With the release of the Hunger Games on March 23rd, the world has entered into Hunger Games mania and the staff of Her Campus U of T has not been exempt. We’ve included it in our list of must read books, published an article entitled Hungry for the Hunger Games, and now we’re bringing you the next installment in our alumni series featuring none other than one of the film’s stars and Canadian icon, Donald Sutherland. The movie, which is based on the insanely popular YA dystopian novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, has been billed as the next Harry Potter/Twilight and is guaranteed to be a big hit at the box office. Featuring an all-star cast including actors such as Sutherland, Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, and Lenny Kravitz amongst a slate of new teen actors, it is likely to be a hit with critics as well. So when we found out that Sutherland was an alumnus of our beloved university we knew we had to include him in our alumni series.
Born in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1935, Sutherland attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto where he graduated in 1958 with a double major in engineering and drama. During his time at U of T he was a member of the UC Follies comedy group and made his acting debut on the stage of U of T’s Hart House Theatre in a production of Thurber’s The Male Animal. Since then he has starred in over a hundred movies including numerous big name films such as JFK, Ordinary People, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pride and Prejudice, Horrible Bosses, and MASH. He has also won two Golden Globes, a Genie, an Emmy, and has stars on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. As an actor, he has worked with everyone from Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Sylvester Stallone to Robert de Niro, Mary Tyler Moore, and Morgan Freeman, in what has become one of the most illustrious carreers in Hollywood.
And yet through all of this, Sutherland has kept true to his Canadian roots. His second wife, Shirley Douglas, is the daughter of Tommy Douglas (how much more Canadian can you get?) and he is one of the few extremely successful Canadian actors who raised his family in Canada. He has also been named to the Order of Canada and received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. Additionally, he was one of the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the narrator of CTV’s I Believe commercials that aired before and during the games. So there’s a good chance that every single Canadian out there has heard his voice at some point even if they haven’t seen one of his movies.
So when you’re watching the Hunger Games in a few weeks, whether you’re dragged there by your girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other/friend/family member or the first person in line at the midnight showing, be proud to know that President Snow is played by a U of T grad.