Every event, there are celebs who are simply better & who are 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 4 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 2011 Toronto International Film Festival Best & worst list.
1- Justin Long - Not only did he talk to anyone who wanted, he signed, took photos with, talked to fans friends on the phone, and did the entire line of his red carpet. While his co-star used the excuse of having to get into his premiere but would be right back out, Long also said the same thing... but he actually DID come out.
2- George Clooney - Two premieres, both of them he signed down the entire row at the red carpet. Its absurd to think I know, but yes, he is that nice.
3- Chris Pratt - Such a nice guy. Won over many fans on his arrival, his presser and red carpet for Moneyball by being so friendly & patient.
4- Ezra Miller - Flashy wardrobe aside, this guy is super class & very chilled guy. Came out of his press conference & gave a fan some chocolate he was given inside, chatted for a couple minutes & when he heard a punk rock legend was inside the hotel nodded in approval & said "now thats someone I wanna party with".
5- Chloe Moretz - Although not everyone got her going into her premiere because of the terrible set up they had there, she tried her best to get as many as she could, and did the same leaving.
6- Megan Fox - She did a great job on the carpet again. She might not have spent quite as much time as last year, and her autographs were far less spectacular this time around, but she still won over a lot of fans with her red carpet actions.
7- Anna Faris - She was as cool and friendly as I hoped she would be. Just disappointed I didnt have anything for her to sign when I saw her arrive.
8- Nicolas Cage - Even in pouring rain, Nic stopped, signed autographs & did photos with people while leaving dinner. At his press conference he was just as good.
9- Paddy Considine - I had no clue who he was, but helped another hound get him. As it turned out...he probably didnt need my help, as Paddy stood there and willingly signed everything he had.
10- Willem Dafoe - Despite me coming up behind him and taking him by surprise, he stopped and willingly signed everything I had.
11- Geoffrey Rush - With the exception of seeing him going to a premiere that he was late getting to, Mr. Rush was terrific in all the other interactions I had with him during TIFF
12- Ryan Gosling - Although I got as many autographs from him as George Clooney on the same red carpet, George was just better at it. Ryan certainly won over a lot of fans though.
13- Alexander Skarsgard - Despite the rabid furvor for this TV star, the man handled it all quite well and more importantly, was a willing signer, and patient.
14- Dominic Monaghan - A small crowd of people noticed him at his press conference going in. He stopped, waited even for the 1 girl who had stuff for him to find it, then signed it all. Very pleasant.
15- Sarah Bolger - Her entire cast might have been 1 of the best signing casts there, but for me, this Irish beauty was the best of the bunch.
Honorable mention - Kim Coates, Asia Argento, Sarah Gadon, Selma Blair, Madonna, Hugh Dancy
1- Woody Harrelson. - even Woodys mom isnt shocked to hear he was again a class A douchebag. No autographs, limited to 0 interaction in general.
2- Gael Garcia Bernal - For someone with only ONE big movie in his career, he thinks a lot of himself. I saw him sign ONE autograph for a crowd of 10 or so.
3- Chace Crawford - He should see a doctor about his irrational phobia of sharpies. Signed MAYBE 8 autographs at his premiere. For someone that anyone over the age of 18 cant ID, thats pathetic.
4- Hugh Laurie - Every TIFF someone disappoints me. This yr, Dr. House. I heard reports he didnt even acknowledge the crowd at his premiere going in, on the way out, I saw what the meant. A half assed head up & wave to the crowd leaving was all he greeted people at his premiere with.
5- Ashley Greene - Is it any shock to anyone that this self portraiting nude model turned wannabe celeb mattress & part time actress got booed at a party by the fans? Afterall she snubbed them all there, and had minimal interaction at her premiere too.
6- Mia Wasikowska - When she showed up for TIFF, 1/2 the people didnt even care about her, but she acted like she was Madonna or Brangelina. I heard reports at her premiere that she was even WORSE than when she arrived.
7- Rebecca Hall - Signed about 10 autographs at a premiere that had MAYBE 150 people at it. Clearly she has no interest in trying to win over fans for her movies.
8- Kyle McLachlan - Did I seriously see the guy best known for playing the captain on How I Met Your Mother sign 3 total autographs at his premiere??? Yes, sadly.
9- Jonah Hill - Although Mr. Hill was allegedly nice leaving town, he was a jerk entering it. He carried himself like someone who was coming off his 5th consecutive Oscar. More shocking was the absolute nobody friend that he came with who acted like HE was a star and was speaking for Jonah, lipping off fans for Jonah, and sticking his middle finger up in the back of pics with Jonah. If Jonah has a functioning brain, he will disassociate with this "friend" before his rep gets anymore battered.
10- Elizabeth Olsen - I realize it has to suck being the unknown sister of the worlds most famous former TV twins. But it doesnt give you a licence to be a bitch. Was not very receptive upon arriving in town, was poor at her premiere, and horrible upon leaving it.
11- Arielle Kebbel - I give her kudos for taking a few seconds to talk to a little girl. All those kudos are lost however when you learn she immediately snubbed the ONE person who was waiting for an autograph right there as well.
12- Pearl Jam - Entire band signed ZERO autographs total between them. Outside of a vague hand wave from Eddie Vedder, they didnt really even give the fans anything.
13- Neil Young - Although he signed a lot leaving his event from what I heard, going in, the Canadian legend signed a grand total of ONE autograph.
14- Channing Tatum - Although I heard he did sign a few early on upon arrival, I saw Channing sign exaclty ONE item that wasnt a magazine or piece of paper. Perhaps he did sign some more earlier on & assumed he got everyone? I dont know, all I do know is, in the several minutes I saw him, he dodged requests to sign normal items. His excuse of "I have to get in to my premiere..I'll be back out" cements his spot on my list when you see my #1 best.
15- Rachel Weisz - she turned down a request to sign for 3 whole people the 1 time I saw her. She did say "when I come out" unfortunately, no one was there for her when she came out to see if she followed thru on her statement.
Dishonorable mention - Glenn Close, Alexis Bledel, Ewan McGregor, Alicia Silverstone, Kim Cattrall,
Top 5 moments
1- Got Madonna. I never sit & wait on red carpets. Its not value efficient. But for a glimmer of a chance to get 1 of the top 10 names on the planet, yes, I put in 4.5 hrs sitting around in 1 spot waiting. It paid off. The material girl gave me 1 of the 75-100 autographs she doled out at her premiere. My position even helped nab an Abbie Cornish autograph as well to top it off.
2- Getting 4 George Clooneys & 4 Ryan Goslings at Ides Of March premiere. A red carpet that most of the pros called "impenetrable" and rightfully so with its massive crowd, I managed to sneak in and out of areas by simply thinking ahead of the crowd to get each star 4 times.
3- Getting 6 Chloe Moretz at Hick premiere. Last year Michael C. Hall was my top want of TIFF, this year, it was the girl who played Hit Girl. Like Hall, she did not disappoint.
4- Seeing myself everywhere on advertisements. TIFF had a variety of promotional photos around town (and on my flight there in the in flight mag). One of them features me in the background. I saw it everywhere, magazines, posters, wrapped around a pilar, 25 ft tall wall mural outside the TIFF building...and even on elevator doors.
5- Meeting Ezra Miller and Chris Pratt. Neither of these guys had I ever heard of going into TIFF, but both made such great impressions on me, I am planning to go check out some of their works now. Pratts coolness overshadowed Jonah Hills prickness enough that I probably will still see Moneyball.
Bottom 5 moments
1- Didnt get Robert DeNiro again. Last yr at the press conference he signed to the left of me, and above me. This year, he did the EXACT same thing...except, this time on the red carpet.
2- Getting Saoirse Ronan.. in dying shitty useless silver pen...twice. Near the top of my want list, I should be happy....but the pen ruins the items. Instead of keeping 1 & selling 1, I now have two that I'm selling.
3- Going for Neil Young...instead of waiting around at Killer Elite premiere, where Jason Statham came back out. Neil stiffed the crowd, Statham, someone high on my want list, came back out after his red carpet interviews & signed for everyone.
4- Not going for U2. Bono & The Edge racked out, and I was talked out of it with the misguided logic that the crowd was going to be too big.
5- Not having stuff for the likes of Piper Perabo, Anna Faris or Chris Gorham when I saw them.
Below are some pics of the men who attended TIFF 2011.
Pics below of Shawn Ashmore, Antonio Banderas with Melanie griffith, Jay Baruchel, Nicolas Cage, George Clooney (bad pic), Kim Coates, Paddy Considine, Chris Cornell, Hugh Dancy, James Gandolfini, Ryan Gosling, Marc-Andre Grondin, Justin Long, Diego Luna, Ezra Miller, Dominic Monaghan, cast of The Moth Diaries (Scott Speedman), Chris Pratt with Anna Faris, Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Rotten, Salman Rushdie, Joel Schumacher, Adam Scott, Seann William Scott, Keifer Sutherland, Channing Tatum, Johnny To and Nat Wolff.
Below is a bunch of pics of some of the actresses that attended TIFF 2011.
Below are pics of some of those in attendance.
Melanie Griffith (with Antonio Banderas), Melanie & Antonio again, Juliette Binoche, Selma Blair, Alexis Bledel, Sarah Bolger, Kim Cattrall, Jessica Chastain, Lily Cole, Abbie Cornish, Abbie Cornish again, Anna Faris with Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Megan Fox, Megan Fox again, Satrah Gadon, Rebecca Hall, Arielle Kebbel, Arielle Kebell again, Stacy Keibler, Madonna, Chloe Moretz, cast of The Moth Diaries, Allison Pill, Saoirse Ronan, Yvonne Strahovski, Mia Wasikowska, Shailene Woodley
Day 8 started disappointingly slow. I left the house hoping to find Hanna star Saoirse Ronan at a press conference, instead got Dominic Monaghan and Shawn Ashmore coming by...neither of whom I had stuff for.
Eventually I made my way around town and ended up at the Elgin for the premiere of Violet & Daisy. There was an unusually large crowd for such a small premiere, this made it difficult getting much signed.
First up was Ms. Ronan, and she did sign quite a bit, unfortunately it was in a dying silver sharpie. I was disappointed in it, as I wasted my best photo on the dying pen. Shortly after Alexis Bledel came in and signed a few, then James Gandolfini signed a few as well.
I waited around the back of the theatre for them departing and was disappointed yet again when all 3 of them came out at the same time. Because of that, I had to abandon James & Alexis and fodus on the main star, which turned out to be tougher than I envisioned. I got another Ronan, again, in the dying crappy silver pen.
From there, I hustled over to the premiere of the Maggie Gyllenhaal film Hysteria. I got 2 from Maggie there. I saw Hugh dancy out there too, but didnt have anything for him.
A- Dominic Monaghan
B+ Shawn Ashmore
B+ Saoirse Ronan
B+ Hugh Dancy
B James Gandolfini
B Maggie Gyllenhaal
C+ Alexis Bledel
TOTAL autographs 5
Day 6 was wrought with huge disappointments for me and others. Cancellations dominated the day as the likes of Jane Fonda, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jennifer Lawrence were all absent desite being on the original guest lists.
My day started off confirming Lawrences absence and speculating heaving that JDM was also a no-show. However, I was still hopeful he was maybe in Toronto for the premiere and just somehow wasnt at the press conference.
I showed up to the premiere for Peace, Love and Misunderstandings hoping for the man who played John Winchester to be in attendance, and worst case scenario...at least I would get Jane Fonda. As it turns out, NEITHER of those situations happened, as both of them were no-shows. Instead, we were mistreated to the incredibly unfriendly Chase Crawford and shockingly unfriendly Kyle MacLachlan, who between of them signed maybe 10 autographs and spent less than a minute interacting with the fans. I dont know what company is dishing the $ out for P,L&M but I can assure you, the cancellation of the movies 2 biggest names and absolute neglect from itsw 2 second tier names likely unsold many tickets that night. The public relations team for this film must have had heart attacks when they checked the next day for fan on the street reactions and saw plenty of negatively worded responses. One of the reactions I saw in person was a gil, maybe 15ish who word for word said "fuck Chase. He NEEDS our ticket sales, we dont NEED his acting, theres lots of other guys to follow". Thisw blunt, factual and quite attentive response to being slighted by the tv actor is the type of thing that will over time hurt his star power. Hes replaceable, theres dozens of prettyboy faces out there, and some casting director is going to 1 day pick a nicer, more personable, more fan friendly 1 over him. The casting director of PL&M probably wishes they had that prior insight.
I attempted the Jennfer Garner red carpet. Had Alicia Silverstone signing near me, but was unable to get close enough to the fading star to get 1 of the limited autographs she tossed out. Jennifer Garner was just as bad, even statign 9according to a source who actually has admited to having bad hearing...but her body language did convey the same message) "I dont like you" as she skipped over my item, which seemed odd for someone that had prior to that moment only seen me for a total of 20 seonds in her entire life, back in 2007. and no words or actions were exchanged in that meeting.
After the shitty start to this day, I decided I better go for what SHOULD be a slam dunk. A premiere at the small Isabelle Bader Theatre. It was the only premiere the theatre had this festival that I worked, and it was...ok. I managed a couple autographs from Sarah Bolger and Scott Speedman as well as 1 from Lily Cole. Sarah Gadon was also there and signed willingly, I just had nothing for the budding star. It broke my shutout slump..even though I had hoped for at least 2 more autographs from that carpet, it was a start.
I contemplated quitting the night there & cutting my losses, but instead took the short walk over to the Windsor Arms for the InStyle party.
A plethora of C & D list names populated the Canadian version of this party. I was disappointed to miss Covert Affairs stars Chris Gorham and Piper Perabo, both of whom walked right by me. I managed an autograph from Anton Yelchin and 1 from Jessica Chastain, before |I opted to call it a night.
A few other names went to the party. Ashley Greene of Twilight fame went there, snubbed the crowd, and got loudly booed for her disrespect. This girl will be doing TV Movies of the week within 2 yrs. She has little to no talent, and a sour attitude and the Twi-fame is about to be done...and she seems oblivious to it. The Trailer Park Boys also showed up, and greeted, signed and took pics with anyone who asked. They have always been terrific at fan interactions, this time was no different. Kim Cattrall was seen leaving the party and snubbed most requests, although she did sign 1 autograph, most of the requests for the aging star were ignored.
All toll, considering how abysmal the day started, getting what I did in the end seemed like a small victory.
A+ Trailer Park Boys
A- Sarah Bolger
A- Sarah Gadon
A- Christopher Gorham
B Scott Speedman
B- Jessica Chastain
B- Lyndsy Fonseca
C+ Anton Yelchin
C Lily Cole
C- Alicia Silverstone
C- Piper Perabo
C- Kim Cattrall
D+ Jennifer Garner
D Ashley Greene
D Chase Crawford
D Kyle MacLachlan
TOTAL autographs 7
Day 5 had very little actual hounding for me...that being said, the results I got were pretty spectacular.
The day started later than any of the others, I arrived in Toronto early afternoon and immediately went to the TIFF Bell Lightbox and got an autograph from author Salman Rushdie.
After that I had a short lunch then went to prep for the next event, the big event. With all the epic names that came for TIFF, there likely was not a single 1 larger than the headliner for this evenings gala event of W.E.
Pop icon Madonna was going to be there to promote the film she directed. To have a shot at the Material Girl, I had to do something I rarely did....go sit on the carpet for hours. I spent 4 1/2 hrs infact, placed close to where I hoped her vehicle would stop to let her out. Some people had spent 10+ hrs waiting, so in comparison, my 4.5 hrs was actually, not bad.
As 6PM rolled by the first of the cast showed up, soon after, Abbie Cornish arrived. I instantly called for her as she was let out right in front of me, and she came immediately to me and started signing. She borrowed my pen for 2-3 minutes, signing for others, then brought my pen back to me and moved on to the press row.
It was not long after that a nice black car came rolling up the pathway. It stopped right infront of me. Immediately behind it was a black SUV full of security. The security detail got out 1st, then out came the talent. Madonna poppped out and instantly acknowledged the fans and media, then made her way over to sign...unfortunately, she walked 50 ft down the carpet to start. I had picked the perfect spot, but the pop diva opted to walk away from where she got dropped off and start further down the row. I had to just stand there and hope & wait that she was coming as far as I was positioned.
Eventually, about 3-4 minutes went by she was getting within range of where I was standing. Madonna would sign a handful, then move on 10-20 ft, then do the same, then move on...so it was a 50-50 chance she might stop in the area right near where I was positioned. As she got closer, she skipped the area immediately to my right. As she approached, she started right where I was positioned, signed my item first and moved on from there. I tried getting a photo of the signed item with her in the same frame, but funny enough I actually blocked out Madonna with the item as I tried to shoot a shot with the crowd clamouring for a look and pushing. Just like that, she was gone, off to sign for others further down the carpet.
After that, I immediately went across the street to attempt Neil Young. The Canadian music icon was not as accomodating as the pop icon was. Young signed 1 autograph outside then hurried in. We passed Geoffrey Rush on the street as he was heading to the Neil Young movie.
From there we went to another premiere featuring Channing Tatum and others. Tatum was quite terrible at signing on the carpet, often ignoring anything that seemed remotely collectible. While he did sign SOME, it was few and far between. His GF Jenna Dewan was a bit better, and his co-star Justin long was phenomenal, coming back out after the film started to greet and sign for all the fans. Worst part was getting the tip that Neil Young signed for fans leaving his premiere while we were wasting our time on mediocre talents like Channing Tatum. But, thats what TIFF is about, making choices...and sometimes, you will make the wrong one.
From there, went for Madona again. She was leaving dinner at an upscale restaurant near the venue, and she signed again, this time maybe 10-20 autographs, my position was not great, so I missed out on her this time.
A+ Justin Long
B Salman Rushdie
B Abbie Cornish
B- Jenna Dewan
C- Channing Tatum
D+ Neil Young
TOTAL autographs 3
Day 4 started for me with a premiere for Dark Horse. I got Selma Blair to sign, but only got 1 as the 2nd photo I had for her she said she didnt like.
With a few hours to kill till the next premiere I walked across town and passed Ezra Miller walking around. Saw a lot of him the first few days.
Next up was Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling at The Eye Of The Storm premiere. I managed 2 out of Rush, and 1 out of Rampling. Little time was spent there before I was on to my next venue.
We had seen a tweet saying James Franco was at a show over at Ryerson showing support for a film his NYU alum Elizabeth Olsen had premiering Martha Marcy May Marlene. Upon leaving I managed 2 from Franco and 1 from the films co-star Hugh Dancy. Olsen however was quite unaccomodating.
I made my way over to Roy Thompson Hall for the premiere for Machine Gun Preacher. When I got there, Gerard Butler was already greeting fans. I made my way into the mosh pit of people and got 1 autograph right away. After that however, the 2 jerk offs that felt it teir lifes mission to stop Gerard from signing pushed items away from the star repeatedly, including mine. Butler greeted a large portion of the crowd, but was not signing a lot at the forced hand of the two minimum wage neanderthals lurching along with him.
I took a walk across the downtown core to go get Ethan Hawke. Only a couple people waited for him, and he willingly signed for those of us that came out for him.
I was given a suggestion to go check out a restaurant by 1 of the people I was sharing info with....and as it turned out, it was a hot place to hang. Saw several people there, but none of them resulted in autographs for me early on. Woody Harrelson went in without even acknowledging the crowd of course, shortly after Ewan McGeregor showed up but I didnt have enough time to react and get him. Rachel Weisz showed up and said "get you after" but of course, we never sdaw her again. I did garner 1 morsel fo luck from there, as I got Glenn Close leaving, she didnt sign much, maybe 3 total?
Shortly after that I got Antonio Banderas going into his premiere, yet somehow I wasnt able to get Elena Anaya to sign.
Went back over to the restaurant that was so busy earlier, saw Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna leave. Bernal was quite rude and cocky, he signed 1 autograph for a girl and then snubbed all the others, Luna at least stopped for a couple photos with before tyaking off.
A- Geoffrey Rush
B+ Selma Blair
B Antonio Banderas
B Ethan Hawke
B- Charlotte Rampling
B- James Franco
C+ Gerard Butler
C Hugh Dancy
C Diego Luna
C- Ewan McGregor
D Rachel Weisz
D ELizabeth Olsen
D- Gael Garcia Bernal
F Woody Harrelson
TOTAL 12 autographs
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.