Just a reminder that tonight on CBC at 8pm (8:30pm NFLD) the movie The Phantoms premiers. I hope you will watch it.
Today I am so very honored to have a few of the cast stop by to do a Q & A with me. I want to thank Renee from PR for arranging all this. Renee I truly appreciate all that you have done. I also want to quickly thank the cast for taking time out of their busy schedules to do this for me.
Tyler Johnston plays the BHS Phantoms basketball player Corey Boucher. Corey was one of the survivors.
Did you get to spend any time with the real person your character was based on before filming?
I did, a little later into production. We were able to chat a bit on the last few days which was nice. Must’ve all been very surreal to him. His parents on the other hand I saw all the time! Great people.
I am from Bathurst (and BHS was my high school) what is the one thing someone should see when visiting Bathurst?
I love being by the water. For me, I enjoyed walking the bridge into town and taking in the beauty of the coast. So I suppose I dont have one thing in particular, I would say get outside and explore a little!
Tyler when I read this I laughed because I don’t know how many times I walked the bridge into town. Its a beautiful site. What surprised you about playing this role?
It kind of surprised me how close to home it began to hit. Some of my greatest friendships were formed by playing recreational sports. Growing up playing hockey and lacrosse, I know how much my teammates mean to me and to lose them would be devastating. The strength the community showed by coming together was inspirational.
How hard was it to play this role?
The production flew us out two weeks early for basketball camp, in the gym where The Phantoms still play today, which started a very natural process. Us boys bonded, while getting to play the game! Sudz and I were on the same page from the start. He’s the man. The emotional scenes sometimes can be quite exhausting but other then the occasional long emotional day, it could not have been any more enjoyable.
What was your experience being in the community and the community reaction to having you there?
We were welcomed with open arms. Whether it was our invite to a party the first weekend or Thanksgiving dinner at Coach Alan’s place, we felt at ease. The recent accident of course was a very sensitive subject but we wanted to honour the Boys in Red to the best of our ability and I think the community felt that. I know if ever I find myself out east I now have friends in Bathurst! 🙂
Tyler you will always have friends from Bathurst. I am not surprised at how welcoming the community is. Thanks so much for taking the time out to do this for me.
Kyle Mac plays the BHS Phantoms basketball team player Luke Thibodeau.
Was there anything that surprised you during the filming this movie?
Honestly every experience in the filming of The Phantoms was a very happy surprise. From working with one of Canada’s top directing talents; Sudz Sutherland, to the unique experience of filming in the real locations as the team we were portraying is so very rare. Feeling the support of the town of Bathurst participating so closely in the film. The amazing surprise of getting to hang out and get to know the real boys whom our characters were based on was completely surreal. Even beyond that, being trained and coached by the “Phantoms” real coaches through the entire experience was unreal, we truly built a bond with them, and all left affectionately calling them “coach”. And probably the most surprising experience would be the completely real bond us actors built through the filming. We became a real team, and all friends for life.
Kyle, you truly have made friends for life. I am so proud of my little communtiy. What was the one thing that you took away from acting in this movie and being in the community of Bathurst?
With the fear of sounding repetitive, the most honest answer is; best friends, with four young men so very different from one another, but with a real bond and respect for one another. Emmanuelle & Jacob live in Toronto as I do, and we all hang out every week, and each one of us keep close contact with Wes & Tyler whom live in Vancouver but have visited us in Toronto multiple times, since filming. A true respect and close bond between actors on a film that you know will carry on beyond the production and through your life is a rare and wonderful thing.
Thanks Kyle for taking the time out to do this for me.
Wally McKinnon plays The Phantoms coach, Marc Babineau.
What was your experience in spending time with Coach Alan of the BHS Phantoms?
Spending time with Alan the Coach of The Phantoms was an incredible experience. He was so open, and willing to talk about anything. The team, his heart attack, his recovery, whatever I wanted to know. Although I have played basketball, I had never Coached, and he was such a book of knowledge about the game. I had so many questions. And he answered them all. It helped me so much in playing the role of the Coach.
When I heard about his heart attack, I literally felt like how much more can this team suffer. They have been through so much. Being a graduate from BHS I was so happy and honored at how this community held it together and was there for each other, did this surpise you?
Growing up in Bathurst and knowing the community, NO, it didn’t not surprise me that the town came together to support this team. During the shooting of the film, you could almost feel how proud Bathurst felt about the team. And it made me proud to be from Bathurst. I know that the cast and crew felt so welcomed by the community. Again, makes a home town boy proud.
I agree, I was never more proud to be a home town girl and graduate of BHS. I am so extremely proud of Bathurst. I understand you are also a graduate of BHS. How did it feel to be back there?
Being back in Bathurst working on this film was surreal. We lived across the street from BHS. I showed all the cast and crew the house. We had a good laugh saying how tough it was to play hookie from school when you live just across the street. And then the day we shot in the hospital, and they took me up to set, it turned out we were shooting on the 3rd floor east. It stopped me in my tracks because that was the floor my mother worked and supervised on for most of her nursing career. I have to say it was very emotional for me. And then to be home and see so many people and close friends that I hadn’t seen in so long was just so exciting.
I always wondered how kids who literally lived across the street from the school could play hookie and not get caught. I was from down shore so I really never had to worry about that. Thanks so much Wally for taking the time out to share you thoughts with us. I am truly honored and touch that you were able to take time out to do this for me.
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