Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jay Baruchel on the Habs and His New Sports Documentary 'Celtic Soul'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jay Baruchel on the Habs and His New Sports Documentary 'Celtic Soul'

Article excerpt

Jay Baruchel on Habs and new doc 'Celtic Soul'


TORONTO - Jay Baruchel is probably among the most ardent Montreal Canadiens fans out there.

The Montreal-raised comedy star says nearly everything in his home has the Habs logo on it, from a panini press to underwear and a wallet.

His passion hits a fever pitch when discussing the Habs' trade of star player P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Shea Weber in June.

"I am vehemently against it," the actor-filmmaker said in a recent interview. "I think the Habs picked management over a player once again and they have a history of doing that."

It's nothing against Weber, who "is an incredible hockey player," he added.

"But I think P.K. Subban was one of the two faces of our franchise going forward," added Baruchel, director and co-writer of the upcoming hockey film "Goon: Last of the Enforcers."

"I think his best years are still obviously to come. I think he did pledge his life to that jersey and that city."

Sports fandom is akin to religion, Baruchel explains in his new documentary "Celtic Soul," which opens Friday at Toronto's Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

Michael McNamara wrote and directed the film, which follows Baruchel and Irish sports broadcaster Eoin O'Callaghan on a road trip from Montreal to Ireland and then Scotland to watch another team they love -- Celtic Football Club in Glasgow.

The two learn the history of both teams and their similarities, from their strong connections to the Catholic Church and their reputations for drawing in a diverse range of superfans.

"Celtic, its origin story, is about being open-minded to everybody," said O'Callaghan, who recently moved to Toronto and lived in Winnipeg for two years hosting "Fox Soccer Report."

"It obviously has big links with Roman Catholics in the city and beyond that, but from the very first steps of the club it was open to all -- and not every club was like that. …

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