The Boys head to Ottawa to besmirch weed’s good name
by Jorge Ignacio Castillo
Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It
Opens Friday 18
It’s been seven years since Trailer Park Boys faded to black on television, but in many ways it feels like they never left. Besides two comedy tours and a second feature film (Countdown to Liquor Day), John Paul Tremblay (Julian), Robb Wells (Ricky) and Mike Smith (Bubbles) launched a paid website featuring uncensored content of their own creation.
Now, the show’s loyal, cult following is about to receive even more criminal ineptitude. First up is the Boys’ third movie, TPB: Don’t Legalize It, while later this year, an eighth season of the TV show will be available on both Netflix and their site, Swearnet.com. Wells, Tremblay and Smith purchased the rights to the Trailer Park Boys TV series from the show’s original producers, in order to generate and stream new content.
Don’t Legalize It breaks with some of the Boys’ usual patterns. Ricky has a hydroponic grow-op and business is booming, and the hot-headed felon has made a point of keeping Julian at a distance. The tension only increases when Julian reveals his latest venture: selling “clean” urine in Montréal to anyone desperate to pass a drug test.
Then, circumstances out of their control force them out of the trailer park, as the federal government’s intention to make pot legal throws a wrench into Ricky’s business. He plans to go to Ottawa to stop it (somehow…), and the ever-pacifist Bubbles suggests they once again all join forces (to save on gas, if nothing else).
Meanwhile, arch-nemesis Lahey is circling around with revenge on his mind.
I interviewed the trio in character, as is their custom. In this context, the film is actually a documentary and every event depicted on screen actually happened.
(Just go with it.)
Have you ever been compared to Breaking Bad?
JULIAN: You may be the first person to do it.
BUBBLES: I always considered myself a bit like Jesse Pinkman. Except for all the crack-smoking.
Doesn’t having to stay in the park feel a little claustrophobic?
RICKY: It’s our home. But it does suck dealing with Lahey. We should just leave, but can’t… for some reason.
Ricky gives an impassioned speech on Parliament Hill during 4/20. How much was prepared, and how much was ad-libbed on the spur of the moment?
RICKY: A mix of both.
BUBBLES: It was a bit difficult to shoot. The camera guy brought us up there and people started freaking out when they saw Ricky.
RICKY: I felt like a rock star.
BUBBLES: Girls were grabbing my bird. It was unbelievable.
I was surprised to find out the market for clean pee was that big.
JULIAN: There’s a lot of people who need clean pee to keep their jobs, but I decided to go online with the whole thing. You’re not dealing as much with it.
BUBBLES: Piss dot com. Or dot org.
JULIAN: I sort of have the domain name, but I’m not good at computers.
RICKY: I can’t believe you’re selling piss.
JULIAN: Clean piss, man.
Considering how well the “documentaries” have done in theatres, I was surprised to find out you’re going back to television.
RICKY: Well, Julian likes being famous and showing off in front of the camera. I hope he worked out a better deal this time, although I haven’t seen much free stuff yet.
JULIAN: Last time I was in jail I got into figuring out contracts. Last time, we made the big mistake of signing up contracts without understanding ’em. It can ruin your life. I have a good one with Swearnet now. Money is going to come in at some point of our lives.
The show has been widely distributed around the world. Is the feedback any different compared to Canada?
BUBBLES: The reception has been fantastic in all the countries we’ve gone to. As soon as we get there, people are coming up and giving us sacks of weed, pinches of hash — and grabbing our birds…
Will there be any difference between the previous seasons and the new one?
JULIAN: It’s basically the same: the camera guys show up in the park and they shoot us every day for five, six weeks. Except that these guys weren’t dicks like the other camera guys. Those dudes drove us nuts.
What’s the biggest misconception out there about each one of you?
RICKY: Everyone thinks I’m not that smart, when I’m the smartest guy in the park. But the cameras make me look dumb. It’s not fair.
JULIAN: It may look like I drink a lot of buzz during the day, but I got it totally under control and it’s not that much. Really.
BUBBLES: They don’t show how good I am with ladies.