BACK TALK

BACK TALK

David James Elliott isn’t just another man in uniform

JOHN INTINI August 15 2005
BACK TALK

BACK TALK

David James Elliott isn’t just another man in uniform

JOHN INTINI August 15 2005

BACK TALK

TV

David James Elliott isn’t just another man in uniform

JOHN INTINI

David James Elliott’s amateur football career has been marred by injury. About 30 years ago, he broke his ribs on the high school field. Last month, he hurt himself again-this time in the endzone of Hamilton’s Ivor Wynne Stadium while filming The Man Who Lost Himself. “All I had to do was dive across the goal line, but I hit my shoulder the wrong way and popped my collarbone out,” says Elliott, who stars in the upcoming CTV film as Terry Evanshen, the former CFL receiver who suffered amnesia following a car crash in 1988.

“This game can be deadly.”

The Toronto-born actor, best known to TV fans as “that guy in Jag," was always more of an artist than an athlete. In fact, Elliott briefly dropped out of high school to front a rock band. These days, his passion for triathlons proves he’s a jock at heart. “My first time out, I almost drowned,” says Elliott, 44, who’s training for an Iron Man event this fall. “I didn’t realize I couldn’t swim until I got out there. So I’m in no danger of winning anything.” Hurting himself, however, is another story. JOHN INTINI

“David’s a very athletic guy so I only had to offer him a few tips. Most of them had to do with my mannerismshow I carry myself and the way that I run and catch a football.” -Evanshen

Music I Rising from the West

You don’t expect the band touring with one of the biggest acts in the world to pull out cheap nylon wallets when the breakfast bill arrives. “We should ask fans at the concert if they have a place for us to crash,” jokes Black Mountain keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt, 32, a few hours before opening for Coldplay at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre last week. So how did these Vancouverites rise from obscurity to become the North American flutters for Chris Martin and Co.? “Coldplay just asked,” shrugs 30-year-old drummer Josh Wells.

The quintet (which also includes backup singer Amber Webber, 25, and bassist Matt Camirand, 29) is certainly at the opposite end of the spectrum

from its famous headliner. The sprawling songs on its self-titled debut are dark, drug-addled and loud like Led Zeppelin-the music as appealingly shaggy as the band. Back home, four of the five members work at a mental health facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside-they do everything from drink coffee with the homeless to clean a safe injection clinic. And the group shares members with other area bands that are part of the Black Mountain Army, an artcollective. But don’t expect a manifesto. “Work is just much more fun with friends,” says frontman Stephen McBean, 36. “And we get to pay them, too.”

BACKTALK

Books I A 30-year quest of love in Tibet

Xinran’s international bestseller, 2002’s The Good Women of China, cast a rare light on the lives of females in the People’s Republic. The Chinese-born journalist, who has been living in London since 1997 (where she writes a column for the Guardian), had become fascinated by the struggles of her countrywomen while hosting a radio call-in show in Nanjing starting in the late 1980s. The program, Words on the Night Breeze, became a sensation throughout the country, and exposed Xinran to many powerful real-life stories, some of which she included in Good Women.

Her new book, Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet, is also based on real experience. A listener contacted Xinran to suggest she travel to Suzhou to meet a strange woman who dressed and looked like a Tibetan, but turned .jj out to be Chinese. Shu Wen had spent 30 years SKY BURIAL in Tibet searching for Xinran;

her lost husband, ultiRandom

mately becoming part House of

of a family of nomads. Canada; $25

Hayley Wickenheiser finishes John Intini’s sentences

It’s been four months since the U.S. women’s hockey team snapped Canada’s world title streak at eight, but Hayley Wickenheiser says the nightmares still haunt her. The best female hockey player on Earth, who has been with Team Canada since she was 15, hopes to exact some revenge at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, next February. The 29-year-old Calgary native finished Maclean’s Associate Editor John Intini’s sentences.

I KNOW WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT... toilet training. I’ve been trying to get my son Noah through the night.

I ALWAYS GET MY BUTT KICKED... when I play tennis.

MY FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH ... was

Tom Cruise in Top Gun. I loved Maverick. It was all about how he rode that motorcycle wearing those shades and the whole fighter pilot thing.

AFTER A GAME... I always have a bowl of cereal. Usually Vector. Never Froot Loops, even though I love it.

THE HARDEST LABOUR THAT I’VE EVER ENDURED... was working on the farm in Saskatchewan throwing bails, shovelling grain or picking rocks.

IN MY BASEMENT AS A KID... my brother and I played air band. We did classic ’80s pop really badly. Mostly Billy Idol. I was on drums and my brother played guitar. We played White Wedding, a lot.

FOR MORE “JOHN INTINI’S SENTENCES” VISIT WWW.MACLEANS.CA/PEOPLE

ESSENTIAL

WICKENHEISER

1. Played third base and in the outfield for Canada’s softball team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

2. In 2003, became the first woman to score in a men’s pro hockey league.

3. Born to Play, a children’s biography about the sports star, was recently released.

THE LIGHT SABER used by Mark Hamill when he played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars sold at auction for US$200,600. Darth Vader’s fetched US$118,000.