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'A dream come true': Winnipeg-born actor to make big screen debut in 'BlackBerry'

Michael Scott (far right) is shown in a still from the upcoming film "BlackBerry" alongside co-stars Jay Baruchel (far left) and Matt Johnson (middle). (Source: Elevation Pictures) Michael Scott (far right) is shown in a still from the upcoming film "BlackBerry" alongside co-stars Jay Baruchel (far left) and Matt Johnson (middle). (Source: Elevation Pictures)

Eagle-eyed movie fans who got a first glimpse of the upcoming film “BlackBerry” in its debut trailer may have spotted some Winnipeg-grown talent.

Michael Scott is primed to make his big screen debut with the likes of Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton and Cary Elwes in the upcoming film telling the tale of the “meteoric rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone.”

“It was just super cool,” Scott told CTV News Winnipeg by phone from Toronto, Ont.

“They are legends, people who have been in movies their whole careers, some of the biggest movies ever.”

The film is based on a book by Globe and Mail reporters Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish called “Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry.” It was adapted for the screen by Matthew Miller and Matt Johnson, who also directs the film and stars as BlackBerry co-founder Douglas Fregin.

Cary Elwes, from left, Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton and director Matt Johnson pose for photographers at the photo call for the film 'BlackBerry' during the International Film Festival Berlin 'Berlinale', in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Scott’s journey to the “BlackBerry” set had literary tropes of its own – one part Cinderella story, peppered with hard work, a dash of luck and a lot of timely help from loved ones.

Scott was born and raised in Winnipeg. He cut his comedic teeth on his high school improv team, and studied comedy writing and performing at Toronto’s Humber College.

He returned home to Winnipeg after completing the program and co-founded the sketch comedy group Family Dinner. They built a cult following, and even shared the stage with Kids in the Hall alum Kevin McDonald.

Michael Scott is pictured with Spencer Adamus, Jaydin Pommer and Riley Paull, co-members of the sketch group Family Dinner. (Source: FOLKS Films)

Mid-pandemic, he decided to give Toronto another shot, moving back to pursue a career in comedy and acting on a larger stage.

“I started driving for the Hallmark company out here. I just tried to get my foot in the door in the industry and just meet as many people as I could. It's been a slow burn, but it's paid off, for sure,” he said.

His first feature film role came thanks to Lauren Andrews, a filmmaker, producer and actor who also happens to be Scott’s girlfriend.

She introduced Scott to “BlackBerry” director Matt Johnson and helped book him an audition.

Scott’s hometown also played a role.

“He was like ‘oh, you're from Winnipeg.’ I think it was his uncle, or great uncle or something had worked in the treasury in Winnipeg. He had all these connections, and it sort of made us keen on each other.”

The next time they saw each other, Johnson had a proposition for Scott.

“He said, ‘do you want to be in a movie?’” Scott recalled. “It was like a dream come true.”

Needless to say, his answer was an easy one.

(Source: Michael Scott)

Scott spent 12 days on the set, cast as an unpaid engineering intern who got in on the ground-floor of the Waterloo, Ont. tech company Research In Motion before it took off with the release of the BlackBerry.

He describes the shoot as guerilla-style. Actors were asked to improvise before the cameras even started rolling - something Scott’s comedy background prepared him well for.

“They got us to just be in the moment with each other. It was me and a bunch of other nerdy Toronto filmmakers. It was pretty easy to talk about video games. It comes naturally to us,” he joked.

By the end of the shoot, Scott had gained a lot of on-set experience, and felt as if he had truly lived the rollercoaster ride of a failed tech start-up.

“It was amazing to get to learn along the way,” he said.

“I got to experience how it could be starting out in a place like that as an unpaid intern. You’re scrappy. You’re loving it, and then the kind of corruption that goes with success.”

“BlackBerry” is set to hit theatres on May 12. Top Stories

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