Halifax — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is demanding a role in CBC’s miniseries Canada: The Story of Us. When the show first aired, it drew a lot of ire from the Maritimes and Québec for failing to depict our nation’s history with accuracy and inclusion.
McNeil as well as the mayor of Annapolis Royal, N.S., Bill MacDonald, separately contacted CBC asking for an apology, or at least an additional episode including important regions and facts that were left out. When CBC didn’t bite, McNeil decided to change his request.
“I sent CBC my demo reel last week and they never got back to me; that’s pretty rude, I think,” said McNeil. “If you’re going to represent Nova Scotia history inaccurately, at least let me test out my acting chops — I’ve been going to an improv class two nights a week and my instructor said I’m getting better all the time.”
The Manatee contact Hubert Lacroix, president and CEO of CBC, to inquire about the demo reel. “Oh, we watched it all right,” he said. “It was mostly just McNeil looking directly into the camera and doing bad impressions of Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Walken. Very embarrassing. We had to turn it off partway through.”
Despite this, McNeil believes he could play any role. “I played Mercutio in my high school’s performance of Romeo and Juliet,” he bragged. “That’s actually a complex part that not many people consider. Everyone remembers Romeo, but Mercutio was the driving force behind that play and I friggin’ nailed it. Ask anyone.”
The premier said one of his main concerns is that the series will be shown in schools, so young potential voters will never even have the chance to witness his acting versatility.
“They probably won’t even know who I am! I mean, yeah, I’m the premier, but I’m so much more than that. I just think I should be given a chance.”
McNeil claims CBC never even bothered to ask him for an audition for their series. “They immediately hired ‘real actors,’ but being a politician is mostly just acting, when it comes down to it. It’s not fair. Yeah, they snubbed my entire province, but had they considered that I might be perfect for the role of Samuel de Champlain? I don’t need to be in every single episode, but I’d at least like to guest star in one.”
McNeil said if CBC lets him cameo just this once, there’s no telling where his budding acting career could take him.
“Before you know it, you might see me turn up in Schitt’s Creek, Workin’ Moms, Mr. D, Heartland — any and every CBC show! I’ve been told I have a face for radio, but TV would be even better.”