BlackBerry Interview: Jay Baruchel on making one of the best Canadian films in years

We speak to BlackBerry’s Jay Baruchel about how this account of the tech giant’s rise and fall is one of the best Canadian movies in years.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry is one of the best English Canadian films in a long time. When I interviewed Jay Baruchel about the film a few weeks ago, I prefaced our conversation by telling him this and that I wasn’t sucking up to him. Baruchel got it, as the big problem with a lot of English Canadian films is that they present to be something they’re not. They’re often set in this pseudo-US style setting, as for some reason, Canadian producers seem terrified that a film will be recognized as what it is, Canadian. As he told me in our interview, this is something that has irked Baruchel for years, and in his own films, including the two Goon movies and the recent Random Acts of Violence, they never hid the fact that they were Canadian.

As Baruchel explains it in our interview, which is embedded above, one of the things that drew him to BlackBerry was that it told a distinctly Canadian story, with the tech giant of the early 2000s famously based in Waterloo, Ontario. In the film, Baruchel plays Mike Lazaridis, the founder and creator of BlackBerry, who finds himself running a tech giant, only for the whole thing to start falling apart thanks to two pretty common dangers of the industry – greed and competition.

Baruchel is a great interview, and he seems passionate about the film, which he thinks has a good chance of connecting with a mainstream audience like the Goon movies did. I’m inclined to agree with director Matt Johnson (The Dirties), a real talent who ranks up there with the best directors our country has produced, like Denis Villeneuve, David Cronenberg and more. BlackBerry hits theatres on Friday. Read our review here and keep your eyes peeled for another BlackBerry interview later this week, where Baruchel is joined by his awesome co-star, Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

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