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Callum Keith Rennie

Rennie at London Galactica 4 Convention, August 2008
Born 14 September 1960 (1960-09-14) (age 49)
Sunderland, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993 – present

Callum Keith Rennie (born 14 September 1960) is a Canadian television and film actor. He started his career in Canadian film and television projects, where his portrayal of Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the TV series Due South was his first international success. After years acting in over ninety Canadian and international projects he became widely known for his portrayal of the Cylon Leoben Conoy in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, and following that, his role as record producer Lew Ashby in the Showtime TV series Californication.

Regularly cast as a bad guy in movies and even more often in his numerous guest appearances in television series, his participation to Canadian productions gives him an opportunity to show a broader palette of his acting abilities, which have been recognized by several awards.


Personal life

Rennie was born to Scottish parents in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, an industrial city in North East England. When he was four years old, the family emigrated to Canada. Rennie was raised in middle-class Edmonton, Alberta, as the second of three boys.[1][2][3] He graduated from Strathcona High School, where he met and befriended Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall.[4][5][6] He dropped out from college and took up all sorts of odd jobs instead, leaving Edmonton for brief stays in Vancouver and Toronto before eventually settling in Vancouver.[4][5] After a serious bout with alcoholism in his youth, Rennie managed to get his addiction under control at the age of 33 and was finally able to commit to acting.[1][7]

He likes painting and admires abstract expressionist artists such as Basquiat, Motherwell and Pollock (the Champion spark-plug logo tattoo on his right arm is a homage to Stuart Davis).[1] An enthusiast mountain climber in his youth,[8] Rennie still practices a lot of sports. He loves a game of hockey[2] but is above all an avid golfer.[3][6] He resides alternately in Vancouver and Los Angeles.


Early work

Working at the campus radio of Edmonton university led Rennie to discover acting at the age of 25. He started his career on stage, performing at the A.B.O.P. Theatre in Edmonton in Amerika, a play adapted from Franz Kafka's novel and followed with the critically acclaimed American Buffalo during the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. After attending Bruhanski Theatre Studio in Vancouver, he had his first professional theatrical performance in 1989 in Sally Clark's Lost Souls and Missing Persons, a Touchstone Theatre production. This earned him an invitation to work at the Shaw Festival where he appeared in Man and Superman and in Pinero's Trelawny of the Wells (1990).[1][6]

1993 - 2001

Rennie's first appearance on screen was in the indie Canadian film Purple Toast, filmed in 1990 and released in 1993. Also in 1993 he began to take small roles in television (Highlander, Forever Knight, The Outer Limits). After his first appearance in The X-Files he was offered the role of Alex Krycek but turned it down because he did not want to commit to a television series at that time.[5][6] His career gained momentum quickly and larger roles in Canadian films followed (the independent short film Frank's Cock by Mike Hoolboom, and Mina Shum's Double Happiness as Sandra Oh's love interest, for which he was nominated for a Genie Award as best supporting actor).

His most prominent early roles were as guitar player Billy Tallent in Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo (1996) and as detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the CTV series Due South, which aired in over 150 countries. The Canadian band Billy Talent, is named after his Hard Core Logo's character.[9] As for his part in Due South, it has been said that his "disaffected intensity and hungover good looks" added an edge to the series.[5]

Rennie was then seen in the recurrent roles of the convenience store guru Newbie in Don McKellar's cult television series Twitch City and of detective Bobby Marlowe in the award-winning series Da Vinci's Inquest.

His interpretation of sex marathoner Craig Zwiller in Don McKellar's Last Night earned him his first Genie Award (1999). After a role in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999), his first international success on the big screen was his appearance as the thug Dodd in Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000). The same year, he impersonated a chilling yet seductive drifter in Suspicious River.

2002 - present

With the father characters of Falling Angels (2003) and Flower and Garnet (2002), Rennie expanded to playing more mature roles, rather than young, self-destructive rebels. He also impersonated self-controlled Inspector Wood in the period drama Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story (2002) and appeared as the quiet dyslexic painter of Wilby Wonderful (2004).

A hard working actor, he continues to alternate between television series and Canadian or US movies. He has played guest roles in episodes of various television series like Mutant X, La Femme Nikita, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Supernatural, The L Word, Bionic Woman and more recently Harper's Island. During the same time, he has interpreted contrasting characters in movies such as The Butterfly Effect, H20: the Last Prime Minister, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Blade: Trinity (2004), Lucid (2005), Unnatural & Accidental (2006), The Invisible, Tin Man, Normal, Silk (2007) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).

His recurring role as the Cylon Leoben Conoy in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)[6] and his portrayal of the record producer Lew Ashby throughout the second season of Californication (2008) have earned him a new wide and international recognition.

Lately, Rennie has played a character named Jeff Slingerland aka Dr. Maurice Raynaud in the new ABC series FlashForward. David Goyer who previously directed him in Blade and The Invisible has mentioned he'd be back and is already slated to appear in the second season.[10]

Future Projects

Rennie is currently involved in a number of projects. In February 2010, he will appear as Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan in three episodes of the eighth season of 24.[11] Two Canadian movies, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage[12], based on Canadian playwright Josh MacDonald's play Halo, and Gunless[13], a Western comedy starring Paul Gross, are in post production.

In Shattered, a series about an ex-cop who suffers from multiple personality disorder, he will take on the lead role. The one-hour drama has been green-lit for 13 episodes for the Canadian cable television channel Showcase, and is currently in pre production.[14][15]



Year Film Role Notes
1993 Purple Toast Tom Struck Leading role
1994 Valentine's Day Astronaut As Callum Rennie
Still Boyfriend As Callum Rennie
The Raffle Floor Director Cameo
Frank's Cock Unnamed character Leading role. As Callum Renney
Double Happiness Mark Supporting role. As Callum Rennie

Nominated - Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role[16]

Time Cop Stranger Supporting role
1995 Curtis's Charm Jim Leading role
1996 Unforgettable Irate Motorist Supporting role
Hard Core Logo Billy Tallent Leading role
Letters From Home Unnamed character Supporting role. As Callum Rennie
1997 Masterminds Ollie Supporting role
Excess Baggage Motel Manager Supporting role. As Callum Rennie
Men with Guns Mamet Leading role
1998 Last Night Craig Zwiller Supporting role

Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role [16]. Nominated - Canadian Comedy Award for Pretty Funny Male Performance

1999 eXistenZ Hugo Carlow Supporting role
The Life Before This Martin Maclean Supporting role
2000 The Highwayman Telemarketer Cameo
The Last Stop Jake Supporting role
Memento Dodd Supporting role
Suspicious River Gary Jensen Leading role

Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama[17]

2001 Picture Claire Laramie Supporting role
2002 Now And Forever Carl Macke Supporting role
Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice Palmberg Supporting role
Flower & Garnet Ed Leading role

Leo Award for Best Male Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama[18]. Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a Canadian Film[19][20]

2003 Falling Angels Jim Field Leading role

Nominated - Leo Award for Best Male Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama. Nominated - Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a Canadian Film[21]

Paycheck Jude - Guard Cameo
2004 The Butterfly Effect Jason Supporting role
Wilby Wonderful Duck MacDonald Leading role
Blade: Trinity Asher Talos Supporting role
2005 Lucid Victor Supporting role
Shooting Gallery Michael Mortensen Supporting role
Whole New Thing Denny Supporting role
2006 Snow Cake John Neil Supporting role
Unnatural & Accidental Norman Leading role

Leo Award for Best Male Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama[22]

2007 Code Name: The Cleaner Shaw Supporting role
Butterfly on a Wheel Det. McGill Supporting role
The Invisible Det. Brian Larson Supporting role
Normal Walt Braugher Leading role

Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role[16]. Nominated - Leo Award for Best Male Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama[23]

Silk Schuyler Supporting role
2008 Sleepwalking Will Supporting role
The X Files: I Want to Believe Janke Dacyshyn Supporting role
2009 Case 39 Edward Sullivan Supporting role
2010 Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage Donald Leading role
Gunless Ben Cutler Supporting role. In post-production[13]

TV movies

Year Film Role Notes
1994 Paris or Somewhere Christy Mahon Leading role
1995 Little Criminals Kostash Supporting role
The Omen Driver Supporting role
Falling from the Sky: Flight 174 Pumper Supporting role
When the Dark Man Calls Bob Levesh Supporting role
The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky Big Hat Supporting role
1996 For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down Jerry Bines Leading role

Nominated - Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series[16]

1997 Tricks Adam Supporting role
2000 Murder Seen Det. Keegan Leading role
Nature Boy Eden Abez Supporting role
2001 Trapped Antonio Bello Supporting role
Dice Egon Schwimmer Supporting role. Miniseries
2002 Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story Inspector Wood Leading role
2003 Battlestar Galactica Leoben Conoy Supporting role. Miniseries
2004 H2O Don Pritchard/Lt. Daniel Holt Supporting role
The Five People You Meet in Heaven Eddie's father Supporting role
2005 Whiskey Echo Dr. Rollie Saunders Leading role
Painkiller Jane Mitchel Supporting role
2006 The Hunters Quin Hunter Leading role. Unaired pilot
2007 Tin Man Zero Supporting role. Miniseries
2008 Murder on Her Mind Leonard Supporting role
2009 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Leoben Conoy Supporting role
Mistresses John Supporting role. Unaired pilot

TV series

Year Show Episodes Role Notes
1996 - 1997 My Life as a Dog 22 Johnny Johansson Leading role

Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series[16]

1997 - 1999 Due South 26 Det. Stanley Raymond Kowalski Leading role

Nominated - Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role [16]

1998 - 2000 Twitch City 8 Newbie Leading role
1999 - 2001 Da Vinci's Inquest 7 Det. Bob Marlowe Supporting role
2008 Californication 12 Lew Ashby Supporting role
2004 - 2009 Battlestar Galactica 21 Leoben Conoy Supporting role
2010 Shattered 13 Kyle Loggins Leading role. Filming

TV guest appearances

Year Show Episode Role Notes
1993 Highlander: The Series 2.05 "An Eye for an Eye" Neal
1994 Lonesome Dove: The Series 1.07: "Long Shot" Harry Price
The Commish 3.18 "Security " Michael Konichek
The X Files 1.14 "Lazarus" Tommy
1995 Forever Knight 3.03 "Outside the Lines" Bruce Spencer
The X Files 2.15 "Fresh Bones" The Groundskeeper
The Marshal 1.06 "Protection" Cal
The Outer Limits 1.09 "Corner of the Eye" Carlito
Highlander: The Series 4.03 "The Innocent" Tyler King
Side Effects 2.02 "Snap, Crackle, Pop!" Armando Nominated - Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series[16]
1996 Viper 1.15 "Wheelman" William T. Lennox
La Femme Nikita 1.09 / 1.10 "Gray" / "Choice" Gray Wellman
1999 Strange World 1.02 "Lullaby" Vince
Foolish Heart 1.04 "Breathless" Ross
2002 Bliss 1.02 "Six Days" Mike
Dark Angel 2.16 "Exposure" Sheriff Lamar
Mutant X 1.18 "Ex Marks the Spot" Zack Lockhart
The Dead Zone 1.11 "Dinner with Dana" Mark Cassidy
The Eleventh Hour 1.03 "The Source" Mark Mitchum
2003 Tru Calling 1.01 "Pilot" Elliot Winters
2004 Touching Evil 1.05 "Memorial" Mike Espy
Kingdom Hospital 1.09 / 1.13 "Butterfingers" / "Finale" Earl Candleton
2005 Supernatural 1.02 "Wendigo" Roy
2006 The L Word 3.06 / 3.09 / 3.10 "Lifesize" / "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way" / "Losing the Light" Danny Wilson
Smallville 5.18 "Fragile" Tyler McKnight
2007 Men in Trees 2.02 "Chemical Reactions" Jeff
2008 Bionic Woman 1.06 "The List" Victor
2009 Harper's Island 1.10 / 1.11 / 1.12 / 1.13 "Snap" / "Splash" / "Gasp" / "Sigh" John Wakefield
Harper's Globe 1.15 / 1.16 "There Is Only One Way Out On Harper's Island" / "Surviving Harper's Island" John Wakefield Web series complementary to Harper's Island[24]
FlashForward 1.07 "The Gift" Jeff Slingerland
2010 24 8.06 / 8.07 / 8.08 "Day 8: 11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m." / " "Day 8: 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m." / "Day 8: 9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m." Vladimir Laitanan


  1. ^ a b c d "12 Steps to Stardom". Saturday Night Magazine. March 1998. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  2. ^ a b "Face of the fortnight: Due South's Callum Keith Rennie". Inside Soap issue 103. 1998-06-25. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  3. ^ a b "The Tao of Callum Keith Rennie". Take One. December 2001. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  4. ^ a b "Getting Under Callum Keith Rennie's Skin". Vines. April-May 1999. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  5. ^ a b c d "Callum Keith Rennie". The Canadian Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  6. ^ a b c d e "Callum Keith Rennie GALACTICA.TV interview". 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  7. ^ "Hunky Hard Core Logo star gives himself away". Now Toronto. 1996-10-17. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  8. ^ "DECISIVE MOMENT: Callum Keith Rennie Climbs To The Top". Toronto Globe and Mail. 1996-12-14. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  9. ^ "Billy Talent". Access Magazine. February-March 2003. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  10. ^ "David Goyer: More New Characters Ahead for 'Flash Forward'". buddyTV. 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  11. ^ "Callum Keith Rennie knows how to be bad, from 'Californication' to 'Oz' to '24'". The Canadian Press. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  12. ^ "Halo shines in N.S.". Chronicle Herald. 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  13. ^ a b "Paul Gross & Sienna Guillory to star in Gunless". CNW Group. 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  14. ^ "Rennie lands multiple roles in one". The Vancouver Province. 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  15. ^ "Canwest orders two more new Canadian original series". CNW Group. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "Genies & Gemini Awards for Callum Keith Rennie". Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  17. ^ "2001 winners". Leo Awards official website. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  18. ^ "2003 winners". Leo Awards official website. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  19. ^ "Flower and Garnet: festivals & awards". Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  20. ^ "3rd Annual Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards". 2003-01-30. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  21. ^ "4th Annual Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards". 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  22. ^ "2007 winners". Leo Awards official website. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  23. ^ "2008 nominees". Leo Awards official website. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  24. ^ "List of Harper's Globe videos". Harper's Globe Wiki. Retrieved 2009-12-30.  

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