One week after wrapping production of Canadian film One Week, Liane Balaban jetted off to London to play Dustin Hoffman’s daughter in Last Chance Harvey.
She went from the campy directorial stylings of Michael McGowan straight to the glitz and glamour of a big Hollywood production. But the funny thing, said the 28-year-old with a laugh, was that Last Chance Harvey was Hoffman’s low-budget project.
“They had T-shirts made up that said LCH (Last Chance Harvey) LBF (Low Budget Film),” said Balaban, who first appeared on the Canadian movie scene in 1999’s New Waterford Girl.
She played 15-year-old Mooney Pottie in the critically acclaimed film about a young girl stifled by her upbringing in a small, Cape Breton coal-mining town.
Since then, she’s acted in a range of productions including Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds; Happy Here and Now with David Arquette; and she just completed filming Coach with Hugh Dancy.
At the same time, she’s held tight to her Canadian roots, finishing a political science degree at Concordia University, studying journalism at Ryerson and residing — for the most part — in Montreal with her fiancé, author and journalist Adam Gollner.
In One Week, Balaban plays Samantha Pierce, the fiancée of Ben Taylor (Joshua Jackson), who is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and given little time to live. The Dawson’s Creek star’s character spontaneously buys an $8,000 motorcycle and begins a journey across Canada before giving in to his illness and inevitable treatment.
What struck Balaban most about the film was that so much came out of such little time and financing. “I was so impressed that such a tiny film was able to capture so much of the grandeur of Canada,” she said.
• One Week opens in theatres March 6.