William B. Davis. Cigarette Smoking Man. Canadian Actor and Legend was in town last night to promote his memoir… Where There’s Smoke…
Held in an intmiate setting at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom on Queen Street West and part of the “This Is Not Reading Series” the event was moderated by CTV film critic Richard Crouse.
Perhaps best known for his recurring role on The X-Files as the shadowy Cigarette Smoking Man, Mr. Davis had an illuminating and entertaining discussion with Crouse about his decade spanning career from a child actor on CBC Radio Dramas to the celebrity bestowed on him by his potrayal of “the greatest villian on television” to the establishment of The William Davis Center For Actors Study, as well as one of his first students there, Lucy Lawless.
He was warm, witty and engaging, and for those of us only familiar with his unsmiling visage hidden behind a cancer stick it was a revelation, the seperation of art and artist.
The chat lasted about 90 minutes, and he fielded a few questions from the audience before they wrapped it up.
In the interview, and in the book (which I am looking forward to digging into shortly) he’s candid, blunt, and doesn’t pull any punches. His memoir not only serves as a way to tell the story of his life, but also a history of the growth of the performing arts in Canada.
He took time with each and every one of us, signing books and memorabilia , chatting and laughing a lot. Amongst the guests in the audience were a number of his friends, students, and co-stars, most notably for X-Files fans… Chris Owen who played FBI Agent Jeffrey Spender, as well as younger versions of CSM in flashback episodes.
In a wonderful moment, Davis’ signed Owen’s copy of the book with the following inscription… “Sorry for shooting you.”
It was a wonderful evening, and listening to Mr. Davis I found myself very eager to read his book as well as revisiting the television series that was such a large part of my life for 9 years!
The Truth IS Out There…
and in his book too!