People

People

BARBARA WICKENS October 20 1997
People

People

BARBARA WICKENS October 20 1997

People

BARBARA WICKENS

On the case with Greene

For a self-proclaimed “science nut,” hosting Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science is the ideal job, says Canadian actor Graham Greene. “I’m always watching science shows, and I thought this sounded interesting,” he says. “So I decided to take a stab at it, so to speak.” The 13-part Discovery Channel program, which is based on actual Canadian criminal cases, uses dramatic re-creation to show how forensic scientists and police investigators use technology to crack virtually unsolvable cases. In one episode, document and chemistry experts determine that a winning lottery ticket had been carefully doctored. Another focuses on the young federal lab biologist who matched DNAfrom three female AIDS victims to the man they claim infected them. “What gets me about these cases is how stupid some of these criminals are,” says Greene. “They are like the Three Stooges. It’s like, What were they thinking to leave this evidence behind?’ ”

It is the first time that 42-year-old Greene has been host of a TV series. A full-blood Oneida born on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Ont., he tried a variety of occupations, from draftsman to rock band roadie, before embarking on a career in the arts in 1976. The actor became known to international audiences for his Academy Award-nominated role as Kicking Bird in Kevin Costner’s 1991 hit film, Dances with Wolves. Greene has also worked regularly in television, including in the CBC series North of 60, but says he prefers film. The longer shooting period, he notes, leaves time to play jokes on co-workers: “If you don’t have fun, what’s the point of working?” The fun factor dimmed in March, when Greene underwent psychiatric assessment after barricading himself in the house he shares with his wife, Hilary Blackmore, in Udora, Ont., north of Toronto. Police were called in, but no one was hurt. “That is way in the past now,” says Greene, who would rather talk about his work, though not what he has coming up. “I don’t like discussing my future plans. It’s like whistling in the theatre; it’s bad luck.”

The shoot must go on

Christian Duguay is a film director with a difference: he began his career as a cameraman and still does his own camera work. “I think I’d go crazy to have to communicate to a technician what I want,” says the 40-year-old Canadian, whose credits include the 1996 sci-fi thriller Screamers. But his technical edge did not make things any easier when he was filming The Assignment, a suspense thriller about the terrorist Carlos (The Jack-

al) Sanchez. The movie, which opened on Sept. 26, was shot in Montreal, Budapest and throughout Israel, in weather ranging from -40 to 40° C. After a series of terrorist acts in Israel in March, 1996, the director temporarily stopped production. But it was only in retrospect, says Duguay, who regularly shuttles between Montreal and Los Angeles with his wife, actor Liliana Komorowska, and their two young children, that he appreciated how difficult a shoot it was. “At the time, you’re so focused on what you’re doing,” he notes, “you sort of lose track.”

Havana, and all that jazz

Cuban musicians once very influential in jazz. But today, after than 30 years of the U.S. bargo against that country, most Cuban performers are unknown in North America. Winnipeg jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner is hoping to change that In January, she went to Havana to record her latest album, Birds Are Re-

turning. “The musicianship

was stunning,” says the classically trained pianist who worked with several of Cuba’s jazz greats to create the album’s Afro-Cuban-flavored songs. Lerner, 40, whose six-piece group is now touring Canada, adds that playing in Cuba was inspiring. “Music is simply part of the culture,” she says. “Coming from this culture, you just suck it up.”