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Award-winning actor’s pivotal roles

By Jim Gordon and Leeta Liepins

Published 2:09 PDT, Fri September 29, 2023

Garry Chalk (GC) is a British born, Canadian actor who has been part of the Canadian as well as the American, television and film landscape for over 40 years. He is an award-winning actor and voice actor based in Vancouver, B.C.

OCT: If we could sum up your career, you truly are an incredible character actor. That is said, with utmost respect as character actors are the base for most film and TV. This goes back to actors such as Claude Rains, Lionel Barrymore, and even Gene Hackman. We would most certainly put you in that illustrious category.

GC: Yes, I definitely have been a character actor for a long, long time and always being the buddy, the partner, the husband, the dad or the widow. I find that as a character actor you’re just as much a part of the picture as the lead. And as they say, there are no small parts just small actors. I’ve been part of a lot of different programs and I find it’s very interesting because I get to play so many different parts. I have played a lot of cops and I have played a lot of generals, now at this stage of my game I am actually playing many more different and interesting characters. Not to say those in the past were not interesting as they were always fun too.

OCT: You always seem to play the pivotal guy in films and TV. What happens is once you enter the picture something changes. What is particularly fascinating is, that you have acted in so many different genres. You have been in horror, westerns, romantic comedies, Christmas movies. In fact, you cover everything, and you morph into it effortlessly. 

We must mention that you have used your wonderful voice in a lot of anime pictures and voiceover’s. You have also won many awards too, one of them was for that great series Cold Squad in which you had a four-year reoccurring role. In fact, you were awarded two Geminis for that role in Cold Squad. Can you tell us a little bit about your long-running role as Inspector Andrew Pawlachuk.

GC: In the initial run of Cold Squad, I wasn’t cast but in the second season they called me in to read for this inspector role. I thought it was, like I always do, just a one-off. I had no idea that I was going to be there for almost 70 shows. It was a character that I just fell in love with because he was the right combination of good guy, stern leader, and cop. He was also a father and a husband which made for a very well-rounded character. 

I remember one episode where Julie Stewart, who was the star of the show, said to me “I wish they would give you an episode where we get to see more of this guy”. And they did just that. That just made the role even more interesting for me and it just was one of those types of shows that you as an actor would dream about doing. I love the role, and I love the people that I worked with. And yes, I did win the Gemini twice in a row on Cold Squad for playing that same character. It was just a real uplifting, kind of feeling.

OCT: Let’s talk about two of your newest movies. We just saw you in the film Exile which also stars one of our good friends Camille Sullivan as well as starring Adam Beach. This is an excellent thriller. And the newest film in which we haven’t seen yet called Disquiet. Tell us about working on the set of Disquiet and describe the atmosphere around this supernatural-horror movie filmed here in Vancouver.

GC: First off, we shot the movie at Riverview Hospital, which is scary and creepy enough in itself. The film takes place inside a hospital that seems to be empty of people except for demons and scary people. There are a lot of people that you come across and you wonder why they’re there and what’s going on. The premise is this one poor fellow has had a head injury and he can’t seem to find the exit to get out of the hospital. He keeps wandering around and he sees his wife, but then she disappears, and then she comes to visit him and then she is gone again. All the while he is trying to figure out how to get out of there. 

My part as Virgil is that I am his mentor or perhaps his guide through this harrowing situation. I keep directing him to the fact that he needs to get to the roof. We have to get to the roof. I don’t want to give away too much, but basically, I play a sort of guide to help him get through this whole thing as he is dealing with his head trauma. It’s very exciting and a real thriller.  Catch Garry Chalk in his most recent movies, Exile, Disquiet, and Colorblind. 

For filmed interview in full

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