The Toque Interview
Wing Chun: The first question seems to be, how did you get involved with The Skulls in the first place?
Toque: There were a lot of rumours going around that there might be a movie filmed at the rowing club. I, of course, went straight to the people who were apparently responsible for the casting. I begged to be in it to the point where I was almost in tears. The casting guy told me that they didn't want any girls as coxies because in Ivy League schools, boys coxie boys, unless the crew is shit, of course. He told me that he would do everything he could to get me in, though. I asked him about three times a day, not only because we were supposed to get $400 for being in the movie, but also because it was a movie with Joshua Jackson and (sigh!) Paul Walker. Anyway I finally got a call that said that I had to be at the rowing club at a certain time and date and that is when I peed my pants.
WC: Not literally, though. I assume. So then, they cast real rowers?
WC: But Joshua Jackson is obviously a lot shorter and lighter than the crews with which you've coxied. How did the movie people get around that?
T: He's not so much shorter but he sure was a bigger wimp. He would walk around with his sexsuit [the unitard rowers wear to race] pulled down and all of the guys would make fun of him behind his back. He was such a wuss that on one of the three days we were filming, he had his double row for him while he got massages because he was "sore."
To get around his wimpery, the casting guy asked for only lightweight guys. If you were more than a hundred and forty-five pounds, you couldn't be in it. Some sneaky guys got through, but, whatever.
WC: In real life, though, Joshua Jackson is way too small and flabby to be on a crew, much less a stroke, right?
T: That is very true.
WC: Now that you've seen the movie, what do you think of the depiction of rowing? Is it pretty realistic, in your opinion?
T: The whole rowing scene where everyone is actually rowing in eights is pretty good because we had ropes taped to the bottom of our boats so they'd go slower while keeping a high rate of speed. The problems were where seven seat (the rower behind JJ)'s oar lock broke. After it broke seven was unscrewing the oar lock and still had the oar in it. I've seen things like that happen and the oar flies into the water almost immediately. And in Canada, the guy wouldn't have jumped out. I'm not sure why we don't do it. But in the States they do it because of weight issues. Whatever. I don't always get what they do down there.