Toronto International Film Festival - Day 1 thru 3 of TIFF Featuring - Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, Drew Barrymore and many more
With the first day of the Festival having films featuring such notorious pricks like Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. I chose a different game plan than I usually would have for day 1 and worked the airport.
That is usually a poor plan for me, but on this day I had some pretty good success before I headed back in to town for the start of the fest...for me.
Things were off to a super slow start. By the time the first name to come in arrived, we were all really eager to get going. First up was Elizabeth Olsen. Her greeter made every effort to purposely screw over the autograph hounds, including not actually DOING his job. He made Elizabeth push her own cart so her hands were full & hurried her along to a private side door that wasnt accessible to the public. My friend and I took the chance to see if there was a public way to get there and found 1 on our second try, and I raced out there and Elizabeth actually got out of her vehicle while she waited for her luggage to be loaded and signed 1 for me. My friend gave up once he saw she was already in the car, so he missed that chance.
Shortly after that, I hit Arrested Development star Alia Shawkat, thanks to another Vancouver hound picking her out and telling me where she was.
It would be a couple more hours of dead, mind numbing boredom till a flock of people arrived. First up was Dean Norris from Breaking Bad. I got my 1 photo signed by him, and a little while later Kate Mara arrived. Her arrival cost a few people, myself probably more than any. We all followed this Z-lister to the car pick up station assuming once she got there and saw she had a wait would sign...but instead the lesser known Mara sister stood there defiantly refusing autograph requests. I attempted to try and wait it out for a chance after everyone took off, but she still denied me saying "If I sign for you, I'll have to sign for everyone" which I replied "I'm the only one still here". No dice. My efforts to get her however cost me getting Emily Blunt & John Krasinski on their walk to the car. I still managed to get 1 each from them, but I had to try much harder to get them as Emily especially assumed she signed for me already since she signed on the way to the car check in. This of course cost me getting in on the Benicio Del Toro autograph session on the way to his vehicle. He was already in his vehicle before I even had a chance to ask. But with his driver outside still putting bags away, I tried. His front window was open and I displayed my item thru it to him, he reached up to grab it and signed it for me and handed it back thru the swarm of other items that had since then populated the empty space...but that was the only 1 he would sign in the car.
A little while would go by again before the final grouping of people. Starting off with Helen Mirren. I nabbed 1 from her before any other hounds were even in position to get her, then nabbed one more at the end before she got into her vehicle. I then got several Game Of Thrones star Sean Bean autographs in what was 1 of the best signing sessions anyone did anywhere the entire festival. When I got back from following him, I found Jessica Chastain was already signing for people. I got there late and had to get my buddy to vouch for me that I hadnt got her yet, and she signed 1 for me.
That was the end of my airport hounding for the day. Off to downtown Toronto.
The first day of the festival ended with a Midnight Madness red carpet premiere for "Green Room". There I managed to get a few autographs from Imogen Poots and 1 from Sir Patrick Stewart before my day ended.
Autographs obtained this day from - Helen Mirren, Alia Shawkat, Sean Bean, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, John Krasinski, Dean Norris and Elizabeth Olsen.
Total autographs - 21
A+ Sean Bean
A Alia Shawkat
A Jessica Chastain
A John Krasinski
A Imogen Poots
B+ Dean Norris
C+ Patrick Stewart
C Benicio Del Toro
C Helen Mirren
C- Emily Blunt
D Elizabeth Olsen
D- Chiwetel Ejiofor
F Kate Mara
Day 2 of TIFF started with a press conference for the Matt Damon movie "The Martian". I was most excited about this for 2 reasons. 1- it was a chance to finally get Matt Damon, someone I have been told countless times is "the nicest guy in Hollywood" but the 1 & only time I ever saw him, he didnt live up to that rep. 2- To get Jeff Daniels. As a huge fan of The Newsroom, I was pretty excited about finally getting him. Between going in and coming out of that presser I managed to get most of the cast. Matt Damon, Sebastian Stan, Michael Pena and Kate Mara even signed for me along the very crowded fence. Jeff Daniels, despite being the 1st to arrive & first to leave, did NOTHING but wave at people. Chiwetel Ejiofor managed to get out without anyone seeing him...which was just fine in his eyes, as he has turned out to be kind of a prick. While Donald Glover was just as willing to be seen, but ignore most everyone. Signing only 1 or 2 each time he was seen while actual accomplished actors in his same film signed dozens or hundreds.
A short while after that press conference Mr. Damon unwittingly led me to 1 of the few spots left during TIFF where you can still get decent access to celebs. The cast for the movie all came there, and I managed another Damon, another Stan and Jessica Chastain at that place. Sadly, my 3rd crack at Jeff Daniels garnered nothing again as he never signed for anyone there either. While waiting for them, Elle Fanning and Naomi Watts also showed up there and I managed 1 autograph from each of them on their departure.
I was off to Ryerson for the 2nd time this fest. This time, it was the premiere of "I Saw The Light" with Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen. I managed a handful of Hiddleston autographs along the red carpet, but Ms. Olsen didnt sign even once for me, telling me twice that she had already got me... which she did, the day before. So that bonus 1 that I was so pleased with myself for gtting yesterday actually cost me in the end, as all the hounds there got 2 or 3 or 4 from Olsen, and I got none.
I then went and worked the back end of a Geoffrey Rush movie "The Daughter" and got 2 autographs from him before I went around the front to wait & get 1 autograph from the surprisingly tough Jean Dujardin.
I went back to Ryerson to work the back end of the HHiddleston movie and got 1 more autograph there. I then hurried back to the front of that venue to get the cast of "Len And Company". Although Jack Kilmer didnt come across as overly accommodating, everyone there got at least 1 from the son of Val Kilmer. Juno Temple signed every thing she could out there, while Rhys Ifans signed a fair bit, unfortunately 75% of them were just an "R".
Total autographs - 25
Total for TIFF to date - 46
A+ Jessica Chastain
A Sebastian Stan
A Matt Damon
A Juno Temple
A- Michael Pena
A- Tom Hiddleston
A- Geoffrey Rush
B+ Elizabeth Olsen
B+ Elle Fanning
B+ Elsa Zylberstein
B Rhys Ifans
B Naomi Watts
C Kate Mara
C Jean Dujardin
C- Jack Kilmer
F+ Donald Glover
F Chiwetel Ejiofor
F Jeff Daniels
Day 3 was unfortunately, MUCH shorter than the long length of films being presented that day suggested. Threatening rain lingered throughout the day, with sporadic spurts of rain constantly leaving the most hopeful of fans unsure if they would be able to get their favorite star due to the weather.
Luckily, it held out...mostly, till later in the evening, but once it did rain, it rained hard enough to prevent me from trying for any of the late evening premieres.
The day for me started with a press conference for "Our Brand Is Crisis" with Sandra Bullock. I heard George Clooney was also in town for it as he is a producer on it, but I missed him going in. On the way out, he simply waved & left, while Ms. Bullock did a spectacular session that saw everyone who tried even slightly get 1, maybe even more.
From there I hustled to the Elgin to get Monica Bellucci, as I showed up 1 of the Vancouver hounds told me she was a no show...which sucked, but was a bit of a relief as it left openings in the schedule to possibly use elsewhere.
I went grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to RTH for "Miss You Already". premiere. It was my 1st look at the newly re-designed red carpet for RTH and it had 1 massive fail, and 1 pretty good upgrade for fans. The addition of an absurd 5 or 6 row high grandstand IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CARPET infuriated everyone the entire festival. Its very out of place, it takes up a LOT of prime space for fans, it leaves very little space for people to move around the back of it, and did I mention it takes up a lot of prime space?? They off set this monstrosity with letting the cars out 100 feet up the carpet at least. This gave a LOT more room to get autographs & pics with for fans, and in the case of Drew Barrymore, she started at the end....and kept going till she ran out of people running up to see her. While she did that I nabbed a Toni Collette autograph then ran down to take part in the Barrymore session and managed 2 before she finally realized that people were just recycling thru and keeping the line going and cut it off and headed back up to the carpet area.
I raced back to Elgin to get a spot for the premiere of "Truth" and managed a couple autographs there from Elisabeth Moss and Topher Grace. Unexpected surprise was the arrival of legendary newsman Dan Rather. He stopped to sign for everyone that asked him as well. Shortly after that was the premiere of "Youth" and I had stuff for everyone there.... and they all signed, so imagine my disappointment that all I got was a Rachel Weisz autograph out of it all despite being in row 1. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel signed all around me, but not on my item. Jane Fonda spoke to me, thanked me for loving her work on The Newsroom...but never signed my item, then told me she already had signed for me. So now I was 0 for 2 on Newsroom cast members this fest.
From there it was back to Princess Of Wales (seriously TIFF, couldnt you schedule 2 of these on the same side of town??) for "The Danish Girl". Of course Johnny Depp came to support his wife Amber Heard. I managed 1 autograph from Amber, and nothing from Eddie Redmayne or Alicia Vikander. Both of whom signed a fair bit, but because of the crowd of people that were there when they saw/heard Johnny had arrived was nearly impenetrable. Rare that you say this, but I wish Johnny Depp had not shown up to that premiere.
I tried the back end of the theatre, but thats when it started to rain....and then dried out a bit, then rained a bit harder, and that was the end of my night.
It was 8 PM and my night was OVER. How disappointing with films featuring the likes of Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Ellen Page, Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, John Goodman, Tom Hardy, Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore plus others still going on or coming up that night.
Total autographs - 8
Total for TIFF to date - 54
A+ Drew Barrymore
A Sandra Bullock
B+ Rachel Weisz
B+ Toni Collette
B Elisabeth Moss
B Amber Heard
B- Eddie Redmayne
B- Jane Fonda
B- Michael Caine
C+ Alicia Vikander
C+ Harvey Keitel
C Topher Grace
Toronto International Film Festival 2014 - Day 7 - TIFF 14 - Featuring - Martin Scorsese, Neil Young, Claudia Traisac, Benicio Del Toro & an appearance by Iron Mike Tyson
The 7th day of TIFF started out with another press conference for me. I got there in time to get an autograph from Guardians Of The Galaxy star Benicio Del Toro when he left his press conference for Escobar: Paradise Lost. His co-star, Josh Hutcherson actually SNUCK OUT of the building. Seriously. Actually, fair enough... I mean he is like the 12th most famous person in a Hunger Games movie ever I think.... so yeah, hes important *rolls eyes*. I was also introduced to Columbian hottie Claudia Traisac, who was the anti-Hutcherson and signed till no one had anything left for her. Every TIFF there seems to be 1 "holy fuck, shes hot, who is she?" girl I learn about... gonna say its Claudia this year.
After that, there was a lot of time to kill unfortunately...which sucked since the evening premieres were going to be severely affected by another rain storm coming in. I went to 1 of the places where celebs sometimes I found in Toronto and instead of getting someone from TIFF, I saw former Boxing legend Iron Mike Tyson instead. Earlier that day Mike had a heated TV interview with a reporter from Toronto least liked station CP24, who asked him a touchy subject & angered the man who once bit off an opponents ear. So after getting blindsided by a Toronto wannabe reporter live on air, no one would be shocked if the champ snubbed everyone. But he actually did stop, roll down his window & sign for 1 fan still. He really didn't have to, but did still.
After a couple hours wasted there, I attempted to go to Infinity Polar Bear premiere to get Mark Ruffalo. Unfortunately a steady rain started falling shortly before it started, then turned into a heavy rain by the time Mark arrived. So there was no chance to get him there. I ventured across the street where the premiere for '71 was with Jack O'Connell, but there was no red carpet, or press pit set up for it. I was pretty confused by that one.... so I ventured off and headed back across town to Ryerson for the premiere of "Revenge Of The Green Dragons". The cast list was nothing spectacular besides Ray Liotta, who did not show, and former Twilight actor Justin Chon, who did show up. What was drawing everyones attention though, was the potential for 1 of the movies producers to show up for it, Martin Scorsese.
Sure enough the 9 time Oscar Nominated director showed up. After doing the photo pit, Mr. Scorsese came over to a crowd that was small, but deep in experience at getting autographs. What happened next, even the veterans, including some of the very ones who are usually the aggressive ones in a mob, was 1 of the most absurd wrestling matches for position you might ever watch 20 grown men partake in to get some autographs from Martin. Anytime you hear the horror stories of how rude and aggressive autograph hounds are, most of them are blown way out of proportion by people with a sense of entitlement that they should get what they want just because they were there 1st when there is no set order. But this scene, if it was seen by those who constantly bash autograph hounds, would validate all their complaints. It was ugly, and the fact no fights broke out after is solely because of the fact it was a bunch of professionals who all in the end understood the guy beside them was just doing the same thing as them. But it was absurd to witness. LUCKILY, the 1 photo I had for him got signed when 1 of the security guys grabbed it from me when Mr. Scorsese grabbed my pen, but didn't sign my item after the jostling started. I really am glad I didn't have to work thru that mass of humanity to get my item signed. It is a bad scene when people, often the ones 1st time fans whine about the most in scrums, considered the events that unfolded "ridiculous".
After that, I considered calling it a night. But instead, I went on the faint hope the weather would deter most away from trying for 1 more iconic name that was going to be out that evening. Neil Young. The drizzle slowed down enough that some of the hounds gambled on the showing of Human Highway, a film from 1982 that Neil Young and Dean Stockwell co-directed. Sure enough Mr. Young arrived for the premiere and snuck up behind us. One hound noticed it happen and approached Neil, but went around the barricade to do so and this seemed to upset the Canadian music legend. No autographs would be had outside on the way in.
Around back on the way out of the show, the same group were out there that stood out front on the way in, along with a couple more fans. After the show, another Canadian legend came out, Gordon Lightfoot. Shortly after, Neil came out, and signed "1 per" for everyone out there, although in the misty rain that fell, I am sure some of the items did not come away unscathed. I know myself, my signed item was fine, but my 2nd item that I tried to get was ruined by the rain.
Day 7 total - 3 autographs
TIFF Total - 94 autograpjhs
A Claudia Traisac
B+ Gordon Lightfoot
B Neil Young
B Martin Scorsese
B- Benedio Del Toro
C+ Mike Tyson
F+ Mark Ruffalo
F Josh Hutcherson
All photos posted in this blog are shot by Canadagraphs.