Despite producing the Valentine-tinged TV special Love Letters, Leah Pinsent doesn’t have a romantic story surrounding her first meeting with her partner — fellow actor Peter Keleghan.
“No. We weren’t star-crossed lovers or anything. It took some time,” says Pinsent, who first met Keleghan when they were both starring on the CBC comedy Made In Canada in Halifax.
“I think it was fourth season in. It was a crazy love once it got started, but we were both married at the start. So it was complicated. It was what it was.”
Still — nine years in — it seems to be working out. So much so, the acting pair have teamed up for Love Letters — a meditation on generational love featuring excerpts from A.R. Gurney’s play about would-be lovers who correspond soley through letters.
The excerpts are performed not only by Pinsent and Keleghan, but additional real life acting couples like Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway) and Deb McGrath (Little Mosque on the Prairie), Carlo Rota (24) and Nazneen Contractor (The Border), and Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (The Daily Show). The host is Leah’s dad, Gordon Pinsent.
In between excerpts from the play, the couples talk about their curious romantic lives as working actors/lovers.
“I’d seen When Harry Met Sally and I loved the parts where the real couples talk about their relationships, so we wanted to do that,” says Pinsent with a laugh. “I’m just happy that since we filmed it, our couples are all still together.”
Pinsent says actors hooking up is no different than any two people with similar goals. Success or failure depends on the match-up.
“Some stay together. Some don’t. I think maybe actors can be more emotional, personally. But it ultimately depends on the people.”
Pinsent laments the death of people actually writing letters to friends and family. Still, she admits that she isn’t exactly a practitioner herself.
“I’d like to say I write letters, but I don’t. I think my mother was the one who really loved to do that.
“It’s a lost art I guess. Like putting photos in an album.”