VANCOUVER (CP) _ Canadian actor J.C. Mackenzie says he’d give up a year of TV work in exchange for a role in just one Martin Scorsese film. Mackenzie, who was born in Peterborough, Ont., has now had two chances to work with the acclaimed director. In 2004’s "The Aviator," he played Katharine Hepburn’s ex-husband Ogden Smith Ludlow. And in the new movie "The Departed," opening this weekend, he plays the landlord of police mole Matt Damon.
"These two Scorsese credits mean more to me than the rest of my credits," Mackenzie, 47, said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
"His working style confirmed everything I thought acting for film should be. He’s clearly one of the best working directors we’ve got.
"If I could do a small bit in every Martin Scorsese film, I’d be a very happy man."
"The Departed" tells the story of two men from opposite sides of the law who come into conflict.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an undercover police officer trying to nab crime boss Frank Costello. Damon is a police officer who has worked his way up the ranks _ and also happens to be Costello’s protege. Jack Nicholson plays legendary mobster Costello. Mackenzie said working with such a stellar cast was amazing. It was clearly Scorsese, however, who made the biggest impression. He said the director of "Good Fellas," "Raging Bull" and "Gangs of New York" creates a "playground" for actors.
"He’s really, really cool. He’s a lot of fun too _ very smart. He’s an encyclopedia of film."
Mackenzie also had high praise for Damon.
"He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met," he said. "He really is a mensch. He’s so sweet. He was completely supportive."
"The Departed" is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.
Audiences will also be able to see Mackenzie _ who trained in theatre at Montreal’s Concordia University and later in London, England, at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts _ in director Asif Kapidia’s "The Return" starring Sam Shepard and Michelle Gellar.
It’s due in theatres Nov. 10.