Toronto International Film Festival Day 7 to 10 Featuring - Anna Kendrick, Ryan Reynolds, Sarah Silverman, Joshua Jackson, Keith Richards, Norman Reedus and more
Day 7 started with an unexpected bonus when I headed to Pearson Airport to meet up with my buddy before he headed home. While I was there, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds arrived for his premiere later that evening of Mississippi Grind. I was lucky enough to nab 3 autographs from the star before he left.
A little while later, I was back downtown after getting a ride from 1 of the Toronto hounds. I made my way over to the premiere for Mississippi Grind. I was sadly shut out at that premiere. I suspect Mr. Reynolds was purposely not signing for me as he probably remembered me from the airport earlier. It was funny hearing the mixture of bellows from the crowd, several people saying how he was "so nice" while multiple people called him "fake nice", a term I have heard a lot used for the Vancouver born actor, and that I myself have even felt in the past. I myself have never had a terrible interaction with him, but almost everyone else I know has.... but when it comes to being at a red carpet, he puts that side of him in check and "acts nice" for the cameras. Despite the fact I know how he really is, I will still end up going to see Deadpool when it comes out.
A short while later, I headed across the street for the premiere of "I Smile Back" featuring Sarah Silverman. The comedienne did not disappoint her fas. Stopping to sign and take photos with everyone. She even took the effort to cross the now open and quite busy King street to meet fans across the street.
From there I made my way over to the Elgin Theatre. I was hoping to see Joshua Jackson at the premiere that him and his girlfriend Diane Kruger had. Sadly it was not to be. I did however managed a couple autographs from the solo Mrs. Kruger. A nice bonus at the premiere was The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus arriving for the premiere. I managed a few quite breif autographs before he left.
Total autographs - 11
Total autographs thru TIFF - 119
A+ Sarah Silverman
B+ Norman Reedus
B. Diane Kruger
B- Ryan Reynolds
Day 8 saw very little luck for me.
It started with a press conference for Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. No shock, the iconic rocker didn't meet the fans or sign anything, just giving a half assed smile & wave as he was rushed into his waiting vehicle.
Later on was a premiere that included The Newsroom star Dev Patel. When Patel arrived, he came over to the area where I was and signed a handful of autographs. He then made a very sincere promise to the fans lined up out there that he would come back out and meet them all after he did press and introduced the film. A fact that was repeated a few minutes later by the red carpet MC Shannon. Sure enough about 20 minutes later the Slumdog Millionaire star did come back out and spent well over 20 minutes out with the crowd taking photos and signing more autographs. THAT is how you develop new fans and keep the ones you already have.
I had hopes of autographs from Matthias Schoenaerts at his premiere, but learned he was not there from someone who heard elsewhere. I waited around in hopes his info was wrong, sadly it was not. More disappointing for me was seeing Joshua Jackson at the premiere of his girlfriend Diane Kruger with her second movie in 2 days. I foolishly pulled a rookie move and didn't bring him with me based on the assumption he didn't show up for the premiere of a movie movie he was in, so he surely wasn't going to come to one he wasn't even in the next day.... Oops. because of the no show, and the failure to not bring Josh items, I got shutout at that premiere.
Total autographs - 2
Total autographs for TIFF - 121
A+ Dev Patel
B+ Joshua Jackson
B. Diane Kruger
F Keith Richards
Day 9 for me was actually day 10. I skipped day 9 after 1 of the two premieres scheduled for that day was canceled.
Day 10 started for me with going to a press conference for Mr. Right. When I got there I was given the bad news that the movies star Anna Kendrick was not coming to it as she had travel issues, but she tweeted she would absolutely be at the premiere later that evening.
With the press conference being a waste for me (I had a photo for Sam Rockwell, but he only signed a couple autographs, and after seeing the lethargic attempt at scribbling on stuff he did, I am thankful he didn't "sign" mine) as I only really had photos for Anna, I got shut out. I watched as another 1 of the movies stars Michael Eklund signed for everyone who asked him, I went for lunch early and didn't wait around for the departures of the conference. After lunch I wandered by 1 of the local hotels and hung out for a bit. There I saw Joshua Jackson come out in a shirt that said "Province Of Canada" (psst - to my geographically challenged readers... Canada is not a province.) apparently this is a brand name I had never heard of prior to that moment. Having corrected my prior mistake, and put him back in my binder, I was able to get an autograph from the star of Fringe before he left with his girlfriend Diane Kruger when she came out moments later.
A short while later Anna Kendrick came out, and left in a vehicle & I hurried to the venue of the 1st of two premieres the movie was having that night to find out she didnt come immediately there.
A little while later she eventually showed up, and signed for the handful of us that were there. I managed 1 very rushed, very abbreviated version of her autograph. At least it was something.
A bit later, the "official" premiere for the movie, across the street at Roy Thompson Hall saw me get 1 more autograph from her there on the red carpet. Once she went into the media tent, I went and positioned myself at this little area of faint hope that has in the past nabbed me 1 person here, 1 there, but 97% of the time is futile. As they finished their media and head into the venue theres a little 4 ft wide opening that you can desperately try and call them from with the hopes they will walk 75 ft out of their way and meet fans. Rarely does anyone too notable do it, and you need to be quick to react in time as they cross the space usually in less than a second. There was a larger than usual crowd there, and luckily We got the attention of the Pitch Perfect star, and she didn't even hesitate when she saw people waiting and came right over. She signed a couple more photos for me there, much better autographs that the scrawls I got on the departure and arrivals earlier. She met fans for about 5-8 minutes out the back end of the tent, and her cast mates, including Michael Eklund and came over and met fans too. Funny side story, I was standing there with Michael in front of me, and was waiting for a moment to chime in and say "hey Michael, how are you?" when he noticed me standing there and got a big grin and reached out to shake my hand. I sort of assumed he would recognize me a bit..wasn't sure he would pick me out of a crowd of a 100 people though. Always love when I run into locals at TIFF, they really seem appreciative of people there supporting them usually.
After that premiere, I headed over to Ryerson for the last premiere of TIFF. The final Girls. The cast and venue had me dreaming big. I had the idea there would be a small crowd and with the set up there, there was no reason I couldn't get the 13 photos I had done for the 3 actresses in attendance. I was sorely mistaken. While Children's Hospital and Watchmen star Malin Akerman was spectacular with the fans and made sure everyone got everything they needed, her co-stars were less giving. Taissa Farmiga arrived and went to sign for us, before her publicist literally pulled her away from us. If Taissa ever reads this. Fire her. Shes not helping your image. That's how you alienate fans. On the red carpet, I saw Taissa for less than 45 seconds. Perhaps she came over at some other time as well? But she certainly was not around long and was the 1st to leave the carpet. She seemed nice enough, but it really seemed like her publicist wanted her there JUST to talk with the media and go into the theatre. Someone needs to remember that it is TAISSA who has to promote herself to fans... and you are preventing her from doing so. I see a LOT of terrible publicists (to be honest, more than half of them are quite incompetent) but the one Taissa Farmiga had that night is 1 of the worst I can recall. Luckily for her, the final Final Girl of the night, Toronto raised Nina Dobrev left such a sour impression on most that she made the brief time Taissa spent seem "not that bad". While Nina stopped to do quite a few selfies, she skipped large chunks of people, opted to sign as little as humanly possible and was not shy about saying she had to go....despite Malin Akerman still being out on the carpet doing interviews and meeting fans. No Nina, you didn't have to go. You just were sick of interacting with "the little people". Far cry from the actress that once brought 1 of the autograph guys here in Vancouver cupcakes when they wrapped The Vampire Diaries pilot.
Total autographs - 9
Total autographs for TIFF - 130 (a new TIFF record for me)
A+ Malin Akerman
A Anna Kendrick
A Michael Eklund
C+ Taissa Farmiga
C- Sam Rockwell
D- Nina Dobrev
Toronto International Film Festival - Days 4 thru 6 of TIFF. Featuring - Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy, Kate Winslet and Heroes Reborn cast
Day 4 of TIFF 2015 started for me with a press conference for the Tom Hardy movie "Legend". I will go more in depth on what happened at that presser (and other pressers) at a later date. Needless to say, one particular staffer for TIFF really should, at the least, be re-assigned next year to a position that doesnt interact with the public. At most, fired and probably charged with destruction of property...but like I said, I'll delve deeper into that another day.
As expected, Tom Hardy was a signing machine. Everyone who wanted him got him. Even despite the TIFF security guard forcibly removing items from Tom's grasp, most people still managed to get them signed as Tom repeatedly righted the wrongs made by the aggressive glorified mall security. I also managed 1 Emily Browning autograph there on her way into the press conference.
From there, everyone hurried off to get to other premieres that would be starting soon enough. I got to the Elgin theatre where there were back to back premieres going on within an hour of each other.
First up was "Brooklyn" with Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson. The first to arrive was the son of Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall. He signed maybe 10 or 12 autographs, personalizing them all, before leaving to join his dad on the red carpet. The Star Wars VII star was much tougher than I think anyone expected. I managed 1 in the scrum. Shortly there after, Saoirse Ronan arrived. I managed to get 2 from the former Oscar nominated actress.
Shortly after their arrivals, the cast for "Desierto" started to arrive for their premiere. Gael Garcia Bernal arrived first, and was of course, less than friendly. He begrudgingly signed a couple autographs and took a couple pics before hurrying away, leaving the vast majority of people empty handed. Thankfully, his co-star, Jeffrey Dean Morgan arrived and made up for the constantly rude Mexican. The Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy guest star happily signed for everyone, making sure that everyone in the front row got him, as well as most in the 2nd or 3rd row. I managed 4 autographs from Jeffrey there (3 myself, and 1 from a friend who had nothing at the time).
With nothing immediately going on, I went for a bite to eat. Came back to do the back end of those premieres only to find out JDM had already left. I managed 1 more Ronan in the back, but my hopes of getting a few autographs out there from the 4 people in there was quickly crushed as Gleeson sparsely signed and of course Bernal did nothing.
From there, I rushed over to Elgin for the premiere of "High Rise" with Tom Hiddleston, Elisabeth Moss, and Jeremy Irons. Hiddleston arrived and signed a bunch for the people in the front rows. I managed 3 there, as well as an Irvine and a Moss autograph. After the premiere, I managed 1 more Hiddleston and another Irvine.
Total autographs for the day - 15
Total for all of TIFF - 69
A+ Tom Hardy
A+ Saoirse Ronan
A Jeffrey Dean Morgan
A- Elisabeth Moss
B+ Jeremy Irons
B Emily Browning
B Tom Hiddleston
C Domhnall Gleeson
D Gael Garcia Bernal
F Brendan Gleeson
Day 5 of TIFF started with the much anticipated press conference for the Johnny Depp movie "Black Mass'.
The security at TIFF came by and told everyone right from the get go that Mr. Depp would not be signing going in, but promised to get everyone on the way out. With that knowledge, those of us there for it (aka - almost everyone) re-organized our plans & focused on the list of other notable names in the movie.
My hope, for the second year in a row of getting Peter Sarsgaard on my cast piece for The Killing was my top priority, but sadly, I was shut out on it... AGAIN. I did manage an autograph from Kevin Bacon however, as he worked the entire line before going into the presser. I also managed 1 Joel Edgerton autograph there, but was sadly shut out by Dakota Johnson even though she started right in front of me. I simple didnt react fast enough.
When Johnny came out of the presser, he came directly over to where I was standing and started signing right beside me. I managed to get my 1st item done within about 30 seconds of him starting to sign, I got my 2nd shortly after that, and then.... well, it was practically impossible to get him after that as security for TIFF were physically taking peoples items and tossing them away, as well as pushing peoples items and of course, the idiots who were there trying to get selfies with Mr. Depp after they were told not once, or twice but 3+ times he wouldnt have time to do those kept attempting to do so. I ended the press conference with 2 Johnny Depp autographs. Not terrible, but also, for the fact I got both of them in the first minute of his 10+ minute session, not great either.
What followed that was 1 of the more ridiculous events I have seen with any celeb. Many people tried to get mr. Depp to stop and do pictures with and get autographs out the side of his window while his vehicle was stuck in a very slow traffic line. Johnny obliged the resuests, even while his own security, and 2 TIFF guards physically tried stopping people from interacting with Mr. Depp...despite the CLEAR sign he wanted to interact with the fans. It eventually got to a point where security told the driver to roll up the window on Mr. Depp as he was still trying to reach out to meet people. I've NEVER seen such a blatant level of disregard for what the talent wanted in my life. It was despicable.
From there, I went and found a place where Kate Winslet was. While I was there waiting for the Academy Award winner to come out, a variety of others came in & left in that time, including her co-star in the movie she was there for, Liam Hemsworth. I managed 2 autographs from Liam, and 1 from Kate while there, along with bonus autographs from Paul Gross, and Elisabeth Moss.
I then headed over to Princess Of Wales to work the premiere of "Spotlight". I managed 1 Liev Schrieber autograph before I decided this was too much effort for the cast that was there.
I moved across the street to Roy Thompson Hall for the premiere of "The Dressmaker". I attempted to get Ms. Winslet again, but came up short, as well, I was unable to get newcomer Sarah Snook because of all the people wanting selfies with an actress they didnt know. I did manage 1 more Liam Hemsworth autograph though, so it wasnt a complete shutout.
From there I hurried over to the Elgin theatre, not just because it was where the Johnny Depp movie would be, but because the film before it had Cary Elwes. Whether it be for The Princess Bride, or Psych, I really wanted to get him. I had been warned he had a bad autograph already, so my hopes werent high, but my hopes seemed all but dashed when I got there and saw 1000s of fans already there, almost entirely lined up for the hopes of Johnny an hour after the Cary Elwes movie "Being Charlie' went in.
When the staff locked down the road to traffic going thru, I was lucky enough to get a spot reasonably close to the front. Now I just had to wait in the mass of people that was thicker than any crowd I had endured at any premiere prior. Eventually cast started showing up. Nick Robinson signed a few, but missed me, the Common arrived, along with Rob Reiner, then the star arrived. Cary Elwes decided, instead of starting with the people closest to him, he started with people across the street from him. He signed and took pics with 100s of people, most of whom really didnt even know who it was, as was evident by the mo less than 10Xs I was asked "who is that?" and the bellows I would hear of "Gary" and "Barry". While I wated for him to get around to my area, I was made aware of 1 of the WORST problem fans I have ever seen at an event. This South American guy who had climbed a light standard to see better. Not something thats rare in itself. HOWEVER, his reaction when told by TIFF people to get down was. He defiantly said "no, no no no no. I can not". When a TIFF person asked why he couldnt he said "Because I need to get a shot". She then went and got a cop, who also told him to come down and he again said no...before eventually caving to the Cops demands. The cop then tried speaking with him, and he was less than receptive to the cops demands. The cop then told him he had been warned, if he had to come back over for him then he would be arrested. Eventually Mr. Elwes made it back towards the theatre, and signed for me....in ballpoint pen. I immediately asked him if he could sign it in sharpie instead, and he stopped, changed pens, and re-signed it, and added a mustache to the pic, before moving on. Mission sort of accomplished.
It would be another 1/2 hour or so till cast started showing up for the next movie. Peter Sarsgaard arrived, and signed for a bunch of people, again ignoring my cast piece. Starting to think he hated The Killing. Dakta Johnson also arrived, ignoring all requests from fans as she didnt stop to sign 1 autograph or take 1 photo with. A little while later, Johnny Depp arrived, and people went fucking NUTS. Including the South American psycho behind me who by this point had angered everyone around him with his VERY loud (and I am a loud person as it is, and even I couldnt believe how loud he was) barking voice that I associate with a drunken soccer hooligan. Every person that arrived, he lost his fucking shit over. Just screaming, hooting and if he heard their name, would yell it over and over again, often, right in my ear. I turned around more than once with a less than impressed glare, and for a few moments, he would stop...then eventually start again. It was as if he had no short term memory. When Johnny arrived, as you can imagine, this guy went fucking nuts. I am absolutely sure his brain stopped functioning. For 5 minutes (or more) straight, all the group around me were hearing was "Johnny, Johnny, Johny, Johnny, Johnny, Holy fuck, holy fuck, motherfucker, motherfucker, mother fucker, motherfucker, mottherfucker...." along with him jumping up and down like he was in a mosh pit and pushing far more aggressively than any fan or hound I have ever endured, finally several of us told a TIFF person to grab the cop. Sadly, a completely different cop came over. We told them what this guy was doing, and they told him to back up. Which he did, then complained about his drink that was still on the ground that he couldnt get to. We pleaded with the cops to remove him, but instead, they let psychoman stay. While the wait for Johnny dragged on, Joel Edgerton came by and signed for everyone as well. I managed 1 more item from him. Eventually Johnny would make his way all the way around the crowd, getting to us last as we were closest to the door. Fortunately the bellows of other fans going "Johnny" drowned out a bit the soccer hooligan and his similar chants, but you could still clearly hear him overtop of anyone else. Mr. Depp eventually got to my item, signed it, and moved on. Then once he was done there, he went back across the street and signed dow the other end of the street before his security guy physically grabbed hiom and pulled him away from the growd.
After that, I hurried as much as I could out of the mosh pit to try and get back across town to RTH for the premiere of "Hyena Road". I really needed an actress that is the wife of 1 of the movies stars on my Robson Arms cast items & DVDs. I raced over there, and even used the subway for a rare time, and got there to find out they were almost all in the press row already. As I was walking away, I heard fans cheer, so I hurried back to see Allan Hawco on the carpet. I went and got him for a friend of mine who is a big fan, I got 3 done, then Allan said he would be right back that he had to do a photo call. He went did the photo call, then came back...but to the other side...and never came back to the people he promised to come back to. I waited around for a few minutes in the faint hope maybe I would still have a chance at who I came there for, but the chance never arose.
I left there and went to the CBC theatre where Salma Hayek was doing a conversation. On her departure, she signed a few, including 1 for me, before leaving for the night.
Total autographs - 19
Total autographs for TIFF - 88
A+ Johnny Depp
A+ Kevin Bacon
A Joel Edgerton
A Liam Hemsworth
A Kate Winslet
A- Cary Elwes
B Allan Hawco
B- Salma Hayek
C+ Sarah Snook
C Liev Schreiber
C- Nick Robinson
C- Peter Sarsgaard
Day 6 had a late start for me. I made my way over to Elgin to try and get Penelope Cruz and the cast of the movie following it there. I missed the arrivals for them, but was in position for the back end, only to learn Penelope was not coming back and left immediately from introducing the film. I did manage an autograph from Tom Courtenay however, so it was not a complete waste.
Sadly, too much time was wasted at the back waiting on the hope that Penelope was returning and I missed the arrivals for the next film..err, I mean TV show. Heroes Reborn had a premiere with the 1st two episodes of the show being shown at TIFF. The entire cast that was coming for it managed to arrive well over an hour early for the premiere, leaving the vast majority of fans & hounds shutout as people started to arrive around an hour to the showing with the belief they still would have some time.
I, like many others, went to the back end and waited. Eventually at the end of the showing the cast came out. I managed several of them including Jack Coleman, Kiki Sukezane, Robbie Kay, Judith Shekoni, Danika Yarosh, Tim Kring, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Francesca Eastwood and another person I am not now recalling. I missed getting 1 of the 4 or 5 autographs Zachary Levi doled out while getting someone else, and outright missed Gatlin Green somehow. All in all, a decent effort I felt. Sometime while getting the Heroes cast, I passed the 100 autographs mark for the 2nd consecutive year.
While I waited for the TV people, I saw Odessa Young come out and sign for the few people waiting for her as she was there promoting her film "Looking For Grace".
I hurried over to the back end of Princess Of Wales and got there in time to nab a couple autographs from David Thewlis and 1 from Jennifer Jason Leigh as they departed the premiere for "Anomalisa".
I then ended the night over at the CBC building for another conversation taping, this time with comedienne Sarah Silverman. I nabbed two autographs there before calling it a night.
Total autographs - 20
Total autographs for TIFF - 108
A Sarah Silverman
A Kiki Sukezane
A Odessa Young
A- David Thewlis
B+ Jimmy Jean-Louis
B+ Francesca Eastwood
B+ Judith Shekoni
B+ Tim Kring
B- Tom Courtenay
C+ Robbie Kay
C Jennifer Jason Leigh
C- Zachary Levi
All photos posted in this blog are shot by Canadagraphs.