The Lunchbox Lady, after planting a kiss on the cheek of Jason Priestley, is sending him and his crew from Cas & Dylan home with a small piece of Sudbury.
Catherine Langin, A.K.A The Lunchbox Lady, had a rare opportunity to “hang out” with Priestley, Richard Dreyfuss, Tatiana Maslany and other members of the cast and crew while they were filming scenes at the Moonlight Inn and Suites this week. She said she had a photo taken of her kissing Priestley on the cheek, “but they haven't sent that one to me.”
“I even invited him to my cottage for the weekend, but he had to go to the Toronto International Film Festival,” she said with a laugh.
Langin's lunchboxes gained notoriety after she braved the fires of the Dragon's Den and gained support for her product. She's based in Sudbury, and her shop is just around the corner from the Moonlight Inn. On her way into work on Sept. 5, she heard on the radio that Priestley and his crew were filming at the Inn. When she drove by the set, she said she saw the trucks and thought to herself, “this is awesome, maybe I'll see somebody.”
It would turn out her experience would be much more than just being able to catch a glimpse of Priestley or Dreyfuss.
“When I got to the shop, I thought it would be a good opportunity, so I threw a few lunchboxes into my van, went to where they were filming and just kind of sat around,” she said. “I started talking to the crew members, and they were so nice. I saw Jason off in the distance, and Richard Dreyfuss walked right past me. I said hi to him, and he said hi back, we had a brief conversation about the lunchboxes, and then he went off to work.”
She said Priestley walked by a little later on, they made eye contact, and she took the opportunity to introduce herself.
“It was a fabulous little experience for little old Catherine the Lunchbox Lady. This old grandmother is flattered, and I wish them all the best — I'm so happy I got to meet them.
The Lunchbox Lady
“He actually knew about me and the lunchboxes, because he saw me on Dragon's Den,” she said. “We chit-chatted for a while before he went back to work.”
She said they had another brief conversation when the crew broke for lunch.
“There was no one else around, no movie or Jason Priestley groupies, which I figured there would be, but it worked out great for me, because I was able to tell my story.”
During an afternoon coffee break, she said Priestley and some of his crew members went over to Chateau Guay, “where I met with them again. They all sort of gathered around, and I figuratively opened my trench coat and said, 'want to see some lunch pails?'”
Priestley was interested in a 14-inch pail for a bottle of wine, she said. Maslany, who co-stars alongside Dreyfuss in the movie, was interested in one of the leopard-print lunchboxes.
“Her outfit had some earrings that had a real leopard look to it, and when she spied the lunchbox, she was really interested in it,” Langin said. “She was very, very gracious – she even told me she was going to Tweet about it.”
All of the lunchboxes that went to the cast and crew were gifts, she said.
“I made up my mind in the morning that whomever was interested in buying one of the lunchboxes, I would just gift it to them, and that's what I did. They left with six or eight lunchboxes. I just wanted to show them some Sudbury hospitality.”
All told, Langin said she spent about half an hour to 45 minutes with Priestley.
“It was a fabulous little experience for little old Catherine the Lunchbox Lady,” she said. “This old grandmother is flattered, and I wish them all the best — I'm so happy I got to meet them.”
It would seem Priestley is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit a variety of locations and events in and around Sudbury. He reportedly attended Ribfest last weekend, where he reportedly posed for photos with many residents.
Perogy Princess proprietor Mary Bedkowski, who sets up shop at Market Square, was one of those anxious for a snapshot with Priestley. She said she fed him and his crew fresh, homemade perogies and cabbage rolls when they visited.
"It was a hoot," she said. "He's great. I was just sitting there when I looked up and he was there with two other people. I recognized him right away. I knew he was in town, but I didn't expect him to come to the Market or be at Ribfest."
While Priestley was eating, people went up to him to say hello, and that he was very nice with them, she said, and he had no problems posing for a photo with her.
"It kind of snapped me back to my childhood, because I was a (Beverly Hills) 90210 fan," she said. "You would think a guy like Jason Priestley, being as popular as he is, would shy away from all the people coming up to him, but he was very kind.
"It's great that someone of his notoriety would come and support our market. Maybe it will entice other people to our market. If a superstar like Jason Priestley can come to the market, why can't our residents?"
Cas & Dylan is Priestley's feature film directorial debut. The movie is being filmed in Sudbury and Calgary, Alta.
The film tells the tale of a 61-year-old doctor who, dying and looking to end his life on his own terms, somehow ends up on the run with a young woman played by Maslany.
The comedy films here until mid-September before production shifts out west. It is slated for a 2013 release.
Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar for his 1977 film The Goodbye Girl, will play Dr. Cas Pepper in the film. The indie film was scripted by Jessie Gabe.