The four-day Variety Studio wrapped Monday, after doing more than 40 video interviews with stars like Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Bryan Cranston, Elle Fanning and Eddie Redmayne. Also participating were directors like Stephen Frears and Alfonso Cuaron. The latter was beaming over the successful Toronto Festival launch of “Desierto,” directed by his son Jonas Cuaron. “He’s a good director,” said the proud papa. “He can support me and now I can retire!” (Don’t worry: the success will happen but the retirement won’t.)
Double standard in the paparazzi era: Several actors arrived in hipster grunge but all the actresses were perfectly decked out. And everyone looked good.
The studio was created in the men’s department of the swanky Holt Renfrew department store. Like much of the Toronto Fest, it’s slightly surreal but ultimately makes sense.
Entertainment One Party:
Entertainment One celebrated its 18-film Toronto Film Festival slate on Monday evening with an art-splashed bash at the spacious headquarters of Andrew Richards Designs (with artwork courtesy of L.A. street artist Can’t Stop Goodboy). The company’s CEO and president Darren Throop and eOne Films Canada president Patrick Roy mingled into the wee hours with Canadian and international execs, eOne film and TV talent, plus an array of players from the local film and TV scene.
Enjoying the live sax-and-drum-enhanced grooves of DJ Vania were Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jason Ritter, stars of Andrew Currie’s family comedy “The Steps” (which premiered that night), TV leading lady Laura Vandervoort (“Bitten”), rappers Kardinal Offishall and k-os, actor Charles Officer (“Born to Be Blue”) and actor Don McKellar (Pedro Morelli’s Toronto-premiering “Zoom”).
After the screening of the film (a look at the Boston Globe’s investigation into systemic abuse in the Catholic Church), director Tom McCarthy took the stage and called up the cast (Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber). He then invited the real-life reporters and editors — Marty Baron, Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Rezendes, Matt Carroll and Robinson — to join them onstage.
“This has been a wild day for us,” said Pfeiffer, who is played by McAdams. “Rachel wanted to know everything. I found out today in an interview that sometimes when we were together, she dropped behind me to capture my gait. They wanted to get us exactly right.”
Ruffalo then thanked the reporters for their bravery in telling a difficult story. “To do what you did, and to open yourselves, took so much courage, because you lifted the hood off a machine,” Ruffalo said. “It wasn’t always pretty. You told the truth about yourselves to us. Because of it, it’s incredibly powerful. We’re just actors; this is your life. You changed the world in a way. Journalism is a big part of what democracy is.”
The reporters and actors alike celebrated at the film’s after-party at Soho House.
Black Mass Premiere:
Prior to the screening of the film (which depicts the FBI’s entangled relationship with crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger), star Johnny Depp kissed wife Amber Heard on the red carpet prior to joining the cast onstage. Depp opted not to watch the film, instead residing in the basement of the theater before joining the cast onstage again afterwards.
Reporting by Jennie Punter, Tim Gray and Ramin Setoodeh