TIFF Day 1
TIFF 2014: Robert Downey Jr., Al Pacino, Vera Farmiga dazzle on red carpet
Lucky QMI reporters Jenny Yuen and Jane Stevenson were in the thick of all the TIFF craziness for the opening night of the festival. Jenny was on the red carpet for The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr., Vera Varmiga and Robert Duvall – while Jane was there with Al Pacino for the premiere of The Humbling.
Here are their red carpet reports:
Jane at The Humbling red carpet: Acting great remembers comic legend
Acting legend Al Pacino remembered comedy great Joan Rivers on the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday.
Pacino, walking the red carpet for his starring role as a washed up theatre actor having an affair with a much younger lesbian in Barry Levinson’s tragicomedy The Humbling, said of Rivers’ death earlier on Thursday at the age of 81: “I recommend this documentary that she made (2010’s A Piece Of Work). It’s outstanding.”
“It’s the most beautiful thing,” continued the 74-year-old Oscar-winner, best known for movies like The Godfather, Scarface and Scent of a Woman.
“I knew her, but I got to know her even better in this documentary and I’m very sorry that she’s gone. It’s a shock and we still don’t know what happened (following cardiac arrest during vocal chord surgery on Aug. 28 at a New York City clinic). We don’t know the details. It’s very sad.”
For his part, Levinson was wowed by Rivers’ pioneer status as a female comic with a talent that remained vibrant right until the very end of her life.
“I only know (her) as a fan of her work,” said the 72-year-old director of such acclaimed movies as Diner and Rain Man. “I mean look, she’s one of the few women, really kind of a trailblazer who opened the door in terms of females in comedy, so (that) so many of today’s generation owe a debt to her. So she was pretty extraordinary in her kind of sarcastic, caustic comedy that she did."
As for The Humbling, both actor and director have worked together before on such films as ...And Justice For All (1979), but Levinson said only Pacino could have played the lead part in the movie based on Philip Roth’s 2009 book.
“I can’t think of anybody better and I can’t think of a more talented actor to play this kind of role.”
But Pacino, decked out in a black suit, tie, and scarf with his much younger girlfriend, Lucila Sola, 35, said the role he’s always wanted to play but has yet to is that of an artist.
“I haven’t played a painter yet,” said Pacino, wearing sunglasses at night, because he said was suffering from an allergy and his eyes were watering.
“You need a script. You can’t just make a movie and say, ‘Hey, I’m painting!’ So it’s like Ed Harris did the Jackson Pollok (movie). That was beautiful. So you need a script and something you want to say with it. I always wanted to play (Italian painter-sculptor) Modigliani but it passed me by. I got a little too old for it, but I’m developing a script about it for someone else to play. Maybe I’ll direct.”
Jenny Yuen at 'The Judge' Red Carpet: Stars remember Joan Rivers, kid meets his hero
The Judge may be a legal drama, but the stars at the film's premiere were talking about comedy.
Actor Vincent D'Onofrio, who is cast alongside Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr., called the death of stand-up legend Joan Rivers Thursday "horrible" as he spoke to media on the red carpet.
"The woman had made me laugh when I was a child," he said. "I can't tell you how many times I've sat alone in my living room on my television."
Meanwhile, actor Ken Howard recalled seeing Rivers while he worked on Broadway in the 1960s.
"She would do a midnight shows upstairs and performers would get there for the show," he said. "It was so funny and based on the news of the day. That's my fondest memory. I love how quick and funny she was."
The Judge focuses on a lawyer (Downey Jr.) who comes home to Indiana after his mother's death and soon finds out he must defend his estranged father (Duvall) -- a respected judge -- in a hit-and-run incident.
Downey Jr., accompanied with his wife producer Susan Downey, on the carpet, said he was pumped to be at the screening.
"We couldn't be happier, we didn't want to just walk by a bunch of people," he said. "It's great Susan came to me and said this film would be great. And I said, 'OK, honey,' and read the script and said we're going to shoot this."
Hundreds of fans crowded outside the venue waiting for a glimpse of the stars.
Lilly Clattenburg of Guelph brought her nine-year-old son Jacob to meet Downey Jr., who plays Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies. They waited for at least three hours.
Clutching a framed drawing of Iron he drew himself, the little boy was dressed from head to toe in an Iron Man costume, beard and all.
"Last year, I met Hugh Jackman and he was really mad I met Wolverine, so I had to bring him this year," she said.
Jacob said he was excited to meet Downey Jr., but admitted he was a bit tongue-tied of what he might ask him.
"He does a really good job playing Iron Man in all of his movies," he said.