If most Hollywood actors were offered a chance to spend 15 days in wintery Montreal shooting in a low-budget Canadian movie, they’d swiftly fire their agent. For Zach Braff, however, filming High Cost of Living under just those conditions was a bonus.
“I actually thought it was cool because so many movies come up to Canada to shoot Canada as the States,” said the Scrubs star recently in Toronto. “I just thought this is a movie in Montreal about Montreal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie about Montreal.”
Although Braff admits a love for Quebec, High Cost lured the actor with more than just the story’s locale.
A redemptive drama about an American ex-pat that secretly befriends his own hit-and-run victim, the acclaimed favourite fit perfectly into Braff’s repertoire — including 2004’s Garden State, which he also wrote and directed.
“Everyone can relate to the idea of wanting to be a better person and wanting to take back mistakes they’ve made,” explained Braff. “I’m a sucker for love being the catalyst for making someone a better person; that was the case in Garden State definitely and it’s a theme I’m drawn to — being saved by falling in love.”
Braff was equally impressed by Toronto filmmaker Deborah Chow — who handled the stress of making her first feature film with a polished professionalism.
“I was in a movie once where the director just left — he couldn’t handle it,” laughed Braff. “There’s so much pressure, especially when there’s no money and you got these cooks in the kitchen and people doubting you. I don’t know if (Chow) was freaking out in her head or not but she was really Zen and just navigated calmly.”