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TIFF Gallery: Christina Hendricks cheats on Bryan Cranston (in a live read of American Beauty)

TIFF Gallery: Christina Hendricks cheats on Bryan Cranston (in a live read of American Beauty)

Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman packed Ryerson last night (seriously, the line wrapped three-quarters of the way around the block) for his table read of American Beauty. Taking his “Live Read” series outside its Los Angeles home, the Montreal-born director enlisted several big names, including Breaking Bad’Bryan Cranston as unhappy suburbanite Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey in the movie), Mad Men’Christina Hendricks as his wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening in the original), and Toronto’s Sarah Gadon as Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari)—plus, somewhat oddly, George Stroumboulopoulos in a few smaller roles. The cast, most of whom had only just met each other, lined up across the stage in a row of chairs and performed their roles to an enthusiastic house. The reviewers, too, were kind—although the National Post noted that Stroumboulopolous was fine, “but the gulf in talent between him and the seasoned actors was noticeable.” (To be fair, matching Bryan Cranston for acting chops is a pretty tough feat.)