Canadian actor Kim Coates stars in the film Ferocious, which opens Thursday at New Westminster’s Landmark Cinemas. The film centres on a successful actress (Amanda Crew) on a trip home to visit her small town roots. While dodging the careful eye of her manager (Dustin Milligan), she steps out from the lights and cameras and into the shadows of her old life, confronting her unsavory past and ex-employer, Maurice (Kim Coates).

By Grant Granger – New Westminster News Leader

Published: March 04, 2013 4:00 PM

A movie premiere in New Westminster on Thursday will be a landmark of sorts in more ways than one.

Ferocious is an independent Canadian film being shown in Landmark theatres across the country.

Usually indie films are relegated to obscure single-screen theatres, and the existence of those are dwindling quickly. That’s why veteran Canadian actor Kim Coates, one of the stars of Ferocious, is happy to see the ‘landmark’ treatment it is getting by the chain.

“It’s a tougher market now to sell these movies. These kinds of movies in America and Canada, they don’t get distribution that often, so when they can get a deal like it is with Landmark … it is a very big deal and it’s something we should all be aware of,” said Coates in an interview from his Los Angeles home. “There are still a lot of people out there who want to see good films that aren’t these megalomaniac, big budget [films].”

Coates and producer Carolyn McMaster will be at the film’s opening Thursday for a question-and-answer session before the movie begins at 7 p.m., at the cinemas based at The Shops at New Westminster Station mall.

While the distribution of Ferocious is good news for Coates, the latest moves by provinces such as British Columbia and Saskatchewan to pull back tax incentives to movie producers are not.

After filming Ferocious in his hometown of Saskatoon, Coates took part in a rally last May that went from Saskatoon to Regina to demonstrate the implications of the decision, especially with provinces like Ontario and Manitoba continuing with their incentives.

“It was so wrong on so many levels. It’s a lose-lose. Now they’re trying to backpedal a bit,” said Coates.

“All I know is if you do your due diligence and you think about spending your money wisely in every province, if you look at the budget for the tax incentives—the amount of money that comes back into the province from doing these movies, hotels, taxes, restaurants—it’s literally a cash cow for these provinces. The ones that do those incentives are thriving the most. If they would calculate the money coming back in, it would be six dollars to one.”

While Coates, 56, has been a character actor in movies for decades, he’s recently gained fame with the cable hit series Sons of Anarchy on the FX network, and now gets recognized wherever he goes including Prague and Rome.

“I really have to say that I never got into the business to be a celebrity. I always said no to television while doing film and stage, but there’s some amazing stuff on television, especially on cable,” said Coates.

“You do 50 movies, but do one TV show that is so esoteric and eclectic [and you’re a celebrity.] There’s really not a show like it.”

Sons of Anarchy will shoot its sixth season starting in May, with the seventh season expected to be its last. It’s an edgy show, much like the characters Coates has played over the years.

But in Ferocious he takes that personality trait to another level, playing a bar owner fresh out of prison who is a former rock musician and a porn-obsessed sexual deviant on top of that.

“It’s the kind of movie people need to see and want to see. It’s a great little film. I’m really very proud of it,” said Coates.

He believed in it so much, Coates saved the producers some money by staying with his mother, Joyce, instead of the ritzy Bessborough Hotel, an iconic railway hotel like the Empress in Victoria or the Hotel Vancouver.

“My mom was pretty thrilled to have me. She did my laundry and did my meals, I loved her for that,” said Coates.

The only downside was it was shot during the winter in an unheated abandoned nightclub when it was minus-25 outside.

Coates’s co-star Amanda Crew and film director Robert Cuffley will do a similar Q&A at Landmark Cinemas on Friday.


Kim Coates will be in attendance, along with producer Carolyn McMaster at the opening of Ferocious on Thursday, March 7 for a Q & A session before the movie begins at 7 p.m. at the new Landmark Cinemas 10 theatre in New Westminster, Shops at New West, Skytrain level.

FEROCIOUS also stars Amanda Crew as Leigh Parrish (Jobs, Charlie St. Cloud). Amanda will be in attendance for Q & A sessions, after the movie, along with Director Robert Cuffley at Landmark Cinemas Abbotsford Town Centre, Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. and also at Landmark Cinemas 10 New Westminster, Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m.