“I love Canada,” says Mountain Men star Chace Crawford. “I’m from Texas so I get along with Canadians really well. There is some weird kindred spirit there.”
Crawford is best known as the star of Gossip Girl — he played Upper East Side heartthrob Nate Archibald on over 100 episodes of the hit show — but he got his big break working in Canada.
“I worked in Montreal on my first film ever back in 2005,” he says. “It was a Screen Gems movie called The Covenant, which was like The Craft meets the Backstreet Boys. I had the best time of my life on that. I love Montreal but I know Montreal is a lot different than Toronto or Vancouver and definitely Revelstoke.”
Revelstoke is, indeed, a long hike from Montreal. The beautiful southeastern British Columbia community has provided a backdrop for films dating back to the 1930s — a 1937 Lilli Palmer about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was partially shot there — and gave Mountain Men its picturesque setting.
The film is the story of estranged brothers Cooper (Crawford) and Toph (Tyler Labine, real life brother of the film’s writer and director Cameron Labine). When Cooper returns home to attend their mother’s wedding, Toph tricks him into taking a trip into the Rocky Mountains. When everything goes wrong they must bond or die.
The scenery is suitably rustic, but Crawford says the location wasn’t as rough as it looks in the film.
“We really pulled it off,” he says. “To be honest we got there in April and had this house up in the middle of nowhere. There was a couple feet of snow everywhere but by the end it was gorgeous springtime. The snow just slowly melted. We had to keep going higher and higher up the mountain to make it look more treacherous. It was nice out almost. It was more wet than anything.”
When he wasn’t shooting on the mountain he was getting to know his co-star.
“Tyler and me shared a big house,” he says. “He has a family and a wife and kids and he’s a great dad, but he got to be away from that for a moment and kind of lock in. We’d go out and have a few drinks and get to know one another. There was nothing negative about it. We didn’t get tired of one another or angry. It was more a bonding experience and by the end of it we were brothers from another mother.”