Outdoor flick fest features Born Ruffians rocker making film debut

Toronto singer Luke Lalonde stars in Sundowners


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L–R: Phil Hanley and Luke Lalonde from ‘Sundowners’

Luke Lalonde, lead singer of Canadian indie band the Born Ruffians, can now count acting as one of his many talents.

Lalonde stars in the new movie Sundowners and will be performing prior to a screening of the film on Aug. 29 as part of Toronto’s Open Roof Festival.

Although the native of Midland, Ont., has made music his career’s focus, acting has always piqued his interest, and a chance meeting with director Pavan Moondi made for the perfect opportunity to give the art form a try.

“I met Pavan in Toronto at the Ossington, and out of the blue, he got in touch with me and asked if I might be interested in a part in a movie he was working on,” Lalonde says. “I had never really acted seriously at all, but it was something I really wanted to do, so I gave it a try. It was honestly one of the most fun experiences of my life.”

Shot in both Toronto and Colombia, Sundowners follows two videographers as they travel to Hawaii for a destination wedding.

The film wrapped over a year ago, and now Lalonde says he’s taking time to focus on the Born Ruffians and their fifth studio album, which is set for release sometime in the next six months.

“We’ve finished recording it but now we’re just kind of finding the right time to put it out,” he says. “Right now I’m mostly just working on stuff with the band, but I’m also excited to see the film. I haven’t seen it since an early rough cut, so I’m excited to see the finished movie.”

The Open Roof Festival is a non-profit outdoor music and film festival located at 99 Sudbury St. Throughout the summer, the festival pairs unique movies and local performers. For instance, on Aug. 15 singer-songwriter Liam Titcomb will be performing prior to a screen of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.

Lalonde and the Born Ruffians have come a long way since their early days in Midland. The band, which now has five members, began with just Lalonde, Adam Hindle and Mitch Derosier as teenagers.

“We started when we were 15. The same three guys, we’re still playing together now. It’s been 15 years of Born Ruffians,” Lalonde says.

This fall, the band is headed on tour across Canada as the opening act for the New Pornographers as they gear up for their own tour and the release of their new record.

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