Kurt Browning makes his picks
Just seven years after going pro, Canadian figure skating champion
Kurt Browning has earned a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. He, along
with 12 other Canadians - including Robert Lepage, Leslie Nielsen and
Ivan Reitman - will officially be given their spots on a Toronto
sidewalk this June. Somewhat surprisingly, Kurt beat fellow
figure-skating legends Toller Cranston and Brian Orser to the exalted
curb. Perhaps it's because he's stayed so visible over those seven
years - touring, continuing to compete in professional championships
and turning out award-winning television specials. He's also received
some press via his famous wife, Sonia Rodriguez, a principal dancer
with the National Ballet. Kurt was in a Philadelphia arena preparing
for a Stars on Ice performance when he spoke with Famous. That
same tour will bring him to 11 Canadian cities this month, check
www.starsonice.com for the schedule. Here, the Alberta-born athlete
lets you in on his most-loved films and tells you about his most
embarrassing costume ever.
WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE FAVOURITE FILMS?
"Number one is Field of Dreams  because it chokes me up.
It's not very deep but I like the idea of these guys coming from the
past and playing baseball in your field. Number two is
Casablanca , for obvious reasons. [One of Kurt's most
famous routines was skated to the film's score.] I didn't really know
much about the movie until my coach's wife came up with the music, and
they're like 'You can't be Rick until you see the movie.' I wanted to
be inspired by him. Number three is the whole Indiana Jones
series [1981, 1984, 1989], 'cause they're all the same. It's just one
long movie. I liked Harrison Ford. He's exactly what every guy would
like to be. He gets the girls but at the same time the guys like him
too. You want to have a beer with Harrison Ford. Or, if you're a
girl, you want to sleep with him. Number four is Top Gun
 for the same reason some people like the music they listened to
in high school just because of the memories. I must have seen Top
Gun 10 or 11 time when I was in high school. And number five is
Like Water for Chocolate  because it reminds me of my
wife. She's Spanish, and we saw the movie and read the book together
at the same time. It's just a very sexy movie."
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT THAT YOU WERE GETTING A STAR?
"I got a phone message from [chairman] Peter Soumalias. It was funny,
I was in my hotel room alone going 'Oh, hey.' Looked around my room
going, 'Okay, who do I celebrate with?' I don't even remember which
city I was in."
ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOU'RE THE SECOND FIGURE SKATER
"Yeah, I already thought of that. Toller Cranston, Brian Orser, Karen
Magnussen... There's a long list. I think it's directly influenced by
the fact that I co-hosted [the induction ceremony] last year and
blatantly asked for a star. I started the show with a little
black-tie Rollerblade rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star," only I
changed the lyrics to "When I Wish I Had a Star." And the whole
shtick was about me wishing that I had a star. The truth is, I
thought I was getting a star last year when I got the phone call
asking me to host it. I misunderstood. So I was all excited, then
they said, 'No, we want you to host it,' and I said,
'Oh... that's good too.'"
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
"It's an institution at its beginning that might become really popular
and really well-known. It's still only in its third year... I've
always felt very Canadian and when I meet people they say things
like, 'You make me proud to be a Canadian.' This is, I think, one of
the most Canadian things that could be given to me."
WHAT's THE MOST EMBARRASSING COSTUME YOU EVER WORE?
"Oh, easy. We burnt it. Remember the movie The Rocketeer? I
got this costume made based on that, and it didn't get done and didn't
get done and didn't get done. And then finally the costume was sent
to the arena where I was competing. I'm in this competition that's
nationally televised, I open up the box, and it's this top-to-bottom
red costume, silver things on it, and it's the thinnest material ever
in the whole world. I basically had to pad my jockstrap so no one
knew what my religion was. You could see everything. It was the
tightest, thinnest, scariest costume. I just felt awful in it and I
skated awful in it. So we destroyed it after that."
WHAT WILL YOU DO IN YOUR OFF-SEASON?
"Well it's my wife Sonia's off-season too so we'll go to Spain and see
her family, then we'll go to Alberta to see mine. And a lot of
kicking back and trying to recover from the fact that you haven't seen
your wife in five months."