New Idea
(New Zealand)

27 January 2001

Kevin's bolt from the blue

New-Idea-27-01-01-Kevin-Smith.jpg (104162 bytes)

It may not be curing cancer, but Kevin Smith says acting makes people feel better

Kiwi hunk Kevin Smith is not one to gloat, but he is now enjoying the taste of victory after one of his movies was picked for a New York film festival.

The movie, Channelling Baby, which also starred Danielle Cormack, was selected for the Winfemme NYC Best of Fest.

Kevin says the movie was pretty much panned by the New Zealand critics, so in this case, the success tastes even sweeter.

'It's a bolt from the blue. We were all immensely proud of Channelling Baby, but it was really dissed by critics. In this country they savaged it. It was received much better overseas. It was also received at the Winfemme festival in LA.'

Channelling Baby is about a man and woman who meet again after the Vietnam War. They have a baby but a big crisis tears them apart. In the movie the same event is retold four times by a different character.

Kevin has kept in touch with many of those who worked on the film, which is not always the case once stars finish a film.

Kevin and Danielle previously worked together on homegrown Eighties soapie Gloss, and this year they pair up again for a play - The Blue Room - which portrays different politics among the classes.

The 37-year-old is a down-to-earth Kiwi. This year will mark his 22nd anniversary with his partner, Suzanne. They have three boys aged 3, 7 and 9, and have been married for 17 years.

'I was lucky enough to find my partner when I was really young. I'm realizing that it's okay to settle down. I don't mean chucking the towel in and settling for a sedentary life. The nature of my life is fairly unsettled. But this year is the first year that I've really felt settled down. My family has always been my anchor and I have that feeling of ease.'

Their busy family life means the couple share the load, and often take turns going out.

'We do have to make time for each other. Dinner and a movie are a big deal to us.' The dating scene is not something that Kevin ever hankers for. 'It seems like hard work, fossicking around out there, turning over stones. I don't know, maybe you become more pragmatic as you get older,' he grins.

The film star also remains humble despite his achievements.

'I'm always aware of the fact there are people who work much harder than me who make much less than me. Look at guys that earn $20 or $30 million dollars a picture. No one in the world does anything that is worth that amount of money. Are they curing cancer? Do they work for NASA? No. They are being paid really well to be someone else.

'I do see value in what I do. People need anything that makes them feel good, it's important. But so is knowing when I flick the switch that the light is going to go on.'

The spunky star is having a hectic start to his new year, including co-host duties at the Sky City Starlight Symphony in Auckland next month, with Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless. The pair may sing a duet.

'We've both done Christmases in the Park before. I'd like to sing some kind of modern classic,' he says.

The concert will raise money for both Auckland's children's hospitals, Kidz First and Starship, and Kevin says it's nice to feel he's giving something back to the community.

Kevin will also star in a one-hour New Zealand drama and is rehearsing for The Blue Room. He is also filming his final episodes of Xena, which winds up in March.

'It's going to be pretty full o Kevin smiles.

By Vicky Tyler

Transcript by AXIP staffer - Richard

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