"Wow, are there any movies he isn't in these days?" I wonder aloud during a preview for 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', referring to the recently-bankrupt Nicolas Cage. Ol' Cagey has been hard to escape lately, as he hustles to restore his finances and maybe even buy back one of his re-possessed castles or dinosaur bones. "I know, he's in everything! And he's Canadian," my friend responds.

Huh? Oh, right. While I'm talking about the Sorcerer, she's clearly talking about the Apprentice, a.k.a. proud Canadian Jay Baruchel, who has permanently demonstrated his patriotism by having a maple leaf tattooed on his chest. If you don't know him by now, you probably know his face. He's been in everything from blockbusters like 'Knocked Up' and 'Tropic Thunder' to indie flicks like 'Fanboys' and 'The Trotsky' (the latter is a Canadian production that hits theatres on May 14).

"Wow, are there any movies he isn't in these days?" I wonder aloud during a preview for 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', referring to the recently-bankrupt Nicolas Cage. Ol' Cagey has been hard to escape lately, as he hustles to restore his finances and maybe even buy back one of his re-possessed castles or dinosaur bones. "I know, he's in everything! And he's Canadian," my friend responds.

Huh? Oh, right. While I'm talking about the Sorcerer, she's clearly talking about the Apprentice, a.k.a. proud Canadian Jay Baruchel, who has permanently demonstrated his patriotism by having a maple leaf tattooed on his chest. If you don't know him by now, you probably know his face. He's been in everything from blockbusters like 'Knocked Up' and 'Tropic Thunder' to indie flicks like 'Fanboys' and 'The Trotsky' (the latter is a Canadian production that hits theatres on May 14).

Baruchel isn't exactly your typical Hollywood leading man. But he clearly has a certain je ne sais quoi that audiences can't get enough of. Maybe it's his affable geekiness. Or perhaps it's his everyman quality. It may even be his seemingly untamable hair or his overall goofy demeanour. Who knows?

Whatever his appeal is, it's certainly translating into a lot of work. Hollywood fat cats even gave him the lead in his own mainstream movie, 'She's Out of My League'. He's in tight with the Judd Apatow crowd, a relationship that began when he starred in the short-lived Apatow TV series 'Undeclared'. Baruchel played dorky-but-likable college freshman Steven Karp.

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' Trailer



The gig proved to be Baruchel's breakout role, and since then he's been racking up the credits. 'Million Dollar Baby'. 'Numb3rs'. 'Knocked Up'. 'Real Time'. 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'. 'Tropic Thunder'. 'Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian'. 'How to Train Your Dragon'.

For the most part, he appears to have been typecast as the likeable nerd. He may want to do something about that. If he's not careful, he may wind up as the next Michael Cera or Jon Cryer, permanently etched in everyone's minds as the dorky sidekick.

I have faith in Baruchel's range. With that in mind, here's a list of roles I'd like to see him take on. Soon.

1. Creepy serial killer. (Perhaps that's redundant. Are there any non-creepy serial killers?) I'd like to see Baruchel play the bad-ass killer in a horror flick. It'll be a challenge for him to pull off "bone-chilling," but I think he's up to the task.

2.
Smooth-talking womanizer. Baruchel often plays the sensitive nice guy. It's time to see him as the dude who gets hot chicks by insulting them, and then sleeping with their friends afterwards, too.

3.
Superhero. And not the dorky, Tobey Maguire-as-Spiderman kind of superhero. Though he'd probably have to pump iron a bit to fill out the spandex.

4.
Gladiator-ish dude. Baruchel could take a page from fellow nerd Jake Gyllenhaal's book and hit the gym to morph into a totally studly fighter guy, a la Gyllenhaal in 'Prince of Persia'.

5.
Period-piece villain. Like Tim Roth as the evil Archibald Cunningham in 'Rob Roy'. It's time to see Baruchel in a curly wig with a menacing stare and old-timey weapon.