35th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Two

Ben Affleck ©2010 DigitalHit.com

Ben Affleck at the The Town press conference

Day Two of the Festival was a busy one.

From Martin Sheen and director son Emilio Estevez to Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively talking about The Town.

Robert De Niro and Edward Norton talked about Stone, while Colin Firth celebrated his birthday on a red carpet with Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech. Clive Owen and David Schwimmer walked the carpet for Trust, while Megan Fox, Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke did the same for Passion Play.

Estevez and his dad were in town to promote The Way, which was written and directed by Emilio. The film is about a father (Sheen) who goes to France to retrieve the body of his estranged son. While there, he decides to embark on the pilgrimage known as the The Camino de Santiago. Along the way, he discovers the meaning of one of the last things his son said to him. Sheen not only attended the premiere, but also made time to walk the picket line with nearby striking hotel workers.

Speaking of actors directing, we also attended the press conference for The Town, the latest effort by Gone Baby Gone director Ben Affleck. Affleck’s crime drama, which stars the director, Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm, is set in Boston, a popular setting for Affleck’s work. Affleck felt he was ready to try directing at the same time he stepped in front of the camera.

“It really is a function of wanting to take a step toward directing, to do some more unusual stuff. And I felt ready to try being an actor and a director,” said the proud Bostonian.

Ben also earned one of the bigger laughs of the press conference. Asked why he didn’t cast his wife, Jennifer Garner, in the film, Affleck responded, “Something tells me that people don’t want to see real-life couples together” a reference to his disastrous pairing with ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez in the mega-flop Gigli.

Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich were at TIFF to promote Stone. The film follows De Niro as a corrections officer just weeks from retirement as he deals with a convicted arsonist who’ll do anything to try and get paroled. Though De Niro was his usual quiet self, he did say that he only saw himself appearing in maybe three more films. Fans of the legendary actor will just have to wait and see if he stick to this plan.

Our day continued with a slew of premieres. Michael Goldbach’s Daydream Nation is the story of a 17-year-old student, played by Kat Dennings, who begins an affair with her teacher, portrayed by Josh Lucas. When she breaks off the relationship, the teacher does everything he can to sabotage her life.

If you’re wondering what that loud sound is, it’s probably just the Oscar buzz already surrounding The King’s Speech. After his brother’s abdication the new monarch of Great Britain, King George VI (Colin Firth), finds himself leading a nation headed to war. He must help instill courage in the people, but he faces a major obstacle: his major speech impediment. Geoffrey Rush plays the unorthodox speech therapist who helps the king rise to the occasion.

Megan Fox caused a huge stir when she attended last year’s festival and this year was no different. Passion Play teams the camera-friendly actress with the unpredictable Mickey Rourke and the quirky Bill Murray, so the carpet was a circus.

Meanwhile, back at Roy Thompson Hall, we concluded the evening with the premiere of David Schwimmer’s Trust. The former Friend star was accompanied to the premiere by the film’s stars, Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Liana Liberato.

TIFF Day Two Photo Galleries