TORONTO - Surprise cameo draws gasps at TIFF
There's a casting twist in the upcoming comedy "Lucky Them" that elicited gasps Friday night during the movie's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film features Toni Collette as a troubled journalist assigned to track down a musician boyfriend who went missing years earlier. It's a semi-biographical story written by Emily Wachtel, a script that was championed by the late Paul Newman.
Shot in Seattle, "Lucky Them" features a stellar cast, including Oliver Platt and Thomas Haden Church, as well as the aforementioned hot Hollywood actor (who appears briefly in a critical scene).
During a Q&A session after the screening, an audience member asked the filmmakers how they managed to land the elusive star.
Apparently it was an admiration for Newman that drew the actor to the project. Newman's wife, Joanne Woodward, took over executive producing duties for "Lucky Them" after the "Butch Cassidy" star died in 2008.
Pint-sized actor looks away during sex scenes
It's rare to see a child in the audience during an evening gala at the Toronto International Film Festival.
But tiny Rohan Chand — dressed in a crisp dark suit — beamed as he sat amid his co-stars Friday night for the world premiere of Jason Bateman's directorial debut, "Bad Words."
Trouble was, the film — about a potty-mouthed school dropout (Bateman) who finds a loophole to gain entry to a kids' spelling bee — wasn't exactly age appropriate.
But Chand — who plays a fellow speller angling to win the competition — seemed to have a solid viewing plan in place.
He checked out his own performance, but appeared to discreetly bow his head for the hilariously raunchy sex scenes between Bateman and Kathryn Hahn ("Crossing Jordan").
The Toronto International Film Festival's first press and industry screening for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" on Saturday was scrapped due to a "mechanical" problem.
The issue arose 45 minutes into the screening, eliciting a collective groan from the packed theatre, which seats nearly 560.
British actor Idris Elba stars as the legendary South African freedom fighter in the highly anticipated adaptation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom."
Naomie Harris co-stars as his wife, Winnie Mandela, and Justin Chadwick directs the William Nicholson screenplay.
The film was to have its world premiere gala at the festival Saturday night.
Susan Sarandon's furry travelling companion
A furry chaperone has been sitting in on many of Susan Sarandon's interviews at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The actress, who is in the city promoting "The Last of Robin Hood," had her pint-sized pooch Penny sit calmly on her lap as she worked the press circuit Saturday.
The fluffy white dog posed obligingly for pictures and was, as Sarandon said herself, "incredibly well-behaved."
Sarandon, who often takes Penny with her on her travels, says the pup is a "good cuddler" and a bit of a globetrotter.
Penny also has her own Twitter account (@mspennypuppy) and has been sending out snippets of tail-wagging-worthy information on her time at TIFF.
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