Mr. Toronto Film Fest 2007 Ben Affleck revealed to andPOP Saturday morning that he isn’t ready to end his working relationship with Matt Damon just yet.
Affleck showed up to a screening of Running the Sahara, which Damon produced and narrates, and told andPOP that he will indeed be working with Damon on a project again soon.
The two actors became mega-stars when they wrote Good Will Hunting, which won them an Oscar.
So what will that project be?
“If I told you,” Affleck said, “I’d have to kill you.”
If you visit andPOP regularly, then you know we don’t report rumours – we only report facts.
So here’s one for you: Mike Comrie of the New York Islanders and his gal pal Hilary Duff are in Toronto together. She’s here to perform and host a film fest party. He’s here for some Duff.
There, I said it. I hate talking about people’s personal lives, but you like to read it, and we have the “scoop” (ok it’s a small scoop) so might as well report it before someone else does (like a certain other Canadian site who likes to take our exclusives without giving us credit).
Other not as interesting spottings: Kenny and Spenny at the E! launch party Friday night, Ellen Page walking around Yorkville with a group of friends also Friday, and Ben Affleck all over the city. Affleck is this year’s Lance Bass. Last year, Bass turned up everywhere. This year, it’s Affleck’s turn.
The official opening night party for the Toronto International Film Festival sounds so prestigious, but if Screech from Saved by the Bell stopped in, he’d be the biggest star there. And he wasn’t, so if you didn’t go, you didn’t miss anything.
The place to be on opening night of the film fest was The Brant House, where Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of the “Saw” franchise, and Lyriq Bent, who appeared in the first three but stars in October’s “Saw IV,” hosted a party (both pictured at right).
Bousman is in town shooting a horror musical, which stars Paris Hilton. He brought another star, Alexa Vega, to the party. Also spotted was Rasta Phil, a member of Mark Wahlberg’s real entourage.
The party was a great way to begin the film fest, which can’t be said about the rump across town.
As the president of NKPR, Natasha Koifman’s busy season has official begun. With today’s start to the Toronto Film Festival, Koifman won’t get a break till it wraps up next week. Her company has set up the IT Lounge, where celebrities will get a taste of several new brands and products and where they will be able to assist in raising money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto.
NKPR is also handling Time magazine-sponsored after-parties for “Michael Clayton” starring George Clooney, “Trumbo” starring Michael Douglas and “Walk All Over Me” starring Leelee Sobieski. For some in the public relations business, all this can be overwhelming. But Koifman doesn’t freak out. With 12 years of festival experience, she’s an organized pro. Here are some her tips.
andPOP: How do you survive the film festival?
Koifman: You’re going on pure adrenaline most of the time. Also great skin products don’t hurt. Kiehl’s Eye Alert. Have to, have to, first thing in the morning. I live on that. Ultimately, it’s just being really organized and working with great people.
andPOP: How do you not stress out?
Koifman: I can never understand why people get mean during the festival when they’re stressed. I truly believe that you should treat people the way that you want to be treated. I love what I do and I’m very mindful of treating people the way I want to be treated. There’s a solution to everything so don’t get stressed out.
andPOP: What are you most looking forward to?
Koifman: One, I’m looking forward to seeing my husband at the end of every night because I don’t get to see him very much during the festival. And two, what I’m really excited about it to give these brands during the lounge an opportunity to make their debuts. I’m excited to get them into the hands of celebrities and bring attention to them. They’re wonderful products, like Moor Allure. This woman has this ingredient on her farm in Ontario. It’s a certain kind of peat. It has healing benefits for your skin. You’ll never meet a nicer woman. She’s so excited to be there and I’m excited to give her the opportunity to make her debut. And I rarely get star struck but I’m so excited to watch George Clooney walk down the red carpet at the Time event. There’s just something about George Clooney on the red carpet.
andPOP: What is the biggest misconception about a publicist?
Koifman: People think publicists go to a lot of parties and that we’re party planners but that’s not the case at all. I think there’s a bit of that misconception. When we do interviews with people out of school, they think we’re event planners but they don’t see the other side of it. What we try and do is create strategic plans for our clients to generate the results that they want.
Toronto will host the fifth annual World of Comedy Film Festival, running from March 9-11 at Town Hall Theatre at Innis College.
56 shorts and features will be shown, including 44 premieres. Seven countries will be represented.
Highlights include: “The Saviour,” a 2007 Oscar nominee for Best Short Film from Australia; “Shaun the Sheep: Still Life” from Oscar winning Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit); “Guide Dog” the sequel to the 2005 Oscar nominated animated short The Guard Dog; the feature “I Will Avenge You, Iago!,” a comedy about great actors and their on and off stage dramas and farces including adultery, burglary, suicide and murder.
For more information, visit: www.worldcomedyfilmfest.com
Good bye, Film Fest. I am glad you are done for the sake of my sanity, but I know tomorrow I will wake up and miss you.
It was my first year covering the film fest from dawn till, well, dawn, and I wouldn’t have done the week much differently if I were to do it all again.
Before I take a look back at some of the finest moments, I will recap my final day at the fest. (Note: The fest is still going on until Saturday, but by now, the big stars are gone, the parties are over, and the film fest is unofficially over.)
Had a 9 a.m. interview with Joshua Jackson. Being somewhere for 9 a.m. during the film fest should be illegal. The fans weren’t even outside the Intercontinental yet (they were when I left the hotel 20 minutes later). Somehow, Jackson was wide awake (“I had two cups of coffee already,” he said), as were his other “Bobby” cast members who were in the large hotel room (Christian Slater and Joy Bryant). William H. Macy was also in the room doing an interview, as was the film’s director, writer and star, Emilio Estevez. Every time I think of Emilio, I can’t help but picture Will Ferrell in “A Night at the Roxbury,” yelling “Emiliooooo!” I could watch that movie on mute, and have (true story, don’t ask).
“Bobby,” a film focusing on the last day of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s life (yet fictional), has an amazing cast. Nick Cannon, Sharon Stone, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore also star and arrived later in the day to walk the red carpet. Kutcher and Moore had already left Toronto earlier in the week, but returned just for “Bobby.” Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, and Lindsay Lohan also star, amongst about a dozen more.
I talked with Jackson about how this is his fourth film with Emiliooooo (Mighty Ducks 1, 2 and 3), moving on from “Dawson’s Creek” and much more, all packed into a 10-minute interview.
From there, went home to do a phone interview with Nick Lachey, un-film fest related.
Then back to the Intercontinental for andPOP’s final interview of the film fest. Ironically, perhaps, I didn’t even do the final interview, which was with the “talent” from “This Filthy World,” director John Waters, who is actually the star of the film, and actor Jeff Garlin, who is actually director. Waters is the man behind “Hairspray,” and director of other films like “Cry-Baby” and most recently “A Dirty Shame.” Garlin plays Larry David’s manager on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
W. Andrew Powell, who runs The Gate web site, located at thegate.ca, filled in for me because I had not seen the film (I hung around to take photos during the interview). In order to do this interview, as is the case with 90 per cent of them, seeing the film was a requirement. Powell caught a Wednesday screening and spent 15 minutes talking about the film.
At one point, Waters was talking about how years ago, nobody was coming to one of his films that was screening in Canada.
“I’m trying to do a big art project on those three terrible, worst nights of my life in Canada,” Waters told Powell.
Garlin chimed in, “I’d actually like to buy that project. That’s a fantastic one.”
Now to recap.
Top 10 andPOP Film Fest moments:
10. Interviewing the randoms on various red carpets: Lance Bass, Christian Bale, Ron Perlman, etc.
9. Attending the after party for “The Dog Problem” at Ryerson’s campus pub and talking with Mena Suvari, one of my new favourite people.
8. My interviews with the director of “Bella,” Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, and the stars Ali Landry and Eduardo Verastegui. They were so genuine about wanting to make a difference with their movie, not just making money.
7. Playing poker with members of the film industry, eating free pizza and picking out a pair of awesome new Pumas at the PokerRoom.com VIP lounge at the Panorama.
6. Hanging out at the IT Lounge. Good atmosphere, got to check my email, charge my phone, speak with cool people. I’ll also note that all three times that I went to the lounge, I got off one floor early. If I were to have visited a fourth time, I think I could have nailed it.
5. Speaking with the star of “Entourage,” Adrian Grenier, after seeing him walk through a hotel’s lobby with his own, real entourage. They were not as intimidating as Drama.
4. Interviewing Jeff Goldblum and talking about Celebrity Jeopardy.
3. Riding with Giovanni Ribisi and Scott Caan to their film screening for “The Dog Problem” at the Ryerson theatre.
2. Getting Jennifer Lopez to stop for one minute (two questions) on the red carpet of her after party thrown by Time. I didn’t even mind that Marc Anthony was with her and speaking for much of the time. I don’t even remember looking his way.
1. And number one, no question about it, the Wyclef Jean concert at Premiere lounge. Perhaps the best night of my life. I had never seen the man in concert and somehow got in and am forever grateful to Premiere Magazine for paying him to take the stage. I may even purchase a subscription to Premiere to thank them. William Hamilton of Peach Stone Media, Christine Kaculis of LIVEstyle Entertainment and the guy from Sony BMG Films who was working the door (email me if you are him) are all awesome. That was my one “fan” moment at the fest.
And that is that, folks. Thanks for reading my blog. I had a great time writing it. Keep checking back to andpop.com starting early next week to start reading the interviews with the likes of Grenier, J.Lo, Wyclef, “American Pie” alum and many more, plus to view the photo gallery.
Giovanni Ribisi and Scott Caan were running late for our interview and had to get to the Ryerson theatre before their film, “The Dog Problem,” started, so instead of sitting in a corner of their hotel, I joined them for the ride and did the interview in the car.
Ribisi and Caan were escorted past the fans waiting outside the Intercontinental and right into the car. They were in a rush so couldn’t stop to sign autographs, but those two I’m told have been the most courteous stars at the festival. Inside the hotel, I had met Caan but hadn’t yet been introduced to Ribisi. So as he was shutting the car door, I had to stop him and I entered. He had a look like “ummm… why is this strange man getting into our car” but all was soon explained.
Ribisi should be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and will be soon. He’s very selective in his roles and always gives a memorable performance. Caan is a fantastic writer and I hope “The Dog Problem” gets bought by a huge studio and achieves mass distribution.
Unfortunately, I had an interview with the director and cast of “Bella” after that one back at the hotel, and because of traffic, I was late. I say “unfortunately” because I was late, not because I had an interview with them.
Luckily, the film’s director, Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, and his wife and one of the stars, Ali Landry, stuck around and we had one of my favourite interviews of the festival. Alejandro is the most passionate director I have met all festival long and he preaches how he wants to make a moving film, but also one that can make a difference. “Bella” is a moving feature that is a must-see. After that interview, spoke with the lead actor, Eduardo Verastegui, who is apparently a huge Mexican singer and actor and who is equally as passionate about the film as his friend Alejandro.
Ended the day relatively early by visiting the PokerRoom.com VIP Lounge, high above the city at Panorama on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre. Am I VIP? Not according to the film fest’s definition, but I couldn’t turn down an invite to play some poker.
As I entered the lounge, a few familiar faces were playing poker: Michael Mabbott (director of “Citizen Duane”), Devon Bostick (Maurie from “Citizen Duane”) and Kris Holden-Ried (Jack Walker from “A Stone’s Throw”). The director of “A Stone’s Throw,” Camelia Frieberg, was also in the lounge having a bite to eat, as was the very helpful publicist, Julius Comia of VKPR.
Daniela Gentile, who is handling publicity for the lounge, showed me the $6,000 gift bag that the A-listers would be receiving. Oh, to be famous. Among the items in the gift bag: a portable Nintendo DS Lite, a portable XM Satellite Radio, Puma shoes, a Vonage V-Phone, and a Whistler Resort ski and spa mountain getaway. Hot damn.
I didn’t walk away empty-handed. I was given my choice of a pair of awesome Puma shoes. I also got a free meal courtesy of PokerRoom.com from the fine folks at Panorama… great pizza. Sure, call me a sellout, but I’m a sellout wearing free shoes and well fed.
I joined in on a game of poker with Shawn Reynolds (who appears in the upcoming film “One Way” with Michael Clarke Duncan and Eric Roberts), director/producer/actor Glen McDonald and Andrew Nisker, the creator of the documentary “Garbage Men.” Reynolds and McDonald have created a film called “Dogs Playing Poker,” which I imagine we will be hearing about a lot soon.
When the game was down to McDonald and myself, he hit a royal flush! I don’t think I had ever seen that before. It was remarkable, and only the dealer and the two of us were there to see it. Now it will live on in the form of this blog entry.
Ladies and gentlemen, I not only found J.Lo but I interviewed her too.
Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony are at the Film Fest to promote their movie “El Cantante,” a bio-pic about legendary salsa singer Hector Lavoe. She produced it; they both star in it.
Time Magazine hosted the after-party at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District. I almost did not go for two reasons:
-the arrival time was supposed to be near 11 p.m., yet I was at a movie screening till 11:20;
-and more importantly, it was raining.
The press release said to be there early because there was limited room on the red carpet, another reason to skip it, but come on, it’s J.Lo. Worth a shot.
I was the last media dude to show up and joined about 10 other journalists (mostly television) and 10 photographers on the carpet. Everyone except me was smart and had umbrellas. Two kind photographers shooting for Time let me join them under their massive umbrella. There was even room for another two people; the thing was huge. I don’t know why people would need such a big umbrella or where they would buy one. I can only assume it was custom made.
I had a hunch that showing up at 11 p.m. would have been pointless for one reason: nobody is ever on time for these things. Anthony and Lopez arrived at 12:30. So I didn’t have the umbrella, but at least I spent the least amount of time in the rain. The power couple was being hustled in very quickly but I still yelled out a question hoping they would stop.
And they did.
“Why are you so passionate about this project?” I asked. I figured they’d only stop if I asked them about the movie, and gave them the chance to gush over it. Score.
Anthony started talking and talking and talking about how much he loves Lavoe’s music. I was almost afraid J.Lo wouldn’t say anything, and that all I would be able to say is I got to interview Marc Anthony, which is not nearly as notable. But after he finished, she said a few words, which you’ll be able to read in a future article I write sometime next week about their movie.
They took a few steps forward and I asked them a better question.
“Were you hesitant at all to work together?” I assume this was clearly in reference to her former beaus. She did a movie with Ben Affleck and we know how that relationship (and film) turned out. She danced with Cris Judd, another failed romance. She even worked with her other husband, Ojani Noa, in a way. She was a waitress in his restaurant.
With that bio out of the way, they both laughed and said they were not hesitant to work together. And then they went into the party, where cameras of all sorts (digital, camerphones, etc.) were forbidden by the guests. When I left the red carpet, I heard that eye contact with J.Lo was still allowed, but the party is still going on as I write this so it could have changed.
So to conclude: two questions, yes I know it’s not a lot, but by definition, that is still an interview.
I’ll also note that I shared a moment with Lopez. The rain was coming down hard and I was getting wet. My glasses were soaked with raindrops, which I think she noticed, because she smirked at me. Or maybe it was a nervous smile because I was staring at her while her husband was talking (and talking and talking). Either way, I hope he isn’t jealous.
That’s how I ended the night… now to quickly rewind.
11:30 a.m. interview at Intercontinental with the cast and director of “Fay Grim.” First spoke with the ravishing Parker Posey (admittedly high on paid meds) and director Hal Hartley together. The man is a genius.
Right after that, interviewed Saffron Burrows, who was impressed by my digital recorder. Then I explained how I had two because one ran out during a day of interviews last week, but then realized she was impressed by the technology but didn’t care to hear about my recorder collection.
After that, in one of those “someone made a mistake, I shouldn’t be here” moments, talked with the nicest man in the world, Jeff Goldblum. I even slipped in a question about SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy. Yes, he’s fine with them making fun of him, and yes, he enjoys watching it.
Then it was over to the Rivoli, home to the Canadian Music Cafe for three days, to watch a performance by dbClifford, who will be playing at Toronto’s Supermarket for the next four Wednesdays. His album, “Recyclable,” should be out next year. Catch this guy before he starts selling out arenas. He’s a mix between every artist imaginable. Watching him perform though reminded me of Remy Shand, though a bit cooler and with a better voice. I also started to wonder where Remy Shand went and I hope he is ok.
Right back over to the Intercontinental to speak with the director of “A Stone’s Throw.” Camelia Frieberg, and the film’s star, Kristen Holden-Ried. I’m not going to sum up 30 minutes of interviews into a couple blog paragraphs, so as always, come back soon to read more about it. I promise, I’ll tell you everything you need to know, just be patient.
Amazingly after that, I went home and had three hours to do absolutely nothing. First time all week. I used the time to do research on upcoming interviews, but I was actually home while the sun was setting. Incredible.
Of course, it was back to work soon after. I caught a screening of “Bella,” in advance of an upcoming interview with director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and actors Eduardo Verastegui, Tammy Blanchard and Ali Landry.
When the movie ended… well, read from the top to find out where I went after that.
One more note, for the record: I interviewed Jennifer Lopez, but was told Carrie-Anne Moss did not have time for a chat. Read that back. And I interviewed Matt Damon and Jeff Goldblum, yet couldn’t set anything up with Bobcat Goldthwait. Yes, read that back again. Amazing how the biz works sometimes.
Random thoughts from the film fest:
-Nicest washroom: Second floor of the 4 Seasons. Always clean and you’ll run into someone who looks familiar in the lobby. Chances are they aren’t who you think they are, but even if you spot nobody, it’s worth it just to go to a nice washroom.
-There are fans camped outside of the Intercontinental 24 hours a day.
-If you can find a film’s after party, chances are you will get in. This does not include parties thrown at Chanel, Holt Renfrew, or pretty much anywhere on Bloor near Yorkville. It’s tricky to find one but they’re around.
-There seem to be professional partiers. Quite the job; not sure how they make money.
-Person who has shown up to the most parties (the Cuba Gooding Jr. Award): (tie) Samuel L. Jackson and Lance Bass. To explain, Cuba Gooding Jr. showed up at just about every party last year.
-Times I’ve spotted Penelope Cruz: twice. Brad Pitt: once. Borat: none.
-Times I’ve dropped my camera: none. Cell phone: twice.
Much of my days are spent standing and walking. I’m not complaining (don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun) but the feet are taking a beating. Jen Gerson, The Toronto Star’s film fest partier, said I had no right to complain because I get to wear running shoes all day. That’s fair. I would not last long in heels and don’t want to test that hypothesis.
Monday’s shenanigans started around noon. I headed over to the Metropolitan to interview the star of “The Pleasure of Your Company,” “American Pie” alum Jason Biggs, and the film’s director/writer Michael Ian Black, who you would recognize from his days on “Ed.”
(On a side note, Black was in “Ed” with Tom Cavanagh, who was part of last season’s “Love Monkey,” which lasted all of three episodes before it was cancelled, leaving just me and my brother upset. I’m pretty sure we were the only ones who watched it. I would just like to make a plea to the networks to bring it back.)
Black and Biggs were a riot, joking about everything from … how do I put this … relations with a donkey to … well some stuff I will never be able to use unfortunately in print. Let’s just say Mel Gibson would appear to be a saint compared to what came out of our conversation. Of course, Black and Biggs were only kidding, while Mel…
There’s been some great buzz about “The Pleasure of Your Company,” and you can check beck later in the week for much more from the comedy duo.
After that, a subway ride over to the Intercontinental to speak with J.R. Bourne, the only actor from “Everything’s Gone Green” who I hadn’t yet spoken with. Down to earth, couldn’t have been friendlier. He was wearing a hat because he didn’t feel like putting effort into his hair in the morning. I was wearing a hat because I need a haircut.
As I was finishing the interview, got an email from Jamie over at NKPR, the fine folks who are putting on the IT lounge, telling me I should stop by because a bunch of celebs were in the house.
When I arrived, Biggs and Black were picking out some items. The lounge was busy all day with visits from Giovanni Ribisi and Tim Robbins. I left as Derek Luke was making it through the gauntlet.
And to quote Natasha Koifman, NKPR’s head honcho, the IT lounge “has become the IT place to be.”
Then it was off to Ryerson to check out two movies back to back: “Fay Grim,” starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum, and “The Dog Problem,” written by Scott Caan and starring Ribisi and Mena Suvari.
When the film ended, I made my way to Imperial Pub for the after-party for “The Dog Problem.” Interesting choice of venue. It’s one of Ryerson University’s local pubs, not exactly the type of location where most parties have been held this week, but a great change of scenery.
Spoke with Suvari about the film. Always fantastic to meet people who are passionate about their work AND who give me nothing but their full attention. She had just finished a full day of non-stop press and it was almost midnight, yet she couldn’t have been more courteous.
Also met That PR Thing’s Danielle Iversen, Toronto’s party queen, who was at the low-key affair with her awesome team of Ashley Elliott and Jackie Rubinstein.
It’s Tuesday and I’m chatting with Jeff Goldblum and trying to find J. Lo. I’ll let you know how that goes.
It’s Monday, and for the most part, the parties are over and the film watching begins today. Let’s rewind and take a look back at the weekend.
Saturday, started the day with a 10 a.m. interview with Michael Mabbott, director of “Citizen Duane” … that’s the interview I woke up for on Friday, only to find out I was a day early.
Citizen Duane is a Canadian film about a high school student eager to take down his small town’s most famous family. He can’t overpower the family’s bully son, so he runs for mayor against the mother. As I described it to Mabbott, it’s nothing like Napoleon Dynamite, but it’s in the same genre.
After that at the same hotel was an interview with the star of Entourage, Adrian Grenier, in town to promote his documentary “Shot in the Dark,” a film in which he tries to track down his father. He admitted that he was hesitant to release a film made over half a decade ago that shows him in a vulnerable state, yet ultimately decided that he wanted his story to be told. As for Entourage, he says the next few episodes are not to be missed. Big changes in store.
After that, made it to the 4 Seasons for “The Guardian” junket with a few minutes to spare. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher spoke with me and about 10 other journalists about the film. I asked Kutcher if he ever considered Punk’ing his wife, Demi Moore. No. He hasn’t.
3 p.m. interviewed Paulo Costanzo, followed by Steph Song, stars of “Everything’s Gone Green.” Right after that, spoke with Doug Smith and Jane McGregor of “Citizen Duane.”
At 6:30, Premiere Magazine hosted a party at its Premiere Lounge for “Rescue Dawn,” the Werner Herzog film starring Christian Bale of “Batman Begins.” He stopped on the red carpet to talk to me about his producer, basketball star Elton Brand.
After that, headed over to a party thrown by Entertainment Tonight to honour Paul Haggis, the man behind the Oscar-winning “Crash.” Big names were supposed to show up, but when I left, only Grenier had walked the carpet.
Then it was back to the Premiere Lounge for the “Ghosts of Cite Soleil” after-party, with a concert by my favourite artist, Wyclef Jean. Best concert ever. More on that later; it deserves its own entry.
Sunday, off to the Carlu for the One x One red carpet. Matt Damon stopped to answer a few questions, as did John Legend. The surprise guest, Brad Pitt, at least stopped for enough time to take a few photos, though when I asked him a question, while his handlers quickly rushed him in, he grazed my hand and said “sorry.” Does that mean I met Brad Pitt? I think the rule is two words equals a meeting. One word means squat.
Then it was another return to Premiere Magazine’s Premiere Lounge for their Edit Party. Saw Mena Suvara and Penelope Cruz milling about. Stuck around as that party turned into one for “The Last Kiss,” starring Zach Braff, and then left for the Entertainment Weekly party at Flow in Yorkville. Celebs included Kevin Costner, Giovanni Ribisi and Lyriq Bent of Saw 3, who seems to be enjoying the Film Fest as he stops by every party imaginable. Also enjoying every party was Lance Bass, who showed up as I left.
And now, Monday can begin.
Listen, it’s 3 a.m., I was up since 7 a.m. and have to be up in just a few hours. This blog posting is going to be short, but don’t let the length be indicative of the day I had.
Perhaps the best day ever?
One reason: Wyclef Jean. I have been a huge fan of Wyclef since his debut album. I’ve had the chance to interview him once before but I’ve never seen him in concert. Yesterday, after the screening of his film fest entry, “Ghosts of Cite Soleil,” he performed and somehow, I was there. Close.
I will post more about what my day was like on Saturday in a few hours when I have some time off.
Until then, here’s a tease of what you will read about:
-exclusive news on Wyclef’s new album
-why was Lance Bass in Toronto?
-the scoop of what is to come on “Entourage” from Adrien Grenier
-Samuel L. Jackson is one crazy s.o.b.
-Why Ron Pearlman should never raise his hands in the air, like he doesn’t care
-and much more.
I can’t feel my feet.
There’s not much worse than this: waking up bright and early after about four hours of sleep, rushing to get to an interview in time, and as you go to check-in with the publicist, find out you’re a day early.
I was supposed to (well thought I was supposed to) interview the director of “Citizen Duane,” Michael Mabbott Friday morning. Apparently I wrote it down wrong and I’ll be speaking to him today instead. My interview with the cast of the film is also today, not Friday, meaning I had time to kill.
I caught a screening of the new Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner film, “The Guardian,” in advance of today’s press day with the two actors. More on that tomorrow. My thoughts on the film? As per Disney screening policy, I cannot write an official review of the film until the week of release. I will however say this. It is a film that stars Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner.
Went back to the IT Lounge at the 4 Seasons, no, not for more free stuff. My phone died and I needed to reply to emails, and the lounge has a computer available to use (thanks!) and of course, a plug! Also, talked with one of the sisters who runs The Right Hand Gal, the jewelry company I mentioned yesterday. I wrote that they were with one of their daughters, which I was completely wrong about; it was an employee, not blood related. This makes much more sense, seeing as Shawna and Randi Herlich and too young to have teenaged/20-something children.
At around 10, headed over to the Chum building where they had their annual Star! Schmooze event.
Paul Fox, director of “Everything’s Gone Green,” who I interviewed Thursday, stopped in front of me on the red carpet and mentioned how he was talking about our interview with the film’s writer, Douglas Coupland. They had discussed my observation that Paulo Costanzo’s character, Ryan, was relatable, even as he became greedier and greedier. This was not, as Coupland explained, intentional, yet he says it’s a reflection of today’s society, one with blurred boundaries. I will make more sense of that once I write a bigger feature on the film, but something you can take away from this now: yes, it’s a Canadian film, and yes, some Canadians are scared by that description, but take a chance and support Canuck products and start with this film.
Samuel L. Jackson showed up, posed for cameras for all of three seconds, and went into the party. Perhaps he’s avoiding questions like, “what was with the disappointing opening of Snakes on a Plane?”
Also at the Schmooze: Eugene Levy, many Canadian actors, the lady who won Canada’s Next Top Model, Brittany Snow from “Hairspray,” Shawn Ashmore and Lyriq Bent.
After that, I headed to Chanel, where Time Magazine was throwing a party for Penelope Cruz. I was there for about 5 minutes on the tiny black carpet and it started to rain, so away from Chanel I went and called it a night.
Other film fest notes:
-Vince Vaughn appeared in Toronto to open his film, “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy.” Don’t expect to see much of him around town as he is heading out quicker then you can say…
-Brad Pitt is scheduled to be in Toronto today for a few minutes for his film “Babel.”
-The Flaming Lips played a secret show at Gabys, home of the party for “Summer Camp,” starring camp counselors you have never heard of unless they were your counselor.
-Norman Jewison left the Schmooze party before the cameras even started rolling.
-Borat pleased fans by posing for pictures and signing autographs outside his hotel.
The next two blog postings are going to be packed! Don’t miss them.
Yesterday, we wrote about the film “Rescue Dawn” and how a few media outlets, including a blog written by the deputy film editor of the Hollywood Reporter, claimed it may not be shown in Toronto as planned.
That editor talked about money issues, which were delaying the print from getting released from the “lab,” and that the scheduled screenings in Toronto were in jeopardy.
Fear not, however, because those reports are apparently not true and “Rescue Dawn,” the new Werner Herzog film starring Christian Bale of “Batman Begins,” will screen as scheduled.
I spoke with Ron Berkowitz, head of Berk Communications, which represents the film’s production company, who assured me that the reports were not true. He wanted to set the record straight that all the crew has been paid (despite what one internet report said) and the only reason it did not screen at Telluride Film Fest last week was because it wasn’t supposed to in the first place.
There is no delay, everything is fine, the film will be shown in Toronto, end of speculation. Period.
Elton Brand wasn’t even in North America during the Telluride Fest. The All Star basketball player, who is one of the film’s producers, was still competing in the World Championship in Asia.
Elton will be in town this weekend for the film’s premiere and party, and he can use the break from basketball after his U.S. squad finished with a bronze medal.
He is one of the classiest players in the NBA so we’re happy to clear up the rumours swirling around “Rescue Dawn” and hope to see him at the fest. And if you’re not happy playing for the Clippers this year, please demand a trade specifically to the Raptors. Chris Bosh needs your protection.
The Toronto Film Fest begins today, but before the first screening takes place, the buzz is that one of the most anticipated films may not be shown.
The premiere of “Rescue Dawn,” the new film by legendary writer and director Werner Herzog, is scheduled for Saturday night at the Ryerson theatre, but because of production issues, the film may not show in Toronto as planned.
Anne Thompson, The Hollywood Reporter’s deputy film editor, reported on her blog that the film, which stars Christian Bale (“Batman Begins”), was supposed to screen at the Telluride Film Festival last week but the print never arrived.
“Herzog said he couldn’t get the money to free the print from the lab,” she wrote.
One of the producers of the film is Elton Brand, an NBA All-Star. According to one movie web site, the producers of the film, including Brand, have yet to pay the crew, which could be why the film’s official premiere in Toronto is in jeopardy.
Thompson wrote that Herzog said he doesn’t think there will be a problem in Toronto, but until the film screens or doesn’t screen Saturday night, it’s anyone’s guess.
Premiere Magazine is supposed to hold a party for “Rescue Dawn” before the screening, with Bale, Herzog and Brand all expected to attend, so if the actual print never shows up, it will be a surprise to many.
Thursday’s opening of the Festival is expected to be a quiet affair, as many of the big stars (Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, etc.) aren’t expected in town until the weekend.
“The Journals of Knud Rasmussen” is the first gala premiere scheduled, but without any major stars in the film, Roy Thompson Hall should be quiet until Friday.
The one premiere of note for Thursday is the midnight screening of “Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”
Sacha Baron Cohen, AKA Ali G, AKA Borat, will walk the red carpet minutes before the day turns into Friday, and will do so in character as Borat.
The Toronto Film Fest runs from September 7 until September 16 and andPOP will be on hand to bring you interviews with the stars, photos and all the red carpet action.
Check back here each day during the fest to read andPOP’s blog.