In the last post, we saw that Roy Dupuis was the main actor in the newly released film “Ceci n’est pas un polar”. The film has garnered some amazing reviews, and a good number of people have said that it has been one of Dupuis’ best performances.
In this post we’ll take a closer look at Roy Dupuis.
Owing to his star status, it is difficult to talk about the Montréwood without mentioning Roy Dupuis some capacity. In terms of comparison, it could be said that Roy Dupuis is to Montréwood what John Travolta is to Hollywood..
Like Travolta, Roy Dupuis made a huge name for himself when he was much younger – having starred in some of Montréwood’s greatest hit movies and television series of modern times. Although Dupuis is now in his early 50’s, people likely still have a younger image of him in their mind when they picture him (much as it is when it comes to John Travolta).
Public domain open commons photo credit
One thing that many people do not realize about Roy Dupuis (especially in Québec) is that he is originally Franco-Ontarien and not Québécois. Of course, he could now also said to be Québécois considering how long he has lived in Québec, but he is nonetheless considered Franco-Ontarien in the heart of many Ontarians.
He was born in New Liskead in the Francophone region of Northern Ontario. Despite growing up in Ontario, he did not speak English as a child (something which is not so uncommon in Northern Ontario). At age 11 his family moved for a short while to Amos in Northern Québec, but they moved back to Ontario soon after – this time to the Francophone city of Kapuskasing (where he lived until his mid-teens).
Prior to finishing high school, his family moved to Laval where he graduated. After graduation he attended acting school in Montréal.
From there, the rest is history. His career started in the mid-1980s, and he landed roles in some of the biggest hits not only in Montréwood history, but also some of the biggest hits in Canadian film and television history (in terms of box office sales and viewship numbers).
Some of his best-known hits:
Some of his best remembered television roles were:
- Lance et compte (the portion of the series which ran from 1986 to 1989) — one of the most successful television in the history of Montréwood and Canada.
- Les filles de Caleb (from 1990 to 1991, which is where I first came to truly know him as an actor) — one of the best remembered television series in the history of television in Canada (it was also shown in an English dubbed version).
- Urgence (1995) — one of most successful French-language television series.
- The Heritage Minutes (1997).
- La Femme Nakita (1997-2001). — one of the best remembered television series both in English and French in the country.
Some of his best movie roles were:
- Jésus de Montréal (1989) — one of the biggest hits in Canadian movie history.
- Séraphin: Heart of Stone (2002).
- Les Invasion barbares (2003) — one of the biggest hits in Canadian movie history.
- Maurice Richard: The Rocket (2005).
Some additional information:
Dupuis has become known as an environmental activist and has publicly spoken about his views to bring attention to various environmental issues.
He also was the narrator for the 2015 documentary Empreinte; a documentary on the historical and anthropological relationships between French colonists and aboriginal populations.
Many Anglophones across Canada also are fans of Dupuis’ work. His French-language television series La Femme Nakita also was filmed in English and was a pan-Canadian English-language hit (it was not dubbed, but rather was filmed in two versions). In addition, the TV series Les filles de Caleb was dubbed into English for Anglophone Canadian audiences, and was shown nation-wide.
In my opinion, Roy Dupuis is obviously someone who is very attached to his heritage and causes regarding the well-being of society are dear to his heart. Considering his Ontario roots and his notoriety in English Canada, he would be a perfect ambassador for causes which can bridge the Two Solitudes. Hopefully we’ll see some of his future projects lean in this direction.
This post, like yesterday’s post, also highlights a well-done recent Montréwood film. You may wish to check it out when it shows in your own part of Canada (Click here for you your local provincial Francophone association, which will be able to help you find showing dates and locations across Canada).
Ceci n’est pas un polar was showing in theatres yesterday. A Francophone buddy of mine drove into the city yesterday and we went to watch it together. I was not planning to watch a second movie, two days in a row — but the reviews were too good to turn this one down.
The word “polar” has two meanings in French. It means the North & South Poles, or other poles of attraction. But it also means a “criminal saga” (usually recounted in a book or a film). Thus the movie’s title could mean “This is not a normal crime story”.
The movie stars Roy Dupuis and Christine Beaulieu. Roy Dupuis is one of Montréwood’s most famous actors. What most people do not realize is that Roy Dupuis is Franco-Ontario. He was born in Northern Ontario and lived in Ontario into his high-school years before his family moved to Québec.
Click below for the movie trailer
In the movie, a taxi driver falls in love with a customer, but finds himself captivated by too many strange aspects to her life which she does not want to explain to him. Out of love for her, he embarks on a journey as an amateur private detective to try to figure out why all the small things he is finding out about her are not making sense. The series of misplaced facts finally make sense at the end of the movie, but it was quite an adventure to get there.
Most Francophones in Québec and across Canada have watched Roy Depuis for more than two decades on television and in the movies. Even Anglophones across Canada may know him as the leading male role in the long-running television series Nakita.
But his role in this movie was probably one of his best ever (which is exactly what the critics have also been saying).
Check it out if you have the chance.
Below is a behind-the-scenes interview of the making of the movie:
I do not tend to watch a ton of movies (in English or in French). I suppose I’m like most people; I don’t like to see obscure films which try to convey hidden messages of morals on life using metaphors and cinematic tools to invoke the suppressed character in me. Puke! Sorry, that’s just not me.
Rather, like most people, I’m shallow, movies are expensive, and I want an instant fix from the movies I chose to see. I expect to be wowed, held in suspense (without having to expend too much brain power), or I expect to be keeling over with laughter. (By the way, if you’re learning French, the informal word for “keeling over with laughter” is “cramper”).
So in this sense, like the vast majority of people out there, I’m just plain picky and my choices are populist. I chose movies based on how the expensive effects look, or based on raving reviews.
Yet, yesterday I decided to see what was playing in French (with one of Canada’s largest Francophone populations outside of Québec, Toronto is a great city for anything Francophone-related). A quick search revealed a few French-language movies playing at the cinema this weekend. Some were made in Québec and others in France.
I looked them up and Les Maîtres du suspense (one of our newest Québec films) was garnering some great reviews. So an hour later I was out the door, on the subway, and on my way downtown to check it out.
It was hilarious! I don’t know how many times the entire theatre burst out laughing. But it also had a serious side to it — a very well made movie.
It was not released very long ago, so I’m quite curious what the box-office sales will be like over the next few weeks and months (in Canada, we count Canadian-made box-office sales in terms of months).
The movie was actually being shown in Toronto as part of a cross-Canada promotional tour. The film’s writer, Stéphane Lapointe, surprisingly made an appearance on stage after the film’s showing (I did not expect that at all) — to great applause might I add.
I would certainly recommend putting this movie on your list of must-sees. It can often be hit-and-miss with our Francophone (and Anglophone) films in Québec & Canada. But this one certainly was a hit.
In addition, it featured two very well-known household names as its main actors; Michel Côté and Antoine Bertrand (Michel Côté has been famous for two to three decades, and Antoine Bertrand is a young actor who has taken the film industry and comedy circuit by storm only over the last three years or so).
I’m not going to spoil the plot, but I will tell you that it was unlike any plot I have every seen before — very creative and captivating!!
Here is the trailer:
See if you can check it out in your part of the country. If you’re not sure where and when it will be showing in your city, give your local provincial Francophone association a call (click here for a list of contact info in all parts of Canada).
[As an aside, the theatre audience was very interesting. I expected it to be mostly Franco-Ontariens. Yet it was not. It was a packed house, perhaps half Anglophone / half Francophone. Toronto’s Francophones are a very mixed bag, and it certainly showed last night. On one side of me were Francophones from Ontario, on the other side were people from Québec. Acadians and African Francophones were seated in front of me, and behind me were some Anglophones and Francophones from the Maghreb. And then there was that wacky “Alberta” guy sitting in my seat! 😉 On the 40 minute subway ride back home, the subway was full of the different French accents of those who went to see the movie. I really should try to make an extra effort to do more French activities in Toronto — it’s such a fascinating mix of people here!]