Hugh Dillon The Exclaim! Questionnaire

Hugh Dillon The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Six years ago, Hugh Dillon, then making a living full-time as the frontman for Can-rock mainstays the Headstones, answered "What does your mom wish you were doing instead?” with "More films.” Mama Dillon must be pretty pleased with the career trajectory of her son; despite a few critically acclaimed roles in films like Hard Core Logo and Dance Me Outside in the 1990s, Dillon's interest in acting remained secondary to his music and his well-documented battle with addiction. Since the Headstones called it a day in 2003, though, Dillon has made the leap into acting as a full-time gig, and after bit roles on shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation and The 11th Hour, he's struck some serious gold in the last year with the darkly moody Durham County and the big-budget Flashpoint, both well-received by critics, and the latter becoming the first Canadian show to be simulcast in the States since Due South (it's also the only show to ever air Stateside set entirely in Canada). In 2008, Hugh Dillon is living clean and pursuing the career he hinted at the promise of in the mid-‘90s. You better believe his mom is proud.

What are you up to?
Right this very second I am shooting episode 13 of Flashpoint. It’s the season finale. It's beautifully written, it’s exciting, it’s like shooting a major motion picture. I'm very proud of it.

What are your current fixations?
I love The Wire. Musically, there's this band called Team Canada. It’s a DJ thing. They did a mash-up with Jay-Z’s "99 Problems" and Stevie Wonder’s "Superstition.” It's unbelievable. Their whole record is amazing. I haven't heard anything that exciting musically in years. And Teenage Head with Marky Ramone.

Why do you live where you do?
I moved to Los Angeles to work.

Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
Apocalypse Now.

What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Funnily enough, I think it was Teenage Head in Kingston in 1979. There had never been anything like it. It was something that changed the face of music, and it was ours. You see a band every once in a while that makes you believe in rock’n’roll. And that first Teenage Head album, and Frantic City, and those first gigs when I was young and I saw them play, it was just mind-blowing. You see someone do something and it defines the rest of your life for you.

What have been your career highs and lows?
I've just been very blessed I can't think of any lows. For highs, playing in the Headstones, the first album, the last album, Smile and Wave. Playing with Gord Lewis from Teenage Head at one of our last gigs. With movies and television, Hard Core Logo, Durham County, and Flashpoint.

What’s the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
I guess I'm lucky ’cause I can’t fucking remember.

What should everyone shut up about?
I don't think people should shut up, that's the beauty of it.

What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
The drive, the passion. And that's both, ’cause sometimes you just can't let anything go.

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Watching 60 Minutes with Midori, my wife.

What advice should you have taken, but did not?
The first time I went to rehab, they told me to stay an extra week and I said, "No, I'm good!” I had to take a couple of more runs at it.

What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
I’ve got a lot of tolerance, so I don't even know what it would take.

What do you think of when you think of Canada?

What was the first LP/cassette/CD/eight track you ever bought with your own money?
Fuck, I need to know that answer. Ah, I've known that my whole life... Fuck! It was a 45. I'm sure it was a 45. Aw man, what the fuck was it? It was something like... You know, it was in the ballpark of Alice Cooper Goes to Hell.

What was your most memorable day job?
Hospital for Sick Children, I was an orderly.

How do you spoil yourself?
Pecan pie and ice cream.

If I wasn’t playing music or acting I would be…
If I’m not doing one, it’s the other. But if not those, travelling.

What do you fear most?
Unrealized potential.

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Great art.

What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
I think the most exciting one was meeting Dave Grohl in New York City when Hard Core Logo came out, and realizing what a down-to-earth guy he was. It really opened my eyes to what it was to be a real rock’n’roller at that time.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
I think it would be Jim Morrison. And I would serve him a book of poetry from the 16th century.

What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Oh, this is it, baby. My mom couldn't be happier.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
"My Way,” by Sid Vicious.