Michael Shannon

TIFF 2014

TIFF Press Conferences

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Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon say homelessness is bad

Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. (Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. (Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

One of those super-topical movies that came a few years too late, 99 Homes stars the Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, as a young construction worker who helps a shady realtor (Michael Shannon, a.k.a. General Zod in the latest Superman movie) foreclose on family homes in Florida. Director Ramin Bahrani, his voice blasted by a cold, spoke at a press conference on Tuesday about crafting a story around the American housing crisis. “I found a Faustian tale, a deal-with-the-devil film,” he whispered.

Garfield, who crashed with evicted families to prep for the role, talked (or tried to talk) about the issues raised in 99 Homes: homelessness, disenfranchisement, and the gulf between the rich and the poor. “It’s so hard to talk about,” he said. “It’s happening as we speak. People are still covering, and finding their way home—whatever that word means.”

Shannon spoke about his role as the film’s villain, and his sympathy for those affected by the housing crisis. “I don’t really care about real estate. Never have,” said Shannon. “I have no interest in it. But I did care about what happens to these people. I wanted to understand it.”

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Robert Pattinson crashes the after-party for 99 Homes

99homes-top

(Image: Lu Chau/Photagonist.ca)

There was a moment, near midnight, when we thought the only celebrity coming to the after-party for 99 Homes (sponsored by Grey Goose and Fiji Water) was Lil Jon, and we were totally okay with that. After arriving at America, the new Trump Tower restaurant, the rapper and producer surveyed the scene before splaying out on a set of banquettes near the back. Soon, the actual cast of the film showed up, including Laura Dern, Man of Steel’s Michael Shannon and Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield. Shannon and Garfield both looked scruffy—the former with a longish mop of hair and the latter sporting a full beard. Dern, for her part, was elegant in a black sleeveless number as she chatted with Brit actor Eddie Redmayne, whose film The Theory Of Everything debuted Sunday night. Then the surprise guest showed up: Robert Pattinson, clad in a black baseball cap, in town for Maps To The Stars. For the rest of the night, Pattinson, Garfield and Shannon held court towards the back of the room. (As for Lil Jon, he may have opted to turn down for bed, as we lost sight of him sometime after Pattinson’s cavalcade arrived.) When the trio finally left, it was like witnessing a low-key conga line: half the crowd snaked out silently in their wake.

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TIFF PRESS CONFERENCE: Winona Ryder insists Ray Liotta is more than just a tough guy at the Iceman presser

TIFF PRESS CONFERENCE: Winona Ryder insists Ray Liotta is more than just a tough guy at the Iceman presser

“He’s also in Field of Dreams!Winona Ryder insisted when someone pointed out that Ray Liotta has been in a lot of crime movies. Well, Liotta the crime-cinema heavy—who, as he pointed out, has played more bad cops than he has gangsters—is back with Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman, which stars Michael Shannon as real-life Gambino crime family hitman Richard Kuklinski. Ryder, who plays Shannon’s wife, Chris Evans, who plays a fellow hitman, and producer Ehud Bieberg were also in attendance, talking about the appeal of films set in the ’70s and the difficulty of wearing period facial hair.

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TIFF RED CARPET: Winona Ryder, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta at the premiere of mob movie The Iceman

TIFF RED CARPET: Winona Ryder, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta at the premiere of mob movie The Iceman

Winona Ryder, where have you been? Apart from a supporting role in Black Swan a few years back, the actress hasn’t made a high-profile movie since…we can’t remember. At The Iceman press conference, Ryder joked about developing a complex, since the press keeps asking that very question, but perhaps they’ll let up now that the film has her back on the big screen and the red carpet. Based on the story of Richard Kuklinski, a mob hitman who whacked over 20o people during his 40-year career,  the story attempts to square Kuklinski’s gruesome day job with his white–picket–fence family life. Ryder, who plays Kuklinski’s wife in the film, showed up at the Princess of Wales Theatre for the premiere in a simple black dress (which we actually didn’t like as much as the green number she wore for the film’s press conference). Michael Shannon, who plays the career killer in the flick (we know him as the creepy government agent in Boardwalk Empire), and co-stars Stephen Dorff and Captain America (a.k.a. Chris Evans) all walked the carpet in full suits. However, Ray Liotta went tie-less—we’d like to chide him, but we’re too scared he’ll give us the death stare.

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TIFF PARTY: Keira Knightley, Kristen Wiig’s errant eyelashes and a hot Jude Law at Soho House

TIFF PARTY: Soho House (Day Two)

Last night Soho House, the hottest party spot in town, hosted events for three movies (Imogene, The Master and Anna Karenina) and had a late-night party lounge, which meant the star count was off the charts. In attendance, at one point or another: Keira Knightley, Kate Hudson, Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pitt, Natasha Lyonne, Darren Criss, Trudie Styler, Paul Haggis, Amy Adams, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Harvey Weinstein, Rupert Grint, Skrillex and Nina Dobrev. A collection of dispatches from night two—from our Soho House bureau chief Courtney Shea.

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TIFF PHOTO GALLERY: Gerard Butler delights his fans with ridiculous antics at the Machine Gun Preacher red carpet gala

The premiere of Machine Gun Preacher yesterday at Roy Thomson Hall turned out to be a roisterous affair, as Gerard Butler pulled out all the stops to please fans and press alike. Michael Shannon and Michelle Monaghan’s arrival naturally elicited its fair share of shrieks from the crowd, but the fans totally lost it when Butler emerged from a Cadillac SUV (which he promptly jumped upon before running the length of the partition, offering high fives for all). Before Butler there was Sam Childers, the man on whose incredible life the film is based, sporting a Harley Davidson jacket, a killer ’stache and a steely gaze that silenced even the most gregarious photographers. Young Madeline Carroll was an absolute charmer, wearing some of the hottest shoes at the festival so far, and director Marc Forster played it cool, rocking the classic hipster uniform: a hoodie under a blazer and Chuck Taylor kicks. Chris Cornell was there too (for some reason). Weird. See our photo gallery, after the jump.

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CONFIRMED: Michael Shannon will be attending TIFF 2011

With all the weirdos, bad guys and sociopaths Michael Shannon has played in movies, it’s hard to figure out what he’s actually like (if not a weird sociopath). Luckily, we’ll get a chance to find out a bit more about the six-foot-three Kentuckian, because his publicists say he’ll be coming to TIFF 2011 to promote his latest features, Machine Gun Preacher and Taking Shelter. In case things get out of hand during his visit, we’re thinking of inviting Eminem too.

(Images: Michael Shannon, Taking Shelter)

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TIFF 2011 announcement: 53 films, one new venue and a whack of stars who might come to Toronto

Sarah Polley’s Take this Waltz is one of this year’s Galas

TIFF unveiled part of its 2011 lineup today, and 53 movies will have their North American or world premieres in Toronto this fall. Among the spectators at the press conference this morning in Toronto was a solitary celebrity—actress and director Sarah Polley—but expect lots of boldface names in the city come September. Directors whose films are slated for this year’s fest include Lars von Trier, Francis Ford Coppola and Marc Forster, and they could come accompanied by such stars as Olivia Wilde, Juliette Binoche, Carey Mulligan, Blake Lively, Glenn Close, Vincent Cassel and Ice Cube (yes, of the famed Are We There Yet? and Friday). Those are just some of the famous faces that we’re hoping to spot at Sassafraz, pop-up nightclubs and the latest TIFF venue, The Princess of Wales Theatre. We’ve compiled a full list below.

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