The Vancouver photographer accused of intimidation in a confrontation with actor Ryan Reynolds says the allegations against him are "100 per cent false" and is justified in taking pictures of Hollywood stars in public places.
Vancouver police have not released the name of the photographer, but 52-year-old Rik Fedyck said in an interview on Tuesday he is at the centre of the controversy, but has done nothing wrong.
Police allege a photographer struck Mr. Reynolds, in town to shoot the comic-book-inspired action film Deadpool, with his car after approaching him in the parking lot of a downtown hotel. The Vancouver-born actor suffered what police described as "very minor" injuries. Mr. Fedyck was arrested and released on several conditions. Although Vancouver police recommended the Crown lay a charge of intimidation, the force's spokesman said Tuesday no decision has been made at this point.
He was released from police detention on with a promise to appear in court on April 28.
Mr. Fedyck, who has been photographing celebrities since 2005, said Vancouver is an "all-right" market for his work. The entertainment industry in the city is rebounding from recent tough times by playing host to such productions as Deadpool, Star Trek 3, Tron 3 and The BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg, as well as various TV shows.
"A year ago, it was dead here. Right now, it's busy and it's going to get busier."
Mr. Fedyck said some associated stars are of interest for the global market in celebrity images, including Mr. Reynolds and his actress wife, Blake Lively. "People in public? It's public domain. There are no rules. I try to be – and many people can back me up on this – respectful of people," he said. "I am not the one that sells the magazines."
Mr. Fedyck also said he is considering legal action over a poster, now being circulated in the film industry, that spotlights him and notes that one condition of his release after his arrest bars the Richmond, B.C. resident from being in the city of Vancouver.
Vancouver police played down any sense that photographers versus celebrities is a problem in the city, where film and TV crews are a routine sight.
"Overly aggressive photographers are not something we get a lot of calls about despite the large number of film productions and celebrities we see in Vancouver," Constable Brian Montague, speaking for the department, said in a statement issued Tuesday.
"Our job is to make sure that everyone who lives or works in Vancouver feels safe. We will investigate the actions of anyone that may be criminal and, if appropriate, recommend charges."
Richard Brownsley, president of the independent Creative BC agency that promotes the film and TV sector, said B.C. is largely respectful as a place for filming, which is appealing to producers.
"When talent is disturbed, it's not a good thing. If talent's disturbed, they're not going to be focusing on the job they want to do," he said. "We don't get that as a major issue when companies talk about filming here."
Crawford Hawkins, head of the B.C. wing of the Directors Guild of Canada and a veteran in the industry, said that despite some tensions, the situation is relatively mild in Canada.
"It's certainly not as big a deal as it is in Los Angeles. You don't see people chasing people down the Pacific Coast Highway like they do there."
However, he conceded there has been an increased effort by some photographers to get off-the-set images of celebrities, particularly with their family members.
Although it may rattle celebrities, he said they tend to get over it. "It's part of the business, a cost of doing business."