Montreal-born star Caroline Dhavernas explains buzz behind Hollywoodland
You might say we're in the age of Canadian celebrity. Our music is getting more attention than ever before, and our directors and actors have become the stuff of daily tabloid television. Molly Parker is a regular on HBO's Deadwood, and Ryan and Rachel are rapidly becoming the new millennium's answer to Tracy and Hepburn. Who can say why this is happening. But one thing is for certain, it ain't doing the notion of Canadian greatness no harm.
The latest star rising out of the Canadian talent factory is actress Caroline Dhavernas. In Hollywoodland, a Hollywood flick boasting such heavyweights as Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Diane Lane and our own Molly Parker, Dhavernas plays lover and assistant to Brody's furtive detective of the seamy. Mind you, this isn't Dhavernas' biggest role, nor her first on the international circuit. It's just the most recent, and it's a fairly minor one at that. She's worked with avant-garde director Peter Greenaway (in The Tulse Luper Suitcases) and starred in her own Fox television series (Wonderfalls). So, I have to ask...
Hour Given that this isn't your most notable role, why am I talking to you now?
Caroline Dhavernas: Honestly, you never know why someone will believe in one film or television show or another, why one will suddenly take on a momentum of its own. You always wish for that because you want people to see your work. And people put so much effort into these productions, they deserve to be recognized
for it. But it just doesn't always happen. Maybe what I did for Greenaway or for Wonderfalls deserved more attention, but it didn't happen.
Hour So what is it about Hollywoodland?
Dhavernas: Well, it's a feature by a first-time film director, although Allen Coulter has done tons for HBO [Rome, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex in the City]. There's an amazing cast and the story is really compelling. I think it's a great film. And it doesn't hurt that it's in the official competition at the Venice Film Festival.
It's not a huge role, you're right, but this is one of those cases where interest really builds around a film and people want to know as much as possible.
Hour Why do you think that is?
Dhavernas: Hollywoodland is an unusual film in many ways. There are so many films right now about superheroes, Spider-Man, the X-Men. They're so unrealistic. And here we have this mystery about a man who was supposed to be a superhero in his day, George Reeves, the first man to play Superman on television. The man was miserable. It's an actor's nightmare to be typecast in a role they don't like, and even though millions adored him, he hated himself for it. The thing is, his life really wasn't so bad. And there's a parallel with the detective investigating Reeves' suicide. He's also dissatisfied even though he already has everything in his life to be happy about. The film takes us through these men's lives and shows a little down-to-earth wisdom. It's not a sensationalist film, even though sensationalism is one of the things it's about. The film is a bit European in that way. I think that piques people's curiosity.