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April 8, 2001

MAN WITH BROOMS AND BRUISES: As homicide detective Bob Kazlowski on Chasing Cain,
a CBC TV movie airing tonight at 8, Peter Outerbridge wears blue suits, blue shirts
and close-cropped hair.

In Better Than Chocolate, he wore the platform mules and short skirts of a transsexual.

In Paris, France, he wore precious little.

In Men With Brooms, he is wearing Neosporin.

It's a curling film, directed by Paul Gross, and Outerbridge has never curled in his
life. He has to go to curling school.

``I've thrown out my hip, hurt my elbows, my knees have been smashed on the ice,'' he
gripes good-naturedly over a beer at Bistro 990.

He sustained no injuries in Chasing Cain, where his character Kazlowski and his partner,
detective Denise McGoogan, played by sultry Alberta Watson, investigate a drive-by
murder. The film was shot on location in the Roncesvalles area of Toronto, and the
location is as much a character as the two police officers. The authenticity appealed
to Outerbridge.

``It's how murder affects a community; our characters are the tour guides,'' he explains.

``I don't know if they'll delve into our lives (there are four more Chasing TV movies
skedded). I hope not. We've seen cop shows all about angst.''

He and Watson and director Jerry Ciccoritti worked with homicide detectives Matt Crone
and Bob Montrose.

``Jerry said, `Okay, what is it about cop shows that drive you two nuts?' They said that
homicide guys never come in and talk like tough guys. You want to be the nicest guy
on the planet. You want to get them to talk.

``Also homicide guys are walking, organic recording devices. Matt says, `You never see a
cop not writing in his pad.'

``Besides,'' he jokes, ``I can write all my lines in my notepad.''

Furthermore, a lot of homicide cops don't carry guns.

``Bob does,'' he qualifies. ``If the situation is potentially dangerous, you go with
backup. They don't charge in and say, `Freeze, sucker.' They are more like Sherlock
Holmes.''

Outerbridge says he wasn't a particular fan of cop shows, with the exception of Columbo.

``My dad is a lawyer. I was always exposed to that sort of world.''

But homicide cops don't dress like the rumpled Columbo. They take pride in their suitings.

``They're Good Suit Squads,'' Outerbridge says. ``They dress in the best they can find.''

Of Swedish and Bermudian extraction, and born in Toronto, Outerbridge has been acting
since 1988. One of his first gigs was with Ciccoritti.

``I got an audition for Hidden Room (an anthology series), and the way Jerry tells it,''
Outerbridge recalls, ``is he says, `I kinda like this guy.' The producer says, `He
looks gay. We need a macho man.' Jerry says, `No, that's why I like him. He looks
effeminate.'

``So Jerry tried to make it up to me in Paris, France. He calls and says I'd be perfect
for it. I said, `What makes you think I'd be perfect for a bisexual poet who
basically sleeps with everyone in the picture?' ''

But he was.

``In Kissed, they were having trouble finding anyone to do it. Why? Because he's crazy
and naked. It's an indie about necrophilia, and I hang myself at the end. If you want
weird, call Outerbridge.''

And Kissed went on to become a cult hit.

Men With Brooms is the story of four small-town guys in a curling team with a good shot
at the Briar (championship).

``Our skipper (Gross) left just before the final and threw all our stones into the lake
when he left. Ten years later, our coach dies and we all go back.''

Outerbridge's character is a drug dealer, which accounts for the hair and scruffy beard.
He is not looking forward to an upcoming scene that calls for the guys to strip naked
and take a 20-foot leap into freezing water.

``It's the traditional polar-bear leap,'' he shudders. ``I hate cold water. I was pushed
into a frozen pond as a kid and never recovered. I went to the doctor and asked if
I'd survive the shock of the cold water - I'm a heavy smoker. He said I would, but
advised me to put my hands over my groin. A 20-foot jump will hurt (the dangly
bits).''

Article courtesy of www.thestar.com and contributed by Cathy (thank you!)

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