A good read. :)
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.