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Mar. 23rd, 2008


27 Rossif Sutherland icons!

Teasers: 001. 002.

Over on Insane Journal

Dec. 7th, 2007



another article on Rossif.

Music was Rossif Sutherland's dream
By LIZ BRAUN -- Sun Media

For a guy who never really wanted to be an actor, Rossif Sutherland is mighty impressive as the star of Poor Boy's Game.

Sutherland, 29, is the son of Donald Sutherland (and brother of Kiefer) and seems to have inherited his father's talent and his height -- the fledgling actor is six-foot-five.

In Poor Boy's Game, Clement Virgo's drama about racial tension in Halifax, Sutherland plays a working-class boxer and ex-con who learns to reject the violence and prejudice of his background. His performance is a highlight of the movie, which also stars Danny Glover and Laura Regan.

Sutherland has had a few small film roles and a recurring role in TV's ER back in 2004. Still, for a long time he thought of himself first and foremost as a singer/songwriter. He says, "The idea of becoming an actor was something I resisted very much when I was a child. I wanted to do my own thing and I didn't understand acting. I thought it was simply pretending to be somebody else. I didn't know why I would spend my life pretending to be someone else when what was really exciting me was the idea of potentially finding out who I was. And that's why I wrote songs and short stories."

Music still occupies him when he's not working as an actor, says Sutherland. He started acting by accident while he was studying philosophy at Princeton. He agreed to direct a short student film as a favour to another student, but wound up acting in the movie as well.

"And when I showed the film to my father, who's an actor himself, he was the one who told me that's what I should do with my life."

(It seems comical that Sutherland would explain who his father is, but this guy takes nothing for granted and is unfailingly polite. Just so you know.)

Sutherland says of his childhood, "I grew up with artists, with people who dream for a living and make it very real. To be able to grow up in that environment, where art is celebrated, and where there's also the possibility of being an artist yourself ..." He continues, "My father keeps saying how proud he is of me, and that, more than anything else, is what really gives me the drive to continue. It's not always an easy journey. I've lived in Los Angeles for five years now, and I still have trouble feeling at home there ... I've been to a lot of acting classes and met a lot of people who have the same dream, but a lot of them seem to be doing it for other reasons. Kids want to be famous and drive fancy cars and have the big house. Me, I'm just madly in love with my job. That's what turns me on."



A good read. :)

Six degrees of Rossif Sutherland
Dec 07, 2007 04:30 AM

Susan Walker
Entertainment Reporter

How many Sutherlands can Hollywood sustain? Five, at the latest count.

Dad Donald Sutherland is making movie after movie and stars in the ABC dramatic series Dirty Sexy Money. Kiefer Sutherland, when he's done his prison time, will resume shooting as his character Jack Bauer in the hit TV show 24. Roeg Sutherland is an agent in the film business. The youngest Sutherland brother, Angus, is in two movies about to be released.

And Rossif Sutherland, middle son of Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette, is a cinematographer's dream, a six-foot-five actor with a face that can convey a blizzard of emotions. In his first leading role in a feature film, he plays Donnie Rose in Poor Boy's Game, opening today.

Donnie has just emerged from prison, having served 10 years for beating up a black youth so badly that the boy is severely disabled.

He comes out of the pen rehabilitated, unwilling to engage in further violence, even though he's become an expert boxer. But without saying very much, he must also convey his killer instincts and repressed rage.

Director Clement Virgo gives Sutherland a lot of credit for shaping the part of Donnie with relatively little dialogue assigned to him. "What's great about Rossif is there is a kind of instant vulnerability about him. He has that kind of male/female energy in him. A lot of leading men now are all male, unlike the stars of the '50s who were allowed to have that duality, like James Dean."

Donnie, strangely enough, has become sensitized in jail. So when he goes back to the rough neighbourhood by the docks where his brother is still a brutal thug, he feels like an outsider. At least, that's how Sutherland saw the role.

Born in Vancouver (where his mother flew in the last month of pregnancy to make sure her child was a native Canadian), he grew up in Los Angeles. Acting was what he always wanted to do, but Sutherland says it wasn't always clear that the cinema wanted him.

"However passionate I was about my job, it's just like a relationship with a person. You may be in love, but if the person doesn't treat you very well you ought to do yourself a favour and move on. And every time that (feeling) would come, I would get a job."

About 10 years ago, Sutherland, who turned 29 in September, discovered he could sing and began writing songs. During the Toronto film festival in September, he was talking about an album to be finished around the end of this year, a compilation of 20 songs he's written and recorded.

His soft baritone speaking voice, with an accent he says is mid-Atlantic, bodes well for his future in music. In the meantime, Sutherland (named after the French director Frédéric Rossif) has a role in thefilm adaptation of Lee MacDougall's play High Life.

This time the movies may have embraced him for good. 


Clement Virgo sees element of James Dean duality in star of his new movie, Poor Boy's Game

Dec. 6th, 2007



good article here! :)

Another Sutherland falls for the family biz

Son of Donald, half-brother of Kiefer, Rossif fell in love with music, but acting eventually won his heart


From Thursday's Globe and Mail

December 6, 2007 at 3:33 AM EST

Actor Rossif Sutherland possesses a luxurious, gentle baritone similar to the vocal tones of his father, veteran actor Donald Sutherland, and his older half-brother, Kiefer Sutherland (24's Jack Bauer).

That distinctive "Sutherland" voice, not to mention his lanky 6-foot-5 frame and relaxed, thoughtful, almost dreamy demeanour, make a memorable first impression when the younger Sutherland stands up and greets the next interviewer during the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. He doesn't immediately strike one as an actor who could convincingly play a fresh-out-of-prison boxer from a violent neighbourhood. But that's exactly what Sutherland does in Clément Virgo's latest film, the hard-knocks drama Poor Boy's Game, which picked up four awards at the 2007 Atlantic Film Festival in October and also played the Toronto and Berlin festivals.

Although both his father and mother, Quebec-born Francine Racette, are actors, the 29-year-old Sutherland, a singer-songwriter (you can check out a few of his latest folk-tinged tunes on his MySpace page), didn't heed the family calling from an early age as did Kiefer, who got his first starring film role at 18 in The Bad Boy. Rossif's sole thespian credit from his teen years was a multipart role in a high-school play about the Vietnam War. "One of my characters had no legs," he recalls. "I remember one performance I completely blanked and was so embarrassed I walked off stage. Imagine that - it's a miracle!" he laughs.

During philosophy studies at Princeton University, Sutherland directed a short film. When the lead actor didn't show up for the shoot, the director stepped in. "I showed that film to my father. He noticed the acting, not the directing, and said that's what I should do. My father isn't one to think everything his child does is brilliant, so it was a huge compliment. But I still resisted for years."

Rossif Sutherland: ‘Acting is an adventure.’ Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail
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Rossif Sutherland: ‘Acting is an adventure.’ (Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)

The Globe and Mail

Sutherland believes that his work as a musician and an actor are intertwined. "They're both about being real and truthful and vulnerable," he explains. "They are both an expression of myself, so although I'm playing somebody else, that person is rooted inside me."

But it took him a while to understand the connection. "For a long time, I thought acting was just pretending to be somebody else. After taking some acting classes in New York, getting up there and getting over myself, I realized acting is an adventure in which you get to explore a part of yourself that is dormant," he continues. "Then you can either keep it or defeat it or abandon it."

Sutherland lobbied hard to win the part of Donnie in Poor Boy's Game, a film about a community's legacy of violence and one man's struggle toward redemption that unfolds across the race divide in Halifax. Director Virgo (Lie With Me, Love Come Down, Rude), who co-wrote the screenplay with Halifax filmmaker Chaz Thorne (Just Buried), is a boxing fan and says, "I think viewers intuitively understand the metaphorical side of getting knocked down and getting back up again and going the distance."

As the film opens, Donnie is released from prison having served time for beating up a young black man so severely it left him physically and mentally handicapped for life. Challenged by local boxing champ Ossie Paris (Flex Alexander) to a match he is sure to lose, Donnie ends up being coached, secretly, by George Carvery (Danny Glover), the father of the boy Donnie almost killed.

Virgo auditioned a lot of actors for the role, who played Donnie "tough and grunting." Sutherland had something different. "He had a beard, was wearing a long coat and was about 30 pounds too heavy, but there was something about his energy I liked," says Virgo, who flew to Los Angeles to hang out with the actor. "I told him, 'You don't look like a boxer, you're too fat.' Three months later, we went to a boxing gym and I was impressed. "Rossif's gift is his ability to communicate through behaviour, finding ways to reveal character through action," Virgo continues. "During the editing process, we constantly took dialogue away from both Rossif's and Danny's characters. They both have this great ability to tell us so much without speaking."

Sutherland, who had never played a lead film role, describes Donnie as a "beautiful challenge. Here is someone who leaves prison and is actually rehabilitated, but the only way he can lead a full life is to go back and confront a past he wants to forget."

The actor, who found he had to stop occasional bouts of shadow boxing because the character of Donnie wouldn't leave him, is now playing Billy in Gary Yates's screen version of the award-winning play High Life, which is shooting in Winnipeg. He still seems a bit surprised about his "discovered" profession.

"When I found I could sing, it was like love at first sight," Sutherland explains. "But acting was more like falling in love with a childhood friend - someone I've grown up with and known all my life. One day, you look and it's like seeing her for the first time - it's a deep-rooted love."

Special to The Globe and Mail 

Nov. 2nd, 2007



Something everyone should see...

I wish I would've seen it earlier. :)

Sep. 15th, 2007



another Poor Boy's Game article.

'This film is Halifax': Poor Boy's writer
City plays a central role in Glover and Sutherland's movie about boxing, race - and redemption

The Daily News

What is the theme of Poor Boy's Game? It depends who you ask.

"It's funny. What is cool about this film is that you talk to different people and they have different feelings about what the film is about," Chaz Thorne said.

"That's the thing about a good film - it should provoke different feelings."

The Halifax filmmaker co-wrote the script for the movie, which premieres tonight at the Atlantic Film Festival. It's the story of a white boxer who, after being released from prison for brutally beating a black man, returns to his hometown.

He soon finds himself back in the boxing ring being trained by the father of the man he assaulted.

Rossif Sutherland - son of Donald - plays the boxer.

"The message for me was - at least my part of the story - was that is was somebody who realizes the only way you can live your life is if you are honest with who you are, where you have come from, and what you have done," Rossif Sutherland told The Daily News.

"He knew the only way to live a full life was not about starting over, but to continue from where you left off."

His dad disagrees.

"I got an e-mail from Donald Sutherland saying for him, the film is really about seeking redemption. And I was like, 'Yeah, absolutely," Thorne said. "For others, the film is about race. For others, class.

"For me, it is largely about forgiveness."

Thorne was inspired to write the script after his cousin, Michael Forsyth, was murdered in Spryfield in 1995.

"It got me thinking about race in this city, class and the justice system and all this stuff," Thorne said.

"It comes from growing up here. I just thought that I would like to see a film that talks about some of these issues, poses some questions and stimulates some dialogue about it."

Thorne pitched the story in Toronto in 2001, and attracted the attention of director Clement Virgo.

Race, class and family

"It dealt with the themes and aesthetics that interest Clement," Thorne said. "It was a story about race, boxing, family, brothers, working class, urban."

Along with Sutherland, the film also stars Tonya Lee Williams, Flex Alexander, Laura Regan and Danny Glover, who plays the father of the brutally beaten man.

"Working with Danny was probably the closest I've ever been to working with somebody the same calibre as my father," Sutherland said, adding he was an out of work at the time he auditioned. "I didn't think in a million years they would give the role to me.

"I was 30 pounds overweight, but Clement saw his boxer and trusted me with something he was working on for years. It was the beginning of a great adventure in my life."

To prepare for the role, Sutherland spent five hours a day for three months training in the ring.

'A different thing'

"It changed the way I walked, the way I stood, the way I spoke to people," he said.

"It is a different thing to be walking."

The film was not only shot in Halifax, the story was also set here.

The city is a character in the film, and it was important to Thorne that it stay like that.

"There is no way it could have been any other way," Thorne said.

"This film is Halifax, it is unique to Halifax. If a studio had come in and said, 'We don't want you to do this is Canada. It's a great script, we want you to do it in Chicago,' it wouldn't have been possible."


Sep. 13th, 2007



another awesome Rossif article!!

The Sutherland clan expands its film empire
Rossif In Poor Boy's Game
Jay Stone
CanWest News Service

Thursday, September 13, 2007

There's Donald and Kiefer and Francine Racette. You'd think the last thing the Sutherland family would need is another actor.

But it seems like they're getting one.

Rossif Sutherland is the latest Sutherland to enter the world of movie stardom with his first leading role. He plays a troubled young boxer named Donnie in the Clement Virgo film Poor Boy's Game, which had its premiere screening this week at the Toronto film festival. The son of actors Francine Racette and Donald, and the half-brother of Kiefer (and also brother of Angus, yet another up-and-coming Sutherland), Rossif co-stars with Danny Glover as a young man who must come to terms with both prejudice and a thirst for justice.

His acting career began in New York City. Sutherland then moved to L.A., where he got a few roles, but found his many rejections were wearing him down.

Things changed at his audition for Poor Boy's Game. The only problem was that Sutherland was overweight. He's 6-foot-5 and he weighed 210 pounds. He began to work out and dropped 30 pounds in three months. By coincidence, Rossif had also started taking boxing lessons six months earlier because "my younger brother [Angus] and I wanted to do something together and we thought we should punch each other."

Donald Sutherland went through the Poor Boy's Game screenplay with Rossif and helped him study the part.

And Donald was there again with Racette at the Toronto premiere. "It was very touching," Rossif said.

"I guess I've waited for last night for quite some time. It felt good. It was a real celebration of us as a family."

Sep. 12th, 2007



more on Poor Boy's Game

Poor Boy’s Game takes a bow at Toronto festival
Director Virgo says movie is a love letter to Halifax

Clement Virgo, director of Poor Boy’s Game, right, works with actor Rossif Sutherland, on the set of the movie last summer in Halifax. The film premiered Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival and gets its Atlantic Canadian debut on Saturday at the Atlantic Film Festival.(CP)

TORONTO – Clement Virgo is home in Toronto with a Nova Scotia film, and the pre-premiere jitters are showing.

The Toronto-based director is bringing Poor Boy’s Game, his exploration of racial tensions in Halifax, to Toronto International Film Festival for its North American bow ahead of its release at the Atlantic Film Festival on Saturday and its commercial debut in Canadian theatres on Oct. 5.

"All my films have played in Toronto, and there’s always anxiety," Virgo, who shot his latest movie in Spryfield and Halifax last summer, insists.

"You’re hoping the film gets into Toronto, because if it does, you feel like a legitimate filmmaker," he said as he downed some coffee and breakfast ahead of the film’s red carpet send-off Tuesday.

Coincidentally, Halifax’s Chaz Thorne, who penned the script for Poor Boy’s Game along with Virgo, saw his feature directorial debut Just Buried premiere at a sold-out screening on Sunday.

Just Buried screens Friday night at the Atlantic Film Festival.

Poor Boy’s Game is Virgo’s sixth feature, and portrays Donnie Rose, a tough kid in Halifax played by Rossif Sutherland — the half-brother of Keifer Sutherland — emerging from prison after beating and severely crippling a black teenager, Charlie, when he was 17. In the movie’s climatic boxing sequence, Rose is challenged to fight a local boy, played by Flex Alexander, who wants to settle a score in the ring.

But Virgo turns a tale of likely violence and revenge between two communities on its head when Charlie’s father, played by Danny Glover, trains Donnie for the fight so the young man who beat his son senseless can settle his demons and bridge a racial divide.

Virgo insists landing Danny Glover for a star-turn in Poor Boy’s Game was surprisingly easy.

Both met in Los Angeles in fall 2005, Virgo handing Glover his script, and the star of the Lethal Weapon blockbuster movies and himself a movie producer handing Virgo one of his own scripts.

"Danny wanted me to direct something for him," Virgo says, shaking his head in admiration. And when on set last summer to shoot Poor Boy’s Game, Virgo recalls Glover was always well prepared and generous with advice to the director when playing a father torn between seeking justice and protecting his family.

"He (Glover) is one of the busiest actors I know. But Danny will focus and he comes to the set with a plan on how to attack that day," said Virgo, who was born in Jamaica and studied at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.

Virgo, who will also be in town for the Atlantic premiere, adds Poor Boy’s Game could not have been shot anywhere else than Halifax.

"The film in a way is a love letter to Halifax. It explores the idea of forgiveness and race and how that plays itself out in Canadian society everywhere," he said.

More importantly, shooting Poor Boy’s Game in the same city it’s set in enabled Virgo to capture Halifax’s gritty neighbourhoods — the movie recalls On the Waterfront and Rebel Without a Cause — for truth and authenticity.

"The more specific you are in a movie’s detail, the more universal you can be in its theme," he explained.

If anything, sometimes fragile race relations in Halifax inspired screenwriter Thorne to pen the original script for Poor Boy’s Game. The seed was planted in 1995 when Thorne’s cousin was shot seven times and murdered in a Halifax parking lot by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, a black man.

The director is also fulsome in praise of local Nova Scotia acting talent, including Laura Regan and Hugh Thompson.

Virgo knows the prospects for Poor Boy’s Game are favourable. The dramatic feature debuted at the Berlin Film Festival in February, and has already been sold to 40 countries worldwide.

Even so, premiere night in Toronto is always a gut check for Virgo and his cast, many of whom he will not have seen in over a year.

"Many of the actors will be seeing the film for the first time. They won’t be watching the film, they’ll be watching their performances," he remarked.

And Virgo admits his eyes probably won’t be on the screen for much of the Toronto premiere, but instead will scan the audience for reaction.

"You know then they (cinema audiences) are shifting in their seats. You feel their rhythm. It comes off of them. You know when you have them engaged and hooked and you know when they’re bored," he said, shifting in his own seat.

Etan Vlessing is Canadian Bureau Chief for The Hollywood Reporter.



Original article found here:




from torontosun.com

Acting all in the family for Rossif



Rossif Sutherland, star of Poor Boy's Game, says he was reading philosophy at Princeton when he did his first acting, by chance, in a student film.

"When I showed it to my father -- he's an actor himself -- he told me that's what I should do with my life."

Okay, seriously: How sweet and polite and modest would you have to be to think that you might need to explain that your dad, Donald Sutherland, is also an actor?





Original article can be found at:


Jul. 5th, 2007



Poor Boy's Game press conference @ Berlin Film Festival

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