During the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, I met a few exceptionally friendly celebs. Most notably, The star of Clash Of The Titans, as well as the all time highest grossing movie, Avatar. Of course, that man is Sam Worthington.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Sam on the red carpet, first for his film with Oscar winning acting legend Helen Mirren in "The Debt". At that time I had made the strong statement that I thought Sam was the best signer at film fest. After that interaction I did run into another strong contender with Dexter star, Michael C. Hall. But Sam had a chance to put a stranglehold on the title...and he did.
Final day of my film fest, I happened to come across Sam at the hotel. There was about 5-6 of us waiting, and he signed ALL THIRTEEN photos I had at the same time. he made little comments, asking me what I was doing with them, told me he didnt care if I was selling them & even said good on me if I did. His easy going persona didnt stop with me. When a very cute Japanese girl asked him if he would remove his glasses for a photo with, he quickly responded in jest with "sure, if you remove your top", then proceeded to take off his glasses anyways, despite the girl not acceptiong his counter-proposal. With another fan who was getting an index card signed, he made her sign 1 for him & give it to him. Another fan he posed for a photo with, holding the signed index card from the other fan. He was just a joy to be around.
With any large venture such as a film fest, there is always going to be losers, and winners. This years biggest winner, my NEW Best Celebrity encounter Number 1 ranked star - SAM WORTHINGTON!
You can see my best, and worst list here
Avatar star Sam Worthington signing autographs on the red carpet for his film "The Debt" at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
Heres a small clip of Sam Worthington signing for the plethora of fans on the red carpet of the gala premiere for "The Debt" at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thompson Hall.
After the Gala premiere of "Peep World" (Starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter Morgan - "Dexter", Sarah Silverman & Rainn Wilson (Dwight K Schrute - "The Office") at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, I caught up with Michael at his after party for the movie.
Between interviews by accredited media, he slipped in a few words on what he thought if his film. Such a class act the entire festival.
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 of Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman, Harvey Keitel and a few others by mere inches because of random dumb luck.
Day 10. My final day of the festival was very successful for such a short time...but it did end on a sour note.
I got over to 1 of the hotels early & hung around with a few other onlookers for a bit. Around 9:45 AM a scruffy bearded Sam Worthington made his way out of the hotel & came down to the crowd of 5. He signed everything the crowd had, joked with us & took photos with. He then went back up the ramp to his awaiting ride & left. All toll I got 13 autographs & a photo with from him.
About 20 minutes later Eva Mendes came out & was quite the opposite. Hopped in her vehicle & the others went running to where he final destination would be. As she drove out I tried to get her to do a rolldown signing, but instead I got a half hearted wave & nothing more. I showed up to the press conference hotel to hear she ran into there past the 4-6 people waiting there upon her arrival. On her departure she was just as unwilling, and I opted to call that the end of my festival. It was 1:30 PM & I was done
Despite the miserable Mendes mess, The Wonderful Worthington windfall made the day a success.
13 autographs on the day..all from 1 person. He will be a contender for best signer when I do my best & worst list in my next blog.
A+ Sam Worthington
F Eva Mendes
My final total of the entire Fest was 97 autographs.
I had a goal of 100.... ironically I had 3 Mendes photos on me to get done.
Several factors lead to me not getting to 100.
Mendes, wasting 1/3 of a day trying for Eastwood, Allen, Hopkins & the gang 1 day, the 1 rained out day, a lot of dumb luck missing autographs by a foot here or an inch there for certain.
I am actually happy with 97. Even though looking back, I know I should/could have had 110-125
Day 8 was raining hard when I got up it didnt stop till alte afternoon...so I wasted the day watching The Big Bang Theory & a few other shows in Hamilton.
Day 9 showed potential, but ended with disappointment.
First up was a film with Harvey Keittel & Tricia Helfer. At the least, I expected to get both of my Helfers done. As it turned out, this was not the case.
Tricia showed up, came over, and only signed about 8-10 autographs before leaving to do press. I was stunned & thought I better clean up on Keittel, who I expected to be a challenge...I DIDNT expect I would literally get burned by mere inches.
Keittel showed up & did a few autographs right near where I was. My item was probably no more than 4 inches from where he signed, but he never made the effort to just move a bit more to his left & I was left shut out by this premiere. Keittel also only signed maybe 10-15 autographs total.
Jason Jones from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart was also in the film & did a decent amount of autographs, but I had nothing for him & had to sit back & watch.
The next film had Abigail Breslin and a few people I had nothing for.
I expected to do well with Breslin, and if the $8 an hr peons who hate their life werent there, I likely would have. I did manage to finally get 1 autograph from her near the end of her signing, but she was rushed away very quickly, and only signed maybe 20-30 autographs total, in random clusters along the red carpet.
I left Roy Thompson Hall for the last time of the fest feeling very disappointed in my output there.
I arrived at the midnight showing at Ryerson for a film with Danielle Harris & others, including Fringe castmate "The Observer" Michael Cerveris.
Some young kid named Connor Paolo showed up first & girls seemed excited. Shortly after, Top Gun star Kelly McGillis arrived & signed a bunch for the fans. Then Danielle Harris came over & signed everything there was out there. I ended the evening getting a few photos of them & having a few words with Cerveris about his filming in Vancouver.
My day was complete, with a very underwhelming 4 autographs. I was quite disappointed with the outcome, considering the potential the day had.
A+ Danielle Harris
A Michael Cerveris
A Kelly McGillis
A Connor Paolo
B+ Jason Jones
B- Abigail Breslin
C- Harvey Keitel
C- Tricia Helfer
Day 7 was a short one for me. It was also a great one for me, despite moderate numbers.
I didnt start till late afternoon, as I got into Toronto around 4 PM & instantly went over to Roy Thompson Hall to get set for the premire for Peep World. It was the biggest event on the entire schedule for me, as it had my top priority of film fest, Michael C. Hall.
Michael was the first person to show up. I eagerly hurried into the swarm to get him, just to assure I was going to get at least 1 from my main target. I soon had 1 & had a 2nd shortly after. A bit of a lull after that before I got my 3rd, which included a near fight with old people of all things. Some older woman was getting mad at another hound for being in front of her & she actually punched him in the back. Me reaching around her seemed to be her last sstraw & she elbowed me multiple times to move back. Now I have been in countless scrums & 1 of the reasons I dont seem to get as much as some is because I usually am a little too respectful of people...so when someone is giving ME grief, they are actually being unreasonable I would say. Its a scrum envirinment, dont go into it if you arent expecting to be in a condensed space & perhaps jostled a little. This lady seemed to be under some impression she was entitled to a couple square metres of space. The elbowing continued, my persistence then elevated to compensate for her aggressiveness brought in her husband who made the foolish mistake of grabbing my by my jacket. I gave him 1 good hard shove off, he pushed back & I walked away as frankly, I was far more focused on autographs than hospitalizing an old person because his wife is a fucking dumbass.
As I went to go reposition myself a few metres down security came over to me (of course, the younger, larger, professional hound MUST be at fault here) and wanted me to walk over & have a few words with him. I declined his invite & continued into the crowd. I told him, if he wants to talk, go ahead. I was very willing to debate everything that just happened, but I wasnt going to lose out because of it. Instead, he just gave up. After the scrum ended, where I eventually got 4 more Halls, and a few words out of him about the upcoming season of Dexter that he is filming. I went over to the same guard, I apologized to him for having to deal with it, explained my side & went on my way. I still dont think he bought my side of it..although he word for word stated exactly what I said as well (with the exception of the continual elbowing), except making it sound like I somehow insitgated it.
With 6 Hall autographs in my possession it was pretty tough for my day to be bad.
Shortly after his co-star, the cutie comedienne Sarah Silverman showed up & I was able to quickly get thru the 3 items I had for her, and even helped out another hound get 1 of his giving me a total of 4 autographs on the evening from her.
From there I headed over to a premiere across town for Ryan Gosling. Once there I heard news of an after party for Michael C. Hall's film, and I soon decided to abandon the Gosling premiere, as I really wanted a photo with Dexter Morgan.
Arriving at the party early I sat around behimd where the roped off area was, till just before the first star showed up. Judy Greer, who also is in Peep World showed up first. She was pleasant & friendly, and even posed for a photo out on the street before getting to the red carpet set up at the party. Across the street we noticed another party going on, it was for a movie that had Jennifer Connolly, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan & Yeardley Smith. Smith showed up & we hurried across the street, others got autographs, but I squeezed in to get a photo with. Besides being Lisa Simpson, I am a fan of hers, because she was a character on my favorite show Dead Like Me for an episode or two.
Immediately back across the street we went & a few minutes later Michael C. Hall showed up. He was patient & friendly, signing for everyone & doing photos with anyone who asked, including myself.
I instantly headed back to RTH for the night premiere of a movie with Malin Akerman & Ryan Phillippe. Once I got there I found out both stars were already done signing & neither signed much. I SHOULD have just called it a night, or headed back to the Connolly party, but I foolishly waited around for Akerman leaving & was shut out.
My night ended poorly, but the evening went so well I called the day a success. Afterall I got 6 autographs from my top priority of film fest, and a photo with.
A+ MICHAEL C. HALL
A Sarah Silverman
A Yeardley Smith
A Judy Greer
C- Malin Akerman
C- Ryan Philippe
10 autographs for the day & 2 photos with.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.