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May 18, 2000
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SJP


From Tinseltown to River City for actor
By SHELLY DECKER


Have you recently passed on the street a brown-haired guy with an easy smile who could easily pass for a university student and done a double take?

You know the face. Can't come up with the name?

That handsome man passing you on the street is actor Loren Dean of Mumford and Apollo 13 fame, currently in our city filming the independent feature War Bride, also starring Oscar winner Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) and Anna Friel (A Midsummer Night's Dream).

Then again, one can be forgiven for not instantly identifying the youthful 30-year-old with the warm brown eyes. Wearing Armani shades, black khakis, runners and a grey-blue T-shirt, Dean easily blends with the masses.

One of those rare talents who contains not a hint of Hollywood attitude, Dean displayed a sense of humour about his talent for remaining anonymous while he explored our malls and Whyte Avenue, which he deemed very cool.

"Perhaps it's a big conspiracy and everyone in Edmonton is in on it. Maybe, just when they've caused enough shame and humiliation, they'll come up to me and pat me on the back and say just kidding," Dean quipped yesterday from the Allarcom Studio set where shooting continues. "Put it this way, I don't stop traffic and that's a good thing."

Dean may be hard to peg, thanks to his diverse screen appearances over the years, including the futuristic Gattaca where he was decked out in a Prada suit, Armani coat and slicked-back hair.

We'll be seeing a lot more of him with August's release of Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys where Dean plays a young NASA astronaut. Of course, he'll be long gone from our streets and back under Los Angeles palm trees by then.

So why did a busy actor who can garner gigs in monster budget projects take a role in an independent project shooting in the film hinterland? Quite simply, he was enamoured with the story as well as with his character Joe, who falls for his best friend's wife.

"I loved the simplicity of the characters and there's a purity about him that I really responded to and I also love the period," said the Los Angeles resident.

"It demands a greater amount of truth with myself than some of the roles I've played," said Dean, who continues to play and compose on the piano, which he's been playing since he was six. "I enjoy films like this more. It calls for more from you, but it's also more rewarding."

While producers wouldn't reveal the budget for the film, slated to hit the big screen later this year or early in 2001, they have managed to garner a cast with impressive chemistry on the set.

"When you see them together, you'd swear it's really happening," said Calgary's Douglas Berquist, a producer in the joint U.K. and Canadian project.

The story revolves around two women who fall in love and marry Canadian servicemen shortly after meeting in London in 1940. The men go off to war and the brides head to Canada to live with the in-laws and find life is far different than they had anticipated. It is a story with a rich historical foothold in Britain and Canada.

"It's not really a movie about war. It's a movie about love. It's a classic love story," explained Alistair MacLean-Clark, a producer from London.

The cast heads to London for filming after work wraps here May 26.

Before the group leaves, chances are Dean, who has a "bit of a shopping addiction," will be cruising our streets. He'd also love to go swimming with the dolphins in West Edmonton Mall. Not only is he charming, an animal lover and fan of shopping, he's also single.

Now we'll see if he gets some attention on the street.


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