Tom McCamus has never been much of a car person. “ I just like cars for their usefulness,” says the Genie Award-winning actor, who’s latest film Cairo Time, which was shot on location in the Egyptian capital for two months last year, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off this week.
In fact, says the veteran of theatre, television and film, had his 12-year-old jeep not fallen apart a few years ago, he would have driven it forever. But when McCamus’s beloved jeep started becoming too unreliable in 2005 and he was afraid it would break down on the highway, he decided it was time to replace it and he did so with a blue 2005 Subaru Impreza.
Whether McCamus starring at the Taragon Theatre in Toronto, or gracing the stage at Shaw and Stratford, where he’s been a long-standing member of both theatre companies, the Winnipeg-native does a lot of highway driving.
“I live on farm about an-hour-and-a-half outside Toronto, so the Subaru is good on gas, it’s smaller than the jeep and it’s an all-wheel drive, which gets me through the snow, especially in the country,” he explains.
Of the commutes, he says, “you get used to it after a bit.” McCamus will be making the two-hour ride to Toronto for the TIFF premiere of Cairo Time, in which he co-stars with Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson, who’s called McCamus “a powerhouse of an actor.”
Aside from his theatre work and roles in films like I Love a Man in Uniform and The Sweet Hereafter, as well as on TV —most notably as the villain Mason Eckhart in the TV series, Mutant X — McCamus breeds Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers with his wife, actress Chick Reid.
Because of this, his wife drives a Honda CRV. “It’s large in the back so we can put dog crates and kennels in there,” he explains.
Even though his old jeep is now out of commission, McCamus couldn’t bear to part with it and keeps it in his barn. And, he admits that every now and then, he takes her out for a ride on his 50-acre property for old time’s sake. That’s one ride that will never grow tired.
– Heather Buchan is a Toronto-based journalist whohas worked at several magazines,
includingHello! Canada, where she cut her teeth in the world of celebrities.