It was a homecoming of sorts for storied television actor Eric McCormack when he was invited to the Victoria Film Festival this year.
The actor, best known for his roles in shows like Will & Grace and Netflix’s Travelers, spoke with CHEK News on Friday, ahead of his Q&A and film screening with the film festival on Saturday.
“When I left Toronto I came to Vancouver first, so even though I went to L.A. eventually I’ve always kept a West Coast life,” he said.
“Almost 25 years ago I shot a movie here in Victoria, which at the time was called Old Hats.”
The comedy movie, also known as Here’s to Life!, was released in 2000 and also starred Kim Hunter, James Whitmore and Ossie Davis.
But that’s not the movie McCormack has chosen to screen at the film festival.
McCormack is showing the film Free Enterprise, a 1999 romantic comedy that was shot in L.A.
“Free Enterprise, which is kind of a cult favourite, it’s about two Star Trek geeks who meet Will Shatner,” he said.
“It’s kind of a Swingers with a Star Trek bend, and when the festival called us and said, ‘Do you want to do a Q&A and a look back at the career, and do you want to show something?’ I said, this is nuts, but show Free Enterprise, because it’s just fun.”
The actor says smaller film events, like the Victoria Film Festival, play an important role in the industry, particularly as it gets more polarized.
“You’ve got the two extremes, you’ve got the Marvel universe and you’ve got the film festivals like this, still believing, still getting out to the true believers,” he said.
“You can’t survive as a young film or independent film without somebody launching you and believing in you, and Victoria does that for so many filmmakers, particularly in Canada.”
McCormack is hosting his Q&A at 2:15 p.m. at the Vic Theatre on Saturday, and Free Enterprise is screening at the same venue at 4:15 p.m.
This year is the Victoria Film Festival’s 30th year. It boasts 85 full length films and 24 shorts across five venues.