Maybe we have our seemingly endless backwoods to thank or the fact that the sun goes down before 5 pm half the year up here. No one plays werewolves better than Canadians (our apologies, Joe Manganiello). Halifax born and bred actor Steve Lund is latest Canuck to sink his teeth into the sci-fi wolf-man role. Starring opposite Smallville‘s Laura Vandervoort on this winter 2014’s Bitten on Space, Lund plays Nick Sorrentino, a werewolf coping with everyday supernatural problems (while Vandervoort plays Elena Michaels, the first female werewolf in history who’s got identity problems all of her own). They had us at “werewolf.” We caught up with funnyman Lund to find out more about his acting career, his one-time hockey dreams and his favourite places in Toronto.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m your quintessential East Coaster: friendly, social, enjoy having a few suds with some buds, hold the door for old ladies – if you punch me in the face I’m likely to say “sorry”. I’m very proud of my Bluenose roots and I am very blessed to have been raised in an area of the world that supports big dreams and humble heroes. I’ve always felt that I could do anything I wanted when I was growing up. One of the main reasons I decided to become and actor was because when I starting asking my friends and family what they thought about the idea, the response was so overwhelmingly in favour of it – that I had no choice!
When did you know acting was what you were meant to do?
Although a potential career in hockey took much of the focus away from being a performer when I sprouted like a mutant weed in my early ages, it was when I played “Bonzai” the hyena in the grade 3 production of The Lion King that I knew. We had a music teacher, Mme. Chaisson that really encouraged us to let our wild side out and I took full advantage of this. The play itself was a masterpiece (I’m sure a home video version exists if anyone’s interested) and no detail was spared. I never felt quite as at home in the hockey rink, as I did while performing, and that dream never died.
What was your first job as an actor?
My first job was filming a web series in Yukon Territory called Yukonic! (See what they did there?) where another guy and I played filmmakers from Vancouver on a location scout all over the territory, and unexpectedly being taken on a wild treasure hunt. It was the thrilling, chilling and fulfilling. Recreating iconic movie scenes including an homage to The Shining that saw me chasing my friend maliciously through a maze in -40 C and 3 feet of snow, was incredible. As a first job, I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal situation. I owe so much to those wonderful people who took a chance on me. I like to think I found the reward in my very own treasure hunt. Yeah that’s right, I said that!
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about being an actor vs. being a hockey player?
The rewards you get as an actor certainly have a different effect on you than those you get as a hockey player. A slap in the pants or a tap on the helmet, pales in comparison to that feeling you get when you’ve truly created an organic moment on stage or screen. Evoking a chemical, emotional reaction in somebody who has just watched you bare your heart and soul to convey a message, is the single greatest thrill I’ve experienced to date. My comment card at Canada’s Wonderland might say different but regardless… Expression is the healthiest practice I’ve adopted, and I hope to continue to get paid for it for the rest of my life!
What was the best part about filming Bitten?
The fight scenes. I had a problem when I was young, being a big kid every single “play date” I ever had resulted in one of two outcomes: 1) something broken in the house or 2) the other kid crying. Finally I get to wile out and play fight with professionals and it’s awesome. Our stunt coordinator and team are the most gracious, fun-loving people I’ve ever worked with and they created a safe environment for big kids like me to play and break stuff.
What’s next for you?
I’m auditioning, searching for that next role, writing, trying to procure furniture for my new apartment (got any?) and doing interviews with wonderful media outlets (know any?). I just returned from NYC where my cast mate Michael Xavier and I were taking classes and seeing shows and eating foods. I plan on returning next chance I get. Other than that, it’s home for the holidays to see the lovely family and friends back in Halifax! There’s only a few places on earth that have lobster for Christmas dinner.
What are 3 things that you can’t live without?
Tim Horton’s, The Montreal Canadiens, and a wide array of shoes.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
It has something for everyone. If you don’t like one place, hop one street over. You’re bound to find a niche. I have a great story to tell every day in this city. I take it all in all day. It’s full of life, diverse life, all thrown together in a harmonious jambalaya. I’m happy to call this place home for now. I always tell people before they move here (and I’ve swayed many) “If Toronto is half as kind to you as it’s been to me, you’ll love it.”
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Khao San Road. It’s just foolish food. Vibe is super rad. Music rules. It’s tough to get in, but worth the wait. One time I got my car towed just outside while I was entertaining some visiting Haligonians with some delicious curries, and I was so satisfied from the meal that I was completely unphased. In a way, I paid $300 for that meal, #worthit.
What products are always in your grooming bag?
An embarrassing abundance of hair product, L’Oreal Men face creams, beard trimmer because I’m still milking the stubble look, and my old faithful Swiss Army cologne.
Check out the trailer for Bitten here: