Sarah Gadon

TIFF 2014

TIFF Press Conferences

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John Cusak talks about the time he met Andre the Giant

David Cronenberg, Julianne Moore, John Cusak, Olivia Williams and Robert Pattinson. (Image: George Pimentel/WireImage)

David Cronenberg, Julianne Moore, John Cusak, Olivia Williams and Robert Pattinson. (Image: George Pimentel/WireImage)

Try though he might, Robert Pattinson can’t shake the Twi-hards. The alley adjacent to the Lightbox was teeming with adolescents (and not-so adolescents) hoping to catch a glimpse of the sparkling vampire, who has of late found new life as a muse for David Cronenberg. Cronenbeg and Pattinson were on hand Tuesday morning alongside Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon, Evan Bird, Olivia Williams, screenwriter Bruce Wagner and producer Martin Katz to talk about Cronenberg’s latest, the L.A.-set Maps To The Stars. (Mia Wasikowska, arguably the film’s lead, was noticeably absent.)

Given that Maps is a searing, frequently surreal, sometimes totally silly satire of Hollywood celebrity, it feels like something of an anti-film-festival movie: a movie that hates movies. But for Cronenberg, the setting is pretty incidental. “The movie isn’t about celebrity, really,” he said. “There are no papparazzi. There are no red carpets. It’s a family drama…It could have been a story about Silicon Valley or Wall Street or any other intense business that encourages ambition and deception and all of that stuff.”

Cusack chimed in with a story about his own experience as a young actor in the 1980s, when he was flown out to Hollywood’s famous Chateau Marmont to rerecord dialogue on an early film. There, he spotted wrestling legend Andre The Giant wearing a satin jacket with the word “hell” written on the back. “I thought, ‘Alright, this is what this is going to be,’” said Cusack, “You have no fucking idea what you’re getting into…But it can be a really toxic place. It’s so predatory and people are so afraid. It’s comical, but it can be quite vicious.”

Julianne Moore was asked about her Best Actress win at Cannes for her role in the film, and about her recent commemoration on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to which Cronenberg offered a dark joke that felt like a missing scene from Maps To The Stars. “They’re going to start burying people under the stars!” he suggested. “And there’ll be a lucite screen so you can see them.”

“Like Stalin!” laughed Cusack.

The Informer

Culture

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Hot Stuff: cultural picks for August from five local luminaries

Hot Stuff

August is peak season for beach reads, Netflix binges and patio playlists. We asked five local luminaries to share their cultural picks for a summer heat wave.

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The Informer

Features

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The Dark Knight: David Cronenberg’s creepy obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

The Dark Night: David Cronenberg’s obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

In a way, David Cronenberg put me in the hospital. Last January, I attended a screening of a documentary by the filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock about the black market buying and selling of human organs, called Tales From the Organ Trade. Bienstock had asked Cronenberg to narrate because his own films traffic in what she called “intelligent discomfort.” His enlistment was a wink, a good match for the director known as the Baron of Blood. Cronenberg, with his nasally, Vincent Price pitch, guides the audience through gruesome images of organ-emptied torsos and desperately ill patients who rinse their blood in whirring machines while awaiting new kidneys. His looming presence, associated with films about the sexual penetration of open wounds (Crash) and talking half-alien typewriters (Naked Lunch) and TV screens pulsating like O’Keeffe vagina flowers (Videodrome), doesn’t exactly lighten the mood. I fainted, then vomited, then went to the hospital in an ambulance.

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The Goods

Best Dressed

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Sarah Gadon is ready to heat up Hollywood

Some Like It Hot: Sarah Gadon

Dress, Tanya Taylor; earrings, Jean-Louis Blin, and ring, Robyn Rhodes, both available at Elle Hardware; shoes, Manolo Blahnik, available at Holt Renfrew. Photographed at Allan Gardens Conservatory

Sarah Gadon lies motionless in a bed, luminous as a light bulb against a backdrop of crisp white linen. Her lips are painted a rusty red, her blonde hair frozen in perfect ringlets. Even with her eyes closed she radiates intensity. It’s a scene from Antiviral, the post-apocalyptic morality tale from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David), and Gadon is playing the biggest movie star in the world. The film is about a futuristic society in which obsessed fans buy diseases from ailing celebrities in a desperate attempt to connect with them. Gadon’s character, Hannah Geist, is the object of their obsession. The idea’s not that far-fetched—over the past couple years, Gadon has leapfrogged from minor Canadian TV guest actor (recurring roles on Murdoch Mysteries, Being Erica and The Border) to auteur’s muse and Cannes regular.

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The Goods

Designers

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Greta Constantine throws a raucous Parkdale dinner party to preview the fall 2013 collection

Greta Constantine fall 2013Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong once again opted out of  fashion week for Fall 2013, instead feting their collection with a dinner party at Parkdale restaurant Parts and Labour last night. Likely the furthest west many of the socialite attendees had ever traveled, we heard a photographer yell “say Parkdale!” to some ballgown-clad ladies, and Krystal Koo ask, “Where are we?” while posing outside. Others who made the trek included actress Sarah Gadon, Top Chef Canada host Lisa Ray and social mavens Catherine Nugent, Stacey Jordan (formerly Kimel) and Suzanne Rogers (spotted sneaking a cigarette before the main course was served).

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Toronto’s Best Tweeters: top Twitter feeds from local entertainers, athletes and media personalities

Toronto’s Twitter-happy celebrity set supplies a constant stream of bon mots, feuds and photo scandals, so choosing our favourite social media mavens meant scrolling through thousands of tweets. We settled on 10 notables whose 140-character missives are both funny and revealing. Some are native Torontonians, others have moved here more recently and one or two have only a tenuous tie to the city (but are just too good to pass up). Here, a list of 10 Twitter virtuosos, and why we chose them.

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TIFF

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TIFF RED CARPET POLL: Which Toronto celebrity was best dressed at TIFF 2012?

Sure, Hollywood’s stars descend on Toronto during TIFF, but the local talent was also well-represented on the red carpets this year. Sarah Gadon looked the part of a classic starlet on Antiviral’s red carpet in a gold Dolce and Gabbana dress with patent black pumps and scarlet lipstick, while singer Chantal Kreviazuk wore cerulean for the premiere of Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of the Garth Drabinsky. Toronto darling Rachel McAdams took to Passion’s red carpet in a sleeveless tux-inspired look from Italian designer Emilio Pucci, accented with a gilded scarf (we like the idea, but those pants are a little bulky-looking, no?). Finally, writer and director of Stories We Tell Sarah Polley was characteristically low-key on the red carpet in a short, sheer dress, though her gold floral heels are sweet. Whose look wins out?

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TIFF

TIFF Red Carpet

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Red Carpet Style: 23 looks at TIFF’s leading men and women

Scrutinizing the glamorous gowns and sharp suits worn by film industry elite is one of the principal pleasures of TIFF (after all the movie talk, of course). And now that the festival is winding down—most of the A-listers have already dispersed, taking their impossibly attractive faces and designer wardrobes with them—it’s time to pick out the best of the bunch, as well as a few notable flubs.

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TIFF

TIFF Red Carpet

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TIFF RED CARPET: Sarah Gadon heads a parade of Canadian talent at the premiere of Antiviral

TIFF RED CARPET: Antiviral

We’ll try to forgive director Brandon Cronenberg (David’s son) for debuting his first film at Cannes rather than at his hometown fest—but only because we’re intrigued by the creepy premise of the film, in which ordinary folks pay to be infected with celebrities’ diseases in order to feel closer to them. In any event, with compatriots like Sarah Gadon, Wendy Crewson and Nicholas Campbell present, the premiere of Antiviral felt like a Canadian reunion. Gadon—a local beauty and TIFF 2011’s rising star—went for the gold in a full-sleeved gown, while Crewson walked the carpet in a fun and flouncy animal-print dress. In contrast, fellow cast member Caleb Landry Jones looked brooding in a mustard-coloured blazer and two-tone shoes (we hope he’s not coming down with something).

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TIFF

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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.)

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TIFF TIFF Parties

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TIFF PARTY: Deepa Mehta, Rob Stewart and Ben Mulroney host the annual Canadian Film Centre shindig at the Spoke Club

TIFF PARTY: Deepa Mehta and Rob Stewart host the annual Canadian Film Centre shindig at the Spoke Club

The annual Canadian Film Centre party at the Spoke Club is always, and fittingly, pretty Canadian. Hosted by Ben Mulroney and filmmakers Deepa Mehta and Rob Stewart, the party took place on the eve of TIFF rather than during the festival proper. Sure, that meant the Keiras and Jakes of the world had yet to arrive—though stars are starting to descend on the city today—but the homegrown actors, directors, producers and others involved in the country’s film community came by to show their support (A-listers like Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon were sadly not in attendance).

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TIFF

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TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: top 10 spots for boozing and schmoozing with stars

TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: where to party

TIFF can be the most exhausting event of the year—10 days of near constant drinking, schmoozing and stargazing, all, ostensibly, in the name of movies. Choosing the best parties requires insider intelligence and expert planning. Here, a highly discerning look at the festival’s hottest hot spots.

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TIFF

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Jason Reitman brings his live table read series to TIFF with American Beauty

Reitman’s live read of The Apartment, featuring Paul Rudd, Cara Buono and David Wain (Image: Jason Kempin/WireImage/Getty)

Since last October, Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman has been organizing a series called “Live Read” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, where he gets his famous actor friends to do a live table read of a beloved movie script (for instance, he did The Breakfast Club with Jennifer Garner portraying Molly Ringwald’s Claire Standish, somehow). On Thursday, Reitman’s bringing the show to TIFF with a live reading of American Beauty, that classic tale of mid-life crises and plastic bags, at the Ryerson Theatre at 6 p.m. (tickets are on sale along with the regular festival single tickets).

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TIFF

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CONFIRMED: Toronto’s Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon will be at TIFF

(Images: TIFF)

They may be from Toronto, but that doesn’t make us any less excited to know that hometown stars Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon will be attending TIFF this year. McAdams plays the childhood friend-cum-love interest of Ben Affleck’s character in Terrence Malick’s new film To The Wonder, as well as a lusty, psychotic executive in Passion (Brian De Palma’s remake of Alain Corneau’s Crime d’amour), while noted beauty Gadon takes on the role of a beloved starlet in Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral (Gadon’s character is disease-inflicted, and her virus is harvested, sold and then injected into fans in a “biological communion” of sorts—it is a Cronenberg flick, after all).

TIFF

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TIFF 2012: secrets, celebrity viruses and a teenage badass in this year’s lineup of Canadian features

The Canadian films to earn spots at TIFF this year include a range of comedies, dramas and thrillers, but also some that aren’t so easily defined—for instance, Sarah Polley will screen her follow-up to Take This Waltz, the genre-bending Stories We Tell, and David Cronenberg’s son Brandon will show his first film, a horror-thriller called Antiviral that premiered at Cannes. Here’s the rest of the Canadian talent:

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