SPOTLIGHT: BROOKE NEVIN'S GOT GAME
It's fitting that Toronto-born actor Brooke Nevin stars as the daughter of a coach in this month's sports parody The Comebacks, considering her dad, Bob Nevin, played in the NHL for 19 season, won two Stanley Cups and served as an assistant coach for the L.A. Kings in the 1970s.
"The thing with my dad is that he actually retired before I was born," says the 24-year-old Nevin on the line from L.A. "He wasn't off playing hockey games, but sports was a big part of my upbringing, I would play tennis and golf and that sort of thing."
In The Comebacks, Nevin plays Michelle Fields, the rowdy daughter of washed-up football coach Lambeau Fields (David Koechner), who's hired to coach a ragtag college team. The comedy is a send-up of jock flicks such as Remember the Titans, Radio and Invincible.
"No one's taken a shot at inspirational sports movies yet," notes Nevin. "People were just waiting for it, and I think [The Comebacks] is a really great romp, and I'm really glad to be part of a film that's the first to do it."
Michelle Fields is the kind of gal your parents' parents would call "easy," and anyone with a Y chromosome is fair game to her. "Michelle is very spunky, she has issues around rebelling against parental figures, and that takes many forms, including sometimes inappropriate displays in public or dating boys that she doesn't think her father would approve of," says Nevin with a laugh.
The blond-haired, brown-eyed actor was born and raised in Toronto and knew early on that performing was her calling. "I started begging my mom to get me into commercials or on TV where I could act outlandish and be the centre of attention at a very young age. I remember when I was 13 I gave her an ultimatum saying, 'Mom, that's it, I'm getting old now. In Hollywood you gotta start young.' So at 13 I finally got an agent.
"My first professional paid gig was Goosebumps, which I call the rite of passage for teenage Canadian actors because if you look back you'll see Hayden Christensen or Ryan Gosling, a whole bunch of actors, we either did Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark?"
After appearing in a string of TV projects and training with Second City's improv group in Toronto, Nevin moved to L.A. in 2003 — "I heard Hollywood call my name" — and is now starting to land movie roles (look for her in the upcoming films Sherman's Way and Infestation).
"You just keep persevering, do a good job and people finally put the dots together," she says of her increasing profile. And, unlike her cinematic alter ego, Michelle Fields, [Nevin] is not prone to making poor choices.
"I keep saying I have yet to go through my teenage, young adult rebellion. I try and take part in more productive activities, you know hiking, watching old movies and just connecting with people, things that don't necessarily involve illicit substances."