From NH to "Super" Stardom

One Kingston actor's French-Canadian roots helped him land a coveted role in the sequel to a cop comedy cult hit

In some ways, Paul Bellefeuille has been preparing for his role in “Super Troopers 2” his whole life. Bellefeuille’s family hails from Quebec, and the soundtrack to his childhood in Leominster, Massachusetts, was a chorus of French-Canadian voices belonging to his relatives and neighbors. His uncle was even a Mountie.

That last part is especially pertinent to Bellefeuille’s latest big-screen cameo in “Super Troopers 2” — the sequel to the 2001 cult comedy, wherein a squad of bumbling Vermont State Troopers are now tasked with enforcing a patch of land along the US-Canadian border. Once Bellefeuille learned that the film crew was looking for actors with a convincing French-Canadian accent, he was determined to do whatever it took to land a part — including showing up to his audition in character, a bold move by any traditional theatrical standards.

“I have three teeth that are removable, so I figured I’d remove them and roll the dice,” Bellefeuille recalled. “I thought, what have I got to lose?”

Luckily, his gamble worked — he landed laughs, callbacks and, eventually, a spot in the cast.

While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are in his family, Bellefeuille’s role isn’t actually an officer. Instead, it’s “Angry Canadian,” a disgruntled driver who grows exasperated over the troopers’ inability to understand the metric system. The exchange is brief, but it does serve as one of the promotional teasers released on Facebook ahead of the film’s April debut. As of press time, Bellefeuille’s clip had been watched at least 66,000 times.

Before turning more intently toward professional acting, Bellefeuille spent years as a radio personality. And eagle-eared listeners of local station WZID might recognize a familiar tone in Bellefeuille’s “Super Troopers” part: He channeled the same dialect he used to play “Pinardville Pierre,” the leading rodent in a Groundhog Day skit he once improvised with his former broadcast colleagues.

“Super Troopers 2” isn’t Bellefeuille’s only big role lately. He had a prominent role in “The Discovery” — a 2017 sci-fi thriller starring Rooney Mara, Jason Segel and Robert Redford, among other big names. He’s also slated to appear in the upcoming Hulu adaptation of Stephen King’s “Castle Rock.”

And as someone who’s trying his best to fulfill a lifelong aspiration to make it as an actor, he’s especially grateful for the extra opportunities afforded by the ever-expanding universe of on-demand networks.

“It does provide an awful lot of opportunity for people who normally wouldn’t be able to get a gig, or become seen,” Bellefeuille says. “There’s so much more content.” We’ll stay tuned.

Categories: Features