Although most of "Another Country" takes place in Calgary, Gerry Kisilenko is one of
the familiar faces we see in the Lynx River scenes. I had a chance to talk briefly with
Lubomir Mykytiuk about what he's been up to since we last talked. (See my previous
interview with him.) "North of 60" publicist Fran Humphreys was also with us.
PW: I'd like to find out what Gerry is up to in this movie, and also what you've been up to between movies. Shall we start with the movie?
LM: Gerry's not up to too much in this movie. He's kind of observing. He's part of the town, welcoming Teevee back. Most of it happens away from the community, so it's just like he's keeping the home fires burning. The whole town seems to be essentially doing that, once we find out that something untoward has happened. Everybody starts to rally around.
PW: Without giving away too much, is Gerry involved in the cover-up, shall we say?
LM: Not really. He really is just part of the "homefires burning" gang.
PW: Okay, well, it'll still be great to see him! So your other recent work has been...?
LM: I did a "Tom Stone." That was fun.
PW: What was your character?
LM: I played a kind of a con man. He's got kind of a Ponzi scheme going, and he seems like the innocent victim of something, but it turns out that in fact he's a fraud artist. It was fun. It was a lot of fun to do.
LM: Other than that, I did "Art" in Montreal. It's quite a well known play. Written in France. It's been going on for a number of years.
PW: Yes, I know that one. I saw it in London in 1998.
LM: London, New York...It's a three-character play. It had some pretty good lineage in terms of the actors. The original production had Tom Courteney in it, and Albert Finney. And Alan Alda in New York. Very good play. Very, very good play.
FH: What was your character's name in it?
PW: Let's see, there's the one guy who buys the painting, and then the two friends he invites over to see it. Which one is Marc?
LM: Serge buys the painting, Marc is the friend who loathes the painting, and Yvan is the one who tries to be the buffer between them. It's a play about art, it's a play about friendship, and it's very Freudian. It's the three sides of the psyche: the id, the ego, and the superego. If you look at it that way, you'll understand the play.
PW: Hah, I never thought about that! We should perhaps mention that the issue with the painting is that it appears to be a square of white canvas.
LM: It's a very modern piece of work: white on white!
PW: And he paid how many million dollars for it?
LM: No, it's not millions. It's actually not really that enormous. It's 250 thousand francs, which is about 50 thousand dollars. So it's not an enormous amount of money, but the argument starts and he says, "You paid 250 thousand for that shit?!"
PW: That's a line from your character?
LM: Yes, my character is the one who says the emperor has no clothes. Because Yvan keeps saying, "Oh, there are other colors." "What colors? There are no colors! It's white! White!"
PW: Do you have any more theater coming up?
LM: I'm actually going to be doing something in the early fall. I'm going to be doing Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap."
PW: Oh my, talk about a play with a heritage!
LM: Yeah, exactly!
PW: Where's that going to be?
LM: In Montreal again, I think in October.
PW: Is Montreal where you live?
LM: No, I live in Toronto. But I'm from Montreal, and lately I've been doing a lot of theater in Montreal for some reason. Three or four plays in a row. The only other things that are worth noting is I had small roles in two kind of big blockbuster features. "K-19: The Widowmaker" with Harrison Ford...
PW: Filmed in Nova Scotia, right?
LM: It was filmed in Halifax and Toronto. I had really only one scene, but part of it was shot in Halifax and part of it was shot in Toronto! I do this run through the submarine and I get killed.
PW: Who's your character?
LM: I play the submarine doctor, who gets killed before they leave port. So it's very short!
FH: As an actor, that just sucks! [all laugh]
LM: Yeah, but a job's a job!
PW: And the other role?
LM: The other one, again I get killed. I play a Russian nuclear scientist in one of Tom Clancy's movies, "The Sum of All Fears," with Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman.
PW: Did that film in Toronto?
LM: That filmed in Montreal.
PW: Any episodic TV coming up that you know of?
LM: Not that I know if. It's kind of the audition season starting now.
PW: Yeah, I hear things have been pretty slow for everyone.
LM: It's 'cuz of the SAG [Screen Actors' Guild] strike, the threatened SAG strike last June and July. What happened is the studios got a backlog because they were expecting a strike, so they did a lot of work before and then they had nothing planned for that time. So it's taking a while.
PW: But there are a lot of shows and TV movies that film in Toronto, so it's bound to pick up again.
LM: Oh yeah.
FH: We've been here 10 years now, Lubo.
LM: Yeah, no kidding. We're all very aware of that. I've noticed that everybody's getting very nostalgic.
FH: How so?
LM: I just think people are beginning to realize that it's been 10 years. That it's been kind of an extraordinary journey for everybody. Recently someone said to me, "Hey, I saw you in an episode. You were younger!" [all laugh]
FH: Do you have a place or a time that was really favorite for you, or part of Gerry's trip that you loved the most?
LM: I really can't think...there were so many good ones. But I was just talking to Tina [Louise Bomberry] and I remembered the time when I got drunk at Harris' wedding and sang a Ukrainian song to Rosie. I thought that was pretty good. It was a very nice moment. And the episode I won a Gemini for, the whole thing about my trailer, kicking me out of my trailer.
PW: They wanted to kick you out so they could give it to one of the band members.
LM: Right. In fact, Lorne [Cardinal], who's here now.
PW: He's just across the hall from us!
LM: That dirty dog! [all laugh] And the trailer gets blown up...
PW: And it was all Daniel Deela's fault!
LM: Yeah, absolutely! I got drunk and got a shotgun...it was fun. But I think that moment with Rosie was pretty good.
FH: Pretty poignant.
LM: Yeah, it was pretty poignant.
PW: Lubo, before you have to leave, would you have just a moment to say hi to "North of 60" fans? I'm going to transcribe these greetings.
LM: Sure. We're speaking from the Lynx River Old Age Home.. [all laugh] Hi, this is Lubomir Mykytiuk who plays Gerry on "North of 60." It's nice to know we have all these faithful fans, and I send you a very heartfelt "hello." And keep watching!
[ Click here to hear that greeting.]
Text and photos (c) 2002 Patricia F. Winter.
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