Usually, I get started on day 1. But this year, I started on "day 0" the day before the festival.
Day 0 started with the tiring & long trip from Hamilton to Toronto airport. I was there by myself for a little while & of course, no luck was had. The 1st name wouldnt show up till the airport was full of all the regulars from past festivals.
Kick Ass star Aaron Taylor Johnson was 1st up. He was actually here arriving to prepare for his role in "Kick Ass 2" that started filming in Toronto during the festival, but he was also here to promote "Anna Karenina" at the fest. I managed to get a couple autographs from the surprisingly older than I expected Johnson. He was relatively good at taking care of most of the requests.
A while later the next star to arrive was Karl Urban from the new Star Trek film. He was here to promote "Dredd 3D". He seemed to "tolerate" the attention cast on him by fans & autograph hounds, but certainly wasnt great by any stretch. I did manage 2 autographs out of him after a lot of effort. For a virtual unknown, he really carried a pretty big ego on his shoulder.
Last autograph I would get that night was from Mad Men babe Christina Hendricks as she arrived to promote "Ginger & Rosa". She made sure everyone got 1 (and a few got 2 or 3). Unfortunately, I managed the mere 1, despite being 1st one to get her. Just bad positioning by me after getting my 1st one.
As the evening went on, a problem was starting to arise that we had never encountered out there before. A plethora of ditsy fangirls were showing up, and like MOST fangirls of anything, they were pretty much a nuisance. Say what people will about autograph hounds, we at least get what we want, get out & its over. Fangirls are wanting photos with (which takes like 10Xs longer than most celebs autographs), sometimes an autograph, yet dont bring a sharpie, and of course, want to tell the celeb what a huge fan they are of whatever thing they sorta remember them from...best part is, in 90% of the cases, they didnt even CARE about the celeb till moments after they saw them. Its not the environment for these type of interactions, and isnt advisable for people wanting that type of interaction... yet the article in the National Post telling them it was a good place to meet them really made a "slightly tolerable" situation for most celebs to "pretty much intolerable" quick.
With my need to get back to Hamilton everynight, I decided that was a good time to leave as there was no confirmed arrivals till much later when I wouldnt be able to stay anyways. As "luck" would have it, I was still in the airport (unfortunately wrong part of the airport) when Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston arrived for "Argo". That haunted me all weekend as I missed him multiple times.
DAY 0 - total autographs 5
B Aaron Taylor Johnson
B- Christina Hendricks
C Karl Urban
The 1st "official" autograph I got during TIFF was someone who didnt even have a film there. The Office star John Krasinski, as he showed up to support his wife Emily Blunt at her premiere of "Looper" He was terrific with everyone, and even responded when I said I was disappointed to see The Office ending with "so am I".
The next arrival was the super duo of overrated divaness. Selena Gomez (who used to be really nice) & Vanessa Hudgens (who used to be...well, tolerable) arrived together to promote their film. NEITHER of them stopped to sign autographs, or do any photos with. The absurd posse of bored TIFF greeters & wannabe security guards made a moderately excitable situation an all out near bedlam situation, as people were shooed aside, tripping over each other because the "security" (aka - highly untrained random guys in suits & 1 actual security guy) bullied their way thru a crowd of photographers, autograph hounds & fangirls (including at least a couple who didnt even know who they were....despite being in their wheelhouse of knowledge) to get the career C listers into their awaiting vehicle. I wonder what either of these mediocre "actresses" will act like in 5 years when they are competing against each other for TV movie roles & probably losing out. I actually had Selena on my "top 25 want to get" list, because she was so nice before, she HAD made a fan out of me back then. Now, she has assured that I never buy a ticket for a single movie she is in. Austin Butler was also with the pair, and was the only 1 to interact with anyone at all as he got to the car he looked up & had a few words after seeing a familiar face from Vancouver, 1 of of my buddies chatted with him for a couple moments, much to the chagrin of the pair in the car waiting.
My evening got a bit better when my buddies & I hurried over & ditched the group of fangirls that were still around & nabbed "127 Hours" star James Franco, as he arrived after his diva co-stars on a different flight. He was still as cool as when we last saw him back in Vancouver during his filming here for "Rise Of The Apes". We were disappointed to hear we had just missed Elle Fanning by 10 or so minutes, but thats TIFF, you are always going to miss someone.
The most embarrassing story I heard from TIFF was when "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson came in & the same fangirls who couldnt even ID Selena Gomez or Vanessa Hudgens, mobbed Ashley for photos with, and in several of the cases, they bugged her for not 1, or 2, or 3, but 5+ different photos with. One girl even bragging that she had TEN (yes 10) photos with her there.... and some of you think WE are the problem. I missed this stupidity by mere seconds, I am thankful I did. I would have probably said something that was perceived as rude to them.
That was how my 1st official day of TIFF ended.
Day 1 - total autographs 5 (total 10)
A James Franco
A John Krasinski
E- Garret Hedlund
F Selena Gomez
F Vanessa Hudgens
F- Kirsten Dunst