25th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Three
Ben Affleck, John Cusack, John Hurt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Scott Speedman all graced various red carpets on Saturday. We also attended press conferences for Best in Show, State and Main, Duets and The Weight of Water. We have tons of photos.
The Best in Show press conference was a great way to start an early Saturday morning. The actors kept each other in stitches and mentioned that not laughing at each other in this improvised film was the hardest thing to do. Director Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy basically gave the actors a start and an end to each scene. How they got there was up to the fertile imaginations of each performer. A reporter asked each actor what pets if any they had and Catherine O’Hara cracked up the press and panel when she leaned into the microphone and in a deadpan said, “My husband is allergic to airborne saliva.”
The press conference for State and Main proved just how photogenic actor/producer Alec Baldwin is. Several of the photographers commented after the press conference that it’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo of him. State and Main also marked the second appearance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman who also appeared in Almost Famous. In fact, the day before, Hoffman had to do the red carpet at Roy Thompson Hall and then slip out the back to head over to the Elgin to put in an appearance at the State and Main premiere. Alec Baldwin was asked why he preferred to make smaller films like this one instead of the big blockbusters he was often offered. He said that after a while you just feel like a “Coke can” actor. Instead of portraying a role and telling a story, you find yourself just being another piece of the machine used to sell a product.
Duets was the next press conference of the day. The film, which was directed by Bruce Paltrow and features his daughter Gwyneth, found itself in a unique position. It’s been sitting on the shelf for almost a year, and has been universally savaged by the critics, but the appearance of his Oscar®-winning daughter guaranteed Bruce Paltrow’s film a reception it wouldn’t have had otherwise. One insensitive reporter asked about the irony of a director with throat cancer making a singing film and the mood became tense as you could tell Bruce’s famous daughter was taken aback by the questioner’s lack of tact.