Many people spend their lives working in a job that brings them little happiness. It takes many years to figure out what they are meant to do. Those graduating high school face a decision as to how they want to spend their lives, and few that age can figure it out. This is where Kyle Meagher is the exception. While growing up in Ottawa, it was evident what he was meant to do, and he started doing at the age of ten. Now, four years later, Meagher stands among Canada’s best young actors.
Audiences have had the pleasure of watching Meagher in an assortment of national commercials, web campaigns, award-winning television programs, and feature films. And even with a successful career under his belt by his teens, he has no plans on slowing down. This past year, he was able to secure a role in the short film The Big Crunch, alongside Peter DuCunha (12 Monkeys), Jennifer Robertson (Schitt’s Creek), and Chris Gibbs (The BFG). He also got to work with his friend Sam Ashe Arnold (The Adventure Club).
“This was a cool short film to work on because they added a bunch of special effects and used a new, very expensive camera that helped make the special effects possible. I was really excited to see what it would turn out to look like,” said Meagher.
The Big Crunch, by Inflo Films, is produced by Harry Cherniak, and written and directed by Dusty Mancinelli. Meagher was excited to work alongside them, as he had heard of their great reputation of making award-winning films. It looks like The Big Crunch will follow the same trend, as it is already making its way to many film festivals.
“I love hearing about the festivals the film is going to and seeing the press about it. Harry and Dusty are great film makers and they deserve the recognition for the amazing work they do,” said Meagher.
The film follows 12-year-old August (DaCunha), who suffers an existential crisis about his place in the world after learning the universe will one day collapse in an epic Big Crunch. Nothing can shake August out of his depressive state, not even celebrating his birthday six months early. But when August is accidentally electrocuted after changing a light bulb, he has a magnificent cosmic experience. During an intense game of dodgeball at school, August suddenly unearths his own magical powers and goes on an extraordinary adventure of self-discovery. With his newfound understanding of the universe, August stands up to his bully and goes after the girl of his dreams.
“In this film, it was a great build up to a climax where August kisses the girl he has been admiring. It’s amazing to watch the character go from a very forlorn and sad child to one that sees the world in a completely new way. The scenes were fun to shoot, we spent some time outdoors and running around a school,” said Meagher.
The film made its world debut at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax in September, and quickly headed to the Edmonton International Film Festival right afterwards. Audiences get to see Meagher play a role completely unlike himself: a bully. He and his friends are known as the “Goons” and bully August throughout the film.
“I am totally opposite to the bully, but I can relate to the role because I have been bullied before myself, and I simply channel what I’ve seen into a character,” said Meagher.
Throughout his career, Meagher has played the character of a bully many times. His experience makes his performance not only believable, but outstanding. However, those he works with find it interesting to watch him take on roles that are so different to his real-life personality.
“Kyle’s a really great guy, so it’s fun to see him play such a jerk,” said Sam Ashe Arnold, who played Elvis, August’s archenemy in the film. “Kyle is funny and nice to everyone, and he’s always professional and well prepared. That’s pretty much exactly the kind of person you hope to get cast with. He’s a great actor partly because he has such an expressive face, with big eyes and a big smile, but it’s mostly because he’s smart and he really listens and takes direction,” said Sam Ashe Arnold.
Arnold played the main bully in the film, and had worked with Meagher previously, but it was on this production that they truly became friends. They are both from Ottawa, so they attend auditions together, and hope to work together again soon.
“Sam and I are with the same talent agency and we spend time together so it was neat to actually get to work with him on set,” said Meagher. “I also met Peter DuCuhna for the first time who is a great actor that has a lot of experience.”
Despite having a lot of experience himself, the role also provided a unique learning experience for Meagher.
“There was a stuntman who taught Peter how to jump out the window for a scene – and it was the first time I had been with a stuntman on set,” he concluded. “It opened my eyes a bit more about safety and was interesting to see what they teach!”
Audiences will have the opportunity to see The Big Crunch later this year. Bell Media will be putting it on the BravoFact website.