Metro News
February 2, 2006

Actor Lemche's Role Reflects His Dilemma
- Chris Atchison

Around seven years ago Kris Lemche faced the dilemma which causes so many Canadian actors sleepless nights — to move or not to move to the United States to find work?

After much thought, the 27-year-old native of Brampton made the decision to test the waters in Los Angeles in pursuit of a successful acting career.

The day he arrived, the phone literally began ringing and a career that has seen him land parts in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ, the 2001 film Knockaround Guys with Vin Diesel and Barry Pepper, and the television series Joan Of Arcadia, kicked off.

"I was living in Los Angeles, I had Los Angeles at the top of my resumé, and suddenly I had a film role," he says of the parts that began streaming his way.

For his latest role as the restless Caleb in Canadian writer-director Aubrey Nealon's A Simple Curve, Lemche found parallels with his own struggles to decide whether to chase his dreams or remain at home to pursue more modest career goals.

In the film, Caleb is torn between a similar question of whether to continue working in his father Jim's (Michael Hogan) carpentry shop, or leave and find greater success away from his pristine British Columbia town.

"You know how we all have that voice in our head that talks to us? (Nealon's writing) reminded me of that neurotic little voice in my head," Lemche says of the script.

Although that voice lured the actor away from Canada to a new life on the West Coast of the United States, it did so only after some serious soul-searching.

"There's this pull in both directions and this decision about what's important in life," he says. "To me, that was the essence of the friction between Jim and Caleb. It was Caleb not knowing what was important in life."

His insight into the realities of a career as a Canadian performer are true for so many famous Canucks who have found staggering fame and fortune in the United States, such as Jim Carrey and Mike Myers.

But Lemche surmises that part of that drive to succeed on foreign soil might be somewhat engrained into the Canadian psyche.

Perhaps, he says, we need to "make it" down there before we can truly be accepted up here.

"(There's) this weird identity crisis about how we can't do it here at home, and how we're not good enough until we've gone somewhere else and been baptized, then you can come back," Lemche says. "Then you've made it, even though you might still be in Canada, as long as you're baptized down there."

A Simple Curve opens in theatres tomorrow.

© Metro News