The 2nd day of TIFF started off great.
Within 15 minutes of getting into Toronto I had 3 autographs. Granted they were all from Ezra Miller, but I was feeling like it was going to be a good day. As it turned out...it wasnt going to be THAT great, Ezra was walking out of a press conference for his film "Perks Of Being A Wallflower" & I had hopes Emma Watson would also be there....but never saw her.
After that I ventured over to my next target, Jude Law & Keira Knightley. Their film "Anna Karenina" was showing at the Elgin Theatre, a place that has not been great for autographs the last couple of years as the volunteers keep trying to make it an non-fan friendly environment there. Luckily, my patience paid off as Keira Knightley signed 1 for me. Shortly after Jude Law arrived & I managed to get 1 from him too, despite having a camera chord wrapped around my neck choking me for about 15 seconds from from a photographer. Shockingly, Aaron Taylor Johnson also arrived & signed nothing. What a change from a couple days earlier.
I made a serious effort to go get over to the "Argo" premiere, as I still wanted to get Cranston, but was too late. For whatever reason, they were there over an hour before the film...something I cant recall happening before.
I went back to Ryerson. When I got there, I was welcomed by a massive tidal wave of people outside the back door (like nothing I had seen at that venue before). They were all there for the cast of Spring Breakers. Ashley Benson was the 1st one out & willingly signed for the few people who knew who she was, easily the sweetest of the girls in the cast. Selena Gomez & Vanessa Hudgens came out at the same time & signed some autographs, but very few. They were only slightly better than they were when they arrived at the airport the day previous.
I then went to the front of Ryerson to get Greta Gerwig & Mickey Sumner. Finally, an easy premiere. I will certaily get all 5 of my photos that I had for the pair signed there.... 0 autographs.
The publicist for them said they would come right back out....but of course they didnt. Despite Gerwig promising to sign for people along the rail, MOST got nothing, as Gerwig only signed maybe 3-5 autographs before her publicist ruined her image by hurrying her away to do a few interviews for stations that all are going to ask the same fucking questions. Key point for ALL publicists - fans, with the power of the internet now at their finger tips on twitter, facebook & tumblr, can ruin a celeb far easier than TV stations. Remember that when you gamble with their careers.
I heard several people going away calling Gerwig a "bitch" & a "fucking liar", which frankly, doesnt shock me. I understand that Greta was being coerced to avoid people by her publicist, a person who does not care what is best for Greta or her career, but is only concerned with her own agenda...usually involving getting celebs somewhere b a pre-determined time. I see it all the time. But most fans dont get this. To THEM, it was Greta Gerwig, and ONLY Greta Gerwig that lied to them. They arent wrong, Greta did lie to them....she just didnt know she was going to be lying. Her rep took a beating in the eyes of the 20-40 people that waited patiently for her only to get snubbed. If Greta ever reads this, FIRE your incompetent publicist before she really does damage to your PR.
The horrible start I had at Ryerson was trumped by the disaster that Seven Psychopaths Midnight premiere entailed. The crowd was considerably large for a midnight madness screening, something I had never encountered before. The stupidity of the crowd with chairs, bags & more cluttering up space that could be more efficiently used led to the predictable crashing in by some people, making a small condensed space, even more condensed. When people learn to not leave their bags, stools, chairs, milk cartons & more laying on the ground, the overly aggressive actions of those who crash these premieres might minimize a little. There was literally people in ROW FUCKING ONE this year using stools & chairs. Thats not needed. In fact, you are making the problem worse....because all that does is make people MORE aggressive. I got snubbed by Olga Kurylenko & Abbie Cornish there more than once, as the crush of fans & pros overwhelmed most of the stars. Colin Farrell did sign for me, but again, for the effort I put in, getting only 1 autograph total from this premiere was a massive epic failure. I actually went away from there feeling sick to my stomach. It was day 2, and I was sick of the festival. Of the fans. Of the other pros. Of the people working for the festival. Everything. If it had been JUST my $ invested in it, and not some of my buddies who partially bankrolled my trip, I might have just cut my losses there & quit. Probably for the best I didnt....or else I wouldnt have got some of the names I got later on. Also seen there were Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. Woody obviously signed nothing & pretty much ignored the crowd. Sam & Christopher were sparingly signing for those asking. I am frankly shocked no one at the premiere got hurt. The chair problem that has overwhelmed Ryerson for the last 2 or more years was at close to epidemic levels this year, and Seven Psychopaths was 1 of the worst examples.
Day 2 - total autographs 6 (festival total 16)
A+ Ezra Miller
A Colin Farrell
A- Ashley Benson
B Jude Law
B- Olga Kurylenko
C+ Keira Knightley
C+ Abbie Cornish
C Selena Gomez
C- Vanessa Hudgens
D+ Greta Gerwig
D+ Christopher Walken
D Sam Rockwell
D- Mickey Sumner
F Aaron Taylor Johnson
F- Woody Harrelson
Day 3 started with the biggest name at the fest, and my #1 target for the festival. Johnny Depp. The iconic star was at the festival to show support for a project called "West Of Memphis" that followed the fight of 3 men convicted of brutal murders who were eventually freed. Depp was nothing sort of amazing in signing autographs, however, didnt do many photos with fans because of the sheer mass of people there to see him. At times, the crowd was 10 people deep along the rail. I actually managed 2 autographs from the Pirates Of The Caribbean star, but it was not easy, nor fun trying to get them. Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks also attended the premiere to show support for the project. Below I have a couple photos of the Johnny & Natalie 1st noticing each other at the premiere. A couple great pics of the stars hugging from Johnny's side, something the media didnt get.
I tried to go for "Cloud Atlas" premiere, but the crowd was so absurdly thick. With Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving & Halle Berry expected, the chance for autographs from where I was seemed bleak. Tom arrived & signed a few autographs on the opposite side of where I was, shortly after Halle Berry did the same, finally, it wasnt Hugo Weaving who arrived, but Hugh Grant, he also signed a handful before going in. As I expected, 0 autographs total.
I went over to the premiere of "Silver Linings Playbook". With "The Hangover" star Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence from the "Hunger Games" & the iconic Robert De Niro all in attendance, the crowds were large. Cooper showed up 1st, and after a couple failed attempts to get in near him, I managed to finally find a spot and seemed poised to get 1, until I noticed Jennifer Lawrence show up. She was a higher priority obviously, so I abandoned my probable Cooper autograph for a chance at Lawrence. It took a couple tries, but I managed to finally get 1 from her, and after she did another bunch later down the line, I nabbed 2 more from the hottie. Finally, Robert showed up. two years in a row I had gotten right up to him, had my item right in front of him and had him sign above me and beside me and skip my item. This year, I didnt have that problem...as I simply was unable to get close enough to even try.
I then waited on the next Roy Thompson Hall premiere of "The reluctant fundamentalist" with Keifer Sutherland from "24", Liev Schreiber & Kate Hudson. As it turned out, Liev didnt show. this left me with just Sutherland and Hudson. Of course, the often miserable Hudson didnt even spend a minute meeting fans, while Sutherland signed quite a few. I managed 1 from the star. I went away from there clearly feeling like my Depp & Lawrence highs had faded right out.
I took a different path for the evening from there. For the 1st time in the fest I tried doing some restaurant/hotel hounding. I chose to camp out at the "new" SoHo House. it had changed locations, right beside the Shang ri-La Hotel in Toronto now. I saw several stars go in, Andy Samberg, who took a few seconds to greet fans was 1st. Then Jennifer Lawrence showed up & avoided any interactions with people. Shortly after Adrian Grenier arrived. A plethora of others showed up on the other sides of the 3 entrance venue. Kristen Stewart & Emma Watson were also seen there & both hurried inside without so much as a wave for the fans that were there. The only autograph I managed there was right as I was leaving, from "21" star Jim Sturgess. I was tipped off by an observant celeb watcher he was in the vehicle, and so I put my photo up for him to see. He acknowledged thru the window that he saw it & sure enough, when he got out, he made the effort to make sure he signed it. Full marks to him for recognizing who asked him while he was still in the vehicle.
While I was there, I saw the swarm of hounds rush to the Shang once, and I followed to see who they saw. It turned otu to be Tom Hanks. Unfortunately, not being prepared for him, I didnt even manage to get an item out to TRY and get done before the Forrest Gump star was inside the hotel.
Day 3 - 7 autographs (23 total)
A+ Johnny Depp
A Jim Sturgess
B+ Tom Hanks
B+ Bradley Cooper
B Keifer Sutherland
B Jennifer Lawrence (at the premiere)
C+ Halle Berry (yes, I am as shocked typing this as you are reading it...she actually signed some)
C Hugh Grant
C Robert De Niro
C Andy Samberg
F Jennifer Lawrence (at the restaurant)
F Kate Hudson
F Emma Watson
F- Kristen Stewart
My TIFF 2012 disaster started off the day before the Toronto International Film Festival for once.
Usually, I get started on day 1. But this year, I started on "day 0" the day before the festival.
Day 0 started with the tiring & long trip from Hamilton to Toronto airport. I was there by myself for a little while & of course, no luck was had. The 1st name wouldnt show up till the airport was full of all the regulars from past festivals.
Kick Ass star Aaron Taylor Johnson was 1st up. He was actually here arriving to prepare for his role in "Kick Ass 2" that started filming in Toronto during the festival, but he was also here to promote "Anna Karenina" at the fest. I managed to get a couple autographs from the surprisingly older than I expected Johnson. He was relatively good at taking care of most of the requests.
A while later the next star to arrive was Karl Urban from the new Star Trek film. He was here to promote "Dredd 3D". He seemed to "tolerate" the attention cast on him by fans & autograph hounds, but certainly wasnt great by any stretch. I did manage 2 autographs out of him after a lot of effort. For a virtual unknown, he really carried a pretty big ego on his shoulder.
Last autograph I would get that night was from Mad Men babe Christina Hendricks as she arrived to promote "Ginger & Rosa". She made sure everyone got 1 (and a few got 2 or 3). Unfortunately, I managed the mere 1, despite being 1st one to get her. Just bad positioning by me after getting my 1st one.
As the evening went on, a problem was starting to arise that we had never encountered out there before. A plethora of ditsy fangirls were showing up, and like MOST fangirls of anything, they were pretty much a nuisance. Say what people will about autograph hounds, we at least get what we want, get out & its over. Fangirls are wanting photos with (which takes like 10Xs longer than most celebs autographs), sometimes an autograph, yet dont bring a sharpie, and of course, want to tell the celeb what a huge fan they are of whatever thing they sorta remember them from...best part is, in 90% of the cases, they didnt even CARE about the celeb till moments after they saw them. Its not the environment for these type of interactions, and isnt advisable for people wanting that type of interaction... yet the article in the National Post telling them it was a good place to meet them really made a "slightly tolerable" situation for most celebs to "pretty much intolerable" quick.
With my need to get back to Hamilton everynight, I decided that was a good time to leave as there was no confirmed arrivals till much later when I wouldnt be able to stay anyways. As "luck" would have it, I was still in the airport (unfortunately wrong part of the airport) when Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston arrived for "Argo". That haunted me all weekend as I missed him multiple times.
DAY 0 - total autographs 5
B Aaron Taylor Johnson
B- Christina Hendricks
C Karl Urban
The 1st official day of TIFF started off with the horribly rude Kirsten Dunst & her new boyfriend, the previously nice Garret Hedlund, who has taken on the sour attitude of his gf. Neither of them signed any autographs & Hedlund only stopped momentarily to do a couple photos with for the gaggle of fangirls that were out there again.
The 1st "official" autograph I got during TIFF was someone who didnt even have a film there. The Office star John Krasinski, as he showed up to support his wife Emily Blunt at her premiere of "Looper" He was terrific with everyone, and even responded when I said I was disappointed to see The Office ending with "so am I".
The next arrival was the super duo of overrated divaness. Selena Gomez (who used to be really nice) & Vanessa Hudgens (who used to be...well, tolerable) arrived together to promote their film. NEITHER of them stopped to sign autographs, or do any photos with. The absurd posse of bored TIFF greeters & wannabe security guards made a moderately excitable situation an all out near bedlam situation, as people were shooed aside, tripping over each other because the "security" (aka - highly untrained random guys in suits & 1 actual security guy) bullied their way thru a crowd of photographers, autograph hounds & fangirls (including at least a couple who didnt even know who they were....despite being in their wheelhouse of knowledge) to get the career C listers into their awaiting vehicle. I wonder what either of these mediocre "actresses" will act like in 5 years when they are competing against each other for TV movie roles & probably losing out. I actually had Selena on my "top 25 want to get" list, because she was so nice before, she HAD made a fan out of me back then. Now, she has assured that I never buy a ticket for a single movie she is in. Austin Butler was also with the pair, and was the only 1 to interact with anyone at all as he got to the car he looked up & had a few words after seeing a familiar face from Vancouver, 1 of of my buddies chatted with him for a couple moments, much to the chagrin of the pair in the car waiting.
My evening got a bit better when my buddies & I hurried over & ditched the group of fangirls that were still around & nabbed "127 Hours" star James Franco, as he arrived after his diva co-stars on a different flight. He was still as cool as when we last saw him back in Vancouver during his filming here for "Rise Of The Apes". We were disappointed to hear we had just missed Elle Fanning by 10 or so minutes, but thats TIFF, you are always going to miss someone.
The most embarrassing story I heard from TIFF was when "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson came in & the same fangirls who couldnt even ID Selena Gomez or Vanessa Hudgens, mobbed Ashley for photos with, and in several of the cases, they bugged her for not 1, or 2, or 3, but 5+ different photos with. One girl even bragging that she had TEN (yes 10) photos with her there.... and some of you think WE are the problem. I missed this stupidity by mere seconds, I am thankful I did. I would have probably said something that was perceived as rude to them.
That was how my 1st official day of TIFF ended.
Day 1 - total autographs 5 (total 10)
A James Franco
A John Krasinski
E- Garret Hedlund
F Selena Gomez
F Vanessa Hudgens
F- Kirsten Dunst
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