Before they were famous in American TV and movies, these Canadian stars were kids in CBC and YTV series. If you watched Canadian TV in the nineties, chances are you’ve grown up with the likes of Ryan Gosling and Neve Campbell—you just didn’t always realise it.
The star of Deadpool and Detective Pikachu had a humble start, but he certainly worked hard. You may have seen him on YTV’s teen soap opera Fifteen, where he starred as a local boy with bullying tendencies, Billy. The experience was so negative he almost quit acting—but thankfully he didn’t! You may have also seen him as Marco in The Odyssey, a fantasy CBC series about a world run by kids as imagined by a kid in a coma. His film debut, though, was in Ordinary Magic, a film inspired by a YA novel. He was also occasionally in episodes of The Outer Limits, the 90s sci-fi answer to The Twilight Zone.
Best known south of the border for Old School and 24, Canadians have long been acquainted with Elisha Cuthbert. She started out as a host of Popular Mechanics for Kids, which taught us all about science and building stuff. Also, she was a main cast member of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, making her the most famous member of the Midnight Society.
So many kids from YTV have turned into major stars. Most people know Ryan Gosling as that kid from the Mickey Mouse Club, but Canadians know that he was in episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Road to Avonlea, Goosebumps, and more. Oh, and then he scored a recurring role as Sean Stanley Hanlon in Breaker High, a show that made everyone wonder why they couldn’t attend a high school that was also a sweet cruise ship. See? He’s always been a heartthrob!
Best known as the star of the How to Train Your Dragon series, Baruchel has also been in a bunch of other funny things, such as Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, The Trotsky, She’s Out of My League, Goon . . . he’s got jokes, that’s what we’re saying. But he got his start as a host on Popular Mechanics for Kids, with Elisha Cuthbert. Oh, and he was also in a few episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which, aside from scaring the daylights out of nineties kids, also launched the careers of nearly every Canadian actor.
Yes, she was a star in the Scream film franchise and on the hit TV series Party of Five, but guess what she was doing before that? Well, she had a part in The Kids in the Hall, a brief stint on Catwalk, that musical drama series on YTV, and she starred in an episode of . . . Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Who wasn’t on that show? We always knew it was great!
Once best known for her lead roles in Clueless and 7th Heaven, she’s also been in British cult hit Peepshow, HBO cult hit Flight of the Concords, and FX cult hit Fargo. She’s in a lot of critically acclaimed stuff.
But before all that she got her start on The Kids of Degrassi Street, The Littlest Hobo, and The Elephant Show. We admit that those are all eighties hits, but they’re pretty big deals. Let’s see what she was up to in the nineties . . . oh, she was part of the initial Midnight Society on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Canada’s main television export of the nineties. You’re welcome, American nineties kids.