If you watch Québec movies, see a Québec commercial in passing, or catch the odd téléroman (French language TV dramas or sitcoms), you will surely recognize Rémy Girard. He’s an actor who pops up everywhere.
This is one area where Anglophone and Francophone TV actors in Canada share much in common – our actors tend to be recurrent on various cultural platforms (we’ll often see the same actor in commercials, movies, the stage, comedies, and TV programs). In comparison, US actors will often stay on “one track”, with occasional meandering onto other platforms.
Quebec and francophone pop-culture in Canada is very concentrated amongst a handful of media companies in the Montreal region. This, combined with language, makes Montréal ground-zero from where Francophones derive their pop-culture. Conversely, a Canadian Anglophone’s attention to pop-culture is not solely focused on any one city, such as Vancouver or Toronto. Canadian pop-culture tends to be in competition with the likes of Los Angeles, New York, or even London and Sydney (UK and Australian hit songs, TV programs or movies also find their way to Canada).
Because of this difference, Québec very much revolves around its own pop-star culture and star industry. Successful Québec actors and movie stars are highly revered by Francophones and Rémy Girard is one such actor.
His personality as a down-to-earth guy you could have a beer with comes across through his many and varied roles. He has the ability to connect with viewers on any media platform, which is likely why he’s the person production houses and directors often turn to when then need that perfect fit.
In an interview on Québec City’s WKND 91.5 FM, Girard himself said he prefers doing comedy, but acknowledges that two roles, a dramatic role in the award-winning moving Les Invasions Barbares and a comedy role in Papa Bougon, marked his career more than any other. The fact that such very different roles (comedy vs. drama) could set the tone for one’s career is a testament to breadth of his appeal within society.
In the same interview, he said that for the cinematic industry to grow in Québec, it’s necessary to make films that bring people to the theatre. Judging from the works he has played a role in, it’s evident that he continues to be an important ingredient in that mix.
Girard has stared in movies which have won Academy Awards, TIFF awards, Cannes Awards, Oscar nominations, Prix Génie, Prix Gémeau, Prix César, Prix Jutra and others. Some of the more notable films and programs he’s acted in are:
- Les Invasions barbares and Le Déclin de l’empire américain (Acadamy Award film winner and Oscar film nominee respectively)
- Les Bougon – c’est aussi ça la vie!
- Jésus de Montréal (Academy Award film nominee)
- Les Boys
- Blades of Glory (starring Will Ferrell)
- The Red Violin (starring Samuel L. Jackson)
Here’s a tip to make a new friend: If you ever meet a “Girard” from the relatively isolated (but rather populous) Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec from where Rémy Girard is from, ask them “if they’re related to Rémy”. It will earn you a smile, and you’ll instantly have a new Pal (there’s the uniting force of pop-culture!).
Search Rémy Girard online for more information. (Artists are part of our collective cultural fabric — please only download legal versions of movies, shows, and programs).