Nick Serino said hearing his named called at Sunday night’s Canadian Screen Awards was a mind-numbing experience.
The 18-year-old Thunder Bay native captured the best supporting actor trophy for his portrayal of teenager Nate in the Andrew Cividino film Sleeping Giant, the story of three bored teenagers living on the shores of Lake Superior.
“It’s unexplainable,” Serino said on Monday, arriving back in Thunder Bay from Toronto, where the award ceremony was staged.
“There’s a completely new feeling you get. My whole body went numb when they called my name. I was tingling when I went up (on stage). My whole mind was blank. It’s just an overpowering feeling.”
The win was Serino’s first so-called Candy Award, the nickname film industry insiders are hoping will stick for the trophy, inspired by John Candy, the late Canadian comedian who starred in such films as Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
But then again, it had to be his first.
Sleeping Giant, filmed in and around Serino’s Northern Ontario hometown, was his debut feature film performance.
When he first auditioned, he had no idea he’d be honoured with such a prestigious award.
“I had absolutely no clue,” he said, after his father retrieved the trophy from his luggage, the airline not allowing him to carry the award with him on the plane.
Serino faced stiff competition in the best supporting actor category, facing off against Waris Ahluwalie (Beeba Boys), Tony Nardi (Corbo), Irdens Exantus (My Internship in Canada) and Patrick Hivon (Ville-Marie).
Perhaps in a foreshadowing of his CSA success to come, the former Superior Collegiate student, who auditioned for the part on a whim, after his grandmother pointed out a casting call she noticed locally on Kijiji, earlier this year took home the best supporting actor honours at the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.
He’s hoping the wins will help propel his acting career to even bigger heights.
Next up is a short film called Boys Will Be, he said, noting he recently signed with a talent agency and is looking for more work.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks I can start a new project,” Serino said.
“I think this (win) can give me a big extra boost. It allows you to just have something that shows you’re serious about it, you put your best into it and constantly move non-stop with it. It just shows that people respect and believe what you do.”
Ultimately, there’s another award stage he’d love to stand on some day.
“I’d love to win an Oscar,” Serino said.
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