Okay, so shame on the Canadian girl for being a day late on this. Due to the… *ahem*… intense celebrating of my country’s founding day yesterday, I sort of forgot about my idea on writing this article. As a proud Canadian, I wanted to share some of the reasons my pride exists so immensely. So I decided to list Canada’s best in entertainment. And you can absolutely forget about seeing Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback on this list. If anything, they should be kicked out of the country… there, I said it!
1. Nathan Fillion – He’s the handsome fella in the image above. The captain of Serenity himself was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Previous to his role as Malcolm Reynolds on Joss Whedon’s beloved series “Firefly”, he played Caleb towards the end of Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Since “Serenity”, he’s gone on to act in several other shows/films, including “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” (alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day), “Desperate Housewives”, and “Castle”. We can expect to see him playing the role of Hermes in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
2. William Shatner – … I mean, do I really need to say any more about that?
3. Jim Carrey – This guy has been one of my favorite actors since I even knew he was Canadian (raised in Ontario, like myself!). I first saw him in the ridiculously funny film “Dumb & Dumber”, and since then, my life hasn’t been quite the same. Other notable films he’s been in include ” The Mask”, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Cable Guy”, “Liar Liar”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Batman Forever” (I don’t care what anyone says, he cracked me up as The Riddler), “Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events”, and “Bruce Almighty”. Expect to see him in the upcoming superhero film “Kick-Ass 2“… but don’t expect him to talk about it much. There’s been some news going around lately about his distaste for violence (especially involving guns), ever since the Sandy Hook incident, and he’s rather disgusted by the amount of fighting he had to do in the film. Hoping that’s not just a publicity thing, Jim.
4. RUSH – Anyone who knows me knew I would probably include three of the world’s greatest musicians in this list. There’s no denying the fact that RUSH is the world’s most nerdy band – ever! With songs like the 20 minute long “2112”, based off of the writings of an Ayn Rand novel, this band has been making music for D&D players for the last 40 years, and only a month ago finally made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I could go on and on about how cool and amazing and overly talented this band is, and I could spend hours describing how spectacular they are to see live, but I need to move on.
5. The Barenaked Ladies – Remember these guys? Chickity China, the Chinese Chicken / You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’ / Watching X-Files with no lights on / We’re dans la maison / I Hope the Smoking Man’s in this one / Like Harrison Ford I’m getting frantic / Like Sting I’m tantric / Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy. You don’t get quality lyrics like that anymore.
6. Ellen Page – I gotta represent here, ’cause this chick is from my hometown Halifax, Nova Scotia. She’s been in some pretty rad films to date, including “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Juno”, and “Inception”. She’s all over the film industry ranging from indie films to blockbusters, and she rocks every role she plays. Also, to clear this up for a lot of folks since I know a few people (myself included) were confused about it, she was not the model/voice for Ellie in “The Last of Us”. I don’t blame anyone for getting confused about it though, because the makers must have had a thing for her, as Ellie looks almost identical to how Ellen looked in Juno, and the name of the character is strangely similar. One of my favorite roles she’s played however, was a little girl named Trina in an episode of one of my all-time favorite shows, which leads me to the next on my list…
7. The Trailer Park Boys – My friend introduced this show to me after I told him I was Canadian. I had no idea what I was in for. The episode I was introduced to was called “Closer to the Heart”, a RUSH reference. In this episode, one of the three guys, Ricky, kidnaps Alex Lifeson after finding out the band is in town for a concert that night. … Alex Lifeson liked the show so much, that he decided to guest star on it! I was immediately hooked after watching all of the crazy shit they did with Alex in the show, and I was even more stoked about it, when I found out it was filmed in the place I resided for the first three years of my life, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. So many of my guffawing laughter moments have taken place because of this show. I even had the opportunity to see them do a live performance here in Phoenix. The writing and fantastically believable acting in this show (especially Mr. Lahey’s drunken moments) hooked me for life. If you haven’t ever watched this show, you better start. … But get ready for the hilarious eastern-Canadian accents.
8. Seth Rogan – Sure, a lot of people aren’t fond of this guy; maybe because of his over-the-top goofy laugh, the overabundance of weed-smoking, or the fact that he seems to show up in everything lately (This Is the End was great). But I’ve been a fan of this dude since “Freaks & Geeks” (if you’ve never seen that show, I’m afraid we can’t ever be friends), and I’ve laughed at every single film he’s managed to star in and/or direct. Face it – he’s all over the map, and he deserves to be. He’s worked his way up to the Hollywood level because he’s a hard worker and he can actually act (watch “50/50” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt), though I’m sure it helps being friends with people like Judd Apatow and James Franco. Whether you’re a fan of his films or not, you need to commend this guy for the mark he’s made in the industry. Jew-fro and all.
9. Skinny Puppy – I’m going to go underground on all your asses and mention this 80’s/90’s band, because we probably wouldn’t have some of the awesome music we have today if it wasn’t for these industrial rivet-heads. Since 1982, they’ve been pushing the industrial scene to the next level with their heavy and raw yet danceable sounds. They’re some of the pioneers of industrial music, influencing people like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Unfamiliar? Dig It: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDKkRSUrTd8
10. Ryan Gosling – Yeah yeah yeah, I can hear everyone’s obvious thoughts from a million miles away on this one. “You only list him ’cause he’s hot!” Well, yeah, but that’s not the only reason. I’ve been watching this guy act since he was a teenager on Canadian TV channels, and he always blew his fellow actors out of the water, even at a young age. Not to mention, he was also part of the Mickey Mouse club with Justin Timberlake – how adorable is that? I noticed he was really into the indie film scene, starring in movies such as “Half Nelson”, “Lars and the Real Girl”, and “Blue Valentine” alongside Michelle Williams. Today, we can see the actor from London, Ontario (so close to where I grew up!) on the big screen in films like “The Notebook” (with fellow Canadian actress Rachel McAdams), “Drive”, and “Gangster Squad”. He also had a small role as Alan in “Remember the Titans” – one of my all-time favorite movies. If his incredible acting wasn’t enough, he’s also been known to play a sort of superhero in real life in New York City, once breaking up a fight, and then saving a woman from being hit by a cab.
Why did I decide to do this list? Because I feel the need to shed more light on my Canadian brothers and sisters who provide us with endless, awesome entertainment. That, and I’m awake at 4am – can’t sleep. Though, I could talk about it for hours, because I have a bunch of honorable mentions (Norm MacDonald, Mike Meyers, John Candy, Michael Cera, Jay Baruchel, Keifer Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert, Sandra Oh, at least four other bands). Who are your favorite famous Canadians? Let me know in the comments! ‘Til then, I’m gonna take off lookin’ for a maple donut, then hit the chesterfield for some zeds like a hoser, eh!