Now that 2011 has expired, it is time to look back at the year that was. I didnt travel too much this year, but that was ok, as elite names were roaming the streets of Vancouver throughout the year... now only if I had ran into some of them.
20 - Ellen Degeneres
I managed to get the talk show icon twice on her trip to Vancouver, including the 1st autograph I got in which I had to run 4 blocks to get after being given up to the second info on where she was. Few if any autographs I got this year took more energy out of me than that 1st 1 I got from her. Next day, she signed again and was happy to do it.
19 - Axl Rose
For a long time, I had heard nothing but horror stories about the lead singer for Guns N Roses. So I was not eager to go for him. However, this past time thru Vancouver, not only did the band actually play the show they came here to play, but Axl was even a willing signer. Pretty much anyone that went for him here got him.
18 - Simon Pegg
While here for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Mr. Pegg was the most often seen of the films stars. Whether it was at the airport, his hotel or the movie theatre, the Hot Fuzz star signed whatever was asked more often than not.
17 - Henry Cavill
The new Superman has been very good here so far. Although he is strict about limiting his autograph to 1 per person each time you see him, he has still been terrific in the interactions people have had with him.
16 - Cast of Sanctuary
Never had a bad experience with this cast, this year was no different. Whether it was at the Leo Awards, the airport or a charity event, each member of the cast was exceptional.
15 - Cast of The Secret Circle
This cast could have made the top 10, if it werent for 1 exceptionally bitter & sour life hating senior cast member of the show. That exception aside...the rest of the cast has been terrific with us.
14- Matt Barr & Aly Michalka
I miss Hellcats. Not just because of the campy cheerleader drama storylines. But because 2 of the nicer celebs we have had in Vancouver in a long time left when the show did. While some other cast members were a lot less thrilled to interact with fans during the shows 1 year run, Matt & Aly were as accomodating & friendly as you can expect. Class acts.
13- Cast Of Supernatural
Much like Ms. Torv from Fringe, the cast of Supernatural, whether its Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver or the recurring characters of the show have been quite good to us Vancouverites when we run into them. Long as the regulars respect the no asking them on set policy, they are more than receptive to signing and chatting with us away from set when we see them.
12 - Leo Awards
This years award ceremony for BC film industry was not as spectacular as past ones I had hounded. Much of that was because of an unexpected change of venue & the loss of 1 or 2 shows since last year. Still, a list of names came out that made the effort worthwhile.
11 - Amy Adams
I had heard that Ms. Adams was a very willing signer, but till I saw it for myself, I didnt understand just how good she was. She willingly signed for everyone till there was nothing left out there to sign. She did it too with a smile. Wish all movie stars could have that level of appreciation.
10 - Booboo Stewart, Myanna Buring, Julia Jones, Guri Weinberg
This past year, the final installment of the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 was filmed here. In the years prior, some of the bigger names in the film were at times, pretty decent signers. This year however, there was VERY FEW great interactions with the cast. The names above were the very few I can say were outstanding. Considering how massive the cast was, its sad you can count the great experiences on 1 hand. Not to say ALL the others were terrible, but that they didnt neccesarily stand out as great.
9- Cast Of Fringe
The cast of the hit FOX show Fringe is generally friendly (the occasional grumpy Mr. Noble encounter not withstanding) the true star from a fan interaction aspect is usually Anna Torv in past years. Despite seeing the regulars probably 100+ times combined over the shows run here, she still willingly signs for us, even at the absurd time of 5:30 AM. This season, Seth Gabel became a regular and skyrocketed up along side his Fringe co-star for terrific interactions. Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole & others are terrific as well.
8 - John Schneider
Although from an excitement standpoint, getting Mr. Schneider wasnt overly high for me (I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan..but not a massive fan), it was how wonderfully personable he was each & every time that won me over. My 1st interaction with him was 1 of the rare "I wasnt expecting that" situations where we were at the airport for persons unrelated, and saw a sign for him there. Knowing he was coming in for an episode eventually, we waited to see if it was him, it was. He happily signed then. Seeing him 2 more times after, he was just as gracious each time after, even at the Smallville wrap party, where some of the bigger stars were nothing short of rude, Mr. Schneider was 1 of the ones that made the fans waiting out there happy.
7 - Cast Of Once Upon A Time
Usually when new TV shows roll into town, odds are someone on the cast thinks more of themselves than they actually are. Not so with the cast of the new ABC fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Each & every cast member I have met has been terrific with interacting with the fans & the pros. It was the overall attitude of this cast that made me hope for it to do well...I'm glad it is succeeding, this cast deserves it.
6- Sharlto Copley
The District 9 star is simply, awesome. How awesome is he with fans? After a flight that was the better part of a day, he stopped, chatted with fans at the airport, did photos with, and even cracked a few jokes. So awesome he did an autograph session for a local African import store "African Breese Imports" just because they asked...and at the autograph session, he had no qualms signing stacks for fans, collectors or dealers alike. One guy plopped down 30 or so photos, Sharlto went thru the entire stack, not once groaning about doing it and thanked the guy for coming afterwards.
5- Callum Blue
Being a huge Dead Like Me fan, I still get a bit excited when I meet any of the cast. This past year, I had a 4th (or 5th?) chance to meet Callum Blue. He was in town reprising his Smallville role as Zod. What made this meeting stand out more than others prior though was how it went down. I first learned he was going to be coming back..I then contacted him thru a site I knew he was a member of that I too was a member of. He replied back with when he was coming. I then tried, several times, but without success, to cross paths with him naturally. So I gave him another message & he told me what day he would be off. So I tried that day, called his room & he answered & came right down. In the pouring rain, he stood, signed, and chatted with my friend & I for several minutes.
4- Chloe Moretz
At 2010 TIFF I had Ms. Moretz high on my list of people to get...but she cancelled. This year however, Hit Girl was there, and made up for the year long wait. One of the best signers at TIFF. Even with volunteers telling her she had to go, she still kept signing.
3- TIFF - The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Individually, several of the events from Tiff could make this list, and a couple I did list individually. But for the mostpart, the entire event of the Toronto International Film Festival falls under 1 event for me. So thus, why it is going here. This years fest was certainly my most successful from a star power aspect, and total wise, it was close to my best. Stars like George Clooney, Megan Fox, Madonna, Nicolas Cage & Ryan Gosling made the event quite successful for me. It was the newer names I wasnt as faimiliar with before going that made some of the more cool moments though, like Chris Pratt, Ezra Miller, Dominic Monaghan and Sarah Bolger who all made me fans of them with the way they handled their attention.
2 - Tom Cruise
While I did get a disappointingly low total of 2 autographs from someone I was told "signs everything", a lot of that wasnt any fault of his or really mine either. It was just dumb luck. Still, I managed to get 2 from him, which was still 2 more than most hounds in Vancouver got from him. The 1 and only night outside the trade & convention center unfortunately turned out to be the 1 and only chance Vancouverites got to get the Mission Impossible star. He made the waiting worth it though, as Mr. Cruise strolled over to a crowd of 20-30 people (which swelled to 75-100 when extras & crew came over too) around midnight & did a 20-30 minute meet & greet with fans, taking photos & signing autographs. Each interaction he made feel special, he asked fans to make sure their photos turned out and even acknowledged autograph requests with a level of respect, and not just a "ugh, fine" mentality to it.
No disrespect to Mr. Cruise, but at the end of the day, a rare, hard to obtain signature is a bigger deal on average than a classy, easier to obtain star.
Anytime you get someone of Madonna's level of fame, its probably going to make your best list. The Material Girl has been known for quite awhile as, at best, an unwilling signer. However, when you are promoting a movie you directed & has been panned by many critics, you are on your best behaviour.
That is what fans in Toronto got when the pop icon was there to promote W.E. this past Summer for TIFF.
Madonna signed probably 75-100 autographs on the red carpet, and signed at dinner a bit later after her event as well.
Some honorable mentions should go out to the likes of Patrick Gilmore, Rose McGowan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Ben Cotton & Lyndsy Fonseca.
So, that concludes 2011. Some amazing successes for me. Granted, there was some downright failures as well. I somehow never got Matt Damon despite him being here for 2-3 months. All my Saoirse Ronan autographs were ruined by an ugly fading silver sharpie. I missed Robert DeNiro AGAIN by mere inches, and same with Brad Pitt this time.
Who will grace the list at the end of 2012? Going into 2011, there wasnt a lot of "sure things" I could see making the list. To be honest, most of the list is a complete surprise, simply because I didnt know going into 2011 these people would cross my paths.
Day 2 of the fest started at the brand new press conference venue. The TIFF Bell Lightbox, the festivals own personal multi-purpose venue, held the press conferences this year that hotels did in the past, and in short...it sucks.
The 1st press conference was for Moneyball, and only because they werent sure what to do yet were people able to get anything.
Several of the cast showed up. Only Brad Pitt (who signed about 20 for the 75+ people there) and Chris Pratt (who signed for anyone who asked) signed much of anything. Philip Seymour Hoffman signed a couple, Jonah Hill ignored everyone.
After that, they started taking the people in thru an underground entrance, and that was the end of 1 of the places I often was able to get 20-30% of mt TIFF autographs from,. the press conferences.
After that, I got a text to come down the street, and showed up just in time to get another Johnny Rotten autograph as he left an event at the CBC building.
After a lunch break, I went to a hotel to wait around. Saw Bryce Dallas Howard come out, but in a shocker...she denied. I am stunned still. Used to be all class. A little while later Christopher MacDonald (Happy Gilmore - "Shooter McGavin") came in, did photos with a couple of fans. Then saw Ezra Miller again. He chatted with us for a bit, and when we told him Johnny Rotten was in the building, he got really excited. Clearly a big Sex Pistols fan Ezra is.
Saw Arielle Kebbel arrive for an event, but outside of taking a couple photos with and chatting with a little girl for a couple moments, she did little to acknowledge the small amount of people there.
John Lydon left the hotel, got another autograph. He was being told by his handler to "only sign for the girls" but still signed for us anyways...even though you could see he was maybe getting short on patience with so many photos & albums everywhere.
Went to the premiere for Megan Fox and Jon Hamm, just like last year, I ran out of items for Fox. Hamm I managed to squeeze out 2 in the surprisingly large crowd. A common theme this TIFF has been, crowds are larger all around. I would say 25-30% more people everywhere.
We quickly hustled across to another venue and snagged 1 Juliette Binoche autograph.
Across the street we tried for the back end of the Moneyball premiere letting out. I saw Eddie Vedder leave the event, but he didnt sign for anyone.
I then saw Stacy Keibler arriving for the next premiere that her boyfriend George Clooney was in that would soon start doing their red carpet work.
Cast were starting to show up for The Ides Of March premiere. First few smaller cast showed up, the crowd was massive and impossible to penetrate for such small potatoes. So I let the likes of Paul Giamatti go and was walking away to go check on Pitt again when I saw the row of vehicles still waiting to do the red carpet. First was Marisa Tomei, who no shock (heard multiple reports shes a terrible sginer) wouldnt even accomodate requests from the small crowd of 7-10 girls waiting down there to roll down the window for a picture. Her vehicle then left on its trip up the red carpet.
Next up was George Clooney. The girls asked Goerge to roll down his window. He didnt roll it down though...instead, the aging sex symbol got OUT OF HIS SUV and proceeded to start signing and taking photos.... for the whole line. Must have been 500+ people there, I am sure 300+ of them got an autograph or photo with the star. While he was busy signing, Ryan Gosling showed up and started doing the line from the other end, he too went down the entire line, although he was a little more selective on signing, and for the mostpart just did handshakes. I somehow still managed 4 autographs from each of them, despite the sometimes 6 to 8 people deep crowds of onlookers who for whatever reasons felt compelled to take cameraphone pics of the top of the stars heads, or even worse, pics of the other cameras in the crowd pointed in the stars direction. To these people, seriously? If you arent there trying to get an autograph or a photo with...why stand there, you can find a farrrr better photo of the situation on google the next morning. all you are are doing is clogging up an area for people who have a purpose and know what they are doing.
Shortly after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie left together, rolled down their windows and gave a wave to the crowd waiting, they then left for their party.
After that, I went to the Brad Pitt after party for a bit, but was outwaited by them, as I had to leave to go back to Hamilton. The day started slow...but decent end.
Total for day 2. - 19 autographs. 2 day total - 32
A+ George Clooney
A+ Ezra Miller
A+ Megan Fox
A Chris Pratt
A- Ryan Gosling
B- Brad Pitt
B- Juliette Binoche
C+ Philip Seymour Hoffman
C+ Jon Hamm
C Christopher MacDonald
C John Lydon
C- Arielle Kebbel
D Bryce Dallas Howard
My Top pick for TIFF last year, Michael C. Hall signing autographs at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival on the red carpet at his premiere for Peep World.
The 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival begins later this week, and we will again be there.
Last year, I gave you a list of 20 people I wanted to get. http://canadagraphs.weebly.com/1/post/2010/09/my-top-20-wants-at-tiff-2010.html
I managed to see 15 of them, only managed to nab 8 of those 20 though for autographs, but I did get my #1, so that was a victory.
This year, I have pushed the list to 30. So here it is....my top 30 want list for TIFF 2011.
1 Chloe Moretz
- Didnt get Hit Girl last year at film fest when she cancelled for a family birthday party. This year, shes committed to coming. Must get.
2 Hugh Laurie
- Last year it was Dexter. This year its Dr. House. My must get TV person.
3 Antonio Banderas
- Puss In Boots. If he wasnt PIB, I wouldnt even care he was there.
- Really? Are you even remotely shocked? Its Madonna. Theres few names in the entertainment universe as big as this.
5 Saoirse Ronan
- She was terrific in Hanna. An Academy Award nominee at just 13 for Atonement. Must get IMO.
6 Maggie Gyllenhaal
- Loved Secreatary, loved The Dark Knight.
7 Brad Pitt
- Normally, a guy dumb enough to leave Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie I would assume has bad decision making skills...but he seems to make blockbuster movies despite this severe retardation.
8 Michelle Williams
- Huge Dawsons Creek fan. Actually got her autograph way back when she was still on DC, but was working for someone else at the time & despite asking for 1, never got 1. Chance to rememdy that now.
9 Jeffrey Dean Morgan
- Huge Supernatural fan, always looking to add new things to my collection.
10 Jason Statham
- Its JasoN Statham, nuff said.
11 Neil Young
- Hes ahead of U2 and Pearl Jam simply because I've somehow never got him before.
12 Elena Anaya
- Never knew who she was till I found some hot pics of her from a movie she did.
- If you havent heard of them, its ok. They might be big someday.
14 George Clooney
- In 2007 I literally missed getting him by less than 3 ft. Chance for redemption.
15 Julia Maxwell
- Key figure in season 6 of Supernatural was Eve. Played by this hot specimen.
16 Kyle MacLachlan
- The Captain on How I Met Your Mother. Nuff said.
17 Keira Knightley
- Hopefully redemption for not getting her in 2007.
18 Gerard Butler
- Its Gerard Butler. Nuff said.
19 Alison Pill
- She was the only character in Milk I liked.
20 Gael Garcia Bernal
- In 2007 I was naive enough to think "ah I'll just walk right up and get this guy. No one cares about him". Now I am sart enough from my prior experience to know "I NEED to get him".
21 Nicholas Cage
- Got his autograph before when he filmed Ghost Rider, but it was on a Colorado Avalance team card because I wasnt expecting him. Never seen him since. Chance to finally get the photos I printed back then done.
22 Jennifer Lawrence
- Even though I know nothing about The Hunger Games, I also am smart enough to know from my Twilight experiences, dont poo-poo these book driven series.
23 Pearl Jam
- Despite having got them more times than I can recall, I will always want more.
24 Viggo Mortensen
- Funny enough, I got him in 2007 and didnt really know who he was then, since then I've seen him in Eastern Promises and A History Of Voilence, so now I WANT to get him.
25 Ewan McGregor
- Star Wars. Nuff Said. Got him in 2007.
26 Jennifer Garner
- should have got her 4 yrs ago at my 1st film fest, but some deaf hounds ruined it for everyone when they disregarded her demand to not push. Fingers crossed I get to her this time before they ruin it again.
27 Lily Cole
- Dont know anything about her except she looks hot, and isnt opposed to being naked.
28 Sarah Silverman
- She was 14th on my list last year, and I got her. Thus why shes not too high up this year, but still someone I hope to get again.
29 Liana Liberato
- Had photos for her last year, but missed out. Second crack, maybe this time I'll get her.
30 Robin Wright
- I am really assuming she will be much nicer than her ex, Sean Penn.
Others I would be happy to find.... Selma Blair, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Gosling, Leighton Meester, Chris Pratt, Scott Speedman, Rachel Weisz & Anton Yelchin.
Hoping they show up - Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Greene, Eric Peterson, Alicia Silverstone, Nicole Kidman, Ed Helms, Jason Segal, Bryan Cranston
Yes, its true. For the first time since 2007 I will be going to TIFF to get autographs & see many of the biggest names in the industry.
Last TIFF I attended was attended by the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Lauren Bacall, Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jodie Foster, Gael Garcia Bernal, Michael Moore, Samuel L Jackson, Viggo Mortensen and many others. It was also highlighted by new fresh faces like Jim Sturgess, Ellen Page, Hayley Atwell and many others.
This year, the list is just as impressive. Icons like Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford are set amongst the 100s of names the fest put out for its guest list. The likes of Matt Damon, Bruce Springsteen, Woody Allen, Robert DeNiro, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Edward Norton, Ellen Page, Michael C Hall, Bill Gates, Megan Fox, Mickey Rourke, Steve Nash and hundreds of others are expected to go. Who will be this years fresh new faces to catch? Thats a different question that only time will tell.
Look for my updates on here, and of course, autographs will hopefully be plenty.
if you have any requests...Now is the time to make them. I leave in less than a week.