Cory Monteith comes out to support Operation Smile’s Celebrity Ski Challenge at Canyons Resort in Park City where he chats with Access’ Billy Bush about Lindsay Lohan and Whoopi Goldberg guest starring on “Glee.” (And a little bit about Quinn at the end.)
The 2012 Smile Downhill raises funds for Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, with the highlight being the race starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31.
As teams of six racers (one celebrity, one professional and four amateurs or donors) compete against one another, they will be raising funds to provide the life-altering surgeries.
The public can watch the races along the Sunrise Trail with the finish line near Canyons Resort Village.
Operation Smile has changed the lives of more than 200,000 children born with cleft lips and palates.
The participating celebrities:
The participating winter olympians:
Race registration and course inspection: 9 a.m.
Celebrity Ski Challenge on Lower Sunrise Taril: 10 a.m.
Luncheon and awards ceremony at Alpine House: 12 p.m.
Free concert by Martin Sexton and Monophonics in the Resort Village: 3 p.m.
Back when they were struggling actors living in Vancouver, Cory Monteith got his friend Dustin Milligan a job in a cake shop. After several years — and several of TV and film roles (Glee and Monte Carlo for Monteith, 90210 and Shark Night 3D for Milligan) — Milligan has returned the favour, recruiting his former roommate for the new Carl Bessai film Sisters & Brothers. In the low-budget drama, opening March 23, the two play estranged siblings, with Monteith as a Hollywood star enjoying the high-life while Milligan plays a former actor who quit to do charity work. The two spoke to the Post’s Melissa Leong about improvising their lines, dwelling in crappy apartments and living the Hollywood dream.
Q How did you meet?
Milligan: We met in an acting class and we had the same coach/mentor, and Cory got me this job [at a cake shop] because I had just moved from Yellowknife to the city and he had just moved over from the Island a few months prior. We were both in the same boat, doing the same thing.
Monteith: We shared a one-bedroom apartment. I slept in the living room because … Dustin, uh, why was that?
Milligan: Because I paid $100 more.
Monteith: I set up a network of bamboo screens so when you came through the front door, you wouldn’t see into my living space. I had a futon that was my bed but I’d fold it up into a couch.
Milligan: Then there was also that grey couch that smelled like cat urine.
Monteith: It was a sh–ty apartment.
Q So how does this former-roomies dynamic translate on screen?
Milligan: As far as how it relates to our characters, they are brothers and they’ve kind of drifted emotionally away from each other. We were able to fake that tension because of our relationship in real life; we have a quick banter and we do know each other enough that we can push each other’s buttons.
Q You each play actors. What else echoes your own lives?
Milligan: We play caricatures of some aspects of our real lives.
Monteith: My character is something I’m surrounded by in Hollywood. It’s very much the actor that no Canadian actor wants to move to the States and become.
Milligan: It’s like someone trying to live Entourage as a reality. Then my character is someone who was an actor but decided to give it all up so that he can go and do real work in Africa.
Monteith: Things that matter.
Milligan: That in itself is very common, at least in my experience in L.A. You have a lot of people who want to do something real [he does air quotes with his fingers] — like charity work but it’s ultimately self-serving. When our characters meet, he’s calling me out on my bulls–t and I’m calling him out on his bulls–t.
Monteith: As brothers do.
Q Why did you want to be involved in Carl’s film?
Monteith: When the offer came, it came from Dustin: “Do you want to play my brother in a movie?” “What movie?” “Carl Bessai.” “Of course.” It was that quick. Having a lot of input, it being a real artistic process with interesting actors — it was a no-brainer.
Milligan: It’s such a rare opportunity to work in this guerrilla style. We’re told that success means you have to move to L.A. to live this Hollywood lifestyle but the reality as actors is that the further up you go in the studio system, in a way, it becomes more creatively stifling because there are more people with money invested in the final product. It becomes about commercialism and accountability. Where as with Carl, it’s the exact opposite. He’s behind one camera and it’s about Cory and I having fun, improvising for a day and seeing what comes out it.
Q And what kind of improv came out of it?
Monteith: [My character] was with all of these hot girls who I had invited to the house and he said that I used to get cold sores. He just pulled that out of his ass.
Milligan: I love the part where we are driving and I’m describing my charity to him and I’m eager and happy about it. He’s literally yawning and looking outside. That is something you see at every single party that you go to in L.A., you say “hi” to somebody and you shake their hand and …
Monteith: … they’re shaking your hand and looking over your shoulder. It’s a lovely place.
Milligan: That’s what’s nice about Canada. These parties, you have a bunch of real Canadians who don’t really know how to do that yet.
Sisters & Brothers opens March 23 in Toronto and Vancouver.
Cory Monteith didn’t know he could sing before he started work on the hit TV show, Glee. “I didn’t even have a clue,” says the actor, who once called Nanaimo home. “But with practice and training, I learned, and the more I sang, the better I became.”
Monteith says the central lesson has nothing to do with innate talent. “This isn’t about the fabulousness of me,” he says. “I don’t think I am extraordinarily talented. To me, it’s a testament to hard work, and the idea that, if you get a break, you can do anything. I really mean it: If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
They are undeniably humble words, and you can tell he’s not just posing the way some wannabes do in the hopes of making themselves look noble. He really means it.
“That’s the most exciting part: It’s true. It proves how amazing we all are as people, and how much potential we have as human beings.”
As a central star of one of TV’s most successful and revisionary shows, Monteith has every right to crow. But he doesn’t. Instead, the actor uses his tiny window of free time to further his own creativity, and enable the artistic vision of others.
Sisters&Brothers is a perfect example. The latest feature from the West Coast’s most prolific director, Carl Bessai, Sisters&Brothers is a multi-pronged story of siblings – probably the most contested area of all family dynamics.
Rivalries of all kinds spring up in this documentary-style mash-up. From a story of two half-sisters struggling with ego, to a brother and sister struggling to cope with mental illness, Bessai approaches the topic without apparent judgment or prejudice.
“There was no script to speak of,” says Monteith, who plays big brother to Rory (Dustin Milligan), a kid who just came back from Africa and is hoping to spur social change. The two brothers seem like friends, but it’s soon apparent they are living in different worlds.
Justin is a famous TV star. Rory is a social activist. The only thing they have left in common is a profound affection for their mother, but they fight over who’s really taking care of her.
Although Monteith plays a young actor feeling the surge of success, he says Justin is nothing like him.
“He’s actually more of a cautionary tale,” he says of the egocentric blabbermouth. “I’m definitely not that guy, but it’s fun to play that guy.”
Monteith says he’s seen what that first brush with fame can do to people, and it’s often tragic.
“There are a lot of people who aren’t even working or making money, and they’re still that guy. You don’t even have to be famous or rich to be that guy,” says Monteith. “He is everywhere.”
He says people turn into jerks – regardless of their profession – when they’re afraid of another’s success.
“Ultimately, it’s fear,” he says. “Petty selfishness and self-centeredness usually come from a fear about not having a place in the world. For Justin, he fears not being famous enough, or not having a girlfriend who is pretty enough, or not having been with enough girls. And people who feel like that usually create this ego to protect themselves,” he says with a sigh.
“It’s the kiss of death, too. It’s such a silly way to live.”
Indeed, Justin could have been a fully tragic figure, but Monteith says he wasn’t seeking epic notes. He says he took part in Bessai’s improvisational experiment to broaden his own creative lexicon, as well as reconnect with old friends.
Monteith, who’s now 29, says he and co-star Milligan used to be roommates a decade ago, when they were both working Joe jobs and sharing a Kitsilano apartment.
“We were both acting students, and had the same coach, Andrew McIlroy. That was 10 years ago, when I had just moved from Nanaimo to Vancouver,” says Monteith. “I was 20, and I think Dustin had just turned 18. I got him a job at True Confections, cutting cakes and pies,” says Monteith.
“We’d rehearse our lines behind the counter. . . . It was the whole actor cliche.”
Because Monteith has such a profound affection for the thespian craft, not to mention the human capacity for creation itself, he says he wanted his character to remain accessible.
“I didn’t want to make (Justin) a monster. I mean, he still addresses his assistant with respect. He still tries. But he’s definitely lost, and emphasizing that element was the most important thing, in terms of story, and what Carl was setting out to capture: He’s a lost soul.”
Monteith says he’s been fortunate in every respect of his professional life, as well as his personal one, because he’s never felt conflicted in the wake of his rise to celebrity status.
“My family and my friends keep me grounded,” he says, “especially the friends I made in Los Angeles before my life changed. It’s important to keep those people close to you, because they know who you really are, and they remind you where you came from.”
He’s got a safe harbour, but when he looks around at his peers and the lifestyle they’re coveting, he worries.
“We’re being sold on the idea (celebrity matters). That’s what the mass-media images are telling us. And they’re selling it as reality. But it’s not real.”
The only thing that’s real is how you feel about yourself, says Monteith. And one of the best gifts he’s ever received has been the confidence to sing out loud, and express his inner truth in song.
“When the music hits, you feel no pain, to quote Bob Marley,” he says. “But it’s true. It’s like all art and creation: You’re completely in the moment, and you just feel free.”
Sisters&Brothers opens in Vancouver on Friday, March 23; may expand later.
We knew Cory & Naya were hosting them in NY but…
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has tapped Glee stars Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron as hosts for a pair of its 23rd Media Awards.The organization on Thursday announced Rivera, who plays newly out lesbian Santana Lopez on the Fox dramedy, and her onetime onscreen foil Monteith as hosts for the March 24 New York portion of its annual awards show. Agron, meanwhile, will host the June 2 portion in San Francisco.The hosting duties are not a new gig for Rivera, whose Glee alter ego has become a breakout star this season as she battled a public outing and pushback from administrators and classmates alike. The actress hosted last year’s GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco and has repeatedly voiced her support for LGBT equality.
At the New York ceremony, Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will receive the Visto Russo Award, named after one of GLAAD’s funders and presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBT equality. Broadway great and Smash guest star Bernadette Peters will present the duo with the award.
At this month’s San Francisco ceremony, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes will receive the Golden Gate Award, presented to media professionals who through their work have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. During its eight-season run, Grey’s has featured several LGBT characters, including series-regular characters played by Sara Ramirez (Callie) and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona).
In addition, Facebook will receive a special recognition award for its efforts around bullying prevention, and the Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein will present a special award to 17-year-old Katy Butler for her work in launching a Change.org campaign to overturn the MPAA’s R rating for upcoming bullying documentary Bully.
“Each of these honorees has, in their different areas of expertise, helped build support for equality for every American,” GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson said. “Whether they bring the stories of LGBT people into living rooms or empower gay and lesbian individuals to take proactive steps in the face of inequality, each honoree is making tremendous strides toward full acceptance of the community.”
Guests slated to attend the New York ceremony include Smash‘s Megan Hilty, Twilight‘s Dakota Fanning and Raising Hope‘s Martha Plimpton. Los Angeles guests will include Hot in Cleveland‘s Betty White, Ellen DeGeneres, True Blood‘s Anna Paquin, The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson and Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Additional honorees for the April 21 Los Angeles event will be announced at a later date.
The GLAAD Media Awards fund the organization’s efforts to bring stories of LGBT people and issues to Americans. Each year, the events raise nearly $3.5 million for the group.
A full list of nominees can be found on www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees ” target=”_blank”>GLAAD’s website.