By Mike Bax

I don’t often veer away from music when I interview. For the most part, I have more context talking music with musicians, even though I can’t play a blessed note of anything musical to save my life.

When it comes to film, I tend to gravitate to more of the avant garde – films by David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, PT Anderson, David Fincher, David Cronenberg and Terry Gilliam. Visually arresting material that is often disturbing to watch, but always beautiful to look at. When offered the chance to chat with Canadian actor Christian Lloyd, who has role in David Cronenberg’s new film, my response was an immediate YES. Any chance to speak with talent that has worked with some of my cinematic heroes is not something one can easily turn away.

Upon prepping for my interview with Christian, I was steered to his wonderful web-presence GETTING FILM (which is really three websites in one) showcasing his talents in acting, writing & producing films and photography. It became quickly obvious Lloyd has some raw talent.

Digging through some of Lloyd’s film work was equally enjoyable, especially learning about the projects he’s just completed or has in the works. Ultimately, getting onto the phone with him and hearing his pleasant demeanour and passion for his craft, it’s obvious Christian Lloyd both enjoys what he does and believes in what he’s doing, which ultimately made for a pretty easy dialogue.

For the most part this is an accurate transcribe. Nothing below has really been adjusted or truncated at all. Just a bit of grammatical fixes here and there. Much time was spent discussing Maps To The Stars (David Cronenberg’s new film) and a pilot that is in development entitled What Would Trejo Do? starring, of course, Danny Trejo.

Mike: Are you calling in from the Toronto area?

Christian: Yes.

Mike: Would you mind disclosing a little bit about your TIFF experience this year? How did that go for you, along with your overall impressions?

Christian: Sure. I was at TIFF a couple of years ago. I had a feature film and a short film at the time, and I guess I just didn’t know as an actor what that meant and the value of that. That definitely set me apart from a lot of people attending TIFF who are wanting to get a project off the ground. Two years ago was an amazing experience for me, but ultimately underwhelming and slightly disappointing because I had no idea how to navigate my way through it. This year, being in a film that I had already been a part of at the Cannes world premier gave me a leg up on what to expect. Also, having two features at TIFF – two features that sold out very quickly by two Canadian directors at two very different stages of their careers, made this TIFF beyond amazing.

Mike: Nice. I’ve never attended the festival but I love film. I don’t know, I think it’s different for (pardon my phrasing here) the plebs. I’d be in line forever just trying to get a glimpse of an actor or whatever. I’m not really into that. It LOOKS annoying to me when I see it broadcast on television. I just can’t see myself doing that.

Christian: The thing with TIFF is that it’s pretty user friendly – well, mostly user friendly. The ticketing system can give you a few headaches. It’s the most public friendly film festival that has an industry component to it. For example, at Cannes you can’t get a ticket to any screening unless you’re industry. So that’s what I think is really cool about TIFF. But it’s also what’s really overwhelming, and there are so many screenings happening throughout any given day that are galas. It used to be that if you were a gala in town, everything else that day was sort of sub-par, whereas now, I think Kristen Wiig was doing a film at three in the afternoon on a Wednesday. And you just think, “What? That makes no sense?” You know, the star power at TIFF is just amazing, but you wind up getting pushed around more. There was more of a centre at Yonge and Bloor and it made it somewhat more accessible because everything seemed to be there. But now it’s spread so far throughout the city that you need someone to guide you through it. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be a filmmaker coming down here to just meet people and get a project off the ground? It would be terrifying.

Mike: I’ll bet. I’ve been offered photo credentials for TIFF over the past few years, and I’ve passed. I have friends who have done it – photographers that shoot for the wire, and I’ve heard some stories about what it’s like – relegated into a tiny spot trying to shoot actors and directors entering their events. It just doesn’t sound very fun at all – not to me, anyway.

Christian: Exactly, yeah. The media outlets really love to bank on the excitement of the general public.

Mike: What prompted you to move away from Kinesiology when you were studying at Guelph University?

Christian: Oh, wow. I did a play in my second semester. My first semester I was doing things like calculus and chemistry, and doing really well but I wasn’t happy. In the second semester I went into all of my finals with 90s and I was doing a play. I remember a lot of people in the drama department being really upset that I was doing this play because I was taking a part away from someone who wanted to be an actor. For me, it was just something that I needed to do. This one actor who I considered the best at the time in Guelph came up to me and said drunkenly, “You know, you really need to wake up and admit that this whole science degree is just a grasp at security. You know you’re an actor.” And that just really shook me to the ground and really affected me. I didn’t study for any of my finals. (Laughs) And my percentage dropped drastically. I had professors who were on suicide watch. They thought: “What is wrong with this guy?” I had to meet with them the next semester and basically say, “Listen, I realize that I need to be an actor,” which they were all supportive of. I finished my degree anyway as quote unquote something to fall back on – which I think is hilarious. I was doing neuro psychology, which changes daily as we understand cortical pathways more and more. By the time I might need to ‘fall back on my career’, it’s going to be so out of date anyway (Laughs). The funny thing is, I applied to theatre school coming out of university. I didn’t take a break and I didn’t get in anywhere. I was on the waiting list for George Brown, and part of me was saying, “Well, screw you, if I didn’t get in I don’t want to be on your waiting list.” Then someone dropped out and I took the spot and the rest is sort of history.

Mike: Do you remember telling your folks that you were bailing on your bachelors at university?

Christian: I do. It was actually funny because it was very intense. If someone was doing the movie of my life, that would be the Oscar moment that they show at the award ceremony, just because it was such a snot coming down the face breakdown. I’ve never had anything like that and I was expecting them to reject this notion that I had of becoming an actor. My dad is a physician, and he was just so supportive. He said, ‘Listen, it’s going to be a long road ahead, but as a doctor today, you know, there’s a good chance of a high rate of suicides and drug addiction and alcoholism in the field.’ All three are prevalent in acting as well, obviously. But at least I was going to be happy pursuing what I wanted. They were behind me a 100%, and I was very lucky because of that.

Mike: That’s awesome. I have to admit, I haven’t seen too much this year as far as movies go. Most of the awards stuff will come out in the last quarter of 2014 and a lot of it isn’t commercially available. I’m curious what you got to see around TIFF and what you’re excited about, aside from your own two projects.

Christian: Well, that’s interesting because I was so busy this year with media I didn’t actually have a chance to see anything else. I know that’s such a douchy response, but it was one of those great moments where visibility during TIFF dominoes into further visibility, which is really exciting on that level, but it was awful in that it detracted me from doing anything else during the festival. Now people come up to me and ask me how my TIFF experience was and what I got to see and I’m saying the only films I saw were the ones I was in. And I realize that you cannot say that as a Canadian and not sound like a complete douche.

Mike: Not completely. If you go out and do a music festival and you are servicing media, you don’t see any music. Typically you are in the green room area doing interviews and photos for the entire thing. So I kinda get that.

Christian: Right, but I think it was just fun. There was this executive producer who used to work for Alliance Atlantis who I was chatting with really quickly, and in any other context I would have been shaking just talking to someone of that magnitude and power. We were just shooting the shit and he said, ‘Are you excited about your premiere?’ And I said, ‘Which one?’ To which he said, ‘Well, the first night of your film.’ And I said, ‘Which one?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘You have more than one film here this year?’ And I suddenly apologized for that. He looked at me and said, ‘Are you kidding me? Own that. That’s amazing. You need to own that.’ And that was early on at TIFF this year. Let’s just say that I never really officially ‘owned’ that, but it was just nice to have that happen. I mean, a lot of the Americans have two films, right? John Cusak and Julianne Moore – a lot of actors had two films this year, but I never took that for granted. I was always thankful that was the case this year.

Mike: Can you talk a bit about how you wound up working on Maps To The Stars with Cronenberg directing?

Christian: Well, it’s funny. As the usual route goes, you get a phone call from your agent. I find in this world you seek people out that you want to work with and you rarely do get to work with them. I think because the hunger is there, people pick up on that and it just never comes to fruition. So this was just a random case of me being right for a part when I auditioned for the part, and then the casting director biting once I auditioned. I remember the call when my agent told me I was going in for a Cronenberg film. And of course the immediate flash of panic as I jumped ahead thinking what could mean. I went out and got a friend to read the lines with me, and when I was hearing it with someone else I just thought, ‘Ok, I don’t have a chance at this.’ Because this is a part that anyone could do and there is nothing really distinct about this character. And then the day that I went in to do the audition I actually had a fever of about 101, my voice was really low and I felt like crap. And the whole thing about a Hollywood executive is that they position themselves as they just care enough about you, but then they ‘really’ don’t care at all. Here I was at the audition just trying to hold it together, and what came across was exactly what they were looking for. Plus my voice was two octaves lower. So when I got the call I booked it, I immediately panicked thinking, ‘Uh uh, I’m going to arrive on set and everyone is going to think – who’s this?’ I think the great thing, and also the awful thing was: sometimes in the city you find out about a film job two weeks before, sometimes two days before it happens. This was literally two months before we were shooting. So all summer I had to live with the knowledge that at the end of the summer I was going to be working with David Cronenberg. It was great. I think I needed that time to process. I think if I did it the next day I would have been so overwhelmed. The fun thing is I was working on a TV pilot with one of the executive producers of The Walking Dead that was sharing studio space with David Cronenberg. So for me, here I was freaked out that I was working with an executive producer from The Walking Dead, which is my favourite show, and then going across the street for fittings to work with my favourite director. One gave me the confidence that I needed to go into the other, and vice versa.

Mike: That’s awesome.

Christian: So I was very blessed late August of 2013. That’s for sure.

Mike: Is David Cronenberg as cool as everybody says he is?

Christian: He’s amazing. It’s funny because he’s quoted as saying, ‘My imagination is not a scary place.’ I think everyone thinks of David as this incredibly sinister, messed up man. He has a science degree, I believe in biology. He loves insects. That’s why The Fly did so well. I think he has a mind that is not scared to go to the dark places. But he is not a dark individual. It’s funny for me. I have a role coming up where I play a clown. Most of the things I find on film that I do are really just dark, mean-spirited, messed-up people. And the thing that I have always been attracted to in acting is the psychology of charters and what makes people tick. I’m not afraid as an actor to go to those places. And certainly he is a director who is not afraid to go to those places, either. But my everyday persona is not someone who wears black lipstick and wears a hoodie and trolls around Queen Street West. If you look at me, you think, ‘Oh, ok. Where’s the polo vest?’ That is also the same with him. He wears sweat pants and a black t-shirt. And the environment on his set feels like you’re at a yoga retreat. Everyone is just so calm and professional and lovely. Hugs are flowing. It’s just a very wonderful environment to be a part of.

Mike: I’m a long-time Cronenberg fan. I feel like for directors like himself, David Lynch and Terry Gilliam, they are continuously challenged to find the budgets to make the movies they want to make (and that I want to see) because they are off the beaten path.

Christian: Right.

Mike: I’ve been watching Gilliam post online about Zero Theorem, and I don’t think that film got a proper Canadian distribution deal. It’s VOD right now.

Christian: Yeah.

Mike: And that means shrinking economy for actors like yourself looking for those meaty roles by auteurs like these directors. You can just go with the stereotypical stuff and wait for something to come along with a minimal budget that is going to challenge you creatively…

Christian: Well, the thing you have to understand about David Cronenberg is that he has had studio support in maybe two of his films. And I think what’s so great is that he’s been wanting to make this film for ten years. The writer, Bruce Wagner, when he wrote the script, Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist. Now social media is such an important part of a film. But they waited for so long to get the money to tell the story that they wanted to tell without studio backing. Regardless of whether you love his storytelling or not, you’ve gotta respect someone who is that tenacious and that committed to something that they want to tell. For me, I loved the notion of co-production. There’s a thing in South Africa where they will give you a lot of money to do production if the post production is done in Canada. You can get these incredible projects off the ground with this element. The one thing about our film in order to get the funding that we did, was only one person was allowed to be quote unquote American – and that was John Cusak. Everyone has Australian, Polish and British passports, or Canadian passports. That was part of the funding. So you look at the cast and think, ‘Oh, yeah. There is only one true American passport holder and that’s John Cusak.’ Julianne Moore, I don’t know exactly how, but through a series of family members has a British passport. So that’s how that funding worked for this film. You look at that and think that’s kind of amazing. Here we all are, all these multinational people playing Americans that is mostly shot in Canada that beautifully illustrates what it’s like to survive Hollywood at the different stages of your career, being told from all of these different perspectives in what looks like a completely L.A. shot film. The lighting is amazing. Howard Shore does the music. Everything about the film looks like it was an American film shot in L.A. I think that is what’s so biting about it. That’s why people are so disturbed by it; it has the sheen and the gloss of a Hollywood film but it has the dark heart and the brilliant minds of others who aren’t afraid to lose future funding from the studios because of it. I think that is what REALLY is sitting with people. A lot of people come out of the film and they are really disturbed and they can’t quite put their finger on what it is that disturbed them. I think it’s that they just haven’t seen a film about all of these things looking the way that it does. There’s a super saturated gloss throughout the film that is just so beautiful to look at. And also the subject matter is just so twisted and completely realistic.

Mike: Nice. I’d expect nothing less from Cronenberg though.

Christian: Well, exactly, right?

Mike: I’ve walked out of more of his films questioning what I just saw, and wanting to immediately go back in and see it again, more often than not. That’s one of the reasons that I like him so much.

Christian: He’s amazing.

Mike: I’m curious when Maps To The Stars is going to get released. It’s om my list of films that I want to see. I’m assuming it’s going to be limited release.

Christian: Hilariously enough, it’s getting released on Halloween.

Mike: Nice. It’s a horror story of sorts…

Christian: Which is funny because there is definitely an edge to it, but it’s also a funny film. It’s one of the things I love about it. You can trailer the film twelve different ways and still have an accurate representation of what the film is. The Canadian trailer, which was just released, sets it up to be a completely dark revenge thriller, which is in there. A huge part of this film is getting at the people who brought you to a certain place. But that’s not all that the film is about. The fact that it got a Halloween release I think is hilarious and amazing.

Mike: One of the things I’m following now with a keen interest is crowd funding in Hollywood, where guys like Zach Braff and Rob Thomas can put five to ten million dollars together with their existing audience and get the money to put a small budget film together. I think that is going to be something that significantly affects small films in the next five to ten years.

Christian: You know, I think with social media people are hesitant to hop on it and realize that it’s important. One of the bloggers out there asked (about TIFF) ‘What was Robert Pattinson like?’ And I said, ‘Well, he was behind the VIP area, and he was very controlled by his people, which is understandable. He is one of the most followed celebrities in the world. I said he was very gracious and he bid me a good night.’ And he just had some water and then had a quiet moment. I wasn’t going to go in there and interrupt his quiet moment. But it was literally him and I and Julianne Moore, who just had a cigarette and talked with one of her agents. It was this hilariously surreal moment. Someone quoted that Tweet that I sent to that person, and it hasn’t been misquoted but basically it’s like ‘Actor Christian Lloyd says Robert Pattinson is delightful.’ Hundreds of thousands of people are reading that Tweet and then re-Tweeting. It’s funny because if I just said, ‘Let’s make a film with Robert Pattinson, please send ten cents to this email address’, people would send a dollar to be a part of his work. It would be stupid not to take advantage of that – knowing that you have a hand as the general public in there making of a film, I think is a very powerful thing. That’s why people support and underwrite theatre productions because they want to know on opening night that they are a huge part of why this thing exists, especially with the way the celebrity machine works. The general public is all over that. That’s the great thing about crowd funding – people aren’t asking for a thousand dollars. It’s fifty bucks here and a hundred bucks there and suddenly you get a million. The fact that Zach Braff is asking for it… ehh… you know?

Mike: I know. True.

Christian: But I also feel like that also demonstrates the power of crowd funding. People always go back to that situation to illustrate its power. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that it’s not a very great film. I loved Garden State. I thought that was just fantastic.

Mike: I haven’t seen Zach’s film. I liked the Veronica Mars movie a lot. I had no problem sticking fifty bucks into that film because I was one of the guys who watched the show as it aired and wanted to see something more.

Christian: Exactly.

Mike: Can we talk a little bit about the Danny Trejo TV pilot that you’ve got on the go?

Christian: Oh my God, that’s hilarious. Yes!! We can!!

Mike: I love Danny. He’s friggin’ awesome.

Christian: Ok. Here’s the weirdest story ever. I’m at my home and a friend of mine is supposed to come up from downstairs for some wine. He gets home from work and passes out and doesn’t tell me. So I crack open this bottle of good wine and have a few glasses of wine and time passes. I’m thinking. ‘Where the hell is my friend? He’s being a jerk! Where the hell is he?’ So I drank the whole bottle of wine myself and I start thinking, ‘Where am I going to go in the world. What’s my dream trip?’ So drunkenly, I start tapping into my computer this dream trip that starts in Guatemala rescuing wild animals and then has me diving in Honduras and then hiking in Peru, and then two weeks living like a rock star in Buenos Aires. So I punch it all into the site that I’m on for flights and it comes back with this relatively inexpensive number. I wake up in the morning and go back onto the computer to clock in that flight and I can’t find anything – like, I can’t find any of it. I plug in all of those dates again and look for flights and the price that comes back is exorbitant.

(Laughs)

Two days later I have a third call-back for a beer commercial. And I’m getting annoyed because this beer commercial is a silent commercial with little hints of dialogue. So the director is really sort of pushing for me for this role and I’m getting annoyed because it’s a beer commercial, and why are we spending so much time trying to nail it? So he comes up to me and he says, ‘Listen, I think you are amazing, but the agency thinks you’re really weird,’ which takes me aback. ‘You just need to play it easier. You’re playing this guy is kind of out there’. It’s a commercial, and you kind of have to play the everyman. I get that. Anyway, a week later, I get the part and I get paid for the day of work – to the cent – of what that trip would cost me.

Mike: Nice.

Christian: I’m like. “This is bizarre / I have to look into this / my plane is going to go down into the fiery ocean”. It was creepy, right? So anyways, I book this trip and the day before I leave I get a phone call from the same director and he says, ‘Hey man, I directed you a few months ago.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, I remember.’ He says, ‘What are you up to?’ I say, ‘What do you mean?’ And he says, ‘Right now.’ So I tell him I’m packing my bags to go off on this crazy trip. He asks me when I’m going to be done (which is April) and he groans. When I ask him what’s up, he says he has this project that you’d be perfect for that is going to be done in South Africa.

I was like “Whaaat?”

So he says that he can’t really give me too many details because a lot of it is still up in the air. He gives me what he knows about the project, and then I remembered that there is a direct flight from Buenos Aires over to Cape Town on a Malaysian airline and it was $500 or something. So he says he’ll cover that flight and my flight home and that I’ll hang out for two weeks in Cape Town. At this point I’m asking him what we are doing, and he says, ‘We’re doing a not for broadcast teaser.’ He gives me the script when I’m in Honduras diving and I look at it. I thought it was supposed to be commercial. It was this half hour pilot for possibly a teaser for a movie or a television series. Basically Danny Trejo plays my conscience.

Mike: Nice.

Christian: So I read this and I’m like, ‘What? Excuse me?’ I, of course fell, in love with it. I get to South Africa and it is the craziest, weirdest shoot that I have ever done and then it ended and we all came back home. He tells me afterwards that people dig it, but they just need more context, and that my character is coming off as a bit of a jerk – the audience needs to like you. So I start giving him some ideas scene by scene and he says, ‘You know what? Why don’t you write it?’ I thought he was kidding me. He asked me to write it. I came up with these various treatments and then we wound up in L.A. going over one of the treatments and all of a sudden Danny Trejo walks in.

I had met him, because I’d shot some stuff before he’d arrived. We walk over to a deli and there’s Danny Trejo with his son and Danny’s girlfriend. All of a sudden the director starts talking and I’m having a ‘this isn’t happening moment’ and then Danny is going over things with us; looking at footage that we’ve shot so far that he hasn’t seen yet. Danny is watching this footage smiling as if he’s never seen anyone who is on camera in front of him before. And then Danny Trejo starts hitting me saying, ‘Hey look, that’s you!’

‘Are you kidding me? You’re Danny Trejo. You’re in like every movie that exists!’

He was so lovely. So great. So the director and I took another month to get it to where we wanted it to be and basically at the end of the pilot Danny Trejo would leave with me from a mental hospital via helicopter, which would be amazing. So, we are still developing it and still trying to figure out which direction it could go. It could pretty much go anywhere right now with the story. There are so many elements of it that are playing out in my head. It’s still one of those things that I can’t believe is even in existence, having Danny Trejo being my conscience.

Mike: That’s awesome. I hope that goes somewhere. Just the little that you’ve told me and what I’ve read about it online, it sounds like something I’d watch and enjoy.

Christian: One of the ideas for it, which I love, is that Danny Trejo plays a manager in L.A. and all of the people in his office are actually entourage. We all have these weird super powers. I won’t go into what all of these powers are, but I will tell you that one of the super powers is this guy who starts urinating whenever he is within ten feet of a free parking space.

(Laughter)

And they always keep him in the back of an SUV in a diaper. He hates his life. He absolutely hates everyone.

Mike: I spent a little bit of time on your Getting Film website, Christian, which I love. It’s a great website.

Christian: Oh. Thank you.

Mike: I look at that website and wonder, when are you going to start teaching? You are obviously into so many different things that you could get in front of an audience of people and coach them, on acting, producing, writing and taking photographs.

Christian: Wow. I don’t know how to react to that.

Mike: Well, you can act, you can produce, you can write and your photography is beautiful.

Christian: Thank you.

Mike: What don’t you do?

Christian: (Laughs) Its funny. Someone told me to be really careful on a business card about what you do and don’t do, because if you put that you are a reflexologist, a baritone, a life coach, and actor and painter, people are probably going to think that you probably aren’t good at any of it.

Mike: Ok. There’s logic to that.

Christian: So for me, I’m very selective. If I meet you in a photography context, then you’ll get a card that says “Getting Captured” and I’m a photographer. If you are an actor and it comes up that I look familiar and we start talking about acting, I’ll hand you an acting card. But I don’t believe anyone really needs to know that I have another life skill. I was shooting an event for UBC, I’m their photographer when they do events in town, and this woman comes up to me and says, ‘Hey. I know your secret.’ I asked what she meant and she says, ‘I know your secret. You’re an actor.’ One of the producers of the film I had just worked on was a UBC alumnae. He was looking at me and it got me wondering why I knew him. And then it hit me that he was in a movie that I had just shot. It’s nice to be able to give you a business card that is relative. “Getting Film” covers it all, but if I’m at a writing summit I’m just going to hand out a card that says “Getting Scripted”. That way you only go to that website. You can go to them individually and not know that the other sites exist.

Mike: That’s cool. What do you prefer to shoot as far as your photographs go? Are you Canon or Nikon?

Christian: I’m Nikon through and through, the only reason being that I was at an event and I decided that two of the photographers there had Nikons. For the next month I paid attention to what I was seeing and wound up seeing more Nikons. It was kind of a fluke. I was in New Orleans a year after Katrina and I was doing research for something and I wanted to take photos. I didn’t want to take photos and have them not come out so I bought a Nikon DSLR. I’ve been with Nikon now for seven years. I have a D800 which I love. It’s just been progressing as I learn more and more. I’m still trying to figure out what my thing is.

Mike: I think everybody says that – what their thing is. If you can take a picture, and by that I mean you can visually line up and frame a picture, then it’s just a matter of figuring out what you like taking pictures of. Obviously you take nice still shots and editorial style photography, from what I could see on your site. Those photos were super rich. I enjoyed those images on your website the most, honestly.

Christian: Thank you. Awesome.

Mike: Do you think you would ever teach? Could you teach, might be the better question.

Christian: You know, I wanted to write a book called How to go to TIFF and Come Out the Other Side With Integrity. (Laughter) I know that sounds awful, but this industry gets fueled by enthusiasm and desperation. It doesn’t matter if you are in Toronto or L.A. or New York, there is that sense that just having something to show puts you in a different category altogether. The hunger dissipates for those ten days at TIFF because it’s all about the exhibition of that work. The other interesting thing about TIFF is once the exhibition of that work is done, then it’s onto the next thing and it’s done. If your ego is placed on the premiere of your film, the day after the premiere of your film you’re dead. You’re no one. You’re forgotten. I think for me having had previous TIFF experience, knowing what it’s like the day after your screening, I went in with that – the understanding that I’m going to be nothing but honest my entire way through this festival and see how that weighs out. I also realized that I could do that because I had two films at the festival. You try not to expand past the truth – just celebrate the truth of what you’re doing. I think the ‘in’ thing is to use buzz words like ‘In Development’ and ‘Working On’ and it suddenly becomes way more powerful and closer to being done than it really is. Just working on a screenplay is a huge accomplishment. You don’t have to layer it with lies. When you finish a screenplay, guess what, you just beat out 98 percent of the people out there who are just working on a screenplay. Teaching, I don’t know. I think everyone has their own ways of getting to places. I think for me, the moments where I felt the most lost are the times where I was trying to get better as a photographer or develop my own website. Now that I am at a place where people are following my Twitter and Instagram and checking out my website I realize, ‘Thank God for those dark moments.’ Now I feel like there is this thing that I can go back to. I would like to teach or guide people on how to play the game when it looks like everyone is against you. But in terms of teaching people how to take photos or teaching people how to act or write, I don’t know what I could offer there.

Mike: Awesome. Thanks so much for your time. I’m really looking forward to seeing this Cronenberg flick. I’m also looking forward to seeing Bang Bang Baby, which we didn’t even touch on today – your other TIFF film.

Christian: Oh, that’s fine. What’s fun about Bang Bang Baby is that I do five voice characters in the movie, as well as the character that I play. So in the credits I’m listed as six characters, which is hilarious to me in one single film.

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