How Stompin’ Tom taught Jay Baruchel to be unapologetically Canadian

Soraya Roberts

Folk singer Stompin' Tom taught most Canadians "The Hockey Song," but actor Jay Baruchel learned one more thing from him: How to be proud of the Great White North.

While promoting his new film, "The Art of the Steal" (a stuntman/heist movie from Niagara Falls director Jonathan Sobol), Baruchel discussed his devotion to Canada, a lesson he learned from the late folk singer, who died in March.

"That came from Stompin' Tom. If we just go on being ourselves, people will take it as that," Baruchel said, adding that he insisted on keeping his 2011 hockey comedy "Goon" as Canadian as possible. "We had a lot of people trying to tell us to play defence against the Canadian-ness of it, as if that would preclude people from seeing it -- because people don't see movies from other places, God forbid."

The 31-year-old actor and writer, who hit Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday for the premiere of his TIFF flick, noted that "Goon" ended up becoming one of the highest-grossing Canadian films ever to run in the U.K.

"If you make good s--- and it has good people in it, people will like it, wherever it is," Baruchel said. "You're nobody in Canada until you're somebody in America? That's such a stupid, old, provincial attitude."

Though the "This is the End" star admitted that the big hits he made in the U.S. (such as "Tropic Thunder" and "Knocked Up") have "facilitated" the work he does north of the border, he has no plans to move away from his home.

"I actually do think this is the best country in the world. Or at least the best country the world has come up with so far," Baruchel concluded. "So why would I want to live anywhere else?"

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