THOUGH Maury Chaykin was the patriarchal centre of the series Less Than Kind, the third season of the acerbically funny Winnipeg-shot show will likely go on after his untimely death, according to producer Phyllis Laing of the Winnipeg production company Buffalo Gal Pictures.
"We fully believe the show will continue," a melancholy Laing said Tuesday afternoon after a morning of conversations with the show's producers Mark McKinney, Marvin Kaye and Chris Sheasgreen. Buffalo Gal Pictures is the Manitoba producing partner of the series with Toronto's Breakthrough Films.
Apparently, if the show continues, it will do so with the blessing of Chaykin's family.
"Maury's family let us know how important the series was to him," Laing said.
Destined for a programming slot on HBO Canada, the third season of the series was scheduled to shoot in town in September and October, but Laing says that schedule will likely be pushed back in the wake of Chaykin's death Tuesday at the age of 61.
Tuesday afternoon, Laing said she was in the middle of contacting the local cast and crew of the series in anticipation of an impromptu celebration of Chaykin's life at the Bar Italia on Tuesday evening. "It will be an opportunity to laugh and cry together," Laing said. "On a series, you become a family, and he was a very important part of our family."
Winnipeg actor Stephen Eric McIntyre, who appeared with Chaykin on the first season of the show, remembered Chaykin as "a very nice, very entertaining man with lots of energy and a fabulous work ethic, but when the cameras were off between scenes, he'd just sit and chat."
McIntyre recalled an evening in late 2007 when he was staying at the Fort Garry Hotel during the shooting of the film High Life when he encountered Chaykin, at work on Less Than Kind, entering the hotel's lounge.
"I recognized him from his silhouette," McIntyre said. "He was standing under that archway at the entrance of the lounge, in his slippers. He had just wandered down to see if there was a conversation," McIntyre says. "That's probably how I'll always remember him."
-- Randall King