Monday, January 25, 2021

‘Mighty Ducks’ star Dylan Playfair takes inspiration from hockey experience to stand out on camera

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Jim Playfair has been playing hockey his whole life. He played 21 NHL games in nine seasons of professional hockey before moving behind the bench to coach. After stints with the miners and with the Flames, he’s now part of Dave Tippett’s squad with the Oilers.

But while you might think Playfair is the most recognizable face of his family of five – his wife Roxanne and sons Dylan, Jackson and Austyn – think again.

“On TV waiting times, [referees and linesmen] Just skate and say, “Is that your kid in” Letterkenny? “And I’m like ‘yeah’,” said the dad, who is also proud of all of his boys, in a phone conversation with Sporting News. “They’ll blurt something out about it or they’ll skate and blurt out something. thing [from the show]. … The players end up laughing and our guys will say a line or a linesman will say a line. “

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Even Playfair players love the series.

“I met him after one of our practice. I think it was early last season and it was kinda funny because you see Dylan on ‘Letterkenny’ … and I didn’t even know that Dylan was Playfair’s son, so that was kind of funny. He just introduced me to Dylan and we had a good little chat, “Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear told Sporting News, noting that the pair had stayed in. contact and that Dylan had even offered advice when Bear was working on his new contract recently. ” Everyone went for a walk in the locker room and then the locker room, he kind of liked – because I just freshly hit the ‘team as a rookie – he kind of got into character and made a good, cute little video for me and congratulations, so that was a pretty cool experience. “

If you don’t know the “Letterkenny” show, well, pitter-patter. Playfair’s eldest son, Dylan, is one of the stars of the critically acclaimed Canadian comedy that focuses on the fictional town of Letterkenny, its 5,000 inhabitants and their troubles. And while you might think the apple fell far from the tree here – with Jim and his brother Larry being notable NHL players and Dylan working as an actor – it was only slightly pushed.

(Photo courtesy of Jim Playfair)

You see, while he’s appeared in dramas, sci-fi movies, comedies, and musicals, the younger Playfair hasn’t traveled far from the rink.

He played actual characters of Gordie Howe’s son, Marty, in “Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story ”, to Dean Hunter, an American who tries to pursue his hockey dreams in Europe in“ Odd Man Rush ”. But it’s his role in “Letterkenny” as the all-star hockey player that everyone knows in the game – and soon, he’ll gain attention as the coach of everyone’s favorite hockey team when Disney + “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” will be released.

“Our childhood toys were cut sticks, sticky balls and old hockey socks. That’s what we played with, and on VHS it was ‘Mighty Ducks 1, 2 and 3’ on repeat. followed by ‘Rock’ Em, Sock ‘Em. “It was my childhood,” said the young Playfair, who noted that his favorite player growing up was PJ Stock and calls his role alongside Emilio Estevez a dream come true. reality. ”To be able to come back and be a part of this series, again, another one of those times when you’re about to leave, like, I can’t believe this work. This is so cool.”

While playing Junior A in BC with Merritt (BCHL) (he also had a year in Junior B with KIJHL’s Penticton under his belt), Playfair started moving to the theater, which he always wanted. make. He got his “Letterkenny” break through – what else – beer league hockey after meeting Jared Keeso, the creator of “Letterkenny,” on a set in Vancouver. The duo played hockey together (with most of the cast now on the show) and one of the guys suggested Playfair and Andrew Herr (Jonesy) do a skit as hockey players at the time. a short film on YouTube called “Letterkenny Problems”.

The rest is history.

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“I have met so many versions of Reilly [my character on “Letterkenny”] and Jonesy plays hockey. That’s why I’m able to play these guys. Especially when it comes to the vernacular of hockey, ”said Dylan, who said the quick and jargon-rich hockey chatter is 97% written, while some hockey scenes just throw scrimmages with some results. expected. ‘ve talked to people who don’t play or watch hockey, and they’re like,’ What are you guys saying? What are these words? And hockey players know what it is, “Oh, yeah, like bardownski, ferda, real tough. All of this is what happens in a hockey locker room.

“When it comes to the real energy of what’s going on on a bench, like with ‘Mighty Ducks’, … it’s enough to know what every coach is screaming behind the bench and each coach says between periods and that energy of the way they wear themselves at different points in the game. It’s the kind of stuff… that’s really been really beneficial in my career. “

(Photo courtesy of Jim Playfair)

Not only was this advantageous for his career, but his experience as a rink rat crept into his preparation for the role. He looks at auditions like trials: coaches try to fill roles and he has to figure out what he can do to stand out. Or, if not selected, looking at him from the point of view that he wasn’t good enough, but rather that they didn’t need him for that specific role.

“Having a dad who is an NHL coach and has worked his way up the ranks since I was born … we’ve always understood that it’s not what you do when people watch that matters, it’s the work and the time. and discipline you put on before you get on the ice, ”Playfair said.[In acting it] comes down to memorizing your lines, reading the script multiple times, understanding exactly why your character is in this story.

“Sidney Crosby is the first guy on the ice and the last, and he loves hockey and watches tapes and practices all the time. And that’s no secret formula for how these guys do. have a passion, and it’s not a job for them. It’s not like, “Oh, my God, I have to go to the rink today. I have to go train, it sucks. “That’s what they want to do. And for me, that’s theater.”

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Dylan Playfair definitely has a passion for acting and notes that he is more confident in his skills on stage than on the ice. On the ice, he felt he had to prove his skill level because his father was a former NHL player; now he’s on less icy ground. He’s there because he’s good at what he does. And speaking of the elder Playfair, given some of the roles Dylan got, you’d think he would rely on his father, who coached most of Dylan’s life, to get some advice. While the younger Playfair can sneak in his dad’s style when he’s behind the bench as coach T (side note: he might be the Mighty Ducks coach but, if you’ve seen the teaser, they are the 2021 comparison from Iceland), that’s as far as coaching advice goes.

“Never once [did he] never asked me for advice on playing a coach. And I think that’s pretty cool, “said the proud pop.” I think he’s a good pro. …. I’m excited. I can’t wait to see the Mighty Ducks thing, to see how it all played out on the coaching side. My wife Roxanne, we’re going to watch ‘Letterkenny’ or something … and we’ll both start laughing like, ‘It’s crazy that Dylan is up there doing this.’ So that’s part of the fun… to appreciate and watch the fact that he’s an artist and people are entertained by him. “

The kid from Fort St. James, BC, who now lives in Vancouver, is a huge fan of Tom Hanks and Connor McDavid (“He’s in another league. There are two guys on the show right now who are right, yes I I don’t know what they ate when they were babies but, by God, I wish I had some. “). He can be said to be a mix of grinder and finesse player, but he quickly becomes a certified esthetician in the theater world.

“Even though it’s work and his job, like acting and professional hockey, it should still be fun. I think any job should be fun, it should be one that you really love … whether it’s hockey, accounting, or reporting – whatever you do you want to have some joy. “



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