View Full Version : JR Bourne (Martouf) in the news

June 18th, 2004, 06:05 PM
From Straight.com:


Movies Movies Archives
Bourne Reborn on Corner's Mean Streets
By john lekich
Publish Date: 17-Jun-2004

J R Bourne walks into Granville Street's Templeton diner looking
tanned and relaxed. His blue eyes are as clear and calm as the slice
of cloudless sky I can see from the other side of the restaurant's
picture window. His slightly tousled hair makes him look a little
like a kid whose worst crime is sleeping in on a school day. The
veteran actor--best-known for his role as the ill-fated Martouf on
the sci-fi series Stargate SG-1--slides into a vinyl booth and
promptly orders a milkshake. "I never developed a taste for coffee,"
he says, almost apologetically. Later he will tell me, "When I was a
kid I used to live on orange juice." But then, he adds that he's
recently given it up on his doctor's advice. "Apple juice is supposed
to be bad for you too," he says.

The whole thing is a far cry from Bourne's role as Cliff, a seasoned
crack addict in Nathaniel Geary's locally shot On the Corner.
Bourne's performance goes a long way toward selling Geary's first
feature: a fictional, if uncompromisingly gritty look at street life
on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Cliff's snakelike charm ranges from
endearingly pathetic to downright frightening. It's the kind of
riveting portrayal that's already won him a best-supporting-actor nod
from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. With the movie's theatrical
release on Friday (June 18) in Toronto and Vancouver, both Bourne and
On the Corner should be getting a lot more attention.

In fact, Bourne's turn as a charismatic junkie who lives off the
earnings of his hooker girlfriend is so convincing that I couldn't
help wondering how much experience he's actually had with drugs.
Anticipating my thoughts, Bourne tells me he tried marijuana once as
a teenager. You get the idea that he wouldn't even be smoking
cigarettes if it weren't for his desire to get closer to Cliff's edgy

In preparation for the role, Bourne lost a noticeable amount of
weight. His diet consisted of endless cigarettes and a protein drink
twice a day. As it turns out, Cliff's nervous energy was partially
due to hunger, nicotine, and sleep deprivation. "I'm not a method
actor," he explains. "This is the first time I thought it would be
beneficial for me to actually feel a certain way. I stayed up until
five in the morning and I'd smoke from the time I got up until the
time I went to bed. It was crazy."

Filmed in the old Portland Hotel, On the Corner included many extras
who were actual residents of the area. Bourne observed a lot of
street people, including an older man who he describes as Cliff in
another 20 years. "I just watched a lot of people and talked to a lot
of people," he says. "They were very respectful of us, and we were
very respectful of them. It was a privilege."

Dean Wilson--a well-known social activist on Vancouver's East Side--
was a technical adviser for On the Corner. He told the actor that
someone like Cliff was using drugs to fill an emotional void. "I
could relate to that to a certain extent as an actor," Bourne
explains. "We all want to be loved. We all have this pit that needs
to be filled."

Not that Bourne comes across as needy or self-absorbed. While he's
developed a serious cult following through his work on Stargate SG-1,
he says the best legacy of his time on the series is that it affords
him the opportunity to raise money for charity. Since his young niece
has cystic fibrosis, Bourne is especially devoted to that particular
cause. His sister has written a series of self-published children's
books to support cystic-fibrosis research called The Tales of Madison
Faith. Minutes before our interview, Bourne was at a Chapters outlet
bringing the books to their attention.

The actor has a number of upcoming projects, including a couple of
features to add to his long list of indie films.

He's usually too busy to reflect much on past work but Bourne says
that the mood of On the Corner stayed with him for a time. "It kind
of lingered for all of us," he says of the message behind the intense
shoot. "Even though we made jokes about going to a spa, it was the
kind of thing where people kept checking in with partners and
friends. There was a lot of that going on."