TIFF Rising Stars series
As I sit in front of my laptop on a busy Sunday afternoon, the charmingly British voice of Charlie Carrick greets me via Skype.
We start chatting and Carrick laughs: “I’ve wanted to be an actor for as long as I’ve ever thought of having a job, although I would still like to be a footballer.”
After taking a few acting classes at a film school in his hometown Vancouver, Carrick appeared in a number of popular TV shows, including Flashpoint and Supernatural. Since moving to Toronto a year ago, he has played a leading role in Molly Maxwell, a movie he is particularly proud of.
Because of the travel required for his assignments, Carrick doesn’t get to stay in his new hometown and indulge in his childhood dream of becoming a “footballer”, as he calls it, by playing for the Annex FC team. At the moment, Carrick is on set in Budapest, filming the exquisitely portrayed period drama, The Borgias. “The costume department on that show is crazy! They are all Italian, so they are just smoking, drinking espresso and fitting you in amazing 15th century costumes!”
Remaining cryptic about his exact role on the show, Carrick only reveals that he enjoyed wearing his new tunic, cape and custom-made riding boots, but was disappointed that he didn’t get to ride a horse. On the other hand, it appears that he has become familiar with some new weapons, got to work with the stunt crew and even spoke some Latin.
“It’s pretty cool and they are really on top of all the details,” say Carrick, when describing the amount of care that is taken in portraying every Church protocol, gesture of the Pope and Latin pronunciations. “I had a couple of poems I was reading and the [language expert] could quote me the whole poem, not just one verse and how to pronounce everything. It’s very interesting and you can really learn a lot.”
He adds that sometimes it’s almost a surreal experience. “It’s kind of weird. You are in Budapest, you drive from our hotel which is in central Budapest to a big studio which is out in the hills, with huge back lot and sets of Rome and Naples. Because it is isolated, it does feel like your imagination, and it really feels like you’re actually [travelling in time]!”
Apart from his current gigs, Carrick says that he would love to try comedy. In his free time, he watches The Office, Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm, which he’s currently watching from the comfort of his hotel room in Hungary. “If it’s [humour] like that, then I’d be delighted!”
One of Carrick’s recent career advancements was when he was chosen as one of the four Toronto International Film Festival’s Rising Stars. As part of the program that aims to take talented Canadian actors at the tipping point of international stardom and help them build their career, Carrick was able to meet industry leaders like Michael Winterbottom and Jason Reitman.
“The other aspect about Rising Starts is that the four of us got on really well, and I would happily work with any of my teammates.”
As for the Red Carpet, Carrick did not disappoint. Most of the festival he was dressed by Canadian menswear designer and Carrick’s soccer teammate, Christopher Bates.
“I wore a lot of his clothes. He seemed pretty delighted about it and everyone really liked them!” From a “fantastic” black tuxedo jacket to a grey blazer with a tuxedo shirt underneath, Carrick says he loved how light and comfortable they were. He also wore some pieces by Diesel and Ben Sherman, keeping his look simple and classic.
Carrick is excited for the day he can come to TIFF and have a great body of work under his belt. In the future, there’s a number of directors that he would love to work with, such as Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine. He adds, however: “Ken Loach is probably my main directing hero. He makes films with great stories, but also with social agenda which is what I think films should be about.”