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John Reardon and his 2009 VW Passat. (Morgan Moss for the Globe and Mail.)
John Reardon and his 2009 VW Passat. (Morgan Moss for the Globe and Mail.)

My Car: John Reardon

Actor's going down the road with 'Greta' Add to ...

John Reardon

  • Profession: Actor
  • Age: 37
  • Hometown: Halifax
  • The car: 2009 VW Passat

Notable achievements

  • Holds a BSc in Biology from Mount Allison University, where he also played football between 1993-1997
  • Appeared in several TV series: Tru Calling, Eureka, Merlinʼs Apprentice, The L Word and Hellcats

Currently

More Related to this Story

  • Arctic Air is on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC
  • Continuum is on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showcase

------------------------------------------------

He was an all-star football player at Mount Allison University, but dumped the sport to pursue a career in acting.

The gamble paid off. John Reardon’s big break came in 2001 when he appeared in the Showtime series, The Chris Isaak Show . Then came a slew of recurring roles in Foxʼs Tru Calling, SyFyʼs Eureka and Showtimeʼs The L Word . On the big screen, he appeared in Scary Movie 4 and Tron: Legacy. Nowadays, Reardon is a fixture on the CBC’s Arctic Air and the Showcase sci-fi thriller Continuum .

When he’s not working, he’s driving around Vancouver in a 2009 Volkswagen Passat.

Why did you buy a Passat?

To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of any particular car brand. I gravitate more to an individual car.

My car, who I affectionately refer to as Greta, was given to me by my dad. He owned her for two years and then gave her to me as a gift a couple of years ago.

I liked the fact she’s from my home town in Halifax and has lived through a couple of winters in Nova Scotia and has the Atlantic Ocean salt in her. It gives me a lot of nostalgia for home. I have a sentimental sense of history.

What does the VW Passat say about you?

The biggest thing it says about me is the thing that I love about it. It’s from my dad.

Because of that, it says I have a strong sense of where I come from and a love of my family. I like things that have a history and mean something to me.

A particular brand of car really isn’t important to me, it’s more the feeling I have towards it and the feeling I have driving it.

Do you know what’s under the hood?

No. I leave everything under the hood to the experts.

I’m not a car guy, but I do appreciate cars a lot. I like cool cars.

I remember when I was a kid I loved the car from The Dukes of Hazzard. I loved how the Duke boys would keep the windows open and slide through the window to get inside.

I did try, when I first got Greta, to do that. But it took me about a minute to get inside and I needed help. I twisted my back and it didn’t look cool. So I just use the door now.

What was your first car?

My first car was a ’99 Corolla called Josie.

I owned her for 10 years. I ran her into the ground. I put 200,000 kilometres on her in 10 years. I travelled all the way down to California, all the way east to Miami, north to Nova Scotia. I basically did the four corners of North America. Terrific road trips and camping trips – a lot of great experiences.

I gave it to a friend after I got the car from my dad. It’s still going. Those cars don’t stop. It was over 300,000 km when I gave it away.

I travelled a lot between Vancouver and Los Angeles over the years. Then, I did five trips across Canada with it. I did a lot of trips down into the desert that had beaten it up a lot.

What road trip stands out the most?

One of the most memorable was when I was doing a trip to Vegas with one of my friends. We were driving through the desert and there was this one gas station that had really great hot dogs. I kept wanting to get to that gas station.

We kept passing all these gas stations and my friend was saying, ‘We’re going to run out of gas. We need to stop.’ I said, ‘No, it’s just up over this corner.’ So we get up over the corner and it was just an expansive desert. As we saw that, the car ran out of gas.

It’s 47 degrees C in the desert. I had to take my skateboard from the trunk of the car and skateboard 15 miles back to the nearest gas station and then hitchhike with the gas back to the car. My poor friend almost died of heat exhaustion by the time I got back.

It doesn’t speak much to my intelligence, but to my love of hot dogs.

You’ve travelled extensively around the world, what’s your favourite driving road?

For beauty, the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia – it’s amazing. Driving through the Canadian Rockies is exceptional.

And just for pure fun, driving through the dirt roads in Zimbabwe or a lot of the African countries where a road is almost more of a suggestion than an actual existing entity.

It’s a little bit more of an adventure. It’s not about going fast, it’s about navigating the terrain and avoiding obstacles. That’s my favourite experience of driving.

Any mishaps on those adventures?

I did get a car stuck in the mud and had to have a group of people from a nearby village dig me out. It took us about three hours, but finally they managed to dig me out. They thought I was a bit of an idiot for driving down the road that I was on.

I have a lot of stories where I make bad decisions.

What do you listen to when driving?

I love all types of music. I have a very eclectic mix.

I defer to my brother because he has the greatest library of music. Every time I go home he makes me more mixed CDs so I have hundreds of CDs in my car that he has given to me over the years.

At this point, they’re getting very scratched. Whenever I go over a bump, the CDs will skip. I think I’m going to have to get an iPod – I think it’s finally catching on. Maybe I’ll finally decide to transfer to some modern technology.

Do you prefer driving over flying?

Yeah. There’s something very satisfying about driving.

A lot of people find travelling a means to get somewhere. They want to be at the place. But I actually enjoy the act of travelling. I find going through the smaller towns to get you to the final destination is much more fun.

I love to drive. I don’t like to be the passenger. There’s just something really satisfying about being on the road and having some time to relax and listen to music.

What’s your dream car?

I personally don’t desire any particular car. What I would do is just drive Greta until she crumbles into the ground, but I’ll keep upgrading her.

Who knows? Maybe 20 years from now, she’ll have a fish tank in her, all the James Bond accessories from Goldfinger and she’ll be able to fly.

There will probably be a baby seat in there somewhere, too.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

pgentile@globeandmail.com

Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

Follow on Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

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