Callum Keith Rennie
Callum Keith Rennie is a Canadian actor who started his career in Canadian film and television projects, where his portrayal of Stanley Raymond Kowalski on the television series Due South was his first international success. After years acting in over 125 Canadian and international projects, he became widely known for his portrayal of Leoben Conoy on Battlestar Galactica, and following that, his role as record producer Lew Ashby on the Showtime series Californication.
Rennie was born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear and at age four his family emigrated to Canada. Rennie was brought up in middle-class Edmonton, Alberta, as the second of three boys. He graduated from Strathcona High School, where he met and befriended Bruce McCulloch from The Kids in the Hall. He dropped out of college and took up all sorts of odd jobs, leaving Edmonton for brief stays in Vancouver and Toronto before eventually settling in Vancouver.
He likes painting and admires abstract expressionist artists such as Basquiat, Motherwell and Pollock (the Champion spark-plug logo tattoo on his right arm is an homage to Stuart Davis). An enthusiastic mountain climber in his youth, but is, above all, an avid golfer.
Working at the campus radio of University of Alberta led Rennie to discover acting at age 25. He started his career on stage, performing at the A.B.O.P. Theatre in Edmonton in Amerika, a play adapted from Franz Kafka's novel and followed with the critically acclaimed American Buffalo during the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. After attending Bruhanski Theatre Studio in Vancouver, he had his first professional theatrical performance in 1989 in Sally Clark's Lost Souls and Missing Persons, a Touchstone Theatre production. This earned him an invitation to work at the Shaw Festival where he appeared in Man and Superman and in Pinero's Trelawny of the Wells (1990).
Rennie's first appearance on screen was in the indie Canadian film Purple Toast, filmed in 1990 and released in 1993. Also in 1993, he began to take small roles in television (Highlander, Forever Knight, and the revamped version of The Outer Limits). Rennie's profile within the Canadian industry was heightened during this period by leading roles in the television films Paris or Somewhere (1994) and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down (1996). Due to several disagreements during the production of the latter film, Rennie vowed never to work for the CBC again, though he has remained a staunch supporter of the Canadian industry as a whole. After his first appearance on The X-Files, he was offered the role of Alex Krycek but turned it down because he did not want to commit to a television series at that time. His career gained momentum quickly and larger roles in Canadian films followed (the independent short film Frank's Cock by Mike Hoolboom, and Mina Shum's Double Happiness as Sandra Oh's love interest, for which he was nominated for a Genie Award as best supporting actor). He also had more important roles on television series, as in a two-parter for La Femme Nikita.
His most prominent early roles were as guitar player Billy Tallent in Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo (1996) and as detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the third and fourth seasons of CTV series Due South, which aired in over 150 countries. The Canadian band Billy Talent is named after his Hard Core Logo character. As for his part in Due South, it has been said that his "disaffected intensity and hungover good looks" added an edge to the series.
Rennie was then seen in the recurrent roles of the convenience store guru Newbie on Don McKellar's cult television series Twitch City and of detective Bobby Marlowe on the award-winning series Da Vinci's Inquest.
His interpretation of sex marathoner Craig Zwiller in Don McKellar's Last Night earned him his first Genie Award (1999). After a role in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999), his first international success on the big screen was his appearance as the thug Dodd in Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000). The same year, he impersonated a chilling yet seductive drifter in Suspicious River.
With the father characters of Falling Angels (2003) and Flower and Garnet (2002), Rennie expanded to playing more mature roles, rather than young, self-destructive rebels. He also impersonated self-controlled Inspector Wood in the period drama Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story (2002) and appeared as the quiet dyslexic painter of Wilby Wonderful (2004).
He has played guest roles in episodes of various Canadian or US television series like Mutant X, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Supernatural, The L Word, Bionic Woman and more recently Harper's Island. During the same time, he has interpreted contrasting characters in movies such as The Butterfly Effect, H2O: the Last Prime Minister, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Blade: Trinity (2004), Lucid (2005), Unnatural & Accidental (2006), The Invisible, Tin Man, Normal, Silk (2007), and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).
His recurring role as the Cylon Leoben Conoy in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2003–09) and his portrayal of the record producer Lew Ashby throughout the second season of Californication (2008) have earned him a new wide and international recognition.
In 2009–10, Rennie played a character named Jeff Slingerland aka Dr. Maurice Raynaud on the ABC series FlashForward. Before the series was cancelled, David Goyer, who had previously directed him in Blade and The Invisible, mentioned he would be back and was slated to appear in the second season. He also appeared as Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan in the eighth season of 24.
In Fall 2010, he played the lead role of Detective Brian Sullivan on Shattered, a series about a detective who suffers from multiple personality disorder. It aired in Canada on Global TV, followed by airings in other countries, though not the United States. Rennie received critical acclaim for his performance, and in 2011 won the Gemini and Leo awards for the role. Shattered was not renewed for a second season.
His 2010 appearances on the big screen included the Canadian film Gunless, a Western comedy starring Paul Gross, as a bounty hunter on the trail of Gross' Montana Kid. He also reprised his role as Billy Tallent for a short appearance in Trigger. Trigger is part of several films set in the same universe as Hard Core Logo, directed again by Bruce McDonald; this one, starring Molly Parker and Tracy Wright, written by Daniel MacIvor, is about the reunion of two women who used to be in an alternative rock band together. Rennie also served as one of Trigger's executive producers. Another film, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage, based on Canadian playwright Josh MacDonald's play Halo, has been completed and is waiting for release.
Rennie made a number of television appearances in 2011, including a supporting role on The Killing as Rick Felder, Detective Sarah Linden's fiancé. He also guest starred on Alphas, CSI: Miami and Rookie Blue.
Rennie was also cast as a series regular on the NBC series The Firm. He plays Ray McDeere, the brother of the principal character, Mitch McDeere, played by Josh Lucas. It began airing as a midseason replacement for the 2011–12 season.
In 2015, Rennie was cast as a main character for the second season of Amazon's The Man in the High Castle. He joined the cast in the role of Gary Connell, leader of the West Coast Resistance movement.
|1993||Purple Toast||Tom Struck|
|Frank's Cock||The Narrator|
|The Raffle||Floor Director|
|Hard Core Logo||Billy Tallent / William Boisy|
|Letters from Home||—||Short film|
|Excess Baggage||Motel Manager|
|Men with Guns||Mamet|
|1998||Last Night||Craig Zwiller|
|The Life Before This||Martin MacLean|
|The Last Stop||Jake|
|Suspicious River||Gary Jensen|
|2002||Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice||Palmberg||Direct to video|
|Now & Forever||Carl Mackie|
|Flower & Garnet||Ed|
|2003||Falling Angels||Jim Field|
|2004||The Butterfly Effect||Jason Treborn|
|Wilby Wonderful||"Duck" MacDonald|
|Blade: Trinity||Asher Talos|
|Whole New Thing||Denny|
|Shooting Gallery||Michael Mortenson||Direct-to-video|
|2006||Snow Cake||John Neil|
|Unnatural & Accidental||Norman|
|2007||Code Name: The Cleaner||Shaw|
|Shattered||Detective McGill, Brian Larson||AKA, Butterfly on the Wheel|
|The X-Files: I Want to Believe||Janke Dacyshyn, 2nd Abductor|
|2009||Case 39||Edward Sullivan|
|2010||Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage||Donald McCullen|
|2013||Hell in a Handbag||Silver|
|The Young and Prodigious Spivet||Father|
|2014||October Gale||James Matthews|
|Sitting on the Edge of Marlene||Freddy "Fast Freddy"|
|2015||Fifty Shades of Grey||Ray Steele|
|Into the Forest||Robert|
|Born to Be Blue||Dick Bock|
|2017||Little Pink House||—|
|Goon: Last of the Enforcers||Hyrum Cain|
|2018||Fifty Shades Freed||Ray|||
|1993||Highlander: The Series||Neal||Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"|
|1994||Paris or Somewhere||Christy Mahon||Television film|
|Lonesome Dove: The Series||Harry Price||Episode: "Long Shot"|
|The Commish||Konichek||Episode: "Security"|
|1994–1995||The X-Files||Tommy / Cemetery Groundskeeper||Episode: "Lazarus"|
Episode: "Fresh Bones"
|1995||Little Criminals||Kostash||Television film|
|Falling from the Sky: Flight 174||Pumper|
|The Marshal||Cal||Episode: "Protection"|
|The Outer Limits||Carlito||Episode: "Corner of the Eye"|
|When the Dark Man Calls||Bob Levesh||Television film|
|The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky||Big Hat|
|Forever Knight||Bruce Spencer||Episode: "Outside the Lines"|
|Side Effects||Armando||Episode: "Snap, Crackle, Pop!"|
|Highlander: The Series||Tyler King||Episode: "The Innocent"|
|1995–1996||My Life as a Dog||Johnny Johansson||22 episodes|
|1996||For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down||Jerry Bines||Television film|
|1997||Viper||William T. Lennox||Episode: "Wheelman"|
|La Femme Nikita||Gray Wellman||Episode: "Gray"|
|1997–1999||Due South||Detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski||26 episodes|
|1998–2000||Twitch City||Newbie||8 episodes|
|1999||Strange World||Vince||Episode: "Lullaby"|
|Foolish Heart||Ross||Episode: "Breathless"|
|1999–2001||Da Vinci's Inquest||Detective Bob Marlowe||7 episodes|
|2000||Murder Seen||Detective Keegan||Television film|
|Nature Boy||Eden Abez||Television short|
|2001||Trapped||Anthony Bellio||Television film|
|2002||Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story||Inspector Wood||Television film|
|Bliss||Mike||Episode: "Six Days"|
|Dark Angel||Sheriff Lamar||Episode: "Exposure"|
|Mutant X||Zack Lockhart||Episode: "Ex Marks the Spot"|
|The Dead Zone||Max Cassidy||Episode: "Dinner with Dana"|
|The Eleventh Hour||Mark Mitchum||Episode: "The Source"|
|2003||Tru Calling||Elliot Winters||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Battlestar Galactica||Leoben Conoy||Miniseries|
|2004||Touching Evil||Mike Espy||Episode: "Memorial"|
|Kingdom Hospital||Earl Candleton||Episode: "Finale"|
|H2O||Don Pritchard / Lieutenant Daniel Holt||Television film|
|The Five People You Meet in Heaven||Eddie's Father|
|2004–2009||Battlestar Galactica||Leoben Conoy||20 episodes|
|2005||Whiskey Echo||Dr. Rollie Saunders||Television film|
|Painkiller Jane||Secretary of Defense Donnie Mitchell||Television film|
|2006||The Hunters||Quin Hunter|
|The L Word||Danny Wilson||3 episodes|
|Smallville||Tyler McKnight||Episode: "Fragile"|
|2007||Men in Trees||Jeff||Episode: "Chemical Reactions"|
|Bionic Woman||Victor Booth||Episode: "The List"|
|2008||Of Murder and Memory||Leonard||Television film|
|2008–2013||Californication||Lew Ashby||14 episodes|
|2009||Battlestar Galactica: The Plan||Leoben Conoy||Television film|
|Harper's Island||John Wakefield||4 episodes|
|Harper's Globe||John Wakefield||Episode: "There Is Only One Way Out on Harper's Island"|
Episode: "Surviving Harper's Island"
|2009–2010||FlashForward||Jeff Slingerland / Dr. Maurice Raynaud||Episode: "The Gift"|
Episode: "Course Correction"
|2010||24||Vladimir Laitanan||3 episodes|
|2010–2011||Shattered||Detective Ben Sullivan||13 episodes|
|2011||Alphas||Don Wilson||Episode: "Pilot"|
Episode: "Anger Management"
|Rookie Blue||Jamie Brennan||3 episodes|
|CSI: Miami||Jack Toller||Episode: "Mayday"|
|2011–2012||The Killing||Rick Felder||7 episodes|
|2012||The Firm||Ray McDeere||22 episodes|
|2015–2016||Longmire||Walker Browning||6 episodes|
|2016||Man Seeking Woman||McQuaid||Episode: "Fuse"|
|Legends of Tomorrow||Jon Valor||Episode: "Marooned"|
|The Man in the High Castle||Gary Connell||8 episodes|
|2018||Jessica Jones||Karl Malus||6 episodes|
|2022||The Umbrella Academy||Harlan Cooper / Lester Pocket||6 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|1994||Genie Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Double Happiness||Nominated|
|1997||Gemini Award||Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series||My Life as a Dog||Won|
|Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series||Side Effects||Nominated|
|1998||Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries||For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down||Nominated|
|1999||Gemini Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role||Due South||Nominated|
|Genie Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Last Night||Won|
|2000||Canadian Comedy Award||Film – Performance – Male||Nominated|
|2001||Leo Award||Best Performance of a Feature Length Drama||Suspicious River||Won|
|2003||Vancouver Film Critics Circle||Best Actor – Canadian Film||Flower & Garnet||Won|
|Leo Award||Feature Length Drama: Best Lead Performance by a Male||Won|
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle||Best Actor – Canadian Film||Nominated|
|2007||Leo Award||Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama||Unnatural & Accidental||Won|
|2009||Genie Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Won|
|2011||Gemini Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role||Shattered||Won|
|Leo Award||Best Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series||Won|
|Genie Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role||Gunless||Nominated|
- "12 Steps to Stardom". Saturday Night Magazine. March 1998. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Amsden, Cynthia (December 2001). "The Tao of Callum Keith Rennie". Take One. Archived from the original on 22 November 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Getting Under Callum Keith Rennie's Skin". Vines. April–May 1999. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Callum Keith Rennie". The Canadian Movie Database. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "DECISIVE MOMENT: Callum Keith Rennie Climbs to the Top". The Globe and Mail. 14 December 1996. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Billy Talent". Access Magazine. February–March 2003. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "David Goyer: More New Characters Ahead for 'Flash Forward'". buddyTV. 12 November 2009. Archived from the original on 16 November 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Callum Keith Rennie knows how to be bad, from 'Californication' to 'Oz' to '24'". The Canadian Press. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Global Fall Preview: Callum Keith Rennie's Shattered experience BY Melissa Leong". National Post. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Rick Mercer, The Borgias earn Geminis". CBC News. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "2011 Winners". Leo Awards official website. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Paul Gross & Sienna Guillory to star in Gunless". CNW Group. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- "Paul Gross Goes Gruff in 'Gunless'". Moviefone. 29 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
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- Deadline Team, The (11 July 2011). "TV Castings Roundup: Several Lined Up For Broadcast, Cable Gigs". Deadline Hollywood. Mail.com Media Corp. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (15 May 2011). "NBC 2011–12 Primetime Schedule Announced". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Petski, Denise (15 April 2016). "Callum Keith Rennie Joins Amazon's 'Man in the High Castle'; Rafael de la Fuente In 'When We Rise' ABC Miniseries".
- McIver, Brian (13 October 2014). "Callum Keith Rennie on role in Fifty Shades Of Grey". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 October 2022.