31st Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Three

What a busy day…

We started off with the press conference for A Good Year.

Novelist Peter Mayle told the story of how Ridley Scott was looking for a film to shoot in Provence; first of all because it was beautiful and secondly because he could retire each night to a home he has in the area. They batted around a few ideas and then Ridley suggested that Mayle write the book while he made the film. He said the whole process from start to finish was an enjoyable one and he believes that feeling comes out in the final product.

Ridley, after assuring any French journalists that he meant what he was saying in fun said he wanted a project that showed the differences between the “roast beefs” and “frogs” and also showed the type of yuppies that move into places like Provence and then get controlled by the locals.

Russell Crowe, asked why he rarely gets offered comedies, joked that Gladiator had its share of laughs. “You chop somebody’s head off the right way – f***ing funny.”

He continued that he had become out of sync with Ridley’s schedule and when they met to discuss how they could work together again, this was one of seventeen projects that caught his eye. Said Crowe, “I liked the idea. I liked the idea of shooting in France, of shooting in Provence. And I liked the idea of exploring the Anglo-Franco dynamic.”

When asked how he found the French, actor Tom Hollander joked that he tried to avoid them at all costs. He said he’d stay in his hotel room until his English driver arrived and then they’d drive very fast to avoid having to interact with the locals. Asked the same question, Crowe said that being Australian, he tried to avoid the English instead.

Asked why he wanted to do a comedy and if it was part of his master plan, Ridley countered that he had no plan and that trying new things kept it fresh for him. He also discussed how he likes to shoot with very few takes as he feels to many repetitions take the spontaneity out of the actors. In fact, he now likes to shoot with four cameras going so that he can have all of his angles covered without having to do the scene time and time again.

We also attended press for Stranger Than Fiction and Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland. Add to that red carpets for The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Stranger Than Fiction, Love and Other Disasters, Rescue Dawn, A Good Year and Babel.

TIFF Day Three Photo Galleries