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Mike Myers Shares His Acting 'Origin Story' At SAG Awards

"The Canadian government determined that I should be a movie star."
Mike Myers attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 27, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Mike Myers attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 27, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Snowstorms notwithstanding, there are some decent things about our country. Just ask Scarborough, Ont.-born Mike Myers.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, held in Los Angeles on Sunday night, are run by the actors' union. They always begin with actors giving a short speech about how they entered the industry. Myers kicked off this year's awards with a monologue that included an appreciation of the Canadian government's arts investments, and a definitely not-exaggerated account of its role in his subsequent fame and fortune.

"What I'm about to tell you is a true story. I was born in Canada," he says, pausing to acknowledge an audience member's enthusiastic response to his native country.

"A country that heavily subsidizes their arts. When I was 17, the Canadian government had me fill out a vocational training test to see what it is I should do for a living once I graduated high school. I sent it to Ottawa, and two weeks later, the Canadian government determined that I should be a movie star."

Should anyone doubt his story, he then repeats that it's "absolutely true" before identifying himself as the subject of right-wing fear: "I am the spectre of big government."

Mike Myers wears a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey to a Toronto vs. Boston hockey game at the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 25, 2014.
Mike Myers wears a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey to a Toronto vs. Boston hockey game at the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 25, 2014.

The opening segment also included Geoffrey Owens, the former "Cosby Show" star whose job as a grocery story cashier went viral in September, and Yara Shahidi of "Grown-ish," who talked about how she didn't think her path to success as a black Iranian-American actress would be an easy one.

Myers has been at many events during this awards season, due to his role in the much-disputed "Bohemian Rhapsody." The Freddie Mercury biopic was a massive success at the box office and has won several awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Drama. But some Queen fans have criticized the movie's clumsy handling of Mercury's sexuality, and the film's director Bryan Singer is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

Myers, of course, has another connection to the song that gave the movie its name: the iconic "Bohemian Rhapsody" singalong from "Wayne's World." He told Stephen Colbert that he grew to love the song while listening to it as a kid driving along the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto.

Myers has also written a book about Canada, and his face has graced a Canada Post stamp. It doesn't get much more Canadian than that.

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