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From the sin bin to the silver screen


TRURO – Matt Donnelly expected his offseason to consist of home renovations and working out. He could never have imagined the addition of hair extensions, fake beards and movie stars.

The 20-year-old defenceman for the Truro Bearcats came back to camp for his second season in the Hubtown with plenty of stories to tell. The hard-nosed, bruising defender – better known to serve a 10-minute misconduct than score a highlight reel goal – had the chance of a lifetime over the summer.

He made his motion picture acting debut as the on-ice double for a leading character in Goon: The Last of the Enforcers.

“It was such a great experience,” said Donnelly, a Barrie, Ont., native. “My buddies were all there. It was guys who I’ve played hockey with since I was like six.”

Donnelly spent the summer training at a gym owned by Adrian Lomanaco, husband of Olympic hockey star Jennifer Botterill. Through his wife, Lomanaco made contact with the producers of the movie and became the film’s hockey consultant. He hooked Donnelly up with an audition, where he landed the role of doubling Wyatt Russell, the son of legendary actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

Mirroring Russell was no easy task, as the actor had a much different career before following in his parents’ footsteps.

“It was funny because he’s not a bad hockey player himself,” Donnelly said of Russell. “He played pro in Germany as a goalie, so he’s a bit awkward, but he was still good. As much as I did, he did just as much, too.”

Not all the actors had the same prowess on skates, however. Despite starring in the original Goon film in 2011 as the stumbling, clumsy tough guy, Doug Glatt, Hollywood star Seann William Scott was no better the second time around.

“(He) was brutal,” Donnelly said, laughing. “He got a lot better as it went on. But he was just as bad as he looks on screen.”

Away from the ice and the cameras, Donnelly said the leading man was much different than his usual brash characters.

“Seann William Scott is maybe one of the nicest people in the world,” he said. “Off screen he’s completely different. He doesn’t swear, nothing.”

Donnelly and his friends would spend upwards of 16 hours on set each day, arriving in the morning for hair and makeup and staying through until night time.

“We’d get there for a 9:45 call time, but we wouldn’t actually do anything until like 11:30 because it took them like 45 minutes to put my beard on and 20 minutes to do my hair. They’d straighten all my hair, then put extensions in.”

At the end of each day came the same persistent problem – nobody could figure out how to remove all the beard glue from Donnelly’s face.

“I’d go home and be asleep and wake up with my face glued to the pillow.”

Despite being back in Truro with the glitz and glamour left behind, the teasing still follows.

“It’s all he ever says to me,” Donnelly laughed, pointing to Connor Morrison hanging around in the background.

“He’s going to Hollywood,” Morrison said with an eye roll.

“You’ll never actually see me, because I was always in the hair and the beard,” Donnelly said, trying to remain humble.

“You’ll just see a brutal stride,” Morrison cut in.

“I’m not going to deny that one.”

 

 

 

The 20-year-old defenceman for the Truro Bearcats came back to camp for his second season in the Hubtown with plenty of stories to tell. The hard-nosed, bruising defender – better known to serve a 10-minute misconduct than score a highlight reel goal – had the chance of a lifetime over the summer.

He made his motion picture acting debut as the on-ice double for a leading character in Goon: The Last of the Enforcers.

“It was such a great experience,” said Donnelly, a Barrie, Ont., native. “My buddies were all there. It was guys who I’ve played hockey with since I was like six.”

Donnelly spent the summer training at a gym owned by Adrian Lomanaco, husband of Olympic hockey star Jennifer Botterill. Through his wife, Lomanaco made contact with the producers of the movie and became the film’s hockey consultant. He hooked Donnelly up with an audition, where he landed the role of doubling Wyatt Russell, the son of legendary actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

Mirroring Russell was no easy task, as the actor had a much different career before following in his parents’ footsteps.

“It was funny because he’s not a bad hockey player himself,” Donnelly said of Russell. “He played pro in Germany as a goalie, so he’s a bit awkward, but he was still good. As much as I did, he did just as much, too.”

Not all the actors had the same prowess on skates, however. Despite starring in the original Goon film in 2011 as the stumbling, clumsy tough guy, Doug Glatt, Hollywood star Seann William Scott was no better the second time around.

“(He) was brutal,” Donnelly said, laughing. “He got a lot better as it went on. But he was just as bad as he looks on screen.”

Away from the ice and the cameras, Donnelly said the leading man was much different than his usual brash characters.

“Seann William Scott is maybe one of the nicest people in the world,” he said. “Off screen he’s completely different. He doesn’t swear, nothing.”

Donnelly and his friends would spend upwards of 16 hours on set each day, arriving in the morning for hair and makeup and staying through until night time.

“We’d get there for a 9:45 call time, but we wouldn’t actually do anything until like 11:30 because it took them like 45 minutes to put my beard on and 20 minutes to do my hair. They’d straighten all my hair, then put extensions in.”

At the end of each day came the same persistent problem – nobody could figure out how to remove all the beard glue from Donnelly’s face.

“I’d go home and be asleep and wake up with my face glued to the pillow.”

Despite being back in Truro with the glitz and glamour left behind, the teasing still follows.

“It’s all he ever says to me,” Donnelly laughed, pointing to Connor Morrison hanging around in the background.

“He’s going to Hollywood,” Morrison said with an eye roll.

“You’ll never actually see me, because I was always in the hair and the beard,” Donnelly said, trying to remain humble.

“You’ll just see a brutal stride,” Morrison cut in.

“I’m not going to deny that one.”

 

 

 

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