New interview with Occhi Magazine… click here
Meet Actor Bernard Robichaud
Boston-born, Canadian-based actor, writer and comic Bernard Robichaud, known to fans worldwide as Cyrus, the gun-toting, drug-dealing nemesis from the hit television series Trailer Park Boys, started his life in the spotlight as a sought-after model…that is, until the day he crossed paths with a Toronto talent agent, who insisted he missed his calling and should try his hand at acting. With that advice in mind, Bernard enrolled in the Theatre Arts program at Dalhousie University and later honed his skills under the private tutelage of esteemed vocal coach Dorothy Ward, and later under the wings of award-winning director Tom Kerr at the prestigious Neptune Theatre.
Believe it or not, this athletic man who grew up playing hockey and basketball and today is an avid golfer was hired to voice the characters of both Robert and Becky in the CBC radio drama In Becky’s Name. Governor General Award-winning playwright and author, Kent Stetson, took the liberty of contacting ACTRA on Bernard’s behalf, stating that anyone who could play a man and women on radio in their first performance deserved to be given their professional status…he was, and he hasn’t looked back.
His uncanny talent of being able to transform himself into a rough and tumble lowlife to a ruggedly handsome good guy has garnered Bernard a variety of most interesting roles over his career, including performing alongside such Hollywood icons as James Caan and Kathy Bates. Most recently he was seen in Blue Seduction, co-starring
Billy Zane and Estella Warren, and _American Sunset_, co-starring with his friend, the late Corey Haim. Bernard also has a recurring role as Kirk in the Showcase TV series Haven. Fans are looking forward to catching him as Cyrus once again next year in Trailer Park Boys 3.
Currently, Bernard is writing a screenplay, Kitchen Sports, an adaptation of his successful 1995 play. He also penned A Woman Scorned, a screenplay feature thriller, and has a new sitcom in development, The Adventures of Black Bart.
When not gracing the small or large screens, Bernard tours North America with his stand-up comedy act, Who Needs Grade10? I’m a Public Speecher! The comedy act is a portrayal of an uneducated convict whom Bernard knows all too well after 10 years on Trailer Park Boys. Bernard’s unique stories of crime, sex, drugs, and (very
little) rock and roll have his audiences bustin’ a gut!
Bernard RobichaudHi, Bernard! What an impressive career! You’re known to fans world-wide as Cyrus in Trailer Park Boys. It was that discovery by a Toronto talent agent that set you on your path to acting. How has the experience been, thus far?
My experiences in acting have given me the opportunity to express myself in ways that I otherwise wouldn’t on a personal level and has made me a better man and father as a result, so without that talent agent telling me she couldn’t use me as a model in her agency and suggesting I consider acting, well who knows, but she certainly helped change the course of my life.
You have received some excellent training that helped hone your skills. What has been your most memorable take-away from your training?
During my first year in theater, my voice coach, Dot Ward, felt I was too experienced to be in a first year course and took me under her tutelage in voice, and later convinced me to give up theater and got me a job as an AD at the Neptune Theater in Halifax, NS, under the direction of Artistic Director, Tom Kerr, and thru him and many of the other best known actors in Canada that performed there that year, and reading for them, changed my entire method of how I read for roles and looked at the character development of roles, I was very lucky.
You have this amazing ability to transform yourself into any character. If you could choose a role you would like to play, what would it be?
I would love to play Terry Malloy, in a remake of On the Waterfront, Stanley Kowalski, in Streetcar Named Desire, or Johnny Strabler in The Wild One, loved watching Brando, one of the best.
You have starred alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood. What have you learned from them?
Listen!!! Be true to yourself, be giving of yourself, and work as a team while performing. Always be humble.
Let’s talk Kitchen Sports. It’s an adaptation of your successful 1995 play. Tell us more.
Kitchen Sports was my life as a teen growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father, and the dynamic of the relationship between the two of us revolving around hockey in particular, and how I found a way to break the cycle my father followed with his. We had many local producers interested in it; unfortunately they were unsuccessful in bringing it to fruition at this time.
You are busy! You also penned A Woman Scorned. Tell us more.
Yes, I penned A Woman Scorned during Master Writing Classes with Governor General Award winning author and playwright, and longtime friend, Kent Stetson, who believed it, should’ve been made into a screenplay, however, I have yet to find the time to do so. It’s a thriller based on a man who is a player and cheats on his wife, and finds himself in a snuff film produced by two jaded women.
People may not be aware of your comedic background, but we they will when they see the new sitcom you’re developing – The Adventures of Black Bart.
The process is never ending until it gets produced or you run out of option agreements. At this point Black Bart is on hold while I co-produce a sitcom along with original Trailer Park Boys producer Barrie Dunn, called Cranky Cab. We have at this point just brought on a new writer and still have interest from 2 broadcasters, but the process is now in its second year, so as you can see, it doesn’t happen overnight.
You tour North America between breaks doing a stand-up comedy act. Tell us more.
I toured for 6 years as my character Cyrus, on Trailer Park Boys, because there was a lot of interest for appearances, but within the first year, owners of venues felt they weren’t getting their moneys worth, and promoters told me to do stand up, or a comedy show, with no real experience aside from being trained in the theater. I was thrown out into audiences without regard for failure or my feelings, and found it difficult to find my voice doing comedy in character, it felt more like a cartoon, despite fans eagerness to see my show, and spend time with me, but I did it anyway, because the show and the popularity of the character were bigger than me and my feelings. During that time I decided to slowly transform the material into something that was real, and honest, and would allow me to move forward as Bernard as a comic rather than Cyrus, and to promote my brand. I have just edited a good portion of it again to go on tour this month throughout Ontario, and then a second tour in the USA, beginning in August, and am very much looking forward to, and experiencing the reaction of my audiences as Bernard Robichaud.
Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the entertainment industry?
Every project has always been a great experience and I’ve gained knowledge from each, so I’m not sure if one outweighs another. I’m just happy that after 34 years I still work, I enjoy every moment, whether its cast or crew. I’ve always felt I was treated well, and in return treat others in the same way.
Is there a play you would like to see on the silver screen?
Search and Destroy, Harold Korder
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
I did a pilot for a new series last year, Sea Change, based on the NY Times bestseller, and play the role of Bobby Sr. the leads father. There is no release date set as yet for the pilot that I am privy to, although there may be, and do not as yet have dates going to camera, but the project is moving forward last I heard, so stay tuned for it. You can IMDB it for more info. I am also involved in a feature slated for camera in fall, in the UK, called 7 Lox Rock.
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.
My goal is to be a good father to my daughter, be a good man for my partner, and to continue my career despite any obstacles I may encounter along the way, with a great team I have been lucky enough to have found around me, and who believe in me.
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