WhatsOn
From Brangelina to Borat: 7 TIFF red carpet...
|
Bookmark and Share
Sep 15, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

From Brangelina to Borat: 7 TIFF red carpet memories

The Toronto Star asked TIFF insiders to share some of their favourite memories from the festival’s red carpet

OurWindsor.Ca

We asked TIFF insiders who have had a red-carpet view of past festivals: What’s your most indelible memory?

The ones mentioned most often were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the Elgin Theatre premiere of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) where Yonge St. was closed and hundreds of screaming fans nearly tore down barricades.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s audacious Borat entrance outside the Midnight Madness premiere at the Ryerson Theatre also ranked highly. For The Social co-host Lainey Lui, her first TIFF with etalk was made memorable when Baron Cohen, fully in his boorish Borat character, “looked me in the eye and offered to pay two dollars for me.”

Others said Bill Murray’s gracious rain-soaked red carpet for Bill Murray Day at TIFF 2014 was a highlight.

Here are some memorable red carpet moments, which have been edited and condensed.

Falling for John Cusack

He was in town for Maps to the Stars last year.

I was (working with) Robert Pattinson for the Roy Thomson Hall red carpet. I got out of the car with Pattinson to hundreds of screaming fans. We were at the barricade while he signed autographs with the fans. All the while, I’m looking over my shoulder watching Cusack on the carpet in front of the photo pit.

As Pattinson and I make our way over to the photographers, Cusack starts to walk down the press line. I turn my back to him, facing Pattinson to show him where to stop and pose. All of a sudden I feel a foot underneath mine. I’ve backed up into John Cusack!

I feel myself losing my balance. I’m falling down on the red carpet in front of everyone. Photographers are snapping photos, etalk and cameras are streaming live into Roy Thomson Hall.

All of a sudden, Cusack catches me. In my head, I’m falling graciously and my knight in shining armour is catching me. In reality, I look like an adoring, crazed fan that rushed the carpet and is now falling on her face. On one side, Pattinson reaches forward and on my right side, Cusack catches me. Two knights in shining armour, plus one completely embarrassed publicist.

I will forever be the girl who stepped on Cusack on the carpet and fell “head over heels.”

Charlene Coy, independent publicity guru

All hail soggy Bill Murray

When Bill Murray arrived at the red carpet for St. Vincent (2014) it looked like he swam there. The heavens had opened up just as the clown prince of comedy showed up. Murray handled the downpour with an impish smile and that aura of Zen that always seems to surround him. He stood in the rain to pose for fans and wore a sash and crown that someone gave him for “Bill Murray Day” with good grace. Watching him joke with his co-star Melissa McCarthy made me think we could all stand to be a bit more like Bill.

Eli Glasner, CBC News Network arts reporter

Precious moment

Precious in 2009: Lee Daniels, Paula Patton, Sapphire, Mariah Carey, Tyler Perry, Mary J. Blige and Oprah Winfrey. I’ve never witnessed such a gathering of genius and joy on a TIFF red carpet. The story of Precious has so much darkness but the light on that carpet was dazzling.

Cameron Bailey, TIFF artistic director

Brangelina invades Toronto

Unquestionably Brad and Angelina for the premiere of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). There were hundreds of fans lined up behind barriers on both sides of Yonge St. When Brad and Angelina got out of their car the place went nuts, the screams reached a crescendo and then the two of walked up and down both sides of the street signing autographs and having their pictures taken by adoring fans. One of the barriers almost fell under the crush of people but a couple of Toronto police officers and Natalie Lue, our VP of production, saw the danger and saved the day, averting a potential mini-disaster. I’ve never seen so many cameras on the red carpet.

Piers Handling, TIFF director and CEO

Jackie Chan and Mimi’s snack

The Jackie Chan night (premiere of The Myth, 2005) stands out as one of the most insanely great ones. We were told that would be a crazy carpet. I remember busloads of people started coming. Chan got out of his car in his white suit and the screaming, it was so loud, I’ve never heard that before. Somebody said it was “Orlando Bloom crazy” because everyone used that as a benchmark after his red carpet at the Ryerson Theatre (Elizabethtown, five days prior). The pitch of the screaming was so piercing, so overwhelming, I don’t know why but I looked at the head of security and we both welled up. I don’t know why we started crying but we did. It was one of my favourite red carpet moments.

The Oprah Winfrey red carpet for Precious was amazing: 33 limos full of people and they were all getting out of their cars and there was this big Cadillac Escalade and a woman gets out and says: “Mimi wants a chicken sandwich and two Cokes.” It was for Mariah Carey and she was in the car and was starving. And I had a headset on! I gave someone $20 to go to Swiss Chalet and get her a chicken sandwich and two Cokes. I never did get that $20 back.

There was an insane frenzy for Oprah and she went through a good 10 minutes signing autographs and giving fans attention. She was pretty great.

Cheryl Izen, TIFF red carpet manager for 14 years, now freelance TIFF publicist, Touchwood PR

And standing in for Ms. Streep …

My most memorable moments: TIFF 2006 with Sacha Baron Cohen arriving (in character) as Borat at Ryerson Theatre. He had barn animals, women dressed as villagers and music blaring. It was amazing and unforgettable. He definitely brought his Kazakhstan A-game. Michael Moore even came out to show his support. And TIFF 2013, the red carpet for August: Osage County. Perhaps someone didn’t pass the memo to Meryl Streep fans that she was ill, thus pulling a no-show. I’d never seen that many people at a red carpet in my life. Fans just had to settle instead for a fledgling star named Julia Roberts (face palm).

Will Wong, entertainment and celebrity blogger Mr. Will

Mais oui, Bradley Cooper

It was 2012 and I was covering the TIFF premiere of The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, at the Princess Of Wales Theatre. That could be the end of the story and I wouldn’t have to justify why it was so memorable. But in addition to interviewing both actors, Cooper answered one of my questions in French. I don’t remember anything that happened next, but you try staring into those blue eyes, listening to his Parisian accent and coming out of the experience fully conscious. I dare you.

Lainey Lui, co-host of The Social and senior correspondent for etalk

Toronto Star

|
Bookmark and Share

(0) Comment

Join The Conversation Sign Up Login

In Your Neighbourhood Today

SPONSORED CONTENT View More