I hear you have issues with my film.
B.L. Ok, if you want to get right to it. Why Men with Brooms.
Where are the ladies playing this game? We didn't get to see them
on the rink at all.
P.G. Well, I was going to be in it so it had to be guys and they
do play mixed games, but not at the big tournaments. Trust me, I
struggled with that but it just ended up being this way.
You took on this very ambitious project about curling. What were
P,G. (laughs) I don't know! I must have been stoned. No.. I think
for one thing you are always looking for stuff that hasn't been
shot a lot that hasn't been seen and curling has never been seen
so I can say without any fear of contradiction that this is the
single greatest curling movie ever made. It is a genre opening film.
B.L. Yes, you can say that for sure.
P.G. You know, there is something kind of weird about this sport
that elicits this interesting response that doesn't know it. But
once you get into it its just like the pursuit of anything. There's
commitment and dedication and the sheer difficulty of playing it
B.L. What was the biggest challenge for you making this movie?
You wrote it, directed it, starred in it, wrote some of the music.
Is there anything that you DID NOT do for this movie? Did you shine
peoples shoes on the set?
P.G. No, I did not do that!
B.L. Great, a break. There is something that I can say that you
P.G. Also, there was no cardio-thoracic surgery. It's funny. You
have to have these titles. I guess that you did this and this and
this but they are all really kind of the same thing. You are just
telling a story and the cast had as much to do with making this
film as I did. I'm not a visionary.
B.L. No, I disagree. Obviously you are. You write a script you
decide to direct it and you must have had some idea in your head
as to how you wanted this to turn out.
P.G. I'm not trying to be artificially modest but so much of it
is who you have with you and the cast particularly in something
that is comedic you really have to have an open collaborative thing
going on or else it just gets rigid. This cast was wonderful, not
only did they direct me or help me direct myself but also they brought
all sorts of things to the film that we hadnt considered. I think
that enriched it and the same with the crew, people would constantly
be coming up with ideas.
Take me back to the first day on that curling rink and what you
P.G. I don't know if thought is the right thing. That's a charitable
word of characterizing what was going on in my head on that first
day. It was a nightmare shooting the curling. We didn't really have
enough time and on top of it the ice starting melting because it
coincided with the hottest May on record. So I went in with a shot
list of nine million shots and they would say the ice is gone. It
would be two hours into the day and I would think, "OK I can't
shoot any of that what should we do now?" It was panic, absolutely
blind panic for a whole 10 days.
B.L. How did you prepare yourself for this? Lifting those rocks
must have been difficult at first, they weigh about 40 pounds, correct?
P.G. Yup, they are between 42 and 44 pounds of pure granite. We
had to train. We had to learn how to actually do it. George Karys
who is a silver medallist at the Nagano Olympics was our coach and
he brought in some other guys who were good at brooming or help
with slides. There was a lot of attention devoted to us four wobbly
guys. Its a great thing that its a movie though because I can cut
out the really bad wobbles that we have. If you got to see all of
the raw footage of us curling its just pathetic.
B.L. Actually, you should do more outtakes. We get to see some
of them during the credits, but you should think about it for the
DVD version release of the film.
P.G. I want to make the auteur version for the DVD. I'm going to
take out all the music and all of the comedy and subtitle it in
B.L. That I would like to see.
P.G. It would be good. We could call it the film festival version.
B.L. You've put together quite a talented cast here.
P.G. Yes, I'm proud to say its the largest ensemble of Canadian
actors in a feature film!
B.L. Including Leslie Nielsen with whom you've worked with before
on Due South. So you pick up the phone and say, "hey,
Leslie want to be in my film?"
P.G. It was great. And he is so great in this I think. But this
is the thing that really irritates me. You look at him today and
he's gone and cut his hair, he's shaved off the beard and he looks
so fabulous in this film with the longer hair, don't you think?
He sure doesn't look like a man in his seventies!
P.G. He looks kind of sexy with that facial hair. Now he's back
to same old Leslie, and that's not bad but I thought he was rakish
in the movie.
B.L. I just spoke to him about the role and the one thing I said
to him is that the role was different for him. It's got a bit of
comedy mixed in with the drama and people are going to see him in
a different light.
He and I had talked about that for awhile that he was interested
in doing something that wasn't the type of stuff that he had been
doing and try something with a bit of drama. He did spend most of
his life as a straight dramatic actor and only recently has he had
this other franchise. I think that he is wonderful and he's a great
B.L. Men with Brooms isn't just about curling. You have
a scene where the four curlers jump off a cliff into freezing cold
water completely naked. Now I commend you for taking part, but did
you have to pay the guys extra for that?
P.G. It was awful. It was as close to hypothermia as you can get
without actually dying. It was hysterical though. When we eventually
got out of the water we went to a tent with a heater that was set
up and we sat shaking uncontrollably. The thing that is so depressing
is that I really don't think that while you are watching the film
that it actually looks that cold. There are evergreens all over
the place, so that's why I had to put in the dialogue about it being
I have to say you have done so well in Canada, you've always worked
whether on the stage or film or TV or even with your music. But
its not like the United States didn't come calling. After George
Clooney left ER you were offered the chance to be on that
TV series. Have you ever thought about what your life might have
been like had you taken that job?
P.G. You know, I don't know. I never really had much of a strategy
for anything. I know actors who plan careers but I just sort of
do what seems to be interesting. When you think about it, Due
South's success was really unpredictable. In fact, CBS wasn't
really that high on the show when we made the pilot but it performed
quite well. So after making the pilot I honestly thought that will
be it, it will be over and I'll have to go back to Los Angeles.
So, I dont know. It would be a totally different life but I'm glad
that I have been able to remain in Canada. Its been very good to
B.L. Yes, you've been good for our country too.
P.G. Plus I wonder what life would be like had gone straight to
Los Angeles when I was 18. I might be Keanu or Keanu's long lost
I have to wrap up but convince me in 10 seconds or less, why we
should all take up curling.
P.G. Oh that's easy.. You should be a curler because it does wonders
for certain muscles that you are not yet aware of!!