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.
10- Anytime I saw Tom Hardy
Quite literally 6 months ago I did not know the name Tom Hardy. With a role in Inception firmly on his resume now, and a 3 month pit stop in Vancouver to film This Means War with Chris Pine, its hard not to know the man who has already been penned in to a role in the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises now.
What makes Hardy so memorable is, he truly likes everyone. He doesnt let Hollywood politics decide who he will & wont be nice to. Some of the people Tom was friendliest with while here were autograph hounds & paps. Always said hi, chatted with us & didnt at all seem phased by the cameras being focused on his work while he was on set.
Everytime I saw him, he made the meeting memorable. Whether it was chatting for 20 minutes about filming stunts on other films, or play sparring with a pap while in fight make up just after a scene, Hardy was always an adventure to meet.
Even with the miserable Reese Witherspoon trying her hardest to make people hate the film, Hardy and his free caring personality likely won over far more people than Witherspoon alienated.
9- Getting Stargate Universe cast going to & coming back from Gemini Awards.
The entire cast (minus 1 or 2) of Stargate Universe went to Toronto for the Gemini Awards & a couple promotional events. Knowing now that the show was going to be prematurely cancelled, I am glad I took this 1 last chance to meet them.
Almost every single member (Alaina Huffman being the 1 exception, as her husband frowned with disapproval) was happy to stop, sign & take photos with all that were out there. Robert Carlyle & Louis Ferreira chatted with us before departing, as did the likes of Julia Benson, David Blue, Ming Na & Brian Jacob Smith.
Upon their return, the group was just as excited. Patrick Gilmore regaled us in how the weekend unfolded. Telling us about stories with cast members in the hotel playing human bowling. Elyse Levesque talked about the show & that her group "Coupla Hot Chicks...Maybe Three" would soon be working on a new video. Julia Benson chatted at length about Canadian television & many of the challenges of it.
Each cast member seemed genuinely happy to see us. It is a rare thing for us to have an entire cast be so great. I am truly disappointed this show was unjustly cancelled so soon.
8- Roger Waters in Vancouver
One of the largest living music icons came to Vancouver this year. Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame was here for a show.
Waters just the day before coming to Vancouver made a very public statement on his facebook page telling anyone who would listen, that he would no longer be signing anything but albums, and would only personalize, in an effort to prevent reselling.
With little to no notice, the hounds of Vancouver were ready for this still. Armed with albums, CDs & official tour merchandise, the man who just 2 days earlier told the world he didnt want to sign for professionals, willingly did it every time he was seen. In fact, his only issue was whether the item was something official or not. If it was an album, CD or item from the tour, he would sign it without hesitation. Items that he may not have received any payment for however, he did abide to his newly enforced rule.
Even on his 3rd time stopping, with many of the same faces coming up, neither his handler or him griped about it, he did it with a smile on his face & thanked most people for coming...even though he had to know that most of them were still professionals.
Funny story, I had the chance to go for him in Toronto, and didnt. I admit, it was one of the less smart things I have done in my hounding career...certainly near the top of the list for this year.
7- The 2010 Leo Awards.
Sure, its not the Academy Awards, but in Vancouver, there is probably no larger annual awards event than this. The Leo Awards celebrate TV & Movies in British Columbia, and it actually gets a reasonable list of talent at it.
With stars like Twilight castmates Chris Heyerdahl & Jodelle Ferland, former Smallville star Kristin Kreuk and Sci-fi stars Amanda Tapping, Lou Diamond Phillips, David Blue & others there, it gives local hounds a chance to see a lot of the local actors that you dont always get to see because of their shows being primaraily done in studio.
This year, I did far better than my last endeavour to these awards...mostly, because I was more prepared. Getting lots of autographs from the cast of Sanctuary, Stargate Universe, as well as Jodelle Ferland, Lorne Cardinal & Kristin Kreuk, the day was a big success.
It was also the first time I would meet the girls from "Coupla Hot Chicks.. Maybe Three" (Elyse Levesque, Devon Weigel & Leah Gauthier) so, all in all, pretty great day.
What I really like about this event is that the public is welcomed to stand right up near the red carpet, where the entertainers do their interviews & can get autographs & photos right there. Considering it is at a venue that has on multiple occasions over the years gotten in actual fist fights & called the cops on autograph seekers, it really says a lot about the class the Leo Awards has to essentially tell the staff at the venue "back off its all good".
6- Getting Simon Pegg at the movie theatre
Recently, Vancouver has had some notable names in town for films. While the attention for filming Mission Impossible 4 will certainly be centred on Tom Cruise, his co-star, Simon Pegg made the biggest impression so far with the locals,
On his arrival to town, Pegg signed several items per person at the airport. Later that week, he tweeted he was going to see a movie. The detective skills of the group went to work & 3 of us summarized it was going to he at this theatre & this was the showtime that made sense.
Sure enough, the Hott Fuzz & Shaun Of The Dead star, came out from the movie & was greeted by 3 of us waiting for him. He happily took the time to sign and do photos with. He joked with us that it was some good detective work.
He thought so much of our skills, he tweeted about it moments later. http://twitter.com/simonpegg/status/10519962170953728
"Kudos to the enterprising young Canadians who figured out what cinema I was in and waited in the lobby. That's quality stalking that is."
I have seen Pegg 1 more time since then, and he againw as all class, signing without hesitation... even with the handler for Jeremy Renner there chirping about people selling. Neither Renner or Pegg seemed to care. Maybe 2011 Pegg can make the list again?
5- Stephen Colbert brings The Colbert Report to Vancouver
Yes, this did happen during The Olympics. I am aware. But this was not an official Olympic event, so it is technically, a different event.
Stephen Colbert, the satirical pundit on the Comedy Central hit show "The Colbert Report" brought his show to Vancouver for 2 days during the Olympics. Colbert brought the show up north after his show & the city of Richmond had some back & forth banter when Mr. Colbert (a major sponsor for the U.S. Olympic Speedskating team thru donations from his fans at Colbert Nation.) attacked the city for unfairly giving Canadians the chance to practice on the Olympic rink and not other nations in advance of the games.
With a setting in the middle of a field in a small park only a couple minute walk from the Olympic Village, Socchi World, Canada Hockey House & GM Place, it was a huge party type atmosphere at the free admission event. Thousands of fans came both days to the event. many came with signs, and some, like myself, came with items for him to sign.
The first day Mr. Colbert arrived moments before his taping in a van & pulled up along the impromptu road to the impromp pathway they had set up for him to get in. Colbert got out of his van & immediately starting signing for fans. With a mob like mentality of dozens of people pushing & clamouring to get their item infront of Mr. Colbert, he never once got annoyed, concerned or upset over the mob like mentality, infact, seemed to perhaps eat it up. He signed his way thru the mob & signed down the fence till he was into his tent where he prepared for the shows. Upon leaving the venue after the show ended, Colbert was less receptive to signing, as he only signed 2 total items (1 being mine) & was soon on his way.
Day 2 he again showed up, with security a little more prepared this time, the autograph chances were more limited upon arrival. But he made up for it during breaks & after the event, as he signed everytime he would go to or come out of his tent during breaks on the backside of the stage where some people chose to stand, since the front was literally 100s of people deep. After the show ended, Stephen did 1 final massive signing, where he went all the way around the back, back across the front, around the back again, along the pathway & off into his van. It is hard to imagine that anyone didnt get an autograph from the man if they truly wanted 1.
4- Getting Jim Beaver to sign his book "Life's That Way"
As a huge Supernatural fan, when I found out the man that plays Bobby Singer had a book out, I was curious. When I found out the material in it, I was eager to find it. I am not a big reader of books. It was in fact, the first book (that wasnt filled with stats or top lists) that I had purchased in more than a decade without the intent of reselling it.
The book is a collection of emails (most of them in the raw form, some revised slightly) to his friends & family over the course of a year updating them on his wifes battle with terminal cancer that eventually would claim her life, their daughter coping with the major changes, and his own feelings & fears. It is a very moving, and real book that makes you cry as often as you smile.
My next goal was to get it signed....but that turned out to be more of a challenge than I ever expected. It appeared after I bought the book, tracking down Mr. Beaver turned into quite the challenge. On no less than 2 occasions, I thought I had him. Even with back up on 1 occasion, he managed to sneak by (not on purpose).
On the last unsuccessful mission, I actually let my friends paranoia get to me & thought maybe Jim was being deceptive in tweets to avoid being seen coming in. What happened next I would rather not get into again...but lets just say, Jim & I had some words in private (not bad, just miscommunication & just dont feel like repeating the details) where I explained how I felt about a situation, he described that he meant no ill will...and it ended with him offering me a time & place to get the book signed.
It was early morning & he was heading back to Los Angeles after filming an SPN episode, and sure enough, he came out of the drop off vehicle, instantly saw me standing there & immediately came over to sign my book, my photos & my friends photos. He apologized for any confusion, I apologized for even making an issue out of it. He went on his way.
Most stars would simply shrug their shoulders at your misfortune & would not think twice of it. But Mr. Beaver went beyond what was expected by responding to me, then exchanging messages & offering a solution. You really cant ask for much more form someone.
3- Conan O'Brien in town with his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On TV tour.
While 2010 saw the end of the shortened Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, it was a sort of blessing in disguise for his fans in other areas of North America. After a couple months of sitting around & tweeting, the man who has become "Coco" to his legion of fans decided to take his show on the road.
O'Brien embarked on a 32 city tour. The idea of the tour was not for him to get rich, but to give his devoted staff, many of whom followed him from NYC to L.A. when he changed NBC timeslots, work after the sudden firing. Coco had 2 Canadian stops on the tour, 1 in Toronto, and 1 in Vancouver. The Vancouver stop ( a 2 show stop) was the 2nd on his tour & came just a day or 2 after TBS announced they had signed the funnyman to a deal to man a talk show for them.
I was lucky enough to see his first performance here in Vancouver, and from someone who often gripes about the price of live events, the $100 price tag for my last row in the lower level ticket, actually seemed like a deal by the end.
What made the event more special was the fact O'Brien was exceptional with autograph requests, photo ops & even joked around with photographers & fans alike when approached. By the 2nd day of his show, Conan was familiar with me, and still, didnt hesitate to sign for me, or take a 3rd photo with (1st looked dreadful, 2nd had too much light...so 3rd time was the charm). Stories of him signing & taking photos with fans on the patio of the restaraunt he ate at the day after his 2nd show tells you all you need to know about how cool he was.
Shortly before he left town, I saw him 1 last time out with a friend getting into a cab after hat shopping. Most celebs dont go out of their way to acknowledge people they have only seen a couple times. O'Brien however, in a cab on his way back to the hotel, several blocks from where I had just seen him, rolled down his window, gave me a smile & a wave as he drove off to his destination.
2- The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
If I took the names that were there individually, probably 1/2 my top 10 list would be made up of this event. But I decided it was 1 event, and even though the likes of Sam Worthington & Michael C Hall probably deserve their own spots, they go in with this entry.
Like the Olympics, it was a long, nearly non-stop event that saw me get little sleep. unlike the Olympics, every day started & ended with a 1 hr bus ride to & from to where I was staying. Also, unlike the Olympics, where the amount of autograph hounds numbered in the low teens, this was an event where the hounds numbered in the 20s or more at times.....along with 100s or 1000s of onlookers & fans.
The likes of Sam Worthington & his "I dont care what you are doing with it" attitude, signing everything put in front of him & doing it with a smile, and some smart ass comments, like when he called me a "lying fucker..... I dont care, just curious really, its all good" after I insisted I didnt know what his graph was worth, then proceeded to keep signing, or how a really cute Japanese girl asked him to take off his sunglasses for a photo with & without hesitation he repllied "sure, if you take off your top" & although I am sure he was serious in the trade off, he didnt actually demand the trade off & still removed his glasses for their photo with anyways, made the lack of sleep most times worth it.
It was exciting to get Michael C Hall, who was my top priority going on & see that he was a really nice guy on top of it. Even in the press row of his after party, Mr. hall took the time to answer a couple quick questions for me on camera & posed for a photo with.
With the effort every adventure at TIFF takes, getting ANYONE, at times seems like a small victory. Like the night I got ONE autograph total. Sally Hawkins. She ho was a mere couple inches away from leaving me shut out that night, but came back to sign for me when she realized I was the only 1 standing out there with an actual item of her to sign. Good thing she did, because the rest of the night still goes down as my WORST TIFF night ever. Names like Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins, Matt Damon, Woody Allen & Josh Brolin were out, 3 of themw alked right past where I was, NONE of them stopped to sign. if it werent for Hawkins, it would have been a complete disaster.
Of course TIFF has all sorts of cool 1 off fluke hounding ventures. Like when I got Jill Hennessey on a street corner after her & her sister had done an impromptu busking performance infront of a building for a TV interview. Or meeting Yeardley Smith at 1 party, while waiting for people coming to another party across the street. But at the end of the day, its the premieres, the airport & the parties where success is had mostly.
While all anyone really cares about at the end of the day is how well the Eastwoods, DeNiros, Springsteens & Hopkins of the festival were, its the small little victories that make the Fest fun & rewarding. A 4 hr nightmare trip thru Hamilton & Toronto transit inconveniences that shut you out of 2 other events can be redeemed slightly by 1 great outing at the Easy A premiere & running out of items for Emma Stone... an event that I didnt originally think I would be doing because of scheduling conflicts. Or the night that I got over 20 autographs from two A list celebs at 1 premiere, Megan Fox & Mickey Rourke both were exceptional signers that night & I did so well with them, I started helping out other hounds with their stacks.
My stats this year were up from my first TIFF. While the quantity of elite names I got was smaller than I really hoped for, it was still IMO a great success, a lot of that can be put on the shoulders of Sam Worthington, Michael C Hall, Mickey Rourke & Megan Fox.
1- The 2010 Winter Olympics.
I looked forward to this for 8 years, and it lasted less than a month. Now almost a year has gone by & I have had a chance to reflect on it, it was pretty awesome....even with the severe foot aches, lack of $$ & occasional lack of sleep.
How many times in your life do you get to experience a massive worldwide event in your hometown? For most, MAYBE once? Maybe. For me, its been twice now, Expo 86 was the first major event in Vancouver I experienced. It wasnt a hounding venture, but it was a major building tool in my youth. Now the 2010 Winter Olympics. A combination of hounding & elite sports in my town for 17 days? Its as if Christmas came 17 days in a row for a sports fan & autograph hound.
For every Lindsey Vonn, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky & Katerina Witt I hounded during the games. The names people know & idolize, there was the likes of Shiva Keshevan, Britteny Cox & Slovakian Womens hockey team, who in many cases, probably wouldnt be recognized in their own countries, let alone Vancouver with 2000 other notable names roaming the streets. They were often just excited that someone recognized them & I loved that rarely seen humility in an athlete. They truly appreciated anyone that noticed them, they didnt scurry away into an awaiting vehicle, or look for an alternate pathway to avoid people, they ate it up. It was those experiences that overshadowed the Jaromir Jagr, Shawn White & Steve Yzerman's of the games.
I got to experience hounding the Gold Medal winning mens & womens Team Canada hockey teams...on their home turf the day they won their medals. Theres literally a handful of people & I really do mean a handful, in the entire city who can claim the same. It is certainly an experience that might never happen in Canada again, at least with the elite of the elite in the tournament.
My totals during the games were far less than I had envisioned (budget had a lot to do with it) but I got a lot of cool items signed, some were profitable, some were clearly for keepsakes, and the best thing of all is, 75% of them I got less than a 10 minute walk from my house.
With 2010 in the books now, 2011 will be full of new experiences that I probably never expected to have. The only real sure thing I knew going into 2010 was that the Olympics were coming, but I did not know how good or bad they may be. Everything else on the list... was an unknown surprise before the eyar started. Can 2011 be better than 2010? Unlikely. But, I also didnt think 2010 would be as good as it was either. I guess we'll see in 12 months just what was worth talking about.
A few red carpet pics from the Toronto International Film Festival premiere for PEEP WORLD, starring Michael C Hall
Here are a few pics from the TIFF premiere, and after party for the movie "Peep World"
It stars Dexter star, Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman (who I somehow never got any pics of, sorry) and Judy Greer.
Hall made my Best celebrity encounters list after this years film festival with his terrific signing habits, and willingness to talk with people who werent even with the media on topics such as the film, the filming of Dexter and other things.
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 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.
Toronto International Film Festival opens in a few days & I will be there trying to get some of the biggest names in film and television.
But who am I most excited about seeing? Well, its not always the iconic names of the big screen that gain my attention. Sure, there are some, but often its the middle or smaller stars that are there that I get thrilled about seeing.
Last film fest I was more thrilled about seeing Leelee Sobieski, Hayley Atwell and Simon Pegg than I was the likes of Brad Pitt, Sean Penn or Angelina Jolie. This year will be no different...so I give you my hopeful top 20 list in a "more or less" order
1- Michael C. Hall- My favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan.
2- Natalie Portman- Queen Amidala... Plus I liked her in Mars Attacks.
3- Clint Eastwood- 4 Oscars. Does that explain it to you?
4- Julian Richings- Hes DEATH on Supernatural! I mean I have to try & get Deaths autograph...right?
5- Zach Galifianakis- The star of The Hangover.
6- Aaron Eckhart- Two-Face.
7- Bill Gates- I'm going to ask him to give me 0.000001% of his net worth. If he does. KA-CHING!
8- Rainn Wilson- because beet farmers are cool.
9- Milla Jovovich- A huge fan of The Fifth Element. Plus I have some great shots of her from more recent films.
10- Mickey Rourke- Wasnt really a fan of his, till The Wrestler.
11- Robert De Niro- If the mere mention of his name doesnt excite you a little, you may be dead.
12- Matt Damon- Loved the Bourne Trilogy & the Oceans trilogy.
13- Geoffrey Rush- Barbosa in the POTC series.
14- Sarah Silverman- Shes not always funny, but when she is, shes one of the best.
15- Michael Moore- Met him before, but it was so breif. Hope to get again.
16- James Caan- if you are in The Godfather, you should be on any list.
17- Edward Norton- hes Smoochy. who doesnt want to get the big purple rhino?
18- Malin Akerman- Obviously the hottie from The Watchmen would be on here
19- April Telek- She was on 1 of my favorite TV shows, Robson Arms. I need her for a couple cast items.
20- Bill Murray- hes a notoriously bad signer..but hes in like 5 of my top 30 favorite films...so I have to try.
Honourable mentions to - Emma Roberts, Emma Stone, John Brolin, Liv Tyler, Maria Bello, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Redford.
Last film fest I only came away with about 6 or 7 of my top 20...but I was doing it with no knowledge of where to be & when, and no gameplan. Now I have a bit of both. My hopes are to at least get 1/2 of the top 20.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.