Buddy cop brothers
Stars of buddy-cop franchise, Colm Feore and Patrick Huard, are happy to be back together after a decade apart
On what they call an "unprecedented" promotional tour for a Canadian movie, Colm Feore and Patrick Huard, stars of Bon Cop Bad Cop 2, have travelled coast-to-coast through seven cities – from Moncton to Vancouver – to attend screenings and meet with fans ahead of Friday's premiere. It's been more than 10 years since the first Bon Cop Bad Cop release, but the anglo-franco duo believe the steam behind the buddy-cop franchise is stronger than ever. The Globe and Mail spoke with Feore and Huard about language, hockey and a possible third adventure.
It's been more than a decade since the first Bon Cop movie. How have you been attracting new fans?
Huard: I think the sequel stands on its own and maybe that's the advantage of having 10 years in between. Writing it, I didn't have to do a direct sequel. I could respect the DNA and mythology of the first and just fly from there. It was kind of surprising, with that kind of movie, 10 years ago, an action-comedy-cop movie, it's something we've not done a lot of in Canada before and we surprised a lot of people. So we needed to surprise them again.
How do expectations change when you're making a sequel?
Feore: In the intervening 10 years, something incredible has happened. Folks across the country have taken it on for themselves and adopted this story. They recognize themselves in it and took it away from us. You meet them and they tell you about a scene, and you'll say, "I know, Patrick wrote it, I was acting in it," but it's become so personal for them. They identify with it.
There are moments in the first and second movies I could identify with. Both occur when [Feore's character] Martin, who is bilingual, is challenged or mocked, for speaking French. I have that same fear or maybe it's paranoia, every time I use French with a native speaker.
Feore: That happens to me every day. I only speak French better because in the first film, you could do take No. 37. But it led to the expectation that you could approach me in the street [and have a conversation in French]. I live in Stratford, Ont., and the guy delivering the mail to me said he was taking lessons and he would only speak to me in French. I said, "Dude, in the movie I was faking it." I know I played [Pierre] Trudeau as well, but I was faking that, too. I went to school for French, but I lost it. I thought, "I have to get better at this or I will be humiliated beyond belief."
Huard: It's the same for me when I use English. I struggle, I am not as articulate as I am in French, but I think it doesn't matter. People shouldn't be ashamed for trying to speak another language. When people in Montreal are making the effort to talk to us in French, no matter how many mistakes you can make, we find it very charming and generous and warm … you try to understand someone, and make the effort of meeting in the middle.
Can we talk about sports? Hockey was central to the plot in the first film, and although it's present to a lesser degree in the second, it's still there, as well as curling. Why is including Canadian sports important?
Huard: Because – this is us! It's what we do.
Feore: You have to know, that to Quebec, particularly Patrick, curling is stupid. He would fall in love with it as soon as it becomes a full contact sport.
The first Bon Cop movie painted an unsympathetic picture of hockey's commissioner. It was not subtle in appearance or in dialogue or name. A central reason for his dislike in Quebec is the league's failure to expand back to Quebec City (which lost the Nordiques in 1995). Why should Quebec City have an NHL team?
Huard: Of course they should have a team. I'll tell you why. I remember driving two hours from Montreal to Quebec to see hockey games. They had a losing team and the place was packed. The team finished last three or four years in a row and the place was packed and the only problem we had at the time was that there was no cap for the salaries and the arena was a bit too small. But now, with the cap [in place] and the new arena they have, they should have a team tomorrow. And it would be successful and make money and that would be great for the sport.
You were in Moncton recently. Would it make sense to film a third Bon Cop Bad Cop in New Brunswick, a bilingual province?
Feore: While we were there, we learned this the other day, [Greater Moncton] has Riverview, which is anglo, then there's Dieppe, which is franco, and then there's Moncton, which is both. That's exactly the story. New Brunswick is the perfect example.
Huard: Before that, we would need the second movie to be successful and have people to want a third one. But there is also something else to bring to Bon Cop Bad Cop mythology that maybe would be the perfect end to the trilogy and that would be a First Nations cop joining the crew. That's the one thing that's missing from Bon Cop Bad Cop and I only realized that a few months ago. It would feel logical to end this whole thing, third film, three cops, with the three nations. I think it would be perfect. Shot in New Brunswick.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 opens May 12.