The news David Cronenberg’s latest film “Cosmopolis”, starring Robert Pattinson, is being shot on the streets of Toronto, when based on a very New York novel about a billionaire riding his limo around the streets of Manhattan, got us wondering – where else does Canadian content (Can-con) unexpectedly pop up?
1. We might remember Paul Giamatti’s Golden Globe speech when he thanked the beautiful city of Montreal where “Barney’s Version” was shot. The film had a few Can-con moments. The more obvious – when directors Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg and director/actor Paul Gross made cameos – and the less obvious – the waiter at the Ritz restaurant who serves Barney and his wife throughout the film is award winning, Oscar nominated Quebec auteur Deny Arcand!
2. Sofia Coppola’s dreamy first film “The Virgin Suicides” is about a suburban American family, but the whole film was shot in Toronto. Spot the U of T football stadium on Bloor Street when Kirsten Dunst looses her virginity to Josh Hartnett in the visually stunning scene!
3. There is nothing Canadian about “Crash”, the 2004 Oscar winning film about American racism that takes place over two days in Los Angeles. But did you know its director, Paul Haggis, who also wrote Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” is London, Ontario born and raised (and also a co-creator of seminal Canadian TV show “Due South?”)
4. We all know “True Blood” star Anna Paquin is not American – she started her career at the age of nine in New Zealand director Jane Campion’s “The Piano” (for which she won an Oscar), but did you know that the HBO vampire-lover is actually from Winnipeg, Manitoba originally? Born in The ‘Peg, her family moved to New Zealand when Anna was four.
5. As the new Mrs. Don Draper, Jessica Pare gets to play Jon Hamm’s sexy Madison Avenue secretary in “Mad Men” but the voluptuous siren gives the New York show a little Can-con because of her Montreal upbringing. Pare is from Montreal and before she was topless in “Hot Tub Time Machine” she was the star of Quebec director Deny Arcand’s “Stardom!”
6. Drew Barrymore’s funny rom-com “Fever Pitch” is about Jimmy Fallon’s obsession with the Boston Red-Sox, but check out all the sweet romance that takes place in the ‘Boston park’ – it’s actually Trinity Bellwoods in downtown Toronto. You can see the hip Queen Street West locale in soft focus behind the couple’s park bench scenes!
7. Even if “Twilight” fans/Robert Pattinson gawkers have figured out the “Twilight” series is shot in Vancouver, the natives of the city can really see Stanley Park standing in for the forests where Bella and her vampire friends hang and spot the city scenes featuring the yuppie area colloquially known to Vangroovey’s as “Kits”.
8. Most of us know that “Inception” star Ellen Page is from Halifax, Nova Scotia but did you know her break-out role in “Juno” was filmed in B.C.? You might recognize the school shots filmed in Vancouver’s Eric Hamber Secondary School! Co-star Michael Cera was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario raising the Can-con quota.
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