Reel Beach: Far from slowing down, ageless wonders are still active on screen

Tony Shalboub, in suit and hat, sits on the Bluffer’s Park Beach in Scarborough during filming of the Monk episode Mr. Monk Takes a Holiday.


On Earth Day, April 22, the Fox Theatre hosted a screening of What You Won’t Do for Love presented by our local Beaches-East York MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon.

The film shares the love that environmental activists Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis feel for each other and for our planet.

It poses the question: What if we loved the planet as deeply as the couple love each other?

“I don’t think that we as a society think very much about what kind of world we are leaving to our grandchildren.”
— David Suzuki

At 87 years young Dr. Suzuki signed off as host of The Nature of Things on April 7 after over 40 years at the helm. Modern society should listen to the Wisdom of the Elders as Suzuki titled one of his many books.

Suzuki isn’t the only ageless wonder hitting our screens and streets these days.

Toronto is having a senior moment. Age is just a number to Hollywood stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger who was spotted cycling around the city last summer while filming the eight-episode spy thriller FUBAR for Netflix (out May 25).

Arnie’s back, baby! The Terminator star shot action sequences on a sailboat on Lake Ontario (near Ashbridges Bay or Bluffer’s Park?). Arnie’s True Lies co-star Tom Arnold filmed a fight scene in the Beach.

Don’t go using the “o” word (“old”) around Arnie. (He’s 75…shhh!) He’s liable to toss you in the lake. “Hasta la vista, baby”!

“It’s a Jungle Out There”
— Monk theme song

From Monk to Matlock everything old is new again. (Tell that to my knees!)

A spry 69-year-old Tony Shalhoub is here in Toronto this month filming Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie (streaming on Peacock).

Shalhoub credits COVID-19 as the “driving force” behind the return of the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk “because everyone was wondering, ‘What would Monk be doing during and post pandemic?’ So that’s kind of where we find the character when we open the movie.”

Although set in San Francisco, the first season of Monk (2002-2009) was actually filmed in Toronto. In the episode Mr. Monk Takes a Holiday Bluffer’s Park Beach stood in for a resort (photo, above).

Even scarier than Arnie is Kathy Bates’ character in Misery (1990) which won the 74-year-old an Oscar.

Bates was in town last month filming a gender-swapping reboot of Matlock for CBS. It’s a reworking of the legal drama starring Andy Griffith which ran from 1986 to 1995.

Last, but not least, Richard Gere, still a heartthrob at 73, was here for Longing, a feature film about a man searching for his long-lost son.

Some say you’re only as old as you feel. (Tell that to my hips…hips don’t lie.)

Remember, respect your elders. You might run into the Terminator or worse, Kathy Bates.

“Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.”
— Fried Green Tomatoes, 1991

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