Why Kim Coates is tubthumping for a Ferocious opening weekend

The Sons of Anarchy star (pictured) is headed this Friday and Saturday to western Canada for premieres of Robert Cuffley's thriller, which also stars Amanda Crew and Michael Eklund.
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Canadian actors Kim Coates and Michael Eklund and writer/director Robert Cuffley in the coming days have their last chance to get the theatrical thriller Ferocious in front of cinema-goers on its opening weekend from March 8.

Coates, star of FX’s Sons of Anarchy, just got back from Prague, and on Sunday presented at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto, and is now headed to premieres in Saskatoon and Regina this coming weekend.

“It would be so easy to have your manager say Kim is otherwise occupied. Instead, he called me and said, ‘Of course I’ll be there’,” Cuffley told Playback.

Coates said Cuffley’s writing for Ferocious initially drew him back to his native Saskatchewan to star opposite Amanda Crew and Eklund in the Canadian indie.

“We loved doing it. The script was so tight,” Coates told Playback.

The veteran actor also welcomed the freedom he received to improvise on the written word.

“When you write it, you have it. It’s the Bible. Now let’s play around. Let’s have fun. Let’s change stuff if we have to. Robert Cuffley allowed us to do that in spades,” Coates insisted.

Ferocious portrays Leigh Parrish (Crew) as a famous actress returned to her hometown to protect her fame as a dark secret is possibly uncovered.

“It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s character driven. And it’s all about character for me,” Coates said of the film from Chaos, A Film Company and Karma Film.

Cuffley said Coates raised the bar for his fellow actors on the Ferocious shoot.

“On his (Coates) first day, I could see it in Amanda’s eyes when she delivered a speech opposite him. Everyone had to up their game,” the director recalled.

For his part, Coates brought his method acting to the Ferocious set, which entailed inner introspection before each scene to awaken his creativity.

“Before we were to go, he (Coates) would go off to a corner where he would concentrate,” the director remembered.

The veteran actor also didn’t accept distractions to bring him out of character.

“If there’s a noise, he’d go off in the middle of a take. Even though you don’t want to stop (the camera), I respected the perfectionist in him. He couldn’t move on until he felt good about a scene,” Cuffley said.

Coates’ intensity was amply evident when in May 2012 he led around 80 motorcycle riders from Saskatoon to the legislature in Regina to protest the Saskatchewan government’s decision to end its refundable film tax credit.

The Sons of Anarchy star, having failed in his effort to restore the province’s film tax credit and save its industry, wouldn’t be drawn on recounting the experience.

Cuffley, who isn’t from Saskatchewan, applauded Coates for returning to his native province to lead a high-profile protest.

“He could never come back if he wanted,” the director said of Coates after his Hollywood success.

But the actor, insisting he’s Canadian first before all else, welcomed bringing his acting chops and small screen fame back home to encourage the local film industry.

“I can add cachet to the Canadian movies that I do. And that’s a very comforting feeling for me,” Coates said.

“If Amanda Crew and Michael Eklund and myself can add Canadian names, that’s good for the production. And we’re in a good position to do that. So when the scripts are amazing, as Ferocious was, that’s a no brainer for me,” he added.