What’s the best part about hanging out with your nieces and nephews, aside from bestowing invaluable life advice that their parents (aka your siblings) clearly won’t give them? Watching amazing young-adult TV, obviously! Award-winning actor Jean-Michel Le Gal stars in the new teen comedy, Max and Shred, which premiered earlier this month on both YTV and Nickelodeon. Make the popcorn, grab your favourite “young adults,” and turn on the telly because quality time and TV can indeed go hand-in-hand. We caught up with Le Gal to find out more about Max and Shred and his life as a bilingual actor, on and off screen…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
Lover of life, the outdoors, and dogs with large bodies and short legs. I’m always trying to be a better person. I enjoy every season.
What’s the premise of your new show, Max and Shred, who do you play, and what makes the show so special, in your opinion?
A professional snowboarder is hosted by a family, and while he trains he has to share a room with a science genius. Hilarity ensues! I play the father of the hosting family. It’s special because contrary to most kids’ shows, the writing allows the cast to make more sophisticated and subtle choices. From what I can see people of all ages find it funny.
What have been some of the most challenging and rewarding roles you’ve had so far in your career?
British farce is a challenge and at its pinnacle is the play Noises Off by Michael Frayn. I played one of the leads Garry in a long running production at the Stratford Festival in Canada. Definitely one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done.
You act in both French and English productions. What’s it like being able to act in two different languages? Do you find the experiences different in any interesting ways? Does being bilingual help you develop your craft in any interesting ways?
I’d have to say my head is English and my heart is French. I love acting in English for its subtleties and its malleability. I love acting in French for its passion and expression. At the end of the day I bring both to both, so I think it helped me find a unique voice.
What’s your best advice to young actors hoping to become better actors and land more roles?
Stay focused, know your worth, give your best every day and you’ll get where you want.
What’s your dream role?
Aside from the no-brainers like Hamlet, Iago etc, I would say Richard II. Later in my life I would love to play Prospero in The Tempest. Really though, anything with great writing.
What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a traditional archer. I made my own longbow out of hickory. Still trying to shoot it though!
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
La Cubana, on Roncesvalles. Fresh, spicy, their BBQ corn is should be shipped into space to represent food on earth.