Shalom Life | November 14, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Actor Jordan Pettle Talks 'Sextet'

The Dora-award-winning actor chats with Shalom Life about his new play

By: Ilan Mester

Published: November 4th, 2014 in Culture » Stage » News

EXCLUSIVE: Actor Jordan Pettle Talks 'Sextet'

Canadian actor Jordan Pettle is back on stage in the world premiere of Sextet, a comedy written by Morris Panych about a group of six quarrelling musicians who get stranded in a hotel thanks to a blizzard. Here, the Dora-award-winning actor talks about his character in the show, his love of comedy and his passion for all things theatre.

The play is about six musicians who get stranded in a hotel. Have you ever gotten stranded somewhere?

Nothing, thankfully, springs to mind. I had a terrible night at Porter Airlines one winter night, waiting hours for a plane. I was sick with a flu, my wife was pregnant. I felt stranded, although we did eventually get to our destination.

How would you describe your character in the play?

My character in the play, Otto, is a tightly strung violist, who is overly serious and borderline nuts. He's fallen in love with Mavis, a violinist in the group. He's the product of artificial insemination and has spent most of his life searching for the donor. He's also very rich.

What sorts of things did you do to prepare for the role?

To prepare, I listened to a lot of classical music, particularly Verklarte Nacht by Schoenberg, which features prominently in the play. I read about musicians and children of artificial insemination. But most of my time was spent studying the play.

You’ve done a lot of dramatic plays with Tarragon and Soulpepper. How does it feel to be doing a comedy?

I love doing comedy and have done quite a few of them. This kind of comedy, I guess you would call it a sex farce, is challenging because it has to be very precise and truthful at the same time. It's a great cast and it's been a lot of fun to rehearse. We see our first audience this week so that'll take it to a whole new level.

What do you hope audiences take out of the play?

I hope they enjoy themselves, laugh a lot, and are stimulated by Morris' ideas and beautiful words.

At this point in your career, you’ve done TV, film and theatre work. Is there one medium that you prefer over the others?

I tend to work mostly in theatre and I've been lucky enough to work on some amazing plays. I would like to do more film and TV, but I've spent most of my career on the stage and feel most comfortable there.

Do you have any other projects lined up for this year?

I'm actually doing the next play in the Tarragon mainspace, Diane Flacks' new play called The Waiting Room. It's a fantastic new play set in a children's hospital and I'm working on it with some close friends. I'm very excited about it. I'll be doing some teaching in the spring.

What advice do you have for other aspiring actors?

The instability of our career is very challenging, and you need a lot of resiliency and determination to last. If you book a big film or TV show early in your career and make a ton of money, buy a house.


For more information about Sextet, visit www.tarragontheatre.com.

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