In Bruce McDonald's latest film, McCabe-Lokos, who also co-wrote the script, turns in a performance that is both captivating and excruciating to watch.
It is Maxwell McCabe-Lokos‘ hunted, haunted face that stares out from posters and billboards throughout the city, advertising the Toronto-based actor’s most recent and unquestionably most challenging project, The Husband. In the role of the embattled, titular husband Henry Andreas, McCabe-Lokos portrays a man whose self-respect, psychological well-being and concept of manhood are systematically dismantled after his wife is found guilty of and imprisoned for sexually abusing one of her high-school students. Henry, whose perceptions and behaviour become gradually and increasingly more unreasonable, sees her victim not as an abused child, but as a rival.
McCabe-Lokos has had a varied career, appearing in Hollywood blockbusters like The Incredible Hulk, quirkier films like Lars and the Real Girl, and many television shows and short films—not to mention playing rock music with the Deadly Snakes. In The Husband, the actor is both the film’s primary focus and its narrator: “Whatever the audience sees,” he notes, “is from Henry’s perspective. We only get his interpretation of things.” And what the audience sees is at once captivating and excruciating, as the tension increases, and Henry becomes more and more desperate.
McCabe-Lokos took inspiration for the role from high-profile, real-life cases, such as the one involving Mary Kay Letourneau, who served a seven-year jail sentence for child molestation after having a sexual relationship with her then 12-year-old student. Whenever the news reported on a case like this, the actor notes, “there was always a guy standing there, her husband, and you could just feel the rage radiating off of him.” His fascination with those often silent—and sometimes explosively angry—figures led him to co-write, and ultimately act in, The Husband.
While serving both as both a writer and lead actor was often a gruelling experience, it’s one McCabe-Lokos found overwhelmingly positive. McCabe-Lokos discovered a champion for the project in director Bruce McDonald (with whom the actor also worked on The Tracey Fragments), and film has been well received: The Husband was an official selection at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival—”There’s nothing like a home-town crowd” McCabe-Lokos notes when talking about the sold-out screenings at TIFF—and took the $15,000 top prize in the Whistler Film Festival’s Borsos competition. McCabe-Lokos himself was nominated for an ACTRA Toronto Award for outstanding performance by a male for his role in The Husband.
Although he’s currently busy with festival appearances and events related to The Husband‘s premiere, McCabe-Lokos is already looking toward the future—he has roles coming up in a short film and in David Hayter’s film Wolves. When asked about the kind of roles he’d like to pursue in the future, McCabe-Lokos smiles and says, “I’m looking forward to being able to turn things down.”
The Husband will opening March 14 in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and in select cities throughout Canada.
Would you like to take in The Husband on the very night it opens—and catch a Q&A with Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Bruce McDonald, and the movie’s cast, hosted by Lightbox director of programming Jesse Wente? Post a comment below before midnight on March 12 indicating you’d like to attend, and you could be randomly selected to win one of two double passes to the film’s premiere at 7 p.m. on March 14.
The contest has now closed, and we have contacted the lucky winners!