The 2010 Toronto International Film Festical had a red carpet premiere for the film "Daydream Nation" which stars Kat Dennings (Nick & Norahs Infinite Playlist), Josh Lucas (American Psycho) & Rachel Blanchard (Snakes On A Plane). It also includes Canadians Katie Boland (The Zack Files) and Landon Liboiron (Degrassi - The Next generation).
With the likes of Andie McDowell & Reece Thompson filling out the cast. It has a decent mixture of Hollywood veterans & new blood.
I had a chance to first catch up with Dennings at the airport a couple days earlier, dressed quite casual & with glasses on. At the red carpet premiere, she dressed up so well, I wasnt even sure it was her at first. At the airport, she seemed a bit awkward & a little unsure of signing. But on the red carpet later on, she was pleasant, friendly & full of smiles.
I got a few pics of Blanchard, who was seemingly in a continuous state of joy. She seemed very happy, and found the comments of some of the onlookers humourous... especially when 1 of them asked Rachel if she could introduce him to her friend that she arrived with. She took lots of time to interact with the fans, being a local girl probably helped with that.
Josh Lucas showed up and did a lot of press interviews, and I frankly, didnt see him too much. He seemed to come in & vanish quite quickly to me... thus why I only snagged 1 photo of him out there.
Landon Liboiron, seemed in high demand to the girls, despite several of them not even knowing his name. He took it all ins tride & posed for photos with fans, even when they didnt know his name.
Katie Boland also showed up, and frankly, seemed to act very unsure if she should be there. I never saw her looking too relaxed out there. If her publicist or agent sees this, have a few words with your client about body language. She looks cute, but the crossed arms & standing off to the side like shes someones random friend isnt helping to promote her & frankly, probably deters any media from wanting to ask her for a quick photo or comment.
Every event has people who were simply better & who were worse at interacting & respecting the fans, pros & random passerbys. This year was no different.
With so many things going on at the same time during TIFF, as many as 5 premieres were sometimes going on at the same time, it was impossible to cover them all & experience each & every celebrity there. So its very likely someone else would have a fairly different list than mine. But, with around 100 hours of hounding in the books for me, I feel this is a fairly well rounded list.
So, I give you MY list of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival Best & worst list.
WINNER- Sam Worthington - All toll I got 17 autographs from the Avatar star. I got a photo with. He joked with the few of us standing at his hotel on the final day of my fest. His choice for Top spot of the fest was in my opinion, undebateable.
2- Michael C Hall - The Dexter star was terrific on the red carpet, signing practically everything asked...despite knowing he had signed for people prior. At the airport, the reports had him signing 3 items per person. At his after party he signed again, he took photos with & even took a few seconds to respond to my breif questions about how he thought the film was.
3- Megan Fox - The Transformers star was a red carpet signing machine. The 11 autographs I got from her was my all time single person high at TIFF till Worthington blew her out of the water.
4- James Caan - The Godfather star was an exceptional signer going in to and coming out of his press conference.
5- Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler star may have had a pretty ugly autograph, but he was more than willing to scrawl it on everything asked...and thats better than not signing at all.
6- Aaron Eckhart - Saw The Dark Knight star on multiple occasions & he was always willing to sign.
7- Amber Heard - Was a very willing signer at her Midnight Madness premiere for The Ward.
8- Danielle Harris - Was very willing to sign, take photos with & pose for photos for the fans who came out to her Midnight Madness premiere for Stake Land
9- Sally Hawkins - She came all the way back out of her vehicle to come & sign my photo after she realized I was the only person there with a specific item for her.
10- Sarah Silverman - Although her co-star Michael C Hall was the star of the show with the fans, the sexy comedienne worked the crowd well also, signing whatever was asked.
11- Nicole Kidman - Saw the 3X Golden Globe & 1 time Academy Award winner sign a plethora on 2 different occasions. Probably the best signing legend of the festival.
12- Lyndsy Fonseca - The sexy Kick Ass/HIMYM star signed & took photos with anyone who asked at her premiere.
13- Emma Stone - The Easy A hottie was a great signer on her red carpet. The autographs may have been less than spectacular, but she made sure everyone got 1.
14- Hallie Switzer - When Modra director Ingrid Veninger came out & handed out postcards to the awaiting fans at the press conference hotel for her star to sign, Switzer was put in a position of having to suddenly sign a plethora of autographs, despite few knowing of her before then. She handled it quite well.
15- Helen Mirren - The screen legend was a decent signer at both of her premieres.
Honourable mention- Yeardley Smith, Judy Greer, Penn Badgley, Rachel Blanchard
LOSER- Eva Mendes - When you cant do a roll down for ONE person, then RUN past 5 people a few minutes later at a different venue, then snub a dozen or so upon departing that venue. Dont do photos with anyone, and to top it off, have an autograph session the day prior where you wont sign anything but the specified item your giving out and wont allow photos with or even to have fans interact with you...your a grade A bitch.
2- Clive Owen - Upon arriving in Toronto he put on a stone faced look that as 1 hound stated "he looked like his mother just died" while he walked the 50-75 yards to his vehicle. Ignoring all requests for autographs, photos with, or questions.
3- Frances Conroy - Someone thinks 1 Golden Globe 6 years ago actually means something. The haggard old bitch didnt sign going into her press conference, despite being the first one to show up by quite awhile...then refused to sign leaving either. All while less than 5 people either time even cared to ask her.
4- Bill Murray - Shocker. The Ghostbusters star refused all requests for autographs going into his premiere. He is a notoriously terrible signer.
5- Jeremy Renner - Imagine Frances Conroy, but younger & male, and without the Golden Globe. Few people cared about him, and he put in no effort accomodating the minimal requests.
6- Winona Ryder - Perhaps she was in a hurry to get away after stealing something every single time? I dont know, but she sure made every effort to get away from sharpies wherever possible. Despite not having a single role that even her agent could name since 1999, Ms. Robber...err, Ryder insisted she would only sign for children....because we all know KIDS are huge fans of all those epic recent movies shes done like...umm?
7- Natalie Portman - Natalie didnt sign, nor really even acknowledge the fans at her press conference. I however heard she signed some on her red carpet arrival at least.
8- Vera Farmiga - The very unknown actress who had less than 10 people asking her refused to sign going in to her premiere & snuck out while larger names were busy signing.
9- Clint Eastwood - As a director, you think you would want to leave your premiere with good PR. But Clint didnt...instead, stiffing dozens of fans & collectors who had waited up to as much as 9 hrs in a cramped pen, all so he could attend a party.
10- Josh Brolin - snuck out of his premiere to avoid the dozens of fans who waited hours to see the stars leave.
11- Anthony Hopkins - see Josh Brolin.
12- Woody Allen - Only difference between him & Clint is, he had a legitimate excuse for ditching the fans. He had a plane to catch
13- Matt Damon - ONE autograph total, which he looked truly annoyed to be doing & a shrug of the shoulders is all the 70-100 fans waiting out back on his departure got from him.
14- Freida Pinto - She signed less than 10 autographs on her red carpet arrival. Sad that her boyfriend, who wasnt even in the film, was able to sign far more than her.
15- Jon Hamm - Signed a small handful going into his press conference, then ignored everyone leaving...despite telling the crowd on the way in he would get everyone leaving.
dishonorable mention - Vincent Cassel, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Ryan Phillippe
Top 5 moments
1 - Meeting Michael C Hall at his after party & getting a photo with.
2 - Meeting Sam Worthington at 9:30 AM on my final day of film fest & getting him to sign everything I had & do a photo with.
3 - Getting an autograph from Jill Hennessy only a block from where I was standing thanks to reading twitter.
4 - Sally Hawkins coming back out of her car to sign for me after he premiere.
5 - The director of Modra, Ingrid Veninger giving out promo postcards to the crowd for her movies star, Hallie Switzer to sign.
Bottom 5 moments
1 - Wasting my time chasing the likes of Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Matt Damon, Anthony Hopkins & Josh Brolin, when I could have gone to a few other events & got a handful of other people I could have used as well.
2 - Attempting to get Malin Akerman after her movie & only having her drive by & wave...despite less than 10 people being there.
3 - Seeing Rosamund Pike come out of the hotel & realizing I had taken my photo out of my binder prior to then.
4 - Having Eva Mendes drive by me & not sign, or roll down the window for a photo or anything, despite me being the only one there for her.
5 - Missing the likes ot Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman, Harvey Keitel and a few others by mere inches because of random dumb luck.
Day 2 of TIFF started out pretty miserable. At the time I didnt realize it would be my best outing ever.
The day started with me realizing I had taken out my Olivia Newton-John photo, as I didnt think it was needed anymore...only to find out she was the first press conference of the day....so instead I had to get a photo signed for someone else, instead of just standing there looking bored.
There was a bit of a gap till the next press conference. This time it was for "The Town" with Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively & Jeremy Renner. That was when the bad luck started. I managed to get 1 "B" from Affleck, but Hamm didnt sign much, and Lively skipped over the section I was in as she went in. Jeremy Renner was the biggest jerk of the bunch, he didnt sign going in or coming out & didnt even acknowledge people.
Next up as Robert De Niro, Milla Jovovich, Edward Norton & Frances Conroy. The worst signer was again, the least known. Frances Conroy. She didnt even touch a pen, nor even look at people. Edward Norton was not too much better, but at least signed a few. Robert De Niro was a good signer, unfortunately, not everyone got one.... including me. Theres photos out there of him signing for the crowd & you can see my item right there in the mix, he just didnt go a little more to the left unfortunately. I got a consolation prize in Milla Jovovich, as the Resident Evil cutie signed 1 for me upon leaving.
After 3 press conferences...3 autographs. Not too excited about that output.
There would be a lull till the evening when the premieres started. First up was Daydream Nation with Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas & Rachel Blanchard. I had nothing for Blanchard, but she was a very willing signer for those who asked, and even chit chatted with some. Josh Lucas came over & signed for us almost immediately upon arriving & seemed to sign a fair bit afterwards as well. Kat Dennings signed most of the way down the red carpet and was stopping to do photos with fans when asked.
Next up would be the major score of the fest for me. Passion Play with Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox & Billy Murray. While the miserable Murray avoided sharpies, he did take 1 guys photo & bite it & hand it back..the guy seemed thrilled with it. But that was all Murray did, no autographs, no photo ops. Mickey Rourke was next up, although his autograph often is nothing more than random squiggles, he signed a tonne, not missing anyone anywhere. He did photo ops with those who asked & even chit chatted a bit about this film & how it stood up to The Wrestler. All in all, he was an epic class act. Lastly was Megan Fox with her boyfriend Brian Austin Green. While BAG did get asked a few times & obliged, Fox was the main attraction & probably spent 20+ minutes signing on the red carpet. Although most of the autographs were very unspectacular, she at least did them. I might not be a fan of her work, and think shes grossly overhyped for looks, she is at the least, a class act with fan interaction.
Last but not least was the premiere for Super. The Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page & Liv Tyler film turned out to be not too bad for me either. I managed 2 each from the 3 stars, despite the fact Wilson maybe only signed for a 1/3 of those who asked him. Liv Tyler was the class of this film, signing right up till she was going in the door. Ellen page was good as well, but probably left some people without.
My final total for the day was 28 autographs..My highest total ever in a day at TIFF.
A++ Megan Fox
A+ Mickey Rourke
A Kat Dennings
A Josh Lucas
A Rachel Blanchard
A- Ben Affleck
B+ Liv Tyler
B+ Olivia Newton-John
B Milla Jovovich
B- Ellen Page
B- Blake Lively
C+ Edward Norton
C Rainn Wilson
C Chris Cooper
C Robert De Niro
C- Jon Hamm
F Bill Murray
F Jeremy Renner
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.