Featured Image By Merna Jibrail
This marks my third year attending the Toronto International Film Festival and I can say, without a doubt, this year was the most difficult — and painful.
TIFF is best known for bringing directors, filmmakers, actors and fans from around the world to Toronto for the festival’s ten glorious days,. When the festival kicked off September 10th with the world premiere of Jake Gyllenhaal’s film, Demolition, it was a strong sign of busy festivities.
Back in 2013, I attended the Starred Up premiere for the very talented Jack O’Connell, went to the Riot Club premiere in 2014, but this year — this year was just packed with excitement. For the four days I was at TIFF this year I almost felt like I lived on the streets of Toronto — which, for the record, I don’t.
Here’s how the opening weekend of TIFF 2015 went for me:
Fri Sept. 11, 2015: I Saw The Light & The Martian
I went into both of these films pumped AF. I Saw The Light starred Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen — which just ended up feeling like a reuniting of two of my fave Marvel characters. Later that evening I saw some more of my faves in the premiere of The Martian — How can you go wrong with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain? Not to mention my personal favourites Sebastian Stan and Donald Glover.
5:30PM at Ryerson Theatre: I Saw The Light
There was a lot riding on my first red carpet of the year. I know Tom Hiddleston has a huge fan base, which is well deserved, but I wondered if lot of his fans would show up — silly thought. Yes, yes they would, and they did. I arrived to the theater roughly around 2:30pm and there was already a good turn out. Luckily enough, I was at the barricade just a bit past the press line and met two nice girls who came from the U.S with their school for the festival. Geez. Why didn’t I go to that school.
As the cars began to roll by, the doors opened and out came the newest Avenger, Elizabeth Olsen. Rocking a beautiful black dress, which she admitted wasn’t hers and didn’t want to get wet, she took a few photos, did the press line and started to greet fans.
Unfortunately, where I was on the red carpet line wasn’t covered by shelter and it began to rain. As I mentioned before, Elizabeth mentioned that the dress wasn’t hers and she didn’t want it to get wet. Fair enough. She said a quick hi, and went into the theater.
Next out was the man many of the fans were waiting for: Tom Hiddleston. He arrived with a big smile to a lot of loud cheering — again, so deserved.He signed autographs, took photos — and then things began to get a bit rowdy. As he walked closer to me (*fans self*) the autograph hounds made it their opportunity to get behind me and slam their books/photos on top of my head while also pushing me into the barricade. I know you’re probably thinking this is to be expected — but violence is not cool. Tom came towards me and, while I was pushed to the barricade almost bent over, two security guards rushed to hold the barricade. Tom was kind and patient — making my day, after he saw how much pain I was in, took my phone and captured this adorable selfie.
My first day of #TIFF started off pretty nice. #TomHiddleston was so fucking nice while the stupid autograph hounds were attacking him and digging me into the barricade. But fret not, Loki was here to save the day. He signed my book, took my phone and alas this selfie was created. The wait was so worth it. ???? #ISawTheLight #IWasInAlotOfPain #loki #myuterus
Hiddles is a true gent guys.
8:00pm at Roy Thompson Hall: The Martian
I rushed from Ryerson Theater to Roy Thompson Hall — a 15-20 minute walk away — for the premiere of The Martian. Based on the novel by Andy Weir of the same name, the film stars Matt Damon, Kate Mara and more. I know there were a couple of big names in this film — but two in particular made my heart flutter: Sebastian Stan and Donald Glover. I first fell for Sebastian in Gossip Girl and then in Captain American. Donald Glover — well he’s Childish Gambino and have you seen him in Magic Mike XXL? DROOL!
I wasn’t in the best spot and it did start to rain a bit, but I didn’t mind that so much. Being in the presence of Donald and Sebastian was enough for me.
Sat Sept. 12, 2015: About Ray & The Danish Girl & Legend
I knew off the bat this was going to be a busy day for me — I was determined to meet Eddie Redmayne. Last year I was a second too late to catch him and he walked past me — I still think about that day. This year was different –I had a goal. I wanted to have Eddie in my presence close enough to have a conversation with him. I have a history of bad luck — the same thing happened last year with Tom Hardy, I stumbled into him last year but he was being rushed to his premiere — which I totally understood. But still. Tom Hardy.
2:00PM at Princess Of Wales: About Ray
I arrived early at the Princess Of Wales because The Danish Girl premiere was at 6:30pm and I wanted to have a good spot. I waited for the premiere beforehand — which was for About Ray — which has been getting a lot of buzz. The film stars Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, and Susan Sarandon. Naomi were first to arrive, said hi to a couple of fans and were off.
The real MVP of this red carpet was Elle Fanning. The young actress greeted tons of fans with a big smile on her face — even though her dress was causing her trouble. What a cutie!
6:00PM at Princess Of Wales: The Danish Girl
The man who won everyone’s hearts over in The Theory Of Everything returned to the festival this year with another Oscar worthy film, The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne was the man of the premiere that all were waiting for along with his co-stars — the lovely Amber Heard and the equally talented and Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (she starred in A Royal Affair. 10/10, highly reccomend). Alicia first arrived to the carpet, and next up was Amber Heard. Her car came through, and the way the fans were facing, we noticed a shadow that looked similar to someone we all know and love. It was Johnny Depp!
There were loads of cheering for Johnny who was at the premiere to support his wife Amber Heard. Heard was not overshadowed in the least however, as when the fans got a glimpse of her, they all went crazy chanting for her. She was so lovely greeting almost everyone fan with grace and a huge smile on her face. We can stare at her smile all day. She eventually made it to where I was and was super sweet.
Gin, the lady who is kind enough to tell all the fans who will be in the next car arriving on the carpet, finally announced Eddie Redmayne. Instantly, there was a change in energy — everyone stated chanting. We were excited okay? The car pulled up, and out came the Academy Award winner, Eddie — and he walked straight for us. Luckily, I did not have a repeat of last year — he came over to me, signed my book and was nice enough to let me grab a quick selfie.
Eddie was so charming that I actually couldn’t feel my legs after we met. My legs were shaking, I felt like a disaster. Mission to meet Eddie Redmayne = Success.
9:00pm at Roy Thompson Hall: Legend
Next up was Tom Hardy’s film Legend. I had waited the entire day for this red carpet, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side. It was rainy, windy and cold. We were damp and people could be heard complaining left, right and center. But it was Tom Hardy — so it was worth it. After a bit of confusion with the drivers, Tom’s co-star Emily Browning’s driver brought her to the wrong place, Tom’s car rolled up — and he didn’t wait for anyone. The British actor who’s had an exciting year with Mad Max: Fury Road stepped out of his car and went to EVERY fan waiting. I’m not exaggerating here, he went to every single person who waited out in the rain for him
What felt like 30 minutes of him greeting fans with a big smile on his face, he came over to my side. It was rainy, and there was a bright light flashed onto my face but does it look like I care? NOPE. He puts my theory of British actors being the kindest humans alive in full force. I mean, what other actor would spend 20 minutes in the rain greeting fans? TOM FLIPPIN’ HARDY.
Sun Sept. 13, 2015: Equals
I was especially looking forward to this premiere — what can I say, I’ve been on a Kristen Stewart kick lately. I loved her in X-Ray Camp, American Ultra and expect Equals to be next on the list. Not to mention — I’ve always been a fan of Nicholas Hoult, ever since the good ol’ Skins days. i don’t thin I need to say that the film had me extra excited.
I live about an hour north of the city — so I made sure I would get downtown at a reasonable hour. When I arrived to the city early I decided to test my luck at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel. There were about 10 fans outside and 5 minutes before I was going to leave, I looked up and saw the man of the day walked out of the car. It was Nicholas Hoult. I lost my shit. This wasn’t suppose to happen. I wasn’t ready.
3:00pm at Princess Of Wales: Equals
I was over the moon after meeting Nicholas — so I was that much more pumped to meet his co-star. Back to red carpet I went. Getting the theme here? After waiting hours for this premiere, it was time. But, of course, when it got time to bring the actors in — it began to rain. Yet another running theme of this year’s festival. As I’ve learned from the past couple of days, don’t expect nothing when it comes to these red carpets … especially when its raining. Regardless, Nicholas’ car arrived and the British babe didn’t wait a single moment and went directly to his fans.
He didn’t seem to mind the rain, and we didn’t care to get rained on. It was the perfect combination. He was filled with smiles and joy thanks to his fans who came out to support him — and boy does he deserve that love. After his successes with Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men and Warm Bodies, quick Hoult fans knew this was the movie to the watch. Including me — so imagine how my heart handled it when Nicholas came over to my end. Actually, I instantly felt the push of everyone and autographs hitting my head. Not so fun — but then Nick came over to me. All I remember was me saying “Ouch, my head,” but then Nick, being the babe that he is, asked if I was okay. SO. MUCH. BETTER. I also tried to film my selfie with him, it failed miserably — I got his neck in the video. I had one job.
A photo posted by Cineplex (@cineplexmovies) on
But leave it to my friends to find this of my encounter with Hoult!
Next was Kristen Stewart. I know she isn’t one for red carpets (understandably so), so I was more than happy just to see her from a distance — which I barely did. The rain got in the way of any fan greetings, but K-Stew looked incredibly happy to be there and that was more than enough for me.
Mon Sept. 14,2015: The Dressmaker
Anyone who knows me knows that I have about five actors that I look up to and admire over anyone in the world — Liam Hemsworth is one of them. After missing the chance to meet him three years ago when he was in Toronto for the premiere of The Hunger Games (he was a foot away from me) I couldn’t miss the chance to see him in person again. Another running theme of my luck.
And how can I say no to Kate Winslet?
6:00PM at Roy Thompson Hall:The Dressmaker
Luckily for us, it was a nice, sunny day this past Monday.
The cars began to roll in and as the director came on the carpet, we all began to get excited. Next up, Liam Hemsworth. And for a solid minute or so, I felt like I couldn’t hear my eardrums. The continuous chanting of “Liam” was unreal. The Australian actor greeted a lot of his fans — but missed me by two people yet again. You win some, you lose some. Oh well, lOOK AT THIS FACE!
Liam was stunning as ever — it feels like this man doesn’t age. He seemed so happy and that’s more than I could ask for as a fan.
Next was the stunningly beautiful Kate Winslet. Another actress who just doesn’t age. She wore the most breathtaking dress which fit her beautifully and she also greeted as many fans as she could.
And that was that. That was my last TIFF red carpet. I have a lot of feelings. Until next year folks.