What You Don't Know About Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a lot more than just easy on the eyes — he's a progressive, liberal feminist who isn't afraid to march in a gay pride parade, personally welcome refugees into his country, or even make fun of himself during the campaign for Canada's highest office.

He's also something of a real-life most interesting man in the world, hailing from a well-connected political family before spending time as a snowboard instructor, nightclub bouncer, teacher, and social activist — and he can dance!

As the young politician's profile rises, so too does that of the incredibly polite nation to our north. But what other interesting info is lurking in the bio of Canada's 23rd prime minister, who also happens to be the man who said he wanted the legendary Meryl Streep to play him in a movie about his life? Here's what you don't know about Justin Trudeau.

He was born to lead

With his election to Canada's top executive job, Justin Trudeau made history as the nation's first second-generation prime minister. His father, the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, served as Canada's 15th prime minister from April 1968 to June 1979 and again from March 1980 to June 1984. According to Brittanica, Trudeau Sr.'s terms in office are remembered for "the establishment of diplomatic relations with China," as well as "improved relations with France," and the creation of a new Canadian constitution.

The younger Trudeau isn't just politically connected on his father's side. According to the Vancouver Sun, his mother, Margaret Sinclair, is the granddaughter of Jimmy Sinclair, "a legendary West Coast Scottish-Canadian politician, who imbued [Justin] with his passion, creativity and sensitivity."

It's said that it was only after his father's death in 2000 that Justin started to think seriously about a career in politics, but he gave a subtle nod to his maternal grandfather at a key moment in his rise to power within Canada's Liberal Party when he sported "his Sinclair tartan tie as a sign of family respect."

He's not just a pretty face

Trudeau, who holds bachelor's degrees in literature and education from McGill University and the University of British Columbia, respectively, started taking pursuing an engineering degree at Montreal's École Polytechnique in 2002, but quit two years later. However, that shouldn't suggest that Trudeau is somehow lacking in mathematical understanding.

To wit, Trudeau made news in April 2016 when he delivered an off-the-cuff explanation of the concept of quantum computing to an audience of journalists at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. The video clip went viral as the world once again swooning over the dashing and now seemingly scientifically-adept young PM. And it wasn't just everyday schmoes who were impressed by some fancy jargon — experts in the field also applauded him.

Michele Mosca, University Research Chair and co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing at The University of Waterloo, talked to Motherboard about the now legendary soundbite. "He doesn't say anything wrong. He conveys the essence of what quantum computing is, and why it might be more powerful. It's understandable, and succinct. ... Room for improvement? Hard to find."

The Most Interesting Man In Canada?

Before his foray into politics, Justin Trudeau tried his hand at various professions and hobbies — everything from teaching and bungee-jump coaching to charity boxing and environmental geography, according to The Guardian. As part of his education at the University of British Columbia, he also spent time as a snowboarding instructor in Whistler-Blackcomb, where, according to the Vancouver Sun, he supplemented his income by working "as a doorman at Rogue Wolf nightclub in the evenings."    

But Trudeau's most curious resumé line has to be his brief stint with acting. His most notable role — for which he even had a nude scene — was in the 2007 miniseries The Great War as soldier Talbot Mercer Papineau, one of Canada's first Rhodes Scholars, who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele. To Trudeau, the gig meant more than just the opportunity to bare his bum while sporting a terrific mustache. 

In a behind-the-scenes feature, he explains that his great-great uncle died in that very battle. "My great-grandmother, to the end of her days, never got over having lost him," Trudeau says. "The only way I would know how to act is to find myself in the character. I'm very connected with him."

He's not afraid to bust a move on the dance floor

From dancing the bhangra at a gathering of Indian-Canadians in 2013 to getting his groove on to traditional Indian music, the youthful Trudeau doesn't hesitate to leave it all on the dance floor. The man who's been dubbed "the sexiest politician in the world" also boogied down at Toronto's Pride Parade in 2016, making him the first Canadian prime minister to ever do so (attend the parade, that is, not just dance in one), reported The Guardian.

The cunning politician must know a good thing when he sees it, because there have been many more examples of him shaking his thang, including this occasion, in which he shimmies backstage with his wife in order to get himself hyped up for a speaking event. "Here's Sophie and me getting our groove on to Martina Sorbara, just before the big speech," Trudeau tweeted along with a photo. "Let's get out and #vote."  

He had quite the bromance with Barack Obama

The seemingly genuine friendship between Justin Trudeau and former U.S. President Barack Obama began shortly after Trudeau's election victory, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in the Philippines in November 2015. It was there, according to ABC News, that Obama gave Trudeau some chummy advice about the stressful years that awaited him as prime minister. "I just want to point out that I had no gray hair when I was in your shoes seven years ago," Obama said. "And so if you don't want to gray like me, you need to start dyeing it soon."

Trudeau later returned the jab at an official state dinner during his 2016 visit to Washington, D.C. "May the special connection between our two countries continue to flourish in the years to come, and may my gray hair come in at a much slower rate than yours has," Trudeau joked.

Obama later likened their special bond to the one shared between their respective nations. "Were woven together so deeply as societies, as economies that it's sometimes easy to forget how truly remarkable our relationship is," he said (via USA Today). It certainly was a bromance for the ages, wasn't it?

About that viral yoga pose...

In 2016, Canadian yoga instructor David Gellineau posted an old photo of Justin Trudeau performing a yoga move known as mayurasana, or the "peacock pose." According to Yoga Journal, this asana tones the abs and strengthens wrists, forearms, legs, and the back. That might explain why Trudeau can somehow balance babies in the air one-handed. In reality, this impressive feat of physicality was quite well-documented, but there is an aspect to the viral moment that went largely unnoticed.

According to the National Post, Trudeau's father was snapped in "a near-identical pose in 1970," a coincidence highlighted by photographer Greg Kolz, who snapped the younger Trudeau doing it years later. "It is entirely possible that Mr. [Justin] Trudeau knew what he was doing when he saw me there with the camera, and perhaps he had some idea in mind to mimic something his father had done, but it struck me, quite frankly, as a very spontaneous thing," Kolz told the Post. "I don't believe it was pre-planned — it certainly wasn't from my end."

This is a very interesting observation for Kolz to make, especially in light of another much-talked-about Justin Trudeau moment...

Another viral moment borrowed from dear old dad?

In October 2015, the internet delighted over footage (above) of Trudeau seemingly losing his footing and falling down a flight of stairs during an interview on Quebec's La Presse, but according to the Mirror, the incident was later revealed to be Trudeau's "party trick." Again, the moment went viral, no doubt due to the fact that it surfaced just days after his election as Canada's prime minister.

Comedian John Oliver even roasted Trudeau over the clip on his show, Last Week Tonight (via the Mirror): "No one is saying that that is behavior worthy of a head of state. But you cannot deny that it is somewhat satisfying to watch a soul-patch man named Justin with a French accent fall down some stairs."

What mostly everyone missed, however, was that Trudeau's dad also performed this stunt on TV. In an eerie echo of that infamous yoga pose, Trudeau Sr. used essentially the exact same gag — falling off a staircase — to endear himself to voters way back in 1969. Coincidence? We think not.

He's a self-proclaimed feminist

After his swearing-in as prime minister, Justin Trudeau picked a Cabinet that was half women — a first for Canadian politics, according to Slate. His explanation? "Because it's 2015." 

Later, at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trudeau "called on men and women to embrace feminism to improve decision-making in politics and business," reported The Guardian. In his remarks at the forum, he elaborated on how feminism is not just an issue for women to deal with, saying, "Men have to be a big part of this conversation ... that role we have as men in supporting and demanding equality and demanding a shift is really, really important."

That same year, he brought up the issue again at a UN summit on women's issues, saying (via the BBC), "I'm going to keep saying loud and clearly that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug."

He supports marijuana legalization, and yes, he inhaled

The Liberal Party leader spearheaded legislation for the legalization of marijuana, a major policy shift that has caused no small amount of controversy. The party's platform position states that it wants to "legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana" by removing criminal penalties for "consumption and incidental possession," while shifting the focus to prosecuting those who harm others, such as dealers who supply to children and people who drive under the influence. But detractors of Trudeau's legalization efforts claim they are unnecessary and overreaching, considering Canada's major cities have already relaxed enforcement of minor marijuana-related crimes.

Politics aside, perhaps part of the reason Trudeau so adamantly wants legal weed is because he's a casual user. In August 2013, Trudeau admitted to partaking "five or six times in his life," even getting down with the ganja after his 2008 election to the House of Commons. "We had a few good friends over for a dinner party, our kids were at their grandmother's for the night, and one of our friends lit a joint and passed it around. I had a puff," he told The Huffington Post Canada

Wait, wasn't this a Nicholas Sparks movie?

Former television host Sophie Grégoire Trudeau met her future husband in the 1990s, when she was friends with Justin's younger brother, Michel — who died in an avalanche in 1998 while skiing in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The pair reconnected in June 2003 at the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ball, where Justin noted "there was a definite chemistry between us," according to Maclean's.

Their reconnection was straight out of a standard rom-com. Sophie played hard to get after Justin initially snubbed her, but she finally agreed to a date, insisting he take her to a restaurant he'd never been to. Then they sang the night away in a "dingy karaoke bar," and afterward, Justin "walked head-on into a post" because he was so "punch-drunk on the romance of it all." Not cinematic enough for you? Well, according to Sophie (via Express), at dinner that night — remember, this was their first date — Justin told her, "I've been waiting for you 31 years. You're going to be my wife. We're going to have a family together." 

They did just that. Their son, Xavier, was born Oct. 18, 2007. Oh, and that date also happened to be the three-year-anniversary of the day Justin proposed, which also happened to be his dad's birthday. It's almost too perfect, eh?

That time he was 'decidedly unparliamentary'

In December 2011, Justin Trudeau was still a scrappy young MP in Canada's House of Commons. According to the National Post, during an intense session regarding the international climate change agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol, Trudeau lost his cool over some remarks made by conservative Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, at which point he shouted, "Oh, you piece of s**t!"  

However, it only took a few moments for Trudeau to regain his composure and apologize. "I lost my temper and used language that was most decidedly unparliamentary," he said to his government colleagues. "For that I unreservedly apologize and withdraw my remark." The moment pretty much came and went, and clearly didn't have a lasting impact on Trudeau's career, but the Post did point out one other interesting — if not oddly familiar — aspect of the story.

In 1971, Trudeau's father — you already know where this is headed, right? — was "accused of mouthing 'f*** off' in the [House of] Commons." In his case, Trudeau Sr. denied the profanity, claiming he said "fuddle duddle." Uh huh. Either way, there seems to be an undeniable pattern here, right?

Is he Canada's first tattooed prime minister?

While he's certainly not the first world leader to do so, Trudeau might be the only current world leader who's gotten inked. His tattoo of the planet Earth inside a Haida raven received a lot of social media attention on the night of his election victory in 2015, according to BBC News, although he's been quite open about it since the public first noticed it in 2012.

"He speaks to a generation of people who are looking for something different in terms of leadership and their sense of self, style and approach to civic engagement," University of Toronto sociology professor Michael Atkinson told the BBC. "His tattoo is a good indicator of the man and what he represents."

Translation: Young people dig tattoos. We just have one question: Did his dad have one?