres this week

Xavier Dolan talks ink and inspiration

6 years ago
Duration 1:28
Canadian actor and filmmaker Xavier Dolan sits down with CBC Arts to talk tattoos on the day of the North American premiere of his latest film, It's Only The End Of The World.

This week, Xavier Dolan is bringing the end of the world home to Canada.

Four months after it won him the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the Montreal filmmaker's sixth feature, It's Only The End of the World, is hitting Montreal and Toronto theatres. Adapted from the Jean-Luc Lagarce play, the film features French actor Gaspard Ulliel as a terminally ill writer returning home to his family after a long estrangement to tell them he is dying. Its homegrown release gives Canadians an opportunity to once again be inspired by one of their country's most internationally acclaimed filmmakers. But what inspires Dolan himself?

The 27-year-old has as many tattoos as he has had birthdays, including one for each of the films he's completed (the rest, he's sad to admit, have resulted from broken hearts). Of them, a mighty few — including the one he got for his latest film — pay homage to something that means "everything" to Dolan: Harry Potter.

Dolan explains his Hogwarts-ian inspiration in this clip produced by CBC Arts.

It's Only The End of the World. Directed by Xavier Dolan. Opens Wed, Sept 21 in Montreal and Fri, Sept 23 in Toronto.

Watch Exhibitionists Sunday at 4:30pm (5pm NT) on CBC TV.


Peter Knegt (he/him) has worked for CBC Arts since 2016, writing the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the 2019 Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada and nominated again this year) and spearheading the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.


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