It's easy to see how a happily married woman could be tempted by Luke Kirby. The charming Canadian ex-pat delivers one of the most buzzworthy performances of the season in 'Take This Waltz,' the latest flick by indie darling Sarah Polley. This isn't Kirby's first time working with Polley; the two starred together in 2003's 'Luck,' where Polley portrayed the object of Kirby's affections. In 'Take This Waltz,' which debuts at the Toronto Film Festival this Saturday, Kirby plays Daniel, the muscle-y rickshaw driver who gets Margot (Michelle Williams) all hot 'n bothered in spite of her solid marriage to a lovable chicken cookbook author (Seth Rogen). Margot tries to push hunky Daniel out of her thoughts, but it isn't easy with him living a stone's throw away.

Moviefone
spoke with Kirby from his Brooklyn homebase about everything from his crazy chemistry with Williams to Polley's uncanny knack for talking (well, writing) dirty, to what it was like working with funny people Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen.

How was it working with Sarah Polley again?
Really special. I never worked with Sarah as a director, and it had been a long time since we worked together. I think we share a sense of humor that's serious and ridiculously goofy and that made it very enjoyable to be there.

What's she like as a director?
I would say that she's kind of like gravity. She's that force you can't see but it's there and it's kind of binding everything to this one place. She's present and it feels like in case of emergency she will be available, but otherwise you're sort of free to play inside of this sandbox that we're in. I felt so comfortable under her helm.

Do you know if she wrote the role of Daniel with you in mind?
[Shocked] No! No.

You guys seemed to have so much chemistry in 'Luck' I thought maybe she did this with you in mind.
You'd have to ask her that. I wouldn't have the guts. I felt honored even to audition.

What was it like playing the other man?
Um. Y'know, pretty great. You know how it is. [Laughs] Well, maybe you don't know how it is.

I don't.
[Laughs] Well, neither do I. But I can imagine. Unaccountable. The thing that was so enjoyable about Daniel was the huge surge of life that comes into him after he meets Margot. For him the 'other man' thing is not really a factor in his very strong attraction to whatever is happening with Margot.

He's not one of those guys.
Well he doesn't get off on it.



Your character is a rickshaw driver so he's pretty physically fit. Did you have to do any extra workouts to prepare for the role?
Yeah, I did. I was pretty out of shape. I was in Memphis when I got the call to arms and I had just been in New Orleans. I was on a road trip of the south and had really been indulging in the cuisine down there. I was not in great shape. I came back to Brooklyn and quickly began a strong regimen for the first time in my life. I tried egg white omelets and nothing with sauce or butter. The real challenge was being able to pull a rickshaw and not look goofier than one already does.

You and Michelle Williams have great chemistry on screen. Did you spend time with each other before shooting to help develop that?
We started a rehearsal for us three weeks prior to shooting. It definitely gave us some time to land I think. We rehearsed a number of scenes and went with Sarah around the city and toured around.

Toronto seems like a character in itself in the film. What was your favorite location that you shot at?
I think the Scrambler on Centre Island was one of the happiest times I've had while working.

Going back to Michelle Williams. What was it like working with her? She seems pretty intense.
She's very strong. She's intense in her stillness and her strength. I delighted in every moment of working with her because it was making my job feel so alive and enjoyable. As Margot, she is so warm and grounding. As a person she's very compelling, wonderful human to be around. Very curious, very engaged, very present.

In one scene, you get into some phone-sex-like dialogue. What was it like filming that?
[Laughs] It was... uh... just another one of those wonderful days working on that movie!

Was any of it improvised?
I think we stuck to the script. Sarah Polley wrote those words. It was all her. [Laughs] It was our first day of shooting. We hadn't rehearsed that scene, we kept away from that one. It was really fun. Again, it had so much to do with Michelle. And then Sarah was kind of allowing this to happen and not fussing.



What was it like working with Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman?
Both, as you'd expect, serious but funny people. I didn't get to work a great deal with either of them. Seth is a very nice normal person who happens to have this incredible work behind him. It's so impressive at his age, considering how young he is. What he's done and how bright and intelligent he is -- very impressive. I think he did a really nice job in the film, and same for Sarah Silverman. To go against what we would expect as their common audience to mix it up a little bit. I felt really happy for them.

What else do you have coming up? Anything you're able to talk about?
Um... no, I don't have anything I can talk about.

It's all secret at this point?
[Laughs] I'm healing a broken foot. I can tell you that.

Oh no. How'd that happen?
That I can't talk about. You've allowed me to have a secret. At the moment I'm just very much looking forward to coming up to Toronto and seeing everyone from the film.

Are you going to be walking the red carpet with a cane?
We'll have to see. I'm seeing the doctor this week. We'll see what the next step is. Hopefully it will not be more than a cane.

It could help you build an eccentric image.
Well, there's eccentric. And then there's crazy. [Laughs]

'Take This Waltz' is screening
on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Roy Thomson Hall at 9:30PM and Sunday, Sept. 11 at Ryerson Theatre at 12PM.