Montreal has become one of Hollywood's most desired film backdrops in recent years.
Stars such as Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Brad Pitt and of course, John Hislop have been spotted around town in recent months. You haven't heard of John Hislop yet? With a flourishing acting career and plans to produce a feature film this year, he is well on his way to becoming a household name.
Hislop was recently cast in George Clooney's directorial debut film, "Confessions of A Dangerous Mind," which reunites the Ocean's Eleven cast of Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. "This was absolutely the most incredible experience I've ever had," says Hislop. "George Clooney is a real actor's director. He has this gift of bringing out the best in people." The atmosphere on the set was relaxed and fun, especially when Clooney was entertaining people with his unsuccessful attempts at juggling. Also on set was Clooney's current girlfriend." At one point, Clooney was surrounded by several beautiful women but he wasn't paying the same attention to them as he was to his girlfriend. He was very attentive to her," Hislop explains.
"Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind" is based on an autobiography written by Chuck Barris about his days as the host of the Gong Show. "My role in this film is a memorable main performer of the popular television program. I had to wear a quilt and sing in front of 150 people, and oddly enough, I wasn't even nervous." The talented actor mentions that this is a pivotal part of the film as Chuck Barris, played by Sam Rockwell (Charlie's Angels) kicks him off the stage during a nervous breakdown. "Working with Sam was awesome," says Hislop enthusiastically. "He is totally intense as a performer and was so into the character that anyone could easily believe he was Chuck Barris. I think this film will do for Sam Rockwell what Forrest Gump did for Tom Hanks."
Like many aspiring actors, this thirty year old Montrealer was discouraged by his parents and was told to get "a real job." This did not stop him from pursuing his passion and he pointed out that "Acting is like an escape from reality and it gives me a better understanding of people. Being in front of a camera is an amazing feeling. It's very addictive."
Getting to where he is now was not an easy journey. Hislop did extra work on film sets and some off Broadway theatre over the years. His first break came in "The List" where he snagged the role of a reporter who grills Hollywood veteran actor Ryan O'Neill, a crooked Judge caught up in a major scandal. A lead role followed in the independent feature "The Ambush" by John Nurse and shortly after he was cast for the American Fox series "Misguided Angels." His first Hollywood feature was "The Sum Of All Fears" starring Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman. Hislop says that "Working with Ben was an enjoyable experience however Morgan Freeman is my absolute favorite actor and truly was a pleasure to work with. He's been an inspiration to me. There's a depth to him that is not present in most actors."
Hislop's ascent to stardom is quickly moving into other realms within the film industry. He hopes to follow in George Clooney's footsteps by taking the director's seat in an upcoming feature film entitled "Under Ice" in which he will also have a principal role. Milestone Films has John on board as producer and supporting actor for "The Watermen" which will star Michael Ironside (The Perfect Storm), Daniel Baldwin (Homicide: Life on The Streets), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), and Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn). As if this weren't enough for him, Hislop is also slated to produce a pilot series entitled The Round Table. Stay tuned and remember where you heard about this Montrealer on the rise first.
A call to any serious screenwriters out there who have a feature length screenplay of any genre may submit a synopsis of their project to Brighid Productions.
Agents who wish to contact Mr. Hislop may also do so by the e-mail listed above.