skip navigation
Don Mckellar

Don Mckellar

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Highway 61 ... The story of a small-town barber (Don McKellar) who teams up with a roadie... more info $11.95was $14.95 Buy Now

Trigger (2010) ... Directed by Bruce McDonald. Starring Sarah Polley, Molly Parker, Callum Keith... more info $21.95was $48.99 Buy Now

Red Violin ... This film follows the "life" of a red violin through multiple owners and... more info $10.95was $23.99 Buy Now

Exotica (1999) ... Import Blu-ray/Region All pressing. Includes a Region 1 DVD pressing. Forbidden... more info $19.95was $42.99 Buy Now

Manson My Name Is Evil ... The definitive moment that coined the phrase "serial killing." Manson's... more info $11.95was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 17, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, CA Profession: actor, director, screenwriter, TV series creator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Virtually ubiquitous in Canadian film, actor-director-screenwriter Don McKellar has established recurring creative partnerships with famed fellow countrymen Francois Girard, Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald and David Cronenberg. McKellar first gained notice on the big screen with "Roadkill," McDonald's 1989 rowdy road comedy about a woman on the trail of a missing rock band. In addition to writing the dryly humorous screenplay, McKellar played Russel, a thoughtful serial killer who sees crime as a valid career option. He teamed up with McDonald frequently, also penning and appearing in the director's acclaimed "Highway 61" (1992), writing the screenplay of the gemlike drama "Dance Me Outside" (1994) and starring in the short "Elimination Dance" (1998), based on the writings of Michael Ondaatje. McDonald also served as director of McKellar's CBC series "Twitch City" (1998-2000), an understated comedy chronicling a man (McKellar) living just above the poverty level in Toronto's Kensington Market, who rarely leaves his apartment and lives through television. Dourly comical with a realistic edge (including characters whose clothing and belongings had the uncommon flavor of authentic underprivilege), the...

Virtually ubiquitous in Canadian film, actor-director-screenwriter Don McKellar has established recurring creative partnerships with famed fellow countrymen Francois Girard, Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald and David Cronenberg. McKellar first gained notice on the big screen with "Roadkill," McDonald's 1989 rowdy road comedy about a woman on the trail of a missing rock band. In addition to writing the dryly humorous screenplay, McKellar played Russel, a thoughtful serial killer who sees crime as a valid career option. He teamed up with McDonald frequently, also penning and appearing in the director's acclaimed "Highway 61" (1992), writing the screenplay of the gemlike drama "Dance Me Outside" (1994) and starring in the short "Elimination Dance" (1998), based on the writings of Michael Ondaatje. McDonald also served as director of McKellar's CBC series "Twitch City" (1998-2000), an understated comedy chronicling a man (McKellar) living just above the poverty level in Toronto's Kensington Market, who rarely leaves his apartment and lives through television. Dourly comical with a realistic edge (including characters whose clothing and belongings had the uncommon flavor of authentic underprivilege), the series won many fans, and scored an order for a second set of episodes in 1999. Additional small screen appearances by McKellar include a guest shot as a bike messenger on the popular CBC sketch comedy series "The Kids In the Hall" and co-starring roles in two Showtime telefilms: 1997's adaptation of Rod Serling's riveting holocaust drama "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" and 1999's biopic "The Passion of Ayn Rand."

With director Francois Girard, McKellar would do two of his most well-known films, "Thirty Two Films About Glenn Gould" (1993) and "The Red Violin" (1998). He co-wrote and briefly appeared in the former, an episodic biopic about the eccentric pianist that became an art-house success. McKellar, himself a fan of Gould, helped shape the film's impressionist view of the musician, with each section corresponding to a different aspect or passion of Gould's life. The latter, which traced the travels of the titular instrument through generations of varied owners, received great acclaim on the festival circuit and several Genie nominations and a Best Screenplay win upon its Canadian release. The star-studded cast (featuring Samuel L Jackson and Greta Scacchi, as well as Canadian favorites Sandra Oh and McKellar) ensured a solid international audience.

While he is surely a perceptive and economical screenwriter with an evocative style and an ear for dialogue, McKellar has proven an onscreen asset as well. Unconventionally attractive, with a self-effacing charm, the dark-haired actor has displayed notable presence and watchability. McKellar worked extensively with director Atom Egoyan, perhaps most memorably as a bizarre pet shop owner in the director's intriguing "Exotica." This 1994 Genie-winning performance marked his second collaboration with the celebrated director, having previously essayed a young film censor in "The Adjuster" (1992), Egoyan's provocative look at human's voyeuristic leanings. In 1997, McKellar had a featured role in Egoyan's one-hour "Sarabande," a drama featuring legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma that aired on PBS as part of the series "Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach." McKellar has additionally acted in many Canadian productions alongside some of the nation's best known performers. His credits include "Never Met Picasso" (1996) with Margot Kidder, "Joe's So Mean to Josephine" (1997) with Eric Thal and Sarah Polley, and "The Herd" (1998) with Mark McKinney, Graham Greene and "Thirty Two Films About Glenn Gould" star Colm Feore. In 1999, McKellar had a featured role as Yevgeny Nourish, a double agent enmeshed in the alternate game universe of David Cronenberg's "eXistenZ."

McKellar made his feature directorial debut with "Last Night," an original and unsensational look at the end of the world that proved his threefold talent as star, screenwriter and director. The film was truly McKellar's, his touching and funny script and intuitive direction formed a notably well-made movie, while his compelling performance stood up well alongside some of the most omnipresent and respected performers in Canadian film: Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley and even famed director David Cronenberg (who previously appeared in McKellar's short "Blue").

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Childstar (2005)
2.
3.
  Last Night (1998) Director
4.
  Blue (1992) Director
5.
  Bloody Nose, The (1992) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Zoom (2015)
3.
 Perdu avec toi (2012)
4.
 Gravity Pulls (2012)
5.
 Trigger (2011)
7.
8.
 Blindness (2008)
9.
 Redacted (2007)
10.
 Monkey Warfare (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2006:
Appeared in Ken Finkleman's miniseries "At The Hotel"
1998:
Created, wrote and starred in the CBC's comedy series "Twitch City"
2006:
Earned a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for "The Drowsy Chaperone"
1995:
Featured in the drama "When Night Is Falling"
1997:
Featured in the Showtime remake of Rod Serling's gripping Holocaust drama "In the Presence of Mine Enemies"
1992:
Re-teamed with McDonald as screenwriter and co-star of "Highway 61"
1998:
Along with writer-director Francois Girard, wrote "The Red Violin"; also had a featured role
1999:
Co-starred in David Cronenberg's thriller "eXistenZ"
1997:
Featured in Egoyan's drama "Sarabande" with cellist Yo-Yo Ma (aired on PBS as part of the series "Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach")
1998:
Starred in Bruce McDonald's short film "Elimination Dance"
1997:
Starred with Eric Thal and Sarah Polley in "Joe's So Mean to Josephine"
2001:
Wrote and directed "A Word from the Management"
1998:
Wrote and starred in his feature directorial debut, "Last Night"
2008:
Wrote the screen adaptation of José Saramago's 1995 novel "Blindness" (also starred); directed by Fernando Meirelles
2003:
Cast in the Canadian TV series "Slings and Arrows" as Darren Nichols, a pretentious theatre director
:
Co-founded Child's Play Theatre, a Toronto touring company and the Augusta Theatre Company
1999:
Featured in Showtime's biopic "The Passion of Ayn Rand"
2004:
Helmed second film, "Childstar"
1993:
Helmed the short films "Blue" and "The Bloody Nose"
2006:
Hosted the CBC Radio One series "High Definition"
1994:
Played a quirky pet shop owner in Atom Egoyan's "Exotica"
1993:
Co-wrote and starred in the episodic biopic "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould"
1992:
Featured as a young film censor in Atom Egoyan's "The Adjuster"
1989:
Scripted and starred as an earnest serial killer in Bruce McDonald's "Roadkill"
2003:
Starred in the Comedy Network animated sitcom "Odd Job Jack" as the titular hero, Jack Ryder
1996:
Starred with Margot Kidder and Alexis Arquette in "Never Met Picasso"
1994:
Wrote screenplay for Bruce McDonald's Canadian reservation-set drama "Dance Me Outside"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Toronto: Toronto , Ontario -
University of Toronto: Toronto , Ontario -

Notes

McKellar on how 1998's "Armageddon" complements his own end of the world film: "I always thought a film like that, in those disaster films, the thing that always interested me were the people who were wiped out off-screen. Oh you saved L.A.--big triumph there. What about Alberta, that was wiped out?" --quoted in CALGARY SUN, October 22, 1998

"Writing, directing and starring in your own film, though, does open up the possibility of film-maker's megalomania. 'It's something I'm conscious of,' McKellar admits. 'I was trying not to make my own part too cool. But I can assure you I have a very healthy amount of self-loathing and it will be a while before that's completely disappeared." --From the London TIMES, July 1, 1999

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute