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Jay Baruchel – We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel)

In season two, you’re not just hosting, but directing all six episodes. Was that helpful in crafting what is such a personal, experiential docuseries?

It just makes everything a bit more intuitive, cohesive and an extension of a sincere artistic urge. It’s not like that wasn’t the case last time; it’s just last time there was a thing that was being built and we had to find a way to slot me into it. I was coming from the outside. This, I think, was the opposite — starting at a super-interior level, literally at the top of my life, when I was a little kid. We reference in one of the episodes a bad nightmare that I had when I was a child, and my mother getting me to draw the entire contents of the nightmare in crayon on paper. Then we mailed it to my grandmother, and my mother said: “That nightmare’s gone. It’s at your grandmother’s house. It won’t get you.” We realized that’s what the entire show is. It’s finding a means of dealing with my — and our collective — nightmares.

Jay Baruchel – We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel) on Crave. Pictured: Jay Baruchel.

In some ways, does this series feel like a weird, full-circle moment with Popular Mechanics for Kids?

It absolutely does — and we definitely cannibalize some bits of footage from PMK. You’re getting a flash-forward from a kid full of curiosity and enthusiasm and awe and wonder, to a 42-year-old man riddled with anxiety and cynicism who’s had his heart broken by the world and civilization a hundred times over. So, they play an interesting kind of point and counterpoint to one another . . . [But] I certainly never would have guessed that, at the end of two years of this series, I’m ultimately more optimistic about humanity and the world than I have ever been at any point in my life.

Jay Baruchel – We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel) on Crave. Pictured: Jay Baruchel.

Intriguingly, the finale isn’t about a specific threat, but rather how we all live with the inevitability of death itself . . .

Exactly right. It takes a lifetime of intellectual gymnastics to look the other way. It is the greatest elephant in all of our rooms. If you’re fixated on when you yourself are going to die, you probably won’t be able to go about your day-to-day life — so you don’t. But it finds its way out of you in other places — Y2K, millennial anxiety, all of that. There’s a direct line from us being worried about our own mortality to us as a species being worried about our mortality. It seemed like [the season-two finale] was the ultimate destination that every road we were on for every episode was inevitably taking us to; so, we end up doing what we do best on our show — we’re irreverent and we take the piss out of things and we unpack them in an accessible way. But then, we accidentally stumble into profundity. One of the coolest things about We’re All Gonna Die is it seems to catch people off-guard in how much it moves them. They expect it to be interesting, they expect it to be fun, hopefully a little funny, but I don’t think they expect to give a s*** as much — and that “death” episode has some pretty decent little knockout punches.

As a guy who’s done small Canadian shows and massive Hollywood stuff, you seem to prefer working up here. True?

Yeah, absolutely. I don’t want to ever get into what’s better or what’s worse. It’s a personal preference, and I suspect it’s just, “I like being home.” But what that means is a bunch of different things. It’s not just a geographical place, it’s a value system. The particular flavour of making something in Canada just suits me. My first day on-set was in Montreal, Quebec, in 1995, so this is the way that I was raised. And it was always my aspiration to create in Canada . . .

We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel), streaming on Crave


Born in Ottawa and raised in Montreal, Mr. Baruchel began his career in our home and native land as a youngster with gigs on Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Popular Mechanics for Kids, opposite fellow rising star Elisha Cuthbert. Heading south, he scored the lead in shortlived (yet beloved) college sitcom Undeclared, with Seth Rogen and Charlie Hunnam — followed swiftly by hit films like Knocked Up, Million Dollar Baby, Tropic Thunder, How to Train Your Dragon and, just recently, BlackBerry.


Baruchel returns for a second season of this Canadian docuseries, amusingly exploring existential threats to humanity — from artificial intelligence to ecosystem upheaval to “scary space s***.”

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