Photo: Trenhaile played the husband of actress Jodie Sweetin (“Full House” TV star) in the Netflix movie, “My Perfect Romance” released earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Rhys Trenhaile.
CUP OF JOE – Lights, Camera . . . SOLD With Rhys Trenhaile!
With his six-foot, three-inch tall frame, chiselled good looks and infectious smile, Rhys Trenhaile is not someone you easily pass by without sneaking a second look. And he has been getting plenty of looks for the past 16 years as one of Windsor’s top 25 real estate agents. But, the attention he’s been getting recently comes from the Hollywood film industry.
Growing up in Windsor’s south end just blocks from Holy Names School, Trenhaile was a standout student and athlete at Vincent Massey High School. Academically, he was in the “gifted” program, excelling in the maths and sciences. When he wasn’t hitting the books, Trenhaile could be found honing his track and field skills, which placed him in the top 10 of his track and field peers in Canada.
He turned down scholarships to southern U.S. colleges because “the University of Windsor had the best track and field programs in all of Canada” Trenhaile notes. He graduated with a double major in science, biology and geography. When asked why he took these courses – where did he think they might take him – he replies, “I knew the sciences were a good way to go, but I decided to go with the subjects that interested me the most.”
Then, in a strange move, defying pragmatic logic, he entered law school, successfully completing the program, articling for the McTague Law Firm LLP and receiving the call to the bar.
So how did law figured into his life equation? Trenhaile chuckles, “I had one year of eligibility left on the University cross country and track team, but this required that I choose another educational avenue — so I chose law.”
In an ironic twist, one of his current real estate rental properties — where he manages two businesses from — Mindstream Financial providing senior debt financing against guaranteed government contracts within the film and television industries (MindstreamFinancial.com) and The Vanguard Team, a group of real estate agents (TheVanguardTeam.com) — is next door to the McTague Law Firm on Pelissier Street.
Instead of starting a career in law, Trenhaile sought the advice of one of his old law school buddies, Mark Eugeni of Manor Windsor Realty Ltd.
Trenhaile recalls “Mark Eugeni convinced me I would make a good real estate agent.” So, in 2002, he joined the Manor Realty team. Having been a star high school and university athlete provided him with valuable name recognition and connections, which assisted him in his early days. As his success grew in real estate he learned over time to “automate, eliminate and delegate,” key lessons he learned from the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Timothy Ferriss.
As he approached his 32nd birthday, he began to realize; “I was too old for sports.” Besides, he was working long hours with real estate, which left little time for sports — with the exception of playing soccer in the Windsor Premier League where he excelled as top scorer for a few years. It must be in his DNA! Trenhaile is of Cornish origin (southwest England). However, he quickly admonishes me, (for fear of his father’s wrath), that the family self-identifies as Welsh-Canadian.
So how did Trenhaile and the acting aspect of his life begin?
Feeling the need to fill a void left by his declining participation in sports, he turned to creative writing.
“I’ve always had vivid images and started writing about them on small scraps of paper,” Trenhaile comments. “I then wrote a soccer sports comedy, titled ‘Bulldogs,’ which I submitted to one of the big six international screenplay competitions, and I ended up as a semi-finalist.” One of the judges told Trenhaile his submission was one of the funniest pieces he’s read in years. When he learned this was his first attempt at writing a screenplay, the judge expressed astonishment and told him that he had to keep writing and offered whatever assistance he could provide.
Buoyed by this judge’s assessment of his work, Trenhaile shared this news with a close friend, Marcel Jones, an actor and producer in Toronto, as well as with another close friend. Both were unanimous in their opinion that Trenhaile SHOULD pursue a career in acting where he could be around producers and directors.Shortly after, Trenhaile signed up for some acting lessons with The Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company (TheDATC.org) in Ferndale, Michigan. Under the direction of preeminent acting coaches, Brian Lawrence and Christopher Bondy, he landed some small roles in plays at a quaint old theatre at 1313 Broadway Street in Detroit’s Theatre District.
Trenhaile soon recognized he could not work in U.S. theatre for pay since he lacked the necessary travel visa — and required experience to get the visa. He then turned his attention to Toronto where he started getting parts in commercials and student films. Initially, he would travel two to three times a month to Toronto, do an audition or a shoot, and return to Windsor the same day.
His first “big” break came when he landed a role in “Extreme Babysitting,” a popular show on YTV where he appeared in seven episodes. The show storyline involves “pranking” babysitters, so his role changed from script to script. Besides “having an absolute ball performing these roles” this allowed Trenhaile to quickly build up an impressive portfolio of roles.
Less than eight months later, in October 2016, came his BIGGEST break yet, landing a recurring role in the Kiefer Sutherland series, “Designated Survivor”.
To reference a baseball term, Trenhaile was now in “Double A ball.”
Today, he finds himself in “Triple A ball” auditioning for roles. Represented by one of Canada’s top talent agencies in BC — the same one Donald Sutherland is with — he is auditioning for recurring roles, co-starring and starring roles and landed a starring role in Netflix’s “My Perfect Romance”; a feature role on NBC’s “Taken” and working with multiple Academy Award winners and nominees in “The Performance” to be released this fall. Other recent credits include “Operation Insanity”; “Taken Too Far” and an episode in the “Dark Matter” TV series.
So much success has happened for Trenhaile in such a relatively short time; and as he states, “You need only hit one key home run to make the leap from Triple A ball to the big leagues.”
Veteran award winning Canadian actor Nick Mancuso has this to say about Trenhaile: “Rhys is a gifted actor and has a real future. Furthermore, he demonstrates an enthusiasm and positive energy that will take him far. It’s clear to me as a long time professional that he would be a welcome and successful asset. He has the qualities that could well take him into the realm of stardom.”
This December Trenhaile will be marrying a lovely lady named Onawa LaBelle in Mexico. She hails from Western Massachusetts and has recently been hired as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Windsor.
Between his personal life, his real estate success, and his rapidly evolving acting career — the future looks wonderful for this young man who proudly calls Windsor his home. And all of us at Biz X magazine are glad Windsor is his home and we wish him many years of success!
For more information about Trenhaile and to view video clips of his works visit: RhysTrenhaile.com.