Scottish barmaid Kelly Macdonald wasn’t sure if she would make a good actress—but she went to an open audition in 1996 in her home town of Glasgow anyway. “I had an idea that I might be able to do this,” she says. “I wasn’t a showy child, but I used to privately mimic things on TV” Macdonald was correct in her hunch. Then 19, she won a lead role in the cult drug movie Trainspotting, opposite Ewan McGregor. After that, Macdonald considered drama school, but never found the time: she was too busy working with Jessijj ca Lange in Cousin Bette and I Cate Blanche« in Elizabeth.
■£ Now 23, Macdonald is star! ring in the Sundance Film Fes| tival winner Two Family House, I as a pregnant Irish girl living in I Staten Island’s Italian neighbourhood. Macdonald plays her part with depth and complexity, something she claims she wasn’t ready for at the beginning of her career. “I was happy that Diane was a feisty young thing,” she says of her one-dimensional Trainspotting character. “Doing something subtle would have been too much for me.” These days, Macdonald, who lives in London, is feeling more confident. In fact, drama school is out of the question—unless she’s the teacher.
updates every hour. Bertelsen, a Hamilton native, has experience working in this television niche. On the Toronto station CFMT, Bertelsen provided wacky commentary during breaks in the Jerry Springer and David Letterman shows. There, her penchant for leather and leopard prints, along with her dramatic flair earned her a cult following in the gay community. She was the first woman on the cover of Fab, a magazine for gay men. But at home, Bertelsen eschews her campiness. “I have a 160-year-old house,” she says. “I chop wood, install the central vacuum and sand floors.” Still, she finds time for Love Boat trivia.
A tour of Quebec quirkiness
Taras Grescoe unearthed some obscure details about Quebecers in his first book, Sacré Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec. In addition to being the most voracious consumers of fruit in Canada, they harbour the greatest cravings for Jell-O. But Grescoe’s debut also tackled weightier matters, from the vaulted status of the province’s successful entrepreneurs to the appeal of Quebec TV programs. “The book was an attempt to avoid politics,” says Grescoe, 33, who grew up in Vancouver and Calgary and moved to Montreal in 1996. In Sacré Blues, Grescoe pokes fun at some elements of Quebec’s distinctiveness: from the province’s notoriously aggressive drivers to poutine. Still, the overriding tone is clearly respectful for a place Grescoe calls one of the most livable, civilized and intriguing pans of North America. One of the values of Quebec for English Canada, contends Grescoe, is “this idea of showing us there is a radically different way of looking at the world, of creating a society.” His book suggests vive la difference!
A three-minute gal
Television personality Karen Bertelsen knows the name of Shirley’s stuffed cat from Láveme & Shirley, and the twins who beat up on Pinkie Tuscadero in the demolition derby on Happy Days. “I like pop culture,” says Bertelsen, 32, “but usually the kind that no one has any interest in.” Still, Bertelsen’s recollection of Boo Boo Kitty and the Malachi brothers may come in handy in her new gig at MuchMoreMusic.
The punk-rock fan is the host of a new segment called The Loop, which consists of three-minute entertainment
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