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What Actor Jay Baruchel Can’t Live Without

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images, Illustration: Joe McKendry

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked actor Jay Baruchel — whose film Random Acts of Violence is now streaming and available on DVD and Blu-ray — about the pajamas, tea, and gravy he can’t live without.

I drink tea instead of pretty much anything. Barry’s tea is a hard thing to describe. It just tastes good. One time, I was over in Ireland, and my friend’s wife made me a cup of this tea. I was like, “Jesus Christ, this is the best cup of tea I’ve ever had.” She said, “Well, that’s because it’s Irish.” So I started ordering it from Ireland. Friends in Toronto would come over to my house and try it, and they would be like, “Jesus Christ, you’re right. This is next level.” Then they started ordering it. Luckily it’s now on shelves in grocery stores, so I don’t have to order it directly from Ireland anymore.

We eat a lot of gravy up in Canada. Gravy is probably right next to ketchup for what to eat with French fries. But it’s also great anytime you’re eating chicken. You can dip bread into it as well. Honestly, you’d be surprised at how versatile gravy can be. There’s a kaleidoscope of flavors out there, too. Whenever I eat fries, I have to boil some St Hubert gravy. They just got the formula right. I think it’s the onion powder, but it’s not like theirs is the only one that has onion in it, so I don’t know exactly what the key to their gravy is. But they figured it out. I always need it.

I’m a huge movie nerd, and I need options. Apple TV lets me watch a lot of shit on one device. I’ve seriously got every conceivable streaming app on my Apple TV — iTunes, Netflix, Criterion, Crave (which is basically the Canadian equivalent of Hulu), Shudder, and YouTube, which is actually pretty spectacular on Apple TV. I’m one of the handful of people who pays the premium for YouTube because there’s actually a lot of good stuff on there. My wife and I watch a lot of movies. We have a rule in our house: If I pick the movie one time, then she picks it, then I pick it, then she picks it. A day where we don’t watch a movie or documentary is always somewhat of a waste.

HP Sauce Original

It’s like A1 sauce meets Worcestershire sauce. It kind of has a malt-vinegar flavor. You know how A1 has that tang to it? HP is like that and then some. It’s meant for steak, but I eat it with ham. I eat it with eggs and home fries. I put it on beans, on absolutely everything. I’m one of those buffoons that can’t just eat something plain. My wife can’t stand it and hates when I use it because that means she can’t pick at my leftovers.

My earliest memory is coming into the living room and seeing my dad watching hockey on TV. He’d be like, “See the red guys? Those are the good guys.” So I had no choice but to be a Canadiens fan. I like to say that my mother is Catholic and my father is Jewish, but I’m a Montreal Canadiens man. That was the real religion in our house. The team only follows a handful of people on Twitter, and I’m one of them, which is pretty cool. I absolutely have favorite players. My favorite of all time is Patrick Roy, who is the greatest goalie that ever played the game. He backed up some Stanley Cup wins in 1986 and 1993. Right now, we have one of the best teams in maybe 30-something years. It has been exciting to watch.

Pajama pants are as important to me as my toothbrush. The past year has done nothing to convince me otherwise. I am very much living a post-jeans life now. I can’t foresee a time where I will ever need to put on jeans again unless someone is paying me to. Good pajama pants are all that matters. So what makes a good pajama pant? They can’t be too thick. Everyone thinks thick is better — that’s true for, say, blankets, but for pajama pants, I want to find a good middle ground between soft, flimsy fabric and fabric that’s so thick I feel like I’m wearing a blanket on my legs. These pants are just that middle ground. For some reason, the prevalence of plaid is also very important. There seems to be a correlation between how comfortable a pair of pajama pants are and how plaid they are. I don’t make the rules, sorry.

I buy this magazine off the shelf. I’ve been buying issues individually for about five or six years, or maybe even longer. It’s fascinating. My stepdad, father-in-law, and I are all military history nerds. A lot of my friends are, too. When I buy the magazine, it does a big circle — I pass it off to my father-in-law who takes it to work, then he lends it to a friend who lends it to their friend, and blah, blah, blah. It’s a little goofy, but we’re huge fans. I recently read a really great interview with the pilot of the Enola Gay, who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. He’s still alive today and he had a very interesting perspective.

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What Actor Jay Baruchel Can’t Live Without