Profession: Actor and musician
Hometown: Cranbrook, B.C.
The car: 2001 Chevy Cavalier
- First feature ﬁlm was the 2004 Showtime movie The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie, with Gena Rowlands and Kevin Zegers. Raymond played one of Mrs. Ritchie’s handicapped sons. His role earned him a Gemini nomination for Best Supporting Actor
- Movie credits include A Problem with Fear, Growing Up Julianne, Shotgun, and the indie ﬁlm Karma Inc.; TV credits include Lifetime’s The Pastor’s Wife and Cartoon Network’s Level Up
- Studied music at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, majoring in vocal performance; sings alternative, blues, jazz, classical bass and baritone and plays the harmonica, piano, guitar and drums
- Plays the lead Nibiran in Star Trek Into Darkness
- Recording an album of original music
Actor Jeremy Raymond has gone where few Canadian men have gone before – on the silver screen in the latest Star Trek blockbuster.
Raymond plays the lead Nibiran in director J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi thriller Star Trek Into Darkness. His debut follows numerous smaller appearances on TV and in movies including SyFy’s Alice, the ABC Family series Kyle XY, and The Hub’s R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.
Although he’s a rising star on screen, he remains down to earth in real life. Raymond is a self-professed “blossoming car guy” who just bought his first wheels: a 2001 Chevy Cavalier.
Why did you wait so long to buy your first car?
I avoided having a car for a lot of years for a number of reasons. But circumstances were dictating that I needed a car. I eventually got one and, within the first week, I was in love with the idea of being a car guy. Since then, I’ve also started to notice a lot more cars. I look at some of the fancier ones a little more lustfully, too.
Why did you go with a Cavalier?
I was looking for something small, reliable, good on gas. My sister, who actually owned this car before I did, got herself a new one. So I got her Cavalier. I named her Maude after the movie Harold and Maude.
What’s your favourite feature on it?
She’s really quick actually, especially when I’m driving in the Spanish Banks [in B.C.]. You get a lot of rich guys in their fancy sports cars, but Maude can hold her own off the line with those guys, although they don’t really know we’re racing. Maybe that would change a little bit.
Anything you don’t like about it?
Maude is an older gal so she has some ticks and quirks.
My stereo system is mildly schizophrenic. It changes up what speakers it is going to play music out of on a whim. The hand-cranked windows caused me a little grief. If I want to wind down the passenger side I have to pull over, lean over and then wind down the window.
Is it an automatic or standard transmission?
It’s a standard. I grew up in a small town with real icy conditions and big hills. Standard cars are a necessary out there. I’m very comfortable driving a standard car. It gives you more control than an automatic.
Did your sister teach you to drive a stick?
No. I learned on the first couple of vehicles I was driving, which were my parents’. They were standard.
You’re a big-time actor now. Shouldn’t you be driving something newer and fancier?
Honestly, I like the idea of a car that I don’t have to worry too much about. Maybe down the road I’d get a car that I can play around with. I’m really starting to be taken with muscle cars. A buddy of mine recently fixed up a 1970 Dodge Charger and I love driving around with him.
I think my primary car is always going to be something reliable and not too fancy.
What does an older Cavalier say about you?
Hopefully it says I’ve got enough confidence and self-possession not to need a fancy sports car to compensate for me. It says I’m down-to-earth as well.
Did you get your licence later in life, too?
I’ve had my licence since I was 16. I’ve been driving other people’s cars ever since.
However, a few weeks after getting my licence, I actually totalled my parents’ truck. It was a big Chevy Silverado. I had accidentally run a stop sign and hit the back end of another truck coming through the intersection. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but both trucks were totalled.
It definitely made me a more cautious driver. I’m careful not to speed. It’s made me drive like an old woman, at worst.
Did your parents ever let you borrow their car again?
Weirdly enough, they were cool about lending me their cars. But they never let me forget it. They bust my chops all of the time.
What are you listening to when driving?
I like the idea of making my own mixed CDs, which is something you don’t get to do much these days. Because there’s no place to plug in my iPod. it’s been fun to sit down and do up a car-play list for a road trip and then you pop in the CD.
I’ve got really eclectic tastes. I have everything from old blues to rock to acoustic stuff to Weird Al.
Do you sing behind the wheel?
I don’t sing behind the wheel because that’s a little distracting.
When I’m stuck in traffic I make weird random noises or I narrate what’s happening:‘There’s a guy in front of me with a big truck. Doesn’t know how to drive.’ Maybe it’s the way my brain processes the tension of driving in traffic.
Do you like driving?
I love driving. I didn’t think I would.
A couple of weeks after I got the car, there was a lot going on and I was having a difficult time putting my work aside. Then, I had the realization I could drive away for a little while and take a break. So I drove a couple of hours away to a nearby hot spring and spent the day lounging around. I left my phone and computer at home.
I think driving is the only way I can get away for a while. I’m a free man now. I don’t have to rely on other people to take me places, which is great.
What’s your most embarrassing driving story?
When I first got the car, I saw some friends of mine walking so I wanted to pull up beside them, roll down my window and say, ‘Hey, check out who has wheels now?’
I had to lean over to crank down the window. My parking brake wasn’t working so I started rolling backward, but I wasn’t aware of it. I heard my friend shouting and I managed to slam on the brakes an inch before I slammed into a parked car! That didn’t make me look very suave at all.
If I can bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?
Assuming that I got my nice sensible transportation taken care of I would say a Dodge Challenger. I’ve seen a couple of those and they make my heart go pitter-patter.
A vintage or new Challenger?
I really like both. They’ve each got their own personality which I like. With both of them, when you start them up they sound like you’re waking up an angry dinosaur. That’s the part I think I really connect to.
This interview has been edited and condensed.