District Highlights

Maple Ridge student takes acting skills to the world stage with Super Bowl ad

Musashi Baillie is ready for his close up.

The Maple Ridge student was recently cast in a Toyota Super Bowl commercial portraying the life of Canadian Paralympian cross-country skier Brian McKeever, who lost his eyesight to Stargardt macular degeneration. Baillie plays a younger McKeever in the advertisement, which depicts the relationship between Brian and his older brother and skiing guide Robin.

“I have never been in a commercial before,” said Baillie, who is a Grade 6 student at Laity View Elementary. “That was my first time.”

In the first part of the ad, a young Brian, played by Baillie, is guided by older brother Robin as he learns to ski and bike around their neighbourhood. Later, when 19-year-old Brian finds out he will lose his eyesight, the older brother continues to work with him and guide him as he does running exercises through the trees. 

Baillie plays Brian in the early scenes.

“I was riding bikes down the hill,” Baillie said of the shoot. “That was the scene where Brian, which is the main character, was practicing following his brother.”

With Robin’s help, Brian eventually went on to win 17 medals, including 13 gold in six Paralympic Winter Games. He is also expected to compete when the 2022 Paralympics get underway in Beijing this week.

Baillie got the acting job after his mom saw the casting call online. He tried out for the part and after two rounds of auditions was chosen for the role.

Brian and Robin McKeever during the Vancouver 2020 Paralympic Games.

“It felt weird being on T.V.,” he said. “But I was excited because it was my first time being in a commercial.”

He added that a lot of friends from school have seen the commercial and that he is hoping to get more acting work.

“It’s fun because there is a lot of food you can eat on the times when you’re not working,” he said. “There’s lots of candy and a lot of good things.”

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