Cherry biopic pulls no punches

In his usual role as the outspoken star of CBC’s Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry is hardly shy about going after players for lousy sportsmanship or half-hearted play.

TORONTO — In his usual role as the outspoken star of CBC’s Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry is hardly shy about going after players for lousy sportsmanship or half-hearted play.

So when CBC-TV decided to shoot a biopic of Cherry’s life, he didn’t want the film to pull any punches.

“A couple producers said: ‘Jeez, (you) don’t look too good in this,”’ Cherry said as the CBC unveiled its winter television schedule at the network’s Toronto headquarters.

“There’s no lying about it. I guess I was a selfish guy . . . . I only thought of myself, I never thought of the family a lot — that’s the way it comes out (in the film). It’s tough to see yourself like that, but that’s the way it was.”

Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story will debut March 28 and 29.

Written by Cherry’s son, Timothy, the film follows the man nicknamed Grapes from his youth as an aspiring hockey pro through the 16 seasons he spent toiling in the minors, uprooting his family again and again, before he found success as a coach and, eventually, a TV personality.

Jared Keeso (I Love You, Beth Cooper) plays Cherry in the film. The 25-year-old native of Listowel, Ont., says he grew up playing junior hockey and staying up on Saturday nights to watch Coach’s Corner.

While he calls Cherry an “icon,” Keeso also praises the flamboyantly clad commentator for his honest lack of vanity with the more unflattering material.

“The good thing about Don that really speaks to his character is that he just wanted the truth told,” he said. “He didn’t want anything sugar-coated. He wanted it exactly like it was.”

To try to attain that realism, Keeso studied tape and trained with vocal coaches in the hopes of nailing Cherry’s inimitable delivery.

“It was a ton of work to prepare for,” Keeso said. “It’s the biggest role of my life to date and I’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger one.”

He didn’t, however, receive any advice from Cherry himself.

Cherry says the movie was shot while he was away covering the playoffs, and he only made it to the set for two weeks near the end.

“I think they were happy I wasn’t (there), that way I didn’t bother them,” the genial Cherry said.

Cherry has only seen bits and pieces of the production, but praised everyone involved, saying that producers did a “terrific job.”

Just Posted

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

Photos: Smoky conditions in Red Deer

Red Deer and area is experiencing high risk air quality.See related: Red… Continue reading

PHOTO: Rainbow Block Party at Red Deer’s West Park

The Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society hosted a Rainbow Block Party at… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer man shaves beard for Mustard Seed

‘I have spent 30 years of my life being addicted to both alcohol and drugs’

US newspapers to Trump: We’re not enemies of the people

NEW YORK — Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President… Continue reading

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid accused of giving award to purveyor of anti-Semitism

OTTAWA — A Liberal MP is under fire for presenting a ”certificate… Continue reading

Ottawa intervenes to get 13-year-old ball player to Little League World Series

OTTAWA — Thirteen-year-old Dio Gama will get to play baseball in the… Continue reading

Esther, celebrity ‘wonder pig,’ diagnosed with cancer after CT scan

GUELPH, Ont. — A celebrity pig whose owners raised more than half… Continue reading

Feds preparing response in case Trump follows through on auto tariff threat

OTTAWA — With threats of devastating U.S. tariffs hanging over the auto… Continue reading

Committee to decide how millions in Humboldt Broncos donations are split

SASKATOON — Lawyers for the families of some of those who died… Continue reading

Boy, 11, dies after being struck by payloader on southern Alberta ranch

BOW ISLAND, Alta. — A boy has died after an accident on… Continue reading

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government wants to establish a holiday to… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month