The legacy of Anne of Green Gables is unparalleled. With over 50 million copies of Lucy Montgomery‘s novel being sold and fans spanning the globe, CBC is ready to unveil a new seven-episode television adaptation of the beloved story, known simply as ANNE. Its sights are set high working with a substantial budget, comparable to that of a U.S. cable television series (and it certainly looks it), and it already has secured global distribution via leading internet television service Netflix. Acclaimed Filmmaker Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland, USA) signed-on to direct the two-hour premiere. Fans old and new can expect this to be a darker take, exploring deeper some of the aspects of the story previous Films and Mini-Series had not, speaking to an audience of now.
At the center of it all is fresh-faced and well-spoken 15-year-old actress Amybeth McNulty whom while being part-Canadian (her mother is from Calgary), resides in and is home-schooled in Ireland. McNulty, whose background primarily has been in theatre, starred in 2016 Thriller Morgan as the ten-year-old version of the titular character. She takes on the ambitious task in Anne of portraying the iconic talkative red-haired orphan and does so more than ably.
We sit down and chat with McNulty at the CBC Headquarters coincidentally on St. Patrick’s Day, about becoming Anne and winning the coveted role over 1,800 young actresses in an international search just last year. On what we can expect from the Series, she tells us “It really shows a lot more of her abuse and the trauma. It shows with full brutal honesty what she and a lot of orphans went through back then.”.
McNulty, who actually is a natural blonde, tells us about filming in P.E.I. where the story is set in the late 1800s. “I live in Ireland myself, so it reminds me a lot of Ireland with its rolling hills and those beautiful cliffsides.”. She even went to the actual Anne of Green Gables Store (it actually exists!) and shares an awkward but humorous anecdote. “I went down to the Anne shop when I had just got my red hair done and the people there were like, ‘Oh, you’d make a great Anne!’ she laughs. “And I was like ‘thank you’ and then I just quickly left!”.
While being a huge fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery‘s books, the Series’ source material, she admits never to having watched the previous Mini-Series and Films which followed. “It wasn’t really a conscious decision”, she says. “I didn’t really want to be affected. I wanted my portrayal really to come from me and Moira (Walley-Beckett, Series Writer) and the rest of the team.”.
Spending much of her spare time dancing and singing, working on Anne also has taught McNulty a thing or two about filmmaking, developing her own YouTube channel, chronicling her life and travels. “I learned a lot about filming and editing through the crew and I use it in filming vlogs.”. Check it out here.
“I think anyone living in P.E.I. is going to be very proud of their hometown and how beautiful it looks”, McNulty leaves us on a parting note as she gets ready to head out to do a live hit on TV downstairs – a face that soon will be familiar around the world.
It’s that time of the year again and you can bet we’re super-pumped for CANADIAN SCREEN WEEK! As in previous years, FAMILY FAN DAY will give us a chance to connect with some of our favourite Canadian stars of the screen! Taking place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the event runs from 10 AM to 2 PM and guess what? It’s free!
Exciting activations and contests are being planned and did you know that the first 100 in line will get a free swag bag? There will be doughnuts from JELLY MODERN, a MAC booth giving you inspiration for your spring 2017 look, exciting animals from HANDS ON EXOTICS and also a coding workshop by LADIES LEARNING CODE.
Stars in attendance this year include:
• Dan Riskin and Ziya Tong, Daily Planet (Bell Media)
• Kristian Bruun, Orphan Black (Bell Media)
• Simu Liu, Andrea Bang and Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience (CBC)
• Hélène Joy and Lachlan Murdoch, Murdoch Mysteries (CBC)
• Alisha Newton, Heartland (CBC)
• Janaye, Tony, Victor, Gary the Unicorn and Dot, CBC Kids (CBC)
• Dwight Drummond, CBC News Toronto (CBC)
• Kim Coates, Bad Blood (Rogers Media)
• Dina Pugliese and Kevin Frankish, Breakfast Television (Rogers Media)
• Victoria Baldesarra and Shelby Bain, The Next Step (Family Channel)
• Chelsea Clark and Ehren Kassam, Degrassi: Next Class (Family Channel)
• Devyn Nekoda, Colin Petierre and Julia Tomasone, Backstage (Family Channel)
• Hosts from Global’s The Morning Show (Corus Entertainment)
• Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr., Holmes + Holmes (Corus Entertainment)
• Noah Cappe, The Bachelor Canada (Corus Entertainment)
• Anthony Farnell, Global News (Corus Entertainment)
• Ella Ballentine, Sara Botsford, Kate MacDonald Butler, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (Corus Entertainment/Breakthrough Entertainment)
…and several more!
YTV‘s Carlos Bustamante will fill hosting duties.
Here’s a couple tips for taking the best selfies with the stars, from your resident expert, Mr. Will:
1. Be calm, stars are more like us than we are led to believe.
2. Ask nicely. If you are a real fan, let them know how they have touched your life.
3. Give them space and let them initiate it if they want to get closer to you.
4. Make sure there’s no glaring light behind you in the photo. This is v. unflattering and will almost always ruin your photo. If there is light, make sure it is shining on your faces.
5. Nobody likes a double-chin, so tilt that camera/cell phone up just a bit and tilt that chin down.
6. Look into the lens of the camera, not the screen on your cell phone and smile! Keep your eyes open!
7. Take an extra snap quickly just in case the first didn’t turn out – it’s always good to have a back-up.
8. Thank the star.
Enjoy and g’luck! We’ll be seeing you around Canadian Screen Week!
Nominations were announced earlier today at Oliver & Bonacini‘s Aperture Room for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, now in their fifth year. Announcing nominees were a trio of Canadian talent including actors Maxim Roy (Shadowhunters), Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) and Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale).
With 134 categories, divided by Digital Media, Television and Film, the Awards brought out some familiar and new names. Leading the Television nominees once again is ORPHAN BLACK with a stellar 14 nominations (and wins in the past three consecutive years) including Best Dramatic Series and Actress (Tatiana Maslany).SCHITT’S CREEK, also a multi-CSA winner which just premiered in its third season, follows closely in second with 13 nominations, while KIM’S CONVENIENCE gets 11 nominations in its debut. The latter two, both from CBC, compete for Best Comedy Series.
Leading the Film nominations with nine nods is Xavier Dolan‘s IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD including Best Motion Picture and Direction, Canada’s Best Foreign Picture entry at the upcoming Academy Awards. RACE, also filmed in Montreal like WORLD, gets eight nominations, while BEFORE THE STREETS, OPERATION AVALANCHE and WEIRDOS each get six nods apiece.
Newly-appointed Academy CEO Beth Janson who returned to Canada recently after a stint in the U.S., comments on the lack of a star system in Canada and hence the necessity of recognizing our own Canadian talent which she is certain has no shortage of. “The stories we tell are increasingly reflective of our diverse experiences as Canadians, and that is a trend to cherish”, she tells a room of industry, media and nominees.
Some Snaps from the Breakfast:
Academy President, Martin Katz
Actress, Amanda Brugel
Actor, Simu Liu
Actress, Maxim Roy
Nominees Jennifer Dale and Adrian Holmes
Team Schitt’s Creek congratulate Catherine O’Hara on her nod!
The 2017 Canadian Screen Awards air live on CBCSunday, March 12, 2017 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, hosted by Howie Mandel. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummerthat night is slated to be honoured with aLifetime Achievement Award. The Awards cap-off Canadian Screen Week, which takes place between Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12, 2017. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer that night is slated to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Like previous years, Fans will have a chance to engage with various events set to take place leading up to the Awards. Visit ACADEMY.CA for updates.
Taking place five years after its acclaimed first season, MICHAEL: THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS returns to the CBC lineup as MICHAEL: EVERY DAY, after budget cuts at the network back in 2012 prevented a second season. Produced and directed by Genie and Tony Award winner Don McKellar (Sensitive Skin), this latest installment of the acclaimed series reunites Psychiatrist Dr. David Storper (Bob Martin) and his patient Michael (Matt Watts).
We meet the neurotic, though seemingly well-adjusted Michael just as he has an anxiety attack at the airport prior to boarding a flight, while David himself is coping with the traumatic loss of one of his patients recently, worse for wear than Michael, his 15-year patient. The Ottawa-made sitcom has these two characters reuniting once again unexpectedly and focuses on their intense and co-dependent friendship, darkly-comical while at once heartwarming how it looks at mental illness with a bit of lightness. At once it also makes the matter feel refreshingly “normal”.
We can’t wait to see where Michael and David’s in/out-of-office relationship takes them next. Also returning to the series is Tommie-AmberPirie as David’s endearing assistant Claire.
MICHAEL: EVERY DAY airs Sundays on CBC, find out more about it here.
See a special feature on Michael: Every Day from CBC:
Okay, we admit it. We never really got the internet phenomenon known as SHIT GIRLS SAY, hence when we heard its creators, Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey were unleashing a new web series, we didn’t think much of it.
New CBC Comedy web series COMING IN however takes the rebellious stereotype-owning spirit of SHIT GIRLS SAY and in that same vein of laughter, takes it a level further. This time around, the duo explore the idea of sexual fluidity and asks the question, what if a gay man suddenly were to turn straight?
The 11-part Web Series clocking-in at about three-to-five minutes per episode, centers on Mitchell (Dylan Archambault), a stage actor who on the day of his wedding to his boyfriend Greg (Noah Danby), realizes he no longer is atttacted to men. The story then follows his way over-the-top journey to self-discovery as he grapples with his sudden attraction to women and coping with himself and how the world now perceives him as a ‘straight’ male.
COMING IN while at times playing a bit too heavily on the stereotype for laughs than going deeper – a challenge of the series’ time constraints – ultimately is more a sex comedy of extremes than an examination of the questions we all ask ourselves. It is a voyeuristic fantasy that questions ‘what if’ we went the ‘other way’ and our inhibitons were dulled, managing to keep us engaged the whole time. The series is daring and surprisingly racy, fitting right-in in an era of orientation-diverse mainstream programming like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Mitchell‘s friend and stage co-star Margot (Natalie Krill) proves a comical match to his perpetual self-absorption and Archambault is cast well in the role. Blink and you might miss a cameo from Toronto’s own Sugar Lyn Beard who has made a career of memorable sexually-daring yet funny roles in Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates and Sausage Party.
You can now stream all 11 episodes of COMING INright here.
Unless you really aren’t paying attention, ads for KIM’S CONVENIENCE have taken over the City these past few weeks. Billboards, bus shelters, you name it – CBC wants you to know about this groundbreaking new comedic series led by an Asian-Canadian cast, based on Playwright Ins Choi‘s play of the same name which won rave reviews. The Series, premiering Tuesday, October 11, 20169 PM EST hones-in on the inter-generational conflict between a family of Korean immigrants. We had the chance to chat with up-and-coming actor Simu Liu who not only stars in KIM’S CONVENIENCE as Jung, but also appears on upcoming NBC Series, TAKEN – both filmed here in Toronto.
1. Tell us what drew you most to your role on KIM’S CONVENIENCE and tell us about the casting process.
Liu: What drew me to this role is Jung’s troubled relationship with his father. I related a lot to the struggle of growing up with one culture at home and another at school, and I found a lot of catharsis doing scenes between Jung and Appa. My own relationship with my parents is not what’s on the show, but there are some definite similarities. I hope that a lot of children from immigrant families watching this can learn to appreciate their parents’ hard work and sacrifice in coming to Canada.
2. Tell us a bit more about your character Jung.
Liu: Jung is a guy who has a bit of a rebellious past. He ran with the wrong crowd in high school, got kicked out of the house, and ended up getting in a bit of trouble with the law. Jung begins the show doing grunt work at a car rental company. He’s confident, charismatic and a natural leader, and he’s made a commitment to make something better of his life. While he still keeps in contact with his mom and sister, Jung’s relationship to his father is still rocky; in fact, they haven’t spoken in almost ten years.
3. We see your extensive stunt work on your résumé. Tell us about some of the most dangerous work you’ve done thus far.
Liu: Oh jeez – well it would have to be on Heroes Reborn. I was on supposed to do a simple fall in the fight sequence but when we got on set the director wanted something more. So the coordinator asked if I could get clotheslined in the neck, do a backflip and then land on my face. I had practiced the stunt on soft floor before but we were on set already and I hadn’t rehearsed it. I was fairly confident in my abilities and we were able to get the shot!
4. We see you are working on two Toronto productions at once, TAKEN and KIM’S CONVENIENCE. How do you juggle both?
Liu: I gave up sleep for a few weeks! On more than one occasion I would be waking up at 5:30am to do a full 14 hr day on one set, have a car waiting to transport me to the other to work an 8 hr day, go home to shower and then be on set again at 6 the next day. I am eternally grateful to the production managers of both shows as well as my eternally dedicated agent Andrea Britton for making it possible to shoot two shows at once. Looking back it truly was the craziest, most memorable summer I have ever had.
5. Okay, you’re at a convenience store. We give you a $10 budget. What do you buy?
A bag of Jalapeño chips, an ice cream sandwich and a can of Diet Coke!
After a successful first season which just saw multiple Canadian Screen Award nominations, CBC series X COMPANY begins its second season tonight. Stars Évelyne Brochu (Orphan Black) and Dustin Milligan (90210, Schitt’s Creek) are in Toronto right now promoting the Series which promises to be darker and gritter than its first installment. The Series centers around five secret agents who receive special training near Lake Ontario during World War II.
We caught up with stars Milligan and Brochu earlier today at a promotional stop-off and they were amazingly-nice to stop in the cold for Fans:
Recognize this handsome face? While Canadian’s await the forthcoming Season of CBC‘s Republic of Doyle, its Star Allan Hawco is keeping sharp starring in the Company Theatre‘s Production of BELLEVILLE! The Drama examines a Generation struggling with the pressures of success and entitlement and plays at the Berkeley Theatre, with a Gala Performance on April 16, 2014!
We caught-up with Hawco earlier lunching and he was amazing to stop for a quick Snap, extending a handshake!
Some days I’m literally convinced that I was born to meet Celebrities. Today at my Day Job, I head down to the Gym to get a nice, nourishing breakfast, when I had to do a triple-take. Why in the World would Sportscaster Brian Williams be at my office working out? Well he was.
Although I’m not much of a Sports Nut, watching the Olympics as a Kid was unavoidable and you all know how much I love Horse Racing, for which he was a regular Commentator on major Race Telecasts. Brian Williams was always on CBC with a highly-distinctive manner about him which came to define much of my younger years.
We missed Williams’ familiar voice and face on CTV‘s (which he transitioned over to) coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year, but the Man certainly has left behind a legacy which several after him could only aspire for.
The Officer of the Order of Canada was awesome to stop and pose for a Photo by the Cash Register with me today, extending a handshake. Made. My. Life!
As TIFF ’13 Festivities are nearing an end, I had the incredible honour of being invited to what is regarded as the most sought-after Gifting Lounge of the entire Festival, George Stromboulopoulous’ Made in Canada Lounge. Now in its fifth year, the Lounge situated in the CBC Building this year decidedly has taken-on an all-Canadian theme. Not only was I floored by the Goodies in store, attending Celebrities loved them some of these locally-made products. As I was guided through the Lounge, my jaw was in an endless state of dropped as name after name was rattled-off to me, processing what these Stars took a liking to.
Celebrity Guests this year at the Made in Canada Lounge included the likes of Ryan Kwanten, Taylor Schilling, Idris Elba, Tom Wilkinson, Taylor Kitsch, Paul Dano, Jesse Eisenberg, Zoe Kazan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joel Edgerton, Alan Cumming and many others. Several even partook in signing their Autographs on Hockey Sticks, proudly placed on display and later to generate funds for Charity.
Among the biggest Winners at the Lounge this year were: AWAKE‘s delicious and super-caffeinated Chocolates, the uber-refreshing Limonana Beverage, Neals Brothers Foods‘ Bacon Maple Chips (which I am consuming at a rapid rate as I type this post), OMG’s (like Clodhoppers, if not more scintillating), the Montreal Canadiens‘ (Stromboulopoulous‘ favourite NHL Team) exclusive “TIFF“-inscribed Jersey, Smells Like Canada‘s Saskatoon Wheat-scented Candle, Sweets from the Earth‘s Cashew Cookies (personal favourite), Pehr‘s Tea Towels, Leaves of Trees’ super-moisturizing Argan Oil, Cococo Chocolatiers’ Habanero Rosemary Infusion Chocolate Bar (meant to be paired with Dinner), Oliberte Shoes, Daneson’s Toothpicks and several, several, more.
It also is said that “STROMBO” T-Shirts by Lancaster are becoming a bit of a Celebrity-obsession south of the Border also with Game of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau recently being papped in one.
I went, I visited and I didn’t want to leave.
For a complete list of the Canadian Businesses which were featured at George Stromboulopoulos’ Made in Canada Lounge, click here.