Callum Keith Rennie

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Callum Keith Rennie
Rennie in 2011
Sunderland, England
Years active1989–present

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[1][2] He graduated from Strathcona High School, where he met and befriended Bruce McCulloch from The Kids in the Hall.[3][4] 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.[3][4]

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).[1] An enthusiastic mountain climber in his youth,[5] but is, above all, an avid golfer.[2]


Early work[edit]

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).[1]


Rennie in the 1993 short film Frank's Cock

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.[4] 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.[6] 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.[4]

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.[7] He also appeared as Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan in the eighth season of 24.[8]

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.[9] Rennie received critical acclaim for his performance, and in 2011 won the Gemini and Leo awards for the role.[10][11] 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.[12][13] 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.[14] Rennie also served as one of Trigger's executive producers. Another film, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage,[15] 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.[16] It began airing as a midseason replacement for the 2011–12 season.[17]

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.[18]



List of films and roles
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Purple Toast Tom Struck
1994 Valentine's Day Astronaut
Still Boyfriend Short film
Frank's Cock The Narrator
Double Happiness Mark
Timecop The Stranger
The Raffle Floor Director
1995 Curtis's Charm Jim
1996 Unforgettable Drug Dealer
Hard Core Logo Billy Tallent / William Boisy
Letters from Home Short film
1997 Masterminds Ollie
Excess Baggage Motel Manager
Men with Guns Mamet
1998 Last Night Craig Zwiller
1999 eXistenZ Hugo Carlaw
The Life Before This Martin MacLean
2000 The Highwayman Telemarketer Uncredited
The Last Stop Jake
Memento Dodd
Suspicious River Gary Jensen
2001 Picture Claire Laramie
2002 Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice Palmberg Direct to video
Now & Forever Carl Mackie
Flower & Garnet Ed
2003 Falling Angels Jim Field
Paycheck Jude, Guard
2004 The Butterfly Effect Jason Treborn
Wilby Wonderful "Duck" MacDonald
Blade: Trinity Asher Talos
2005 Lucid Victor
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 Invisible
Normal Walt
Silk Schuyler
2008 Sleepwalking Will
The X-Files: I Want to Believe Janke Dacyshyn, 2nd Abductor
2009 Case 39 Edward Sullivan
2010 Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage Donald McCullen
Gunless Ben Cutler
Trigger Billy
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
2016 Warcraft Moroes
2017 Little Pink House
Goon: Last of the Enforcers Hyrum Cain
Mobile Homes Robert
Jigsaw Detective Halloran
2018 Fifty Shades Freed Ray [19]


List of television appearances and roles
Year Title Role Notes
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
The Omen Driver
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"
Episode: "Choice"
Tricks Adam Television film
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
Dice Egon Schwimmer Miniseries
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"
Episode: "Butterfingers"
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
Supernatural Roy Episode: "Wendigo"
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"
Tin Man Zero Miniseries
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"
Episode: "Countermeasures"
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[18]
2018 Jessica Jones Karl Malus 6 episodes
2018–2019 Impulse Nikolai 18 episodes
2022 The Umbrella Academy Harlan Cooper / Lester Pocket 6 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Production Result
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
2004 Falling Angels Nominated
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
2008 Normal Nominated
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


  1. ^ a b c "12 Steps to Stardom". Saturday Night Magazine. March 1998. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b Amsden, Cynthia (December 2001). "The Tao of Callum Keith Rennie". Take One. Archived from the original on 22 November 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Getting Under Callum Keith Rennie's Skin". Vines. April–May 1999. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d "Callum Keith Rennie". The Canadian Movie Database. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Billy Talent". Access Magazine. February–March 2003. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Callum Keith Rennie knows how to be bad, from 'Californication' to 'Oz' to '24'". The Canadian Press. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Rick Mercer, The Borgias earn Geminis". CBC News. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  11. ^ "2011 Winners". Leo Awards official website. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Paul Gross & Sienna Guillory to star in Gunless". CNW Group. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Paul Gross Goes Gruff in 'Gunless'". Moviefone. 29 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Bruce McDonald rocks out BY Jason Anderson". Eye Weekly. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2010.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Halo shines in N.S." Chronicle Herald. 25 April 2009. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  16. ^ Deadline Team, The (11 July 2011). "TV Castings Roundup: Several Lined Up For Broadcast, Cable Gigs". Deadline Hollywood. Media Corp. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ a b 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".
  19. ^ McIver, Brian (13 October 2014). "Callum Keith Rennie on role in Fifty Shades Of Grey". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 October 2022.

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