According to Harry Connick Jr., winter in Canada counts as a fifth season. While filming the romantic comedy "New in Town" in Winnipeg last January, the actor's face, beard and eyelashes froze in the subzero temperature.
"This was just a different level. I mean, for real," Connick Jr. said Tuesday. "You can't function. ... I mean, this is the kind of weather where if you stay out there, you're not gonna make it, you know?"
Luckily, the 41-year-old actor had co-star Renee Zellweger's company to distract him from the cold. The Southern-born stars -- he grew up in New Orleans, she hails from Texas -- clicked instantly and their scenes together felt natural, he said.
"She's really smart, she's really, really funny and she just loves to have a good time," he said of the Oscar-winning actress. "And I think we have a lot in common, so we hit it off sort of off-camera before we even started working together. So that made a big difference. I mean, when you really like being around somebody, it's easy."
"New in Town" features Connick Jr. as a blue-collar union rep and Zellweger as a corporate executive from Miami sent to New Ulm, Minn., to revamp a food-processing plant.
Connick Jr. and his character, a low-key single dad, have something in common: tween daughters dating for the first time. In the movie, he tries to scare off a boy who arrives at the door with the ill-conceived threat: "Whatever you do to her, I do to you."
But in real life, Connick Jr. -- who has three girls with wife Jill Goodacre -- sees no need to intimidate the boyfriend of his eldest daughter, Georgia, 12.
"I know he's a good kid and I know that his family's a good family, so that definitely helps," he said. "And he's got manners. He's very polite, very respectful. ... The last thing I want to do is embarrass my kid or embarrass the boy."