People

People

D’ARCY JENISH December 7 1998
People

People

D’ARCY JENISH December 7 1998

People

D’ARCY JENISH

Up to speed in a racy role

Briand, 34 and an avid cyclist herself, says she wanted Laurier “to feel the freedom you get on a bicycle, that feeling of being stoned on adrenaline.” Laurier wore no makeup and submitted to the unflat-

It was 1980, and Charlotte Laurier was only 12, when she first splashed onto the big screen with a starring role-as Manon, the precocious and fiercely possessive daughter in Francis Mankiewicz's Quebec classic Les bons débarras (Good Riddance). Now, Laurier is 31, and another Manon-Montreal writer-director Manon

Briand—has handed her the most challenging role of her career. In 2 Seconds, Briand’s feature debut, she plays Laurie, a professional mountain-bike racer who gets fired from her team and becomes a bike courier in downtown Montreal. The actress, who had not ridden a bicycle since her teens, underwent 10 weeks of intensive training for the shoot. In the film, she cycles down stairs and weaves through heavy traffic. “I don’t like danger,” she says, “but I had to develop a taste for it. I began to enjoy the risk—those moments of temptation in traffic—and just the speed, and the strength that you didn’t know you had.”

tering gaze of wide-angle lenses. “For a woman to be filmed that way is very brave,” notes Briand. “I wanted to make her look almost like an insect, like a bee.” But Laurier says her greatest challenge was getting inside the head of her character, who is physically wild but emotionally timid. Laurier, who took off her clothes for a crowd of several hundred men in Pierre Falardeau’s Le Party (1989), found it easier to play a stripper than a circumspect cyclist. ‘The stripper was passionate and dramatic,” she says, “and so am I.”

But in a skin-tight racer’s costume, she looked convincing: filming scenes against the backdrop of a mountain-bike race at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., she was thrilled to be mistaken for a champion by fans, who demanded autographs. Laurier, who has just started to learn English, is unknown in Hollywood, but she has now had a brush with fame, California-style.

Two Canuck swingers score

The odds were daunting, but Mike Weir made golf history for Canada last week. In the final round of the 108-hole PGA Tour qualifying tournament at PGA West Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif., Weir fired a blistering eight-under-par 64 to become the first Canadian to win the gruelling, six-day event More than 1,200 players had entered the competition through earlier regional tournaments before the field was whittled down to 169 at PGA West By prevailing against those odds, the 28-year-old Weir—raised in tiny Brights Grove, Ont, near Sarnia—collected $75,000 and, more important, earned the right to compete in

the 44-tournament PGA circuit next season. ‘Winning means a lot to me,” says Weir, who lives year-round in Draper, Utah, with his wife, Brida, and year-old daughter, Elle. “The hard work I have been putting in has finally started to pay off.” Weir’s was not the first triumph for Canada in U.S.

qualifying tournaments this year. Early in October, 22-year-old Anna-Jane Eathorne of Penticton, B.C.,

tied for top spot at the LPGA’s entry event in Daytona Beach, Fla. There are no playoffs at qualifying tournaments, so Eathorne could not settle the issue in extra holes. But the 1997 Canadian amateur champion says that securing her 1999 playing privileges was by far the more important result. Just graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in business administration, she is back in the Okanagan Valley, anxiously preparing for the January start to the LPGA season. “It’s amazing to me,” Eathorne said last week. “Everything has happened so quickly since I graduated, but I still feel like a college kid.” Only now she plays for pay.