Rising stage star is asking for trouble

Being a troubled teenager has proved to be the best thing that could have ever happened to Andrew Craig.

Being a troubled teenager has proved to be the best thing that could have ever happened to Andrew Craig.

The 26 year-old actor is currently appearing in Brad Fraser's latest play, True Love Lies, at Factory Theatre, as Royce, the homophobic son of a father whose gay past explodes like a bombshell within the family circle.

It’s a nice follow-up to his Dora-nominated performance in Smokescreen as Trent, the belligerent young stoner. But is Craig digging into his own past to portray these roles?

“Well, not exactly,” he says, after a moment of hesitation. “Sure, I had emotional troubles as a teen and some problems with depression and addiction, but nothing like the characters I’ve been playing.”

Craig certainly came by his profession honestly, since his parents are both well known in the Canadian theatre world, David primarily as a playwright and Robin as an actress.

But the business initially didn't beckon to Craig and he recalls that “my parents never actively pushed me into it.”

By his own admission, he was usually cast “as the drug dealer or the kid who got bullied,” but it was his appearance in Smokescreen that really drew him some positive focus.

There was one tricky thing about the show. “The author was my dad and there was a kind of catharsis that came out of it. Suddenly I saw that my dad wasn’t being an overprotective parent, but somebody who was really worried.”

All of which sounds like good training for working with Brad Fraser, who has always cultivated a “bad boy” reputation.

“I love working with Brad. I don’t think he is tough per se, but he has a lot of strong values he believes in and he wants to see them portrayed properly on the stage.”

From what Craig says about how the show is shaping up, it sounds as if Fraser is going to get his wish.

“The play is blunt, it’s bawdy and the laughs will be involuntary and hard,” predicts Craig. “It will shake people up and they’ll feel invigorated.”

Just the Facts
• What: True Love Lies
• When: Previews begin Saturday. Opening Oct. 1 to Nov. 1
• Where: Factory Theatre. 125 Bathurst St.
• Tickets: $25 at 416-504-9971 or factorytheatre.ca

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