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Kelowna man goes from shooting shorts at film school to acting with Anthony Hopkins

Kelowna actor Chad Fortin landed a part on Blackway, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 28, 2016 - 11:30 AM

OKANAGAN - It’s any actor’s dream to walk into their first-ever audition and land a part on an Anthony Hopkins film, and for Kelowna resident Chad Fortin, that dream became reality.

Born and raised in Alberta, Fortin moved to Kelowna in 2012 to pursue a filmmaking program and soon found himself enjoying acting as much as writing and directing.

“While we were making shorts I was usually the one in front of the camera,” he says.

He was picked up by talent agent Jennifer Hobbs during a casting call, and a little while later, she got him an audition for Blackway (formerly known as Go With Me) starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.

“It was really nerve-wracking because it was my first audition. I went home and thought I did bad, as everyone always does,” he says.

Later that night, he was surprised to get a call asking him to come back for a second audition.

“I felt even worse after leaving the second one. That time I auditioned in front of the director,” he says.

All he really new during the audition process was he’d be playing a meth head.

“They were showing us videos of how meth heads act and all that… I just went in and improvised and it’s all history from there,” he says.

The evening after his second audition, he got the call saying they wanted him. A few weeks later, he went for a wardrobe fitting, and not long after that he was chatting with Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins in between set-ups.

“It was all very fast and very exciting,” he says.

He was only on set for a day, but says it was a day to remember.

“They pamper the hell out of you in between set ups — that was quite nice. I had my own trailer with my character’s name on the door. It was very ‘I’m in Hollywood now.’ Between that and spending time near these legendary actors, and just being treated like an industry professional, was a highlight,” Fortin says.

His break-out role involves a scene, with dialogue, at a motel with Hopkins himself and fellow Kelowna resident Taylor Hickson.

“I got there and the director, Daniel Alfredson, was really hands on. He gave me the opportunity to ad lib a couple lines. That was a lot of fun,” he says.

He recalls making small-talk with Hopkins — including a ‘nervous joke about the weather’ — and says the award-winning actor was very pleasant.

“I didn’t want to bug him, I didn’t want to fan-boy too much on the set. I just wanted to be a professional,” he says.

He also got to chat with Ray Liotta, who he says was very down to earth and relaxed.

“I had a really hard time not making a Goodfellas reference around him,” he says.

Fortin now plans to move to Vancouver to pursue all aspects of filmmaking.

“Ultimately I want to be a writer, director, actor,” he says. “I want to be as immersed in the filmmaking experience as possible.”

Fortin is one of many locals who got to take part in the movie, which was filmed almost exclusively in the North Okanagan. Enderby Entertainment producer Rick Dugdale says roughly 150 locals worked on the film, from construction workers to extras to actors.

“Not only will you recognize locations, you’re probably going to recognize some people too,” Dugdale says.

Blackway premieres June 2 at the Starlight Drive-In and hits select theatres June 10.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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