Toronto International Film Festival - Days 4 thru 6 of TIFF. Featuring - Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy, Kate Winslet and Heroes Reborn cast
Day 4 of TIFF 2015 started for me with a press conference for the Tom Hardy movie "Legend". I will go more in depth on what happened at that presser (and other pressers) at a later date. Needless to say, one particular staffer for TIFF really should, at the least, be re-assigned next year to a position that doesnt interact with the public. At most, fired and probably charged with destruction of property...but like I said, I'll delve deeper into that another day.
As expected, Tom Hardy was a signing machine. Everyone who wanted him got him. Even despite the TIFF security guard forcibly removing items from Tom's grasp, most people still managed to get them signed as Tom repeatedly righted the wrongs made by the aggressive glorified mall security. I also managed 1 Emily Browning autograph there on her way into the press conference.
From there, everyone hurried off to get to other premieres that would be starting soon enough. I got to the Elgin theatre where there were back to back premieres going on within an hour of each other.
First up was "Brooklyn" with Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson. The first to arrive was the son of Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall. He signed maybe 10 or 12 autographs, personalizing them all, before leaving to join his dad on the red carpet. The Star Wars VII star was much tougher than I think anyone expected. I managed 1 in the scrum. Shortly there after, Saoirse Ronan arrived. I managed to get 2 from the former Oscar nominated actress.
Shortly after their arrivals, the cast for "Desierto" started to arrive for their premiere. Gael Garcia Bernal arrived first, and was of course, less than friendly. He begrudgingly signed a couple autographs and took a couple pics before hurrying away, leaving the vast majority of people empty handed. Thankfully, his co-star, Jeffrey Dean Morgan arrived and made up for the constantly rude Mexican. The Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy guest star happily signed for everyone, making sure that everyone in the front row got him, as well as most in the 2nd or 3rd row. I managed 4 autographs from Jeffrey there (3 myself, and 1 from a friend who had nothing at the time).
With nothing immediately going on, I went for a bite to eat. Came back to do the back end of those premieres only to find out JDM had already left. I managed 1 more Ronan in the back, but my hopes of getting a few autographs out there from the 4 people in there was quickly crushed as Gleeson sparsely signed and of course Bernal did nothing.
From there, I rushed over to Elgin for the premiere of "High Rise" with Tom Hiddleston, Elisabeth Moss, and Jeremy Irons. Hiddleston arrived and signed a bunch for the people in the front rows. I managed 3 there, as well as an Irvine and a Moss autograph. After the premiere, I managed 1 more Hiddleston and another Irvine.
Total autographs for the day - 15
Total for all of TIFF - 69
A+ Tom Hardy
A+ Saoirse Ronan
A Jeffrey Dean Morgan
A- Elisabeth Moss
B+ Jeremy Irons
B Emily Browning
B Tom Hiddleston
C Domhnall Gleeson
D Gael Garcia Bernal
F Brendan Gleeson
Day 5 of TIFF started with the much anticipated press conference for the Johnny Depp movie "Black Mass'.
The security at TIFF came by and told everyone right from the get go that Mr. Depp would not be signing going in, but promised to get everyone on the way out. With that knowledge, those of us there for it (aka - almost everyone) re-organized our plans & focused on the list of other notable names in the movie.
My hope, for the second year in a row of getting Peter Sarsgaard on my cast piece for The Killing was my top priority, but sadly, I was shut out on it... AGAIN. I did manage an autograph from Kevin Bacon however, as he worked the entire line before going into the presser. I also managed 1 Joel Edgerton autograph there, but was sadly shut out by Dakota Johnson even though she started right in front of me. I simple didnt react fast enough.
When Johnny came out of the presser, he came directly over to where I was standing and started signing right beside me. I managed to get my 1st item done within about 30 seconds of him starting to sign, I got my 2nd shortly after that, and then.... well, it was practically impossible to get him after that as security for TIFF were physically taking peoples items and tossing them away, as well as pushing peoples items and of course, the idiots who were there trying to get selfies with Mr. Depp after they were told not once, or twice but 3+ times he wouldnt have time to do those kept attempting to do so. I ended the press conference with 2 Johnny Depp autographs. Not terrible, but also, for the fact I got both of them in the first minute of his 10+ minute session, not great either.
What followed that was 1 of the more ridiculous events I have seen with any celeb. Many people tried to get mr. Depp to stop and do pictures with and get autographs out the side of his window while his vehicle was stuck in a very slow traffic line. Johnny obliged the resuests, even while his own security, and 2 TIFF guards physically tried stopping people from interacting with Mr. Depp...despite the CLEAR sign he wanted to interact with the fans. It eventually got to a point where security told the driver to roll up the window on Mr. Depp as he was still trying to reach out to meet people. I've NEVER seen such a blatant level of disregard for what the talent wanted in my life. It was despicable.
From there, I went and found a place where Kate Winslet was. While I was there waiting for the Academy Award winner to come out, a variety of others came in & left in that time, including her co-star in the movie she was there for, Liam Hemsworth. I managed 2 autographs from Liam, and 1 from Kate while there, along with bonus autographs from Paul Gross, and Elisabeth Moss.
I then headed over to Princess Of Wales to work the premiere of "Spotlight". I managed 1 Liev Schrieber autograph before I decided this was too much effort for the cast that was there.
I moved across the street to Roy Thompson Hall for the premiere of "The Dressmaker". I attempted to get Ms. Winslet again, but came up short, as well, I was unable to get newcomer Sarah Snook because of all the people wanting selfies with an actress they didnt know. I did manage 1 more Liam Hemsworth autograph though, so it wasnt a complete shutout.
From there I hurried over to the Elgin theatre, not just because it was where the Johnny Depp movie would be, but because the film before it had Cary Elwes. Whether it be for The Princess Bride, or Psych, I really wanted to get him. I had been warned he had a bad autograph already, so my hopes werent high, but my hopes seemed all but dashed when I got there and saw 1000s of fans already there, almost entirely lined up for the hopes of Johnny an hour after the Cary Elwes movie "Being Charlie' went in.
When the staff locked down the road to traffic going thru, I was lucky enough to get a spot reasonably close to the front. Now I just had to wait in the mass of people that was thicker than any crowd I had endured at any premiere prior. Eventually cast started showing up. Nick Robinson signed a few, but missed me, the Common arrived, along with Rob Reiner, then the star arrived. Cary Elwes decided, instead of starting with the people closest to him, he started with people across the street from him. He signed and took pics with 100s of people, most of whom really didnt even know who it was, as was evident by the mo less than 10Xs I was asked "who is that?" and the bellows I would hear of "Gary" and "Barry". While I wated for him to get around to my area, I was made aware of 1 of the WORST problem fans I have ever seen at an event. This South American guy who had climbed a light standard to see better. Not something thats rare in itself. HOWEVER, his reaction when told by TIFF people to get down was. He defiantly said "no, no no no no. I can not". When a TIFF person asked why he couldnt he said "Because I need to get a shot". She then went and got a cop, who also told him to come down and he again said no...before eventually caving to the Cops demands. The cop then tried speaking with him, and he was less than receptive to the cops demands. The cop then told him he had been warned, if he had to come back over for him then he would be arrested. Eventually Mr. Elwes made it back towards the theatre, and signed for me....in ballpoint pen. I immediately asked him if he could sign it in sharpie instead, and he stopped, changed pens, and re-signed it, and added a mustache to the pic, before moving on. Mission sort of accomplished.
It would be another 1/2 hour or so till cast started showing up for the next movie. Peter Sarsgaard arrived, and signed for a bunch of people, again ignoring my cast piece. Starting to think he hated The Killing. Dakta Johnson also arrived, ignoring all requests from fans as she didnt stop to sign 1 autograph or take 1 photo with. A little while later, Johnny Depp arrived, and people went fucking NUTS. Including the South American psycho behind me who by this point had angered everyone around him with his VERY loud (and I am a loud person as it is, and even I couldnt believe how loud he was) barking voice that I associate with a drunken soccer hooligan. Every person that arrived, he lost his fucking shit over. Just screaming, hooting and if he heard their name, would yell it over and over again, often, right in my ear. I turned around more than once with a less than impressed glare, and for a few moments, he would stop...then eventually start again. It was as if he had no short term memory. When Johnny arrived, as you can imagine, this guy went fucking nuts. I am absolutely sure his brain stopped functioning. For 5 minutes (or more) straight, all the group around me were hearing was "Johnny, Johnny, Johny, Johnny, Johnny, Holy fuck, holy fuck, motherfucker, motherfucker, mother fucker, motherfucker, mottherfucker...." along with him jumping up and down like he was in a mosh pit and pushing far more aggressively than any fan or hound I have ever endured, finally several of us told a TIFF person to grab the cop. Sadly, a completely different cop came over. We told them what this guy was doing, and they told him to back up. Which he did, then complained about his drink that was still on the ground that he couldnt get to. We pleaded with the cops to remove him, but instead, they let psychoman stay. While the wait for Johnny dragged on, Joel Edgerton came by and signed for everyone as well. I managed 1 more item from him. Eventually Johnny would make his way all the way around the crowd, getting to us last as we were closest to the door. Fortunately the bellows of other fans going "Johnny" drowned out a bit the soccer hooligan and his similar chants, but you could still clearly hear him overtop of anyone else. Mr. Depp eventually got to my item, signed it, and moved on. Then once he was done there, he went back across the street and signed dow the other end of the street before his security guy physically grabbed hiom and pulled him away from the growd.
After that, I hurried as much as I could out of the mosh pit to try and get back across town to RTH for the premiere of "Hyena Road". I really needed an actress that is the wife of 1 of the movies stars on my Robson Arms cast items & DVDs. I raced over there, and even used the subway for a rare time, and got there to find out they were almost all in the press row already. As I was walking away, I heard fans cheer, so I hurried back to see Allan Hawco on the carpet. I went and got him for a friend of mine who is a big fan, I got 3 done, then Allan said he would be right back that he had to do a photo call. He went did the photo call, then came back...but to the other side...and never came back to the people he promised to come back to. I waited around for a few minutes in the faint hope maybe I would still have a chance at who I came there for, but the chance never arose.
I left there and went to the CBC theatre where Salma Hayek was doing a conversation. On her departure, she signed a few, including 1 for me, before leaving for the night.
Total autographs - 19
Total autographs for TIFF - 88
A+ Johnny Depp
A+ Kevin Bacon
A Joel Edgerton
A Liam Hemsworth
A Kate Winslet
A- Cary Elwes
B Allan Hawco
B- Salma Hayek
C+ Sarah Snook
C Liev Schreiber
C- Nick Robinson
C- Peter Sarsgaard
Day 6 had a late start for me. I made my way over to Elgin to try and get Penelope Cruz and the cast of the movie following it there. I missed the arrivals for them, but was in position for the back end, only to learn Penelope was not coming back and left immediately from introducing the film. I did manage an autograph from Tom Courtenay however, so it was not a complete waste.
Sadly, too much time was wasted at the back waiting on the hope that Penelope was returning and I missed the arrivals for the next film..err, I mean TV show. Heroes Reborn had a premiere with the 1st two episodes of the show being shown at TIFF. The entire cast that was coming for it managed to arrive well over an hour early for the premiere, leaving the vast majority of fans & hounds shutout as people started to arrive around an hour to the showing with the belief they still would have some time.
I, like many others, went to the back end and waited. Eventually at the end of the showing the cast came out. I managed several of them including Jack Coleman, Kiki Sukezane, Robbie Kay, Judith Shekoni, Danika Yarosh, Tim Kring, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Francesca Eastwood and another person I am not now recalling. I missed getting 1 of the 4 or 5 autographs Zachary Levi doled out while getting someone else, and outright missed Gatlin Green somehow. All in all, a decent effort I felt. Sometime while getting the Heroes cast, I passed the 100 autographs mark for the 2nd consecutive year.
While I waited for the TV people, I saw Odessa Young come out and sign for the few people waiting for her as she was there promoting her film "Looking For Grace".
I hurried over to the back end of Princess Of Wales and got there in time to nab a couple autographs from David Thewlis and 1 from Jennifer Jason Leigh as they departed the premiere for "Anomalisa".
I then ended the night over at the CBC building for another conversation taping, this time with comedienne Sarah Silverman. I nabbed two autographs there before calling it a night.
Total autographs - 20
Total autographs for TIFF - 108
A Sarah Silverman
A Kiki Sukezane
A Odessa Young
A- David Thewlis
B+ Jimmy Jean-Louis
B+ Francesca Eastwood
B+ Judith Shekoni
B+ Tim Kring
B- Tom Courtenay
C+ Robbie Kay
C Jennifer Jason Leigh
C- Zachary Levi
Toronto International Film Festival 2014 - Day 9 and 10 - TIFF14 - Featuring - John Travolta, Chris Evans, Kate Winslet, Dan Stevens, Paul Bettany and more
The Festival usually is dead in the finale few days, but this years incompetence by TIFF leaders lead to an unusually busier than usual end to the fest.
The day started with a press conference for the John Travolta flick The Forger. On the way in, the TIFF crew quite literally were pushing him towards the entrance as Mr. Travolta made an effort to at least let everyone know he wanted to come over. His co-star Tye Sheridan signed for some people as he arrived earlier. On the way out, it was all about John Travolta, as the Grease & Pulp Fiction star made every effort imaginable to get an autograph or photo with, or both for everyone that could manage a spot at the front rail. He really gave the fans everything they could hope for out there.
Shortly after a press conference for Shelter took place. The movies director, actor Paul Bettany and his wife, Jennifer Connolly both rushed in. But on the way out, Bettany signed and took photos with everyone who asked, while his wife, a person I have gone for multiple times in the past and NEVER seen sign, actually picked up a pen, and signed for a couple minutes before leaving (despite her husband still working his way thru the crowd).
I killed the next couple hours grabbing some food, and staking out a spot for the red carpet of a film directed by Captain America star Chris Evans, Before We Go. The crowd eventually got really deep and by the time the movies stars Alice Eve and Chris showed up, the crowd was several hundred long, and several deep all the way along. Alice showed up 1st and I managed to get her quickly, and before I even had time to consider going to try for another, Chris was there. I had a great spot, but my luck, he didn't come to my area and seemed to be moving away. Eventually I got a better spot, and got an item in front of him. Chris signed it, and before I could rescue the item from the gaggle of camera phones, outstretched arms and masses of humanity, I watched as either Chris or his guards sleeve rubbed across the photo and sure enough when I got it back... it was a bit smudged. I was quite disappointed since it was for a buddy and I knew he was a big Capt. America fan. Immediately after Chris went in I took a spot up at the back of the theatre in the hopes of scoring with them again.
Luckily director Evans decided to sneak out for a bit during the film and did a 2nd huge session at the back of the theatre. I managed 2 more autographs from him there which made me feel a bit better about my smudged one from earlier. Unfortunately, Alice Eve did not come over after the movie ended and Chris, who signed a lot for someone that many call "not good" also didn't sign after the film. But I was happy with the outcome.
With nothing else really on the radar. I took myself across the street to Roy Thompson Hall in the hopes of squeezing out a decent spot for The Forger premiere. Although I scored a couple Travolta autographs earlier, I still had a couple items left, and wanted a chance at Christopher Plummer again...not to mention, I had hopes of getting Abigail Spencer. Sure enough John Travolta did not disappoint on the red carpet either. He did something I have only ever seen George Clooney and Ryan Gosling do prior, he actually did the entire line, from the very end, right to the top. This helped me get my other two items done in no time. I was the first person he picked up a pen from, and he was off to the races. I was done with him in less than 2 minutes. I never saw that sharpie again...but a small price to pay for 2 autographs from the man himself. My Spencer hopes were dashed when she didn't sign too much and only in the thickest part of the red carpet where gaggles of lookie loos and nutjobs with step ladders park themselves to get photos generally are most probable to congregate and waste vital space. The two Travoltas felt good, but knowing I missed Spencer and Plummer (who I never even saw show up...must of did so during the Travolta session) did disappoint a bit.
Day 9 TIFF total - 11 autographs
TIFF total - 117 autographs
A+ John Travolta (press & carpet)
A Paul Bettany
A Chris Evans
B+ Tye Sheridan
C+ Alice Eve
C+ Jennifer Connolly
C Abigail Spencer
F Anthony Mackie
Generally a dud day with 1 or less movies had 2 things to go for this year.
First was going to be A Little Chaos premiers at POW & RTH. Historically, the 1st premiere doesn't get too many, if any stars at it, as they tend to just do the gala event at RTH. So when I showed up to POW & got the attention of the ONLY crew member at TIFF who I think deserves a raise for the way she handles her job & the crowd, Shannon and asked her about the POW premiere, I was not shocked when she told me there was no arrivals expected.
Shortly after I went to RTH to nab a spot.... in hindsight, I shoulda stayed there. After awhile, someone I was with got a tip where the Alan Rickman was eating, and the assumption was, it was the pre-gala party that some films occasionally have. We went to place and saw almost every autograph hound still working the fest there waiting. Sure enough it was what we had heard, Alan Rickman was seen inside. Everyone shuffled around for an hour or 2 hoping Kate Winslet was also in there, but as it turned out she wasn't even in town yet from all reports. While waiting there, someone noticed Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens go by, he had the other film that night, the Midnight Madness showing of The Guest to do. Me and another hound went across the street and got him. Shortly after, Alan Rickman came out and got into a vehicle and left. I headed back to RTH to find a spot and was disappointed to notice there was a considerably deeper crowd than I expected.
While waiting around for that carpet to start, we got word that Kate and Alan both showed up at the 1st premiere, but not for a red carpet, just to watch & be seen by the audience. Major opportunity lost. Eventually both Winslet and Rickman showed up to the RTH red carpet, but the absurdly stupid crowds of cell phone picture takers and ladder using wannabe paps in row 2 made it nearly impossible to get close if you actually wanted something from the stars. I got shutout. But I did make my day a bit. There was some mickey mouse film crew trying to do their "report" with an on air personality, a camera man with a full on TV camera, and 2 assistants/producers trying to keep an area large enough for 7-12 people to fit in so they could do their report while Alan Rickman was signing just feet away. I decided this was absurd and ignored the assistant/producers attempt to stop me from walking right into the take. Afterwards, the cameraman said "we're gonna have words" and I invited him to come and have words...he declined. I noticed they were still doing their stupid reports, so I went and stood beside them. Eventually I found my chance to be a nuisance back to them. A crowd chant of "Kate, Kate, Kate" broke out, and I chimed in with my large bolstering voice...right beside their interview. They of course stopped and waited for the crowd to die off...as soon as they started up again, I then started an "Alan, Alan, Alan" chant...which then got the entire crew mad at me. Eventually I told them their options were do their report from somewhere that's NOT in the middle of a crowd of people who could actually use that space, or deal with me....the left. But not before they called me "mean" and a "douchebag" and said to me "I hope you sleep well at night". Funny, coming from the 4 people who wanted to take up space that probably a dozen could fit in to just so they could do a report that they literally could have filmed ANYWHERE ELSE... or earlier before the talent arrived...or after when things were done. For the record, I slept well that night.
I then took my small moral victory away and attempted to get Kate Winslet leaving that premiere. There was a hope they would have an after party, or that even still, it was possible she could be going back to the other premiere which would be ending soon. Both Alan and Kate departed almost within minutes of the other movies projected end time, and with the POW only being a 2 minute drive away there was hope. I rushed over to the venue, but neither vehicle ever showed up. An hour later I got a text from a friend letting me know Kate had gone to the airport and was gone already.
My last event of TIFF 2014 found me at Ryerson Theatre. I think this was the 1st time I can ever remember a Midnight Madness premiere being the final event of TIFF for red carpets. It was the Dan Stevens movie, which also starred Maika Monroe. With all my Stevens stuff done earlier in the day, I could focus on Maika. When she showed up, it did not take long to run out of the 5 items I had as Maika signed everything that was out there for the sparse crowd of die hards who went till the end. Dan Stevens was amazingly great as well, and he won me over there.
Good way to end the best TIFF of my career, running out of items for the final premiere.
Day 10 total - 7 autographs
TIFF total - 124 autographs (new record)
A+ Dan Stevens
A Maika Monroe
B Kate Winslet
D+ Alan Rickman
All photos posted in this blog are shot by Canadagraphs.