Job Title: Actor, novelist and instructor
Why He’s Top 40: He moves and inspires people in his roles on screen and in class.
Key To Success: “I just play for a living.”
Since the series, set on a First Nations reserve, premiered in 2011, Mtis actor Trevor Duplessis has played the character of Greg Nepoose in 16 episodes. But his first big break in the industry came when he played Jason in the Edmonton stage production of In a World Created by a Drunken God. The play toured in Canada and Europe, and Duplessis reprised his role for the film version – his first – for which he was nominated for a 2009 Gemini and won the 2008 Best Actor Award at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
When he left Regina at 17 to study for a bachelor of education degree at the University of Alberta, he couldn’t have imagined he’d ever appear on stage and screen, let alone that one could study for a degree which might help you get there.
“Creatively,” says Duplessis, “it started with finishing up my education degree and then discovering Shakespeare in my [university] English classes. It wasn’t the way I remembered it from high school. Maybe it was the way it was delivered, as something with a heartbeat.”
But even when he was auditioning for the BFA program, he still wasn’t 100 per cent sure it was his calling. “After I got into the program it was the first time in a school setting I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do. I knew that it was going to be my first love.”
His second love, outside of family, is his drama teaching duties at Yellowhead Tribal College. “I wouldn’t be happy,” he says, “if I didn’t have one foot in the educational field and one in the arts.”
And come spring, he’ll have a mistress as well when his debut detective novel called The Silo Circuit is due to be published by Theytus Books.
“Being here in Edmonton, setting a book here and tracing back a Gemini award nomination of my first film … I’ve got a lot to thank this town about. This is my home. This is where I developed those talents.”