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Vancouver actor Chad Rook banned from U.S. for five years

North Stars
February 11, 2013

Chad Rook had a bit of a run-in with U.S. border guards last month that resulted in him being banned from entering the States for five years.

On Jan. 28, American customs officials reportedly accused the 30-year-old Vancouver actor, who was travelling from B.C. to L.A. for pilot season, of withholding information. Rook's most high profile role to date is as Marshall Todd in "Supernatural," but he reportedly has an upcoming recurring role in the CW series "Cult," which premieres on Feb. 19.

“It’s the biggest Catch-22 I’ve ever heard. My whole next three months was to be down there to network and enjoy the show being aired," Rook told The Province. "Now I’m just home ... and will have to deal with lawyers every single day for the next little while.”

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Rook said he felt "violated" after being questioned for nine hours at the Peach Arch Border Crossing, CTV News reports. He reportedly told officers he was an actor vacationing in L.A. but was also job hunting and would apply for a work visa when he got a solid offer. That's when they allegedly accused him of attempting to work without a permit in the States.

“They asked me the exact same questions over and over and over. They altered the questions but the exact same questions were asked. It was almost as if they were trying to get me to change my story,” Rook told CTV.

The officers reportedly kept Rook until he provided passwords to his emails, phone and his social networking sites. He was then given a five-year ban from entering the U.S. "for not providing border officials with all the details of his trip up front."

“It’s kind of scary because, I mean, this is my career,” Rook said of the extended ban.

A week after the incident, U.S. Customs dropped the accusation of fraud, but maintained the 5-year ban, stating he was "intending on setting up residence in L.A. to find work as an actor.”

But Rook's fans aren't taking it lightly. A woman from Surrey, BC, Laura Duncan, started a "Lift Chad Rook's Ban" Facebook page, which currently has 59 likes.

"Actor, Chad Rook was not only held & questioned by US border guards for 9 hours but he was turned away & banned from the US for 5 YEARS under false assumption that he was going there to work," it reads. "Let's show our support and help him get this error reversed!"

According to the fan page, another actor, who has not been named, provided the same reason for travel and was let go.

"the worst part is that I'm actually in the process of getting my O1 Visa (what the gov't wants) and I STILL got the ban," Rook tweeted on Saturday.

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Another fan tweeted at "Supernatural" producer Jim Michaels on Saturday to "spread the news." He dutifully retweeted the message to his 48,000+ followers.

Prior to landing a role in "Supernatural" in 2011, Rook, who was born in Alberta, started out as a model for major fashion brands like Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci and Escada. He recently landed a spot in the J.J. Abrams series "Alcatraz" and can also be seen in the SYFY show "Sanctuary." Rook also has his own production company, Check Mate Films, which is based in Vancouver.

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