Regina-born actor Zach Smadu joins star-studded cast in Miss Sloane

Zach Smadu landed a role alongside Jessica Chastain in John Madden's film Miss Sloane.

Miss Sloane features Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Mark Strong, Sam Waterston

Zach Smadu grew up in Regina, Sask., before moving to Toronto to pursue an acting career. (Photo by Chris Frampton)

Zach Smadu is living his dream for all to see, even if he hasn't even seen it yet himself.

The Regina-born actor now living in Toronto landed his first major film role in John Madden's Miss Sloane. The film opened in theatres worldwide today and tonight will be the first time Smadu has seen the finished product.

"There's nothing quite like seeing yourself on the big screen from what I hear," Smadu told CBC Radio's Morning Edition.

Miss Sloane explores the world of political lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and it features an impressive ensemble cast led by Jessica Chastain.

Fans of House of Cards or The West Wing will likely get a kick out of Miss Sloane, starring Jessica Chastain as an icy cool, take-no-prisoners lobbyist in the fight of her life, says Eli Glasner 3:07

Smadu takes on the role of Ramirez, one of the young lobbyists.

"It was pretty great," he said. "There's so many actors from so many different generations ... it was amazing. It was a lot of fun."

Getting the role proved to be a mix of a marathon and then a sprint for Smadu.

"I had auditioned for it a couple of months before and kind of, to be honest, forgot about it. As you play in this industry, you learn to kind of exercise that muscle of forgetting auditions," he said.

A few months later, Smadu's agent told him the filmmakers wanted him to take on a different role. A week after auditioning again, he got the call that they were going to start shooting the film within days. 

"It kind of happens so quickly that I didn't even have time to kind of register," he said.

Star-struck

John Lithgow in a scene from Miss Sloane. (Kerry Hayes/Europa via AP)

Smadu was thrilled to work with so many accomplished and well-known actors, but even around people like Chastain, Mark Strong, and Sam Waterston, he was all business.

"I don't really get star-struck too much," he said.

But there was one exception — John Lithgow.

"I grew up in a generation where Harry and the Hendersons was one of my favourite movies growing up," Smadu said. "When I saw John Lithgow I was like, 'This guy is my favourite.' "

Just like Regina-born star Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Smadu is a graduate of LeBoldus High School and the Do It With Class Theatre Company. He said it's exciting to see so many Saskatchewan actors succeeding in the industry these days.

"There's a lot of Saskatchewan talent ... especially from Regina. The people that I grew up with, my peers in Regina are still working. I mean, I'm in Toronto but I run into so many people that I grew up with who I either did musical theatre with and film and TV that are still doing it here. Tatiana Maslany is a big one, but Paul Nolan on Broadway ... we have some amazing talent.

"It's a badge of honour. So many people are like, 'Oh, you're another Saskatchewan boy? Geez, you guys are everywhere.'"

About the Author

Peter Mills

Peter Mills is an Associate Producer with the Morning Edition on CBC Radio One in Saskatchewan. Follow him on Twitter @TweeterMillsCBC. Do you have a story idea? Email peter.mills@cbc.ca.

With files from CBC Radio's Morning Editon.