Now that 2011 has expired, it is time to look back at the year that was. I didnt travel too much this year, but that was ok, as elite names were roaming the streets of Vancouver throughout the year... now only if I had ran into some of them.
20 - Ellen Degeneres
I managed to get the talk show icon twice on her trip to Vancouver, including the 1st autograph I got in which I had to run 4 blocks to get after being given up to the second info on where she was. Few if any autographs I got this year took more energy out of me than that 1st 1 I got from her. Next day, she signed again and was happy to do it.
19 - Axl Rose
For a long time, I had heard nothing but horror stories about the lead singer for Guns N Roses. So I was not eager to go for him. However, this past time thru Vancouver, not only did the band actually play the show they came here to play, but Axl was even a willing signer. Pretty much anyone that went for him here got him.
18 - Simon Pegg
While here for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Mr. Pegg was the most often seen of the films stars. Whether it was at the airport, his hotel or the movie theatre, the Hot Fuzz star signed whatever was asked more often than not.
17 - Henry Cavill
The new Superman has been very good here so far. Although he is strict about limiting his autograph to 1 per person each time you see him, he has still been terrific in the interactions people have had with him.
16 - Cast of Sanctuary
Never had a bad experience with this cast, this year was no different. Whether it was at the Leo Awards, the airport or a charity event, each member of the cast was exceptional.
15 - Cast of The Secret Circle
This cast could have made the top 10, if it werent for 1 exceptionally bitter & sour life hating senior cast member of the show. That exception aside...the rest of the cast has been terrific with us.
14- Matt Barr & Aly Michalka
I miss Hellcats. Not just because of the campy cheerleader drama storylines. But because 2 of the nicer celebs we have had in Vancouver in a long time left when the show did. While some other cast members were a lot less thrilled to interact with fans during the shows 1 year run, Matt & Aly were as accomodating & friendly as you can expect. Class acts.
13- Cast Of Supernatural
Much like Ms. Torv from Fringe, the cast of Supernatural, whether its Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver or the recurring characters of the show have been quite good to us Vancouverites when we run into them. Long as the regulars respect the no asking them on set policy, they are more than receptive to signing and chatting with us away from set when we see them.
12 - Leo Awards
This years award ceremony for BC film industry was not as spectacular as past ones I had hounded. Much of that was because of an unexpected change of venue & the loss of 1 or 2 shows since last year. Still, a list of names came out that made the effort worthwhile.
11 - Amy Adams
I had heard that Ms. Adams was a very willing signer, but till I saw it for myself, I didnt understand just how good she was. She willingly signed for everyone till there was nothing left out there to sign. She did it too with a smile. Wish all movie stars could have that level of appreciation.
10 - Booboo Stewart, Myanna Buring, Julia Jones, Guri Weinberg
This past year, the final installment of the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 was filmed here. In the years prior, some of the bigger names in the film were at times, pretty decent signers. This year however, there was VERY FEW great interactions with the cast. The names above were the very few I can say were outstanding. Considering how massive the cast was, its sad you can count the great experiences on 1 hand. Not to say ALL the others were terrible, but that they didnt neccesarily stand out as great.
9- Cast Of Fringe
The cast of the hit FOX show Fringe is generally friendly (the occasional grumpy Mr. Noble encounter not withstanding) the true star from a fan interaction aspect is usually Anna Torv in past years. Despite seeing the regulars probably 100+ times combined over the shows run here, she still willingly signs for us, even at the absurd time of 5:30 AM. This season, Seth Gabel became a regular and skyrocketed up along side his Fringe co-star for terrific interactions. Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole & others are terrific as well.
8 - John Schneider
Although from an excitement standpoint, getting Mr. Schneider wasnt overly high for me (I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan..but not a massive fan), it was how wonderfully personable he was each & every time that won me over. My 1st interaction with him was 1 of the rare "I wasnt expecting that" situations where we were at the airport for persons unrelated, and saw a sign for him there. Knowing he was coming in for an episode eventually, we waited to see if it was him, it was. He happily signed then. Seeing him 2 more times after, he was just as gracious each time after, even at the Smallville wrap party, where some of the bigger stars were nothing short of rude, Mr. Schneider was 1 of the ones that made the fans waiting out there happy.
7 - Cast Of Once Upon A Time
Usually when new TV shows roll into town, odds are someone on the cast thinks more of themselves than they actually are. Not so with the cast of the new ABC fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Each & every cast member I have met has been terrific with interacting with the fans & the pros. It was the overall attitude of this cast that made me hope for it to do well...I'm glad it is succeeding, this cast deserves it.
6- Sharlto Copley
The District 9 star is simply, awesome. How awesome is he with fans? After a flight that was the better part of a day, he stopped, chatted with fans at the airport, did photos with, and even cracked a few jokes. So awesome he did an autograph session for a local African import store "African Breese Imports" just because they asked...and at the autograph session, he had no qualms signing stacks for fans, collectors or dealers alike. One guy plopped down 30 or so photos, Sharlto went thru the entire stack, not once groaning about doing it and thanked the guy for coming afterwards.
5- Callum Blue
Being a huge Dead Like Me fan, I still get a bit excited when I meet any of the cast. This past year, I had a 4th (or 5th?) chance to meet Callum Blue. He was in town reprising his Smallville role as Zod. What made this meeting stand out more than others prior though was how it went down. I first learned he was going to be coming back..I then contacted him thru a site I knew he was a member of that I too was a member of. He replied back with when he was coming. I then tried, several times, but without success, to cross paths with him naturally. So I gave him another message & he told me what day he would be off. So I tried that day, called his room & he answered & came right down. In the pouring rain, he stood, signed, and chatted with my friend & I for several minutes.
4- Chloe Moretz
At 2010 TIFF I had Ms. Moretz high on my list of people to get...but she cancelled. This year however, Hit Girl was there, and made up for the year long wait. One of the best signers at TIFF. Even with volunteers telling her she had to go, she still kept signing.
3- TIFF - The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Individually, several of the events from Tiff could make this list, and a couple I did list individually. But for the mostpart, the entire event of the Toronto International Film Festival falls under 1 event for me. So thus, why it is going here. This years fest was certainly my most successful from a star power aspect, and total wise, it was close to my best. Stars like George Clooney, Megan Fox, Madonna, Nicolas Cage & Ryan Gosling made the event quite successful for me. It was the newer names I wasnt as faimiliar with before going that made some of the more cool moments though, like Chris Pratt, Ezra Miller, Dominic Monaghan and Sarah Bolger who all made me fans of them with the way they handled their attention.
2 - Tom Cruise
While I did get a disappointingly low total of 2 autographs from someone I was told "signs everything", a lot of that wasnt any fault of his or really mine either. It was just dumb luck. Still, I managed to get 2 from him, which was still 2 more than most hounds in Vancouver got from him. The 1 and only night outside the trade & convention center unfortunately turned out to be the 1 and only chance Vancouverites got to get the Mission Impossible star. He made the waiting worth it though, as Mr. Cruise strolled over to a crowd of 20-30 people (which swelled to 75-100 when extras & crew came over too) around midnight & did a 20-30 minute meet & greet with fans, taking photos & signing autographs. Each interaction he made feel special, he asked fans to make sure their photos turned out and even acknowledged autograph requests with a level of respect, and not just a "ugh, fine" mentality to it.
No disrespect to Mr. Cruise, but at the end of the day, a rare, hard to obtain signature is a bigger deal on average than a classy, easier to obtain star.
Anytime you get someone of Madonna's level of fame, its probably going to make your best list. The Material Girl has been known for quite awhile as, at best, an unwilling signer. However, when you are promoting a movie you directed & has been panned by many critics, you are on your best behaviour.
That is what fans in Toronto got when the pop icon was there to promote W.E. this past Summer for TIFF.
Madonna signed probably 75-100 autographs on the red carpet, and signed at dinner a bit later after her event as well.
Some honorable mentions should go out to the likes of Patrick Gilmore, Rose McGowan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Ben Cotton & Lyndsy Fonseca.
So, that concludes 2011. Some amazing successes for me. Granted, there was some downright failures as well. I somehow never got Matt Damon despite him being here for 2-3 months. All my Saoirse Ronan autographs were ruined by an ugly fading silver sharpie. I missed Robert DeNiro AGAIN by mere inches, and same with Brad Pitt this time.
Who will grace the list at the end of 2012? Going into 2011, there wasnt a lot of "sure things" I could see making the list. To be honest, most of the list is a complete surprise, simply because I didnt know going into 2011 these people would cross my paths.
Here are some pics of various Wolfpack members for the Twilight Saga, as they were in town for Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 this past spring.
Due to a computer problem a few months ago, a lot of my older blogs got passed over for awhile....so now I am catching up, and tada...for you Twilight Wolfpac fans...heres some of the pics I had for their past shoot here.
Kiowa Gordon, Julia Jones, Alex Meraz, Bronson Pelletier & Booboo Stewart are featured in this lot.
After fighting off the general of all colds lately, I finally put in some quality time hounding yesterday & had reasonably decent results.
After a quick stop off to get a few Canucks in the late morning/early afternoon, it was off to go for Eclipse.
First stop was to get a few BooBoo Stewart autographs at the former ground zero of the Eclipse cast. Since the mass exodus of the cast earlier this month from there, its been relatively a ghost town. However, it seems cast members who are here for breif stints still go there...this included Booboo. When I showed up he was sitting outside, hanging with 2 people, sipping away on a Subway drink while his friends were eating. Eventually they got up to leave & my friends & I grabbed a few autographs & a I took a few pics. Hewas incredibly pleasant & seemed thrilled with the attention.
After that I headed to the still practically unknown destination of the current Eclipse cast. Although still in the downtown core, we opted to drive over there. Things seemed dead for awhile, then eventually there were small signs of life.
First person sighted was Chaske Spencer. My friend hurried over to get him before he went in the door. I showed up a few seconds later & snapped a few pics of him before he headed inside. He told us about the long nights of shooting where they werent getting back till 7 AM. He said he was going upstairs to catch a nap...cant blame him. It was clearly a short nap though, as I would see him more later.
At the same time we saw Chaske, another celebrity was spotted going to a store nearby. Current Smallville villian & best known as Mason on Dead Like Me, Callum Blue was out doing a bit of shopping. I was going to snap a few pics of him as he left, but he came out & spotted me & started up a conversation....so I would have felt like a real dick taking shots then. We chatted for a minute as he walked back to his residence, not far from where the Twilighters now reside.
Sometime after that, and before the next encounter I saw a handful of the 100 Monkeys leave for their show they had last night at Neptoon Records.
There was a bit of a lull after that. We would eventually see Chaske again going out with a friend. A little while after that from a distance one of the hounds noticed Xavier Samuel & 2 girls leaving in the opposite direction. We hurried after them, eventually catching up to him just before he was about to go & see a film. He stopped & signed a few autographs, and posted for a couple pics before heading inside.
Upon returning there was an excitement that things were picking up. As it turned out, it was not really the case. A bit of a lull happened again, but when it was finally broken it was hectic.
Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon & Bronson Pelletier came out together & headed towards the club area. I stopped Bronson first, then Kiowa. Both who seemed fine with being stopped. Alex kept going forward. I caught up to him & asked him to sign as well, he gave me a less than impressed look & signed 1 with what seemed like a pained look on his face. I had heard he was not too receptive to autographs, clearly they were right. I then pushed my luck & asked if the 3 of them would mind posing for a pick. I got an enthusiastic reply from 2 of them & they posed long enough for me to get 1 good pics. I'll give you 3 guesses who wasnt the overly enthused one. After that they went on their way & I returned to wait for more.
Shortly after that, Chaske was on his way back...again. I got him to sign a couple photos & he went inside.
As the evening wore on, I was getting itchy to go & check out the 100 Monkeys show. So I finally decided to take off & go to the venue. On my way to the bus to take me there I developed a mild leg cramp & decided I was going to stop off at home first, which was a slight detour from my route, but still close enough I could get to the venue in 20 mins if anything happened. As it turned out, that was actually the end of my day. I laid down to wait for the cramp to subside, but it never did & eventually I just fell asleep.....but all in all, a fairly decent day, so no regrets on bailing early.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.