Xavier Dolan: Busy sked keeps him in spotlight

Youth Impact Report 2010: Bigscreen Wunderkind

These days, Xavier Dolan is too busy for interviews — and no wonder. After scraping together the funds to make his first feature, “J’ai tue ma mere” (I Killed My Mother), the funky-haired Quebecois screened his semiautobiographical debut (about a tantrum-prone young homosexual who gives his mom grief for making his life miserable) in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes, where the film took home three of the category’s four prizes.

Rather than resting on his laurels (which include being selected as Canada’s foreign language submission in last year’s Oscar race), Dolan swiftly followed it up with a second feature, “Les Amours imaginaries” (Heartbeats), another mostly-personal portrait, this one about a young gay man and his best girl friend who have a falling out after becoming infatuated with the same studly stranger.

The son of actor Manuel Tadros, Dolan made his screen debut at age four, acting in TV and commercials until he was nine, before being sent off to boarding school by his mother (a decision he’s credited with inspiring his debut). After dropping out of college, Dolan returned to showbiz, juggling his own directing projects (in which he also stars) with a range of acting gigs.

A busy voiceover slate has allowed him to participate indirectly in a number of top Hollywood franchises (with Dolan dubbing the parts of Ron Weasley and Jacob Black in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, respectively), as well as several smaller, artistic projects (including the impressive NFB-backed animated short “The Lipsett Diaries”) — which doesn’t leave much time to do press.

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