I 1st went to Roy Thompson Hall for the premiere of "Free Angela Davis & All Political Prisoners". Despite getting there later than I had hoped, I managed a pretty decent spot in row "1A" (thats what I call it when you are partially in the front row, but not completely there). The big draw at this showing was Men In Black star Will Smith & his family. The Smith family was invited as guests to the premiere & graced the carpet with their presence. First to show up was "Lethal Weapon" star Danny glover. After some fumbling by me to get out a photo on no notice, I got him to sign for me on a very unique photo, a still from his episode on the TV show "Psych". A bit later, I was in prime spot, and sure enough Will got out right in front of where I was. He even came right to me. However, instead of taking the sharpie & photo I had outstretched, he simply grabbed the hand my sharpie was in & shook it, then moved on. He proceeded to sign about 10 ft further away, then came back & signed about 3 ft to the other side of me. Completely missing me on both sides. I was pissed. A short while later he signed again, further down the line, and I again was shut out. It simply was just not meant to be I guess. All the regulars took off right after Will went into the tent with Jada, Willow & Jaden. I decideed "what do I have to lose at this point" & tried on the end of the tent area, a space about 5 ft wide that you can (generally without success) yell out at the celeb as they leave the press area to go into the theatre. Its about a 50 ft walk from the tent to the area the fans can wait at, and MOST celebs dont bother. But, we saw Will come, made the plea for him to come over, and he actually did. Signed about 5 or so autographs for the 10-15 fans waiting there & I managed to get 1. Righting the wrong of earlier, Will Smith managed to help be go 3 for 3 on my top 3 of TIFF 12.
My next target was the impossible. I foolishly went for crotchety miserable "House" star Hugh Laurie. As expected, the grumpy notorious non-signer stiffed everyone, despite literally being 2 ft from items & taking about a minute to stand there, look at them & then casually walk over to the carpet.
Next up was the premiere of "Writers" at Ryerson. This was a duo redemption premiere for me. I had printed for Liana Liberato 2 years earlier, but failed to go for her, then last year she was a no show. 3rd time the charm? Her castmate Lily Collins, recently had snubbed me at the set of her recent film project "The Mortal Instruments : City Of Bones". First to show up was the TMI star Lily, with her boyfriend, former Twilight Saga star Jamie Campbell-Bower, JCB hid behind the photo-op drop while Lily posed for photographers. There was 3 people there who noticed him hiding back there. A girl who was VERY aware who he was, kept asking him to look up & he eventually did, a boy of maybe 11 or 12 who only had an autograph book & a pen & me. When the woman standing on the planter finally got JCB's attention, the boy with the book asked him for his autograph. Jamie came over to him, was about to sign, then said to the boy "do you even know who I am?" and the boy with confusion & shock didnt answer immediately & Jamie denied the boys request about 1 second later & moved on. I managed an autograph from Lily FINALLY. A short time later Liana Liberato arrived and I managed 2 autographs from her, but felt I should have got more...but the publicists (as they have done all too often in recent years) rushed them into the theatre instead of acknowledging all the fans as they should. In typical diva style, the last person to show up for the premiere was the incredibly rude & cocky Logan Lerman. I have had the displeasure of dealing with this little twerp in recent months when he was filming the follow up to his only leading role, the box office flop "Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief". For someone who seems on the fast track to being an unemployed adult actor soon, he sure acts like he has 7 Academy Awards already. He hurried past the group of fans that waited to meet him giving them barely a half assed attempt at a wave as he speed walked down the carpet, past the press and into the theatre. He also ignored the fans leaving...no shock. That being said, so did all the cast.
A bit later another Ryerson premiere for "Byzantium" saw another up & coming young actress. Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan arroved & signed quite a few out on the street for people before she was hurried in to do press. A short time later Gemma Arterton arrived. I managed 1 autograph from each of them, but there should have been more as again, as often was the case, the publicists disrespected the fans, the actual paying public who can make or break films, in favour of media who all ask the same 8 questions over & over again. Gemma promised the fans she would come over and sign, but OF COURSE, was led away from the fans into the theatre by the overzealous career damaging publicists that TIFF used this year. Her dispresect of the fans angered many, just like earlier in the fest when Greta Gerwig did a similar thing. After the premiere, Saoirse signed a handful again, barefoot, while Gemma hurried along signing only a few. I rushed to the car door after she skipped my area & pleaded with her, reminding her of her promise on the red carpet, which was met with a very large, unenthused sigh & a quick scribble before she hopped in her car.
More than once this festival I made tweets similar to this https://twitter.com/canadagraphs/status/245009927108706304 as my frustration with people who have nothing to lose tell those who do what to do.
Day 4 - 8 autographs (31 total)
A Danny Glover
B+ Saoirse Ronan
B+ Will Smith
B- Liana Liberato
C+ Lily Collins
C- Gemma Arterton
D Jamie Campbell-Bower
F- Hugh Laurie
F- Logan Lerman
My next venture was my 1st crack at the press conference circuit this fest. I went for "The Iceman" press conference. Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Winona "the thief" Ryder & Ray Liotta arrived for it. None of them signed on the way in, but promises were made by Evans & Shannon for departures. Chris Evans came out 1st and the "Captain America" star was terrific, going down the whole line. Shortly after Michael Shannon came out & signed so many that most people left there with nothing left for the "Man Of Steel" star. Winona Ryder of course snubbed everyone, she really is 1 of the most classless bitches in Hollywood. I mean hey, your career is in shambles, your constantly mocked for being a shoplifter, you have basically 0 pull with directors, producers or casting directors now... so why not alienate the public too while you are at it. Seems smart. I dont recall when Liotta came out, but I did manage to get a couple pics of him going in, waving to the fans.
Shortly after that I tried the premiere of "To The Wonder" in front of the incredibly tough Princess Of Wales theatre (the hardest event to get autographs at IMO). Hometown star Rachel McAdams did what she does best now, snubbed everyone. How can someone in their hometown be so disrespectful of fans? I dont get it. Her co-star Olga Kurylenko stopped however & the "Quantum Of Solace" hottie signed several autographs before going in. I then waited for the premiere to end, and on the way out, I managed 2 more autographs from Olga. Rachel did sign SOME when leaving, but not many & was being pretty picky on when & what she signed. More disrespectful was the fact she opted to ignore the people people who waited the longest & went across the street and signed for the people who just showed up.
My next try was back at Ryerson for another Toronto actress, Sarah Gadon. With only THREE people waiting for the actress to leave the premiere of "AntiViral" she signed, but seemed sincerely unimpressed to be doing it, and refused to do more than 1 each despite the practically non-existent crowd. A year ago when I saw her at TIFF she was overjoyed to be asked, now, she acted like its a chore....what has she done again in the past year that won her an Oscar?
I ended my night at the Midnight Madness premiere of "The Lords Of Salem". I managed multiple autographs from both Rob & Sheri Moon Zombie. For how small the crowd was there,, they were quite loud & boisterous.
Day 5 - 13 autographs (44 total)
A+ Michael Shannon
A Colin Firth
A Sheri Moon Zombie
B+ Rob Zombie
B+ Olga Kurylenko
B+ Chris Evans
C Sarah Gadon
D- Ray Liotta
D- Rachel McAdams
F Emily Blunt
F- Winona Ryder