This week’s person to know is actor Chad Connell from the upcoming film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
How did you get started in acting?
When I’m asked this, I really think it’s less a question of getting started in acting, and more about just not stopping. So many kids put on plays in their living rooms, assemble any family members and make them sit through their little shows – I just never stopped doing that. I guess I was a bit of a precocious kid and, being artistic themselves, my parents decided to help channel my energy through more structured lessons. I took singing and dance classes, and starred in local theatre productions as a kid. My passion for performing grew along with me and by the time I was twelve or thirteen, I was begging my parents to get me an agent– and I landed my first professional gig at fourteen. It’s been a pretty linear trajectory ever since.
Your major career influence?
With fear of sounding bombastic – I’d say my biggest career influence are the people I sit near at a coffee shop, or someone I pass by on the street. I get scolded by my friends pretty frequently; what I call people watching, they call staring. I guess I just can’t help but see a stranger and become so fascinated with them and try to develop a detailed back-story to try to get a peek into their lives. I think the goal of an actor is to open up the blinds to various windows, and let everyone look through. So when I see an intriguing stranger I’d say they have more of an influence on me than anything else.
I could give you a list of my favourite performances easier than I could give you my favourite actor. But I’ll give you my current top 3:
If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
I would be figuring out everything I need to know to build a restaurant– or maybe even a Bed & Breakfast– I love hosting people.
Something only your closest friends know about you…
I can’t sleep in a bed that isn’t perfectly made, and I’ll even wake up in the middle of the night to remake it.
How excited are you to be a part of the new Mortal Instruments series?
Scale out of 10… a 10. It’s a pretty cool feeling, being a part of a movie franchise that has had such a loyal fan-base long before the first movie was even announced.
What are you most looking forward to about the festival?
My favourite thing about TIFF is checking out foreign films that might fly under the radar. As fun as they are, I haven’t gone to too many galas. I always figure I’ll end up seeing those films anyway. I love seeing what’s coming out of Argentina, Ireland, or Korea.
What actor, director, or industry folk would you most like to bump into at a party?
There are a couple people I think it would be pretty cool to bump into.. like Sarah Polley, or Xavier Dolan. I really admire both of their work.
A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?
The island. My heart swells when I think about spending the day there, or sailing out and going swimming. (I didn’t grow up here, so swimming in Lake Ontario doesn’t have the same taboo factor as for someone who did).
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I’m biased, but The Woodlot on Palmerston.
Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
If you’d asked me this a few months ago, I would have said Yorkville, but recently I moved down to the St. Lawrence Market area and have fallen in love with it. It’s a nice luxury to be able to head into the market on a daily basis for fresh stuff. And there are some great pubs nearby– PJ O’Brien’s & McVeigh’s to name a couple.
Least favourite thing about Toronto?
Transit– trying to get around this city whether by TTC or in a car, will take years off my life.
A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?
I think all the people who work with the Heritage and Preservation Services. I hate seeing Toronto lose one square foot of its history, and even though sometimes it stands in the way of new development, I think the work people do to preserve Toronto’s past is invaluable.