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TIFF 2013 Trend: Stars getting friendly with fans

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

It felt like the celebs at this year’s festival were engaged in a no-holds-barred competition to be the sweetest star at TIFF. Everywhere we looked, we saw actors obliging autograph seekers, grinning for iPhone photos and emitting powerful aw-shucks vibes. Perhaps the current crop of A-listers is just especially nice—or perhaps they heard Canadians were polite and were trying to fit in. Either way, we liked it. (We imagine the fans did too.)

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TIFF Red Carpet: Brad Pitt heads a parade of hunks at the 12 Years a Slave presentation

TIFF Red Carpet: 12 Years A SlaveLast night, Brad Pitt made up for keeping fans guessing whether he’d show at the TIFF red carpet for 12 Years a Slave. When the actor emerged from his car, shorn clean of the grizzly, silvering beard he sports in the film, he walked the entire block opposite the Princess of Wales Theatre, signing autographs and taking pictures before his handlers finally had to peel him away. (Fellow castmember Michael Fassbender shot down the carpet—perhaps hoping to avoid teasing about his bump-and-grind dance moves at Soho House the night before?)

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SPOTTED: Brad Pitt dines on Dundas West, then dashes

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

After Brad Pitt snuck out of the premiere of 12 Years A Slave, it was leaked—supposedly by his driver—that he would be grabbing dinner somewhere on Dundas West. News that the star was at Hudson Kitchen spread about as fast as you’d expect and a crowd soon gathered outside the Little Portugal eatery to ogle the celebrity dad and his co-star Michael Fassbender. Being gawked at like an exotic bird didn’t seem bother Pitt, who stayed out later than his usual. When the night came to an end, he made his grand escape out a side door and hopped into a waiting SUV.

 Find this story on our Star Spotting Map, where we plot the locations of celebrities spotted around Toronto. Seen a celebrity? Let us know at tips@torontolife.com

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Quoted: Brad Pitt on early retirement at the 12 Years a Slave premiere

"12 Years A Slave" Premiere - Red Carpet - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

(Image: George Pimentel/WireImage)

“If I never participate in another film after this, I think I’m good. ”

—Brad Pitt gets hyperbolic about 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen’s emotionally crushing account of a free black man sold into slavery. On the plus side, ditching the movie biz would give Pitt more time to spend with his one million children. (We can be hyperbolic, too). [Twitter]

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CONFIRMED: Brad Pitt has landed in Toronto

(Image: Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images)

After weeks of will-he, won’t-he speculation, the flaxen-haired hunk touched down at Pearson this afternoon, according to tweets from society columnist Shinan Govani. Pitt produced and starred in historical drama 12 Years a Slave, but he’ll have to attend the gala premiere solo—longtime love Angelina and clan were recently papped disembarking a plane in Sydney, Australia.  

The Informer

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Gallery: David Miller, Jully Black and others share the one thing you should know before you die at the Top Ten Event

(Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Here’s the concept: nine notable Torontonians (chef David Rocco couldn’t make it)—or honorary Torontonians for the night—each get 10 minutes to share the one thing they think everybody should know before they die. Last Thursday, former Toronto mayor David Miller, singer Jully Black, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and others showed up at the Winter Garden Theatre to offer their collected wisdom at Stuart Knight’s second annual Top Ten Event in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. We showed up to receive said wisdom (and, of course, to fraternize with the bold-faced names at the exclusive after-party—Sandra Shamas now wants to be our Facebook friend. Just sayin’.). 

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Ryan Gosling portrays the Invisible Man for the New York Times

Screengrab of the New York magazine feature

Any and every publication can (and does) make a “best of” list, but the New York Times magazine has taken it a step further by featuring every hot film star of 2011 as a vamp, crook or killer in a video directed by Alex Prager. Some of the best include Brad Pitt’s Cosmo Kramer-channeled “Eraserhead,” Jessica Chastain’s fire starter (she’s a redhead, if you didn’t know) and the most beloved Ontarian, Ryan Gosling, portraying the Invisible Man. Check out the slideshow on the Times website, and make sure not to miss Mia Wasikowska taking an axe to a room full of mirrors (one of our personal favourites). We suggest skipping Gary Oldman’s puppet boy, because it just creeps us out.

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TIFF 2011 Roundup: the five o’clock shadow was this year’s hottest accessory for men

We noticed something prickly growing on the chins of many A-list men at TIFF this year (no, not a beard—we’ve covered that already). It seems that amidst the many open collars and untucked shirts, there was a celebrity trend in-the-making: scruff so barely there it could have been accidental—or due to laziness. We think that on Jon Hamm, Ryan Gosling, Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Brian Austin Green, the look was decent, but on Philip Seymour Hoffman, Seth Rogen and Brad Pitt, it doesn’t look quite so manly—presumably, the intention—but rather uncomfortably itchy. Vote for your favourite five o’clock shadow after the jump.

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Kathy Griffin swears a lot and Kim Cattrall sells the clothes off her back at this year’s Cinema Against AIDS gala

Kim Cattrall at the Cinema Against AIDS gala (Image: courtesy of amfAR)

Last night, The Carlu played host to the third annual Cinema Against AIDS event in support of amfAR and Dignitas International. Though the star wattage wasn’t overly bright by TIFF standards, it didn’t stop a throng of gawkers from taking over the Yonge Street median to get a glimpse of celebs like 30 Rock guest star Cheyenne Jackson, Kim Cattrall, designer Kenneth Cole, the evening’s emcee Kathy Griffin and singer John Legend. We learned the phrase “swears like a sailor” is an understatement in the presence of Griffin, who dropped F-bombs at every opportunity (we stopped counting around number 30)—the self-styled D-list star blew our evening of curses with Susie Essman at the Astral party out of the water. Find out how Cattrall raised more money at this year’s Cinema Against AIDS gala after the jump.

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SPOTTED: Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio feeding the stars at last week’s Moneyball cast dinner

When you’re feeding Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Anna Faris and Jonah Hill at the Moneyball cast dinner, it makes sense to spring for decent grub, which is presumably why the people behind the Vitamin Water rooftop at the Burroughes Building brought in Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio to cook for the stars last Friday. Before dinner, the guests munched on pork belly confit wrapped in Boston bibb lettuce and threw back watermelon gazpachos with cucumber and tobiko. The meal itself began with (among other dishes) hamachi crudo with coriander vinaigrette and celery hearts, and ricotta ravioli with roasted summer squash, before moving on to mains like roasted diver scallops with shallot butter and preserved lemon, and red wine–braised short ribs with baby root veggies. It finished off with an assortment of petit fours. Sadly, we were not in attendance.

Find this story on our Star Spotting Map, where we plot the locations of celebrities spotted around Toronto. Send us your tips: tips@torontolife.com

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TIFF Weekend Roundup: the five buzziest red carpets

Angelina Jolie wears a gold purse handcuffed to her wrist as she poses with Brad Pitt (Image: Lia Grainger)

The first weekend of TIFF is basically one big long party, with a non-stop crush of big premieres, boldface names and tremendous amounts of running around (sleep is usually not involved). In case you missed it, here are last weekend’s five most talked about red carpets:

  • A wall of screams surrounded Roy Thomson Hall on Friday for the gala presentation of Moneyball. The culprits? Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie (whose purse was handcuffed to her wrist), Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill. Check out our red carpet gallery »
  • The Ides of March was a kind of passing of the torch from the charming, ageless George Clooney to the charming, youthful Ryan Gosling (who brought his mother along as his date). Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood also shone. Check out our red carpet gallery »
  • Michael Fassbender didn’t show, but Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen brought star power to the Canadian premiere of David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Check out our red carpet gallery »
  • Kirsten Dunst, elegant as ever in a polka-dot top, stole the show at the gala for Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (although Alexander Skarsgård and Kiefer Sutherland were also there). Check out our red carpet gallery »
  • Take This Waltz saw a gushing Sarah Polley (it’s only her second feature, after all) and a very pregnant Jennifer Podemski (along with co-stars Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman). Check out our red carpet gallery »

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TIFF PHOTO GALLERY: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Philip Seymour Hoffman on the red carpet for Moneyball

Moneyball Red Carpet

Brangelina

Screaming fans stretched from Wellington to King Street waiting for the horde of stars associated with director Bennett Miller’s bound-to-be-a-blockbuster flick Moneyball to walk the red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall. Real-life baseball player David Justice showed, and so too did Chris Pratt, grinning ear-to-ear, alongside wife Anna Faris. Practiced as he as at this rigmarole, Philip Seymour Hoffman still seemed bewildered by the spectacle and exited the carpet as quickly as possible, much to the chagrin of autograph-starved super-fans. The crowd chanted, “Jonah Hill,” and the slimmed-down star leaned over to Miller and said, “Remember that first dinner we had in Malibu, seven years ago?” See who arrived next, after the jump (hint: her purse is locked to her wrist).

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TIFF PHOTO GALLERY: Brad Pitt, skinny Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman talk money and baseball at the Moneyball press conference

The boys were all smiles at the press conference for Moneyball this afternoon at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Brad Pitt was front and centre as expected, sporting a shaggy haircut and waxing poetic about how unconventional and original this underdog sports movie, based on the Michael Lewis book by the same name, really is. Director Bennett Miller fielded many of the questions and took his time getting to the point. This clearly exasperated a remarkably slender and clean-cut (dare we say, even svelte) Jonah Hill, who felt compelled to interrupt Miller and explain to everybody in the room: “He’s trying to say baseball looks cool.” Also, Hill, seated between newcomer Chris Pratt and Pitt, apparently couldn’t help but exclaim, “You’re so successful [to Pitt] and you’re so not successful [to Pratt], it’s hard to be between them!” Pratt played the part of the starry-eyed newbie to a T, grinning and saying earnestly, “I’m inspired right now, this is so surreal.” Philip Seymour Hoffman for the most part remained thoughtfully silent; when he did interject, it was to astutely sum up one of his fellow actor’s meanderings, or playfully scold Hill by reminding him, “Jonah, this is your chance to be a serious actor.” Ouch. See the gallery, after the jump.

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SPOTTED: Like everybody else, construction workers can’t resist Brad Pitt

Here we have a case of a classic cliché: construction workers ogling a noted hottie passing them by—but this time with a twist! Brad Pitt was running late for his Moneyball press conference earlier today and caught the attention of a hardworking crew near the TIFF Bell Lightbox. According to eTalk, the workers halted construction to snap pictures of Pitt as he arrived (however, no catcalls were reported). We can only hope Brad wasn’t too late!

Find this story on our Star Spotting Map, where we plot the locations of celebrities spotted around Toronto.

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50 buzziest films of TIFF 2011: we slice through the hype so you don’t have to

We’ve already told you about the celebs filing into town for TIFF and the extended-licence nightspots they’ll be frequenting. But with more than 300 movies being screened, the actual “film” part of the festival can be hard to navigate. Enter our handy guide, in which we scope out the buzz on the most hotly anticipated flicks of the fest.

See all our picks and rejects »

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