Right now as I write this Toronto is undergoing its annual suck up to Hollywood Celebrity Festival, I mean the Toronto International Film Festival. Actually I do quite enjoy many aspects of this event although I’m not sure how the remake of the “Magnificent Seven” and “Deepwater Horizon” are TIFF films. This post however is actually about Midnight Madness, a smaller segment of TIFF that showcases the strange, the scary and the less accessible films and presents them at you guessed it midnight.
In 2012, Barry Levinson was showing “The Bay.” Levinson you might remember won an Oscar for “Rain Man” a while back, but “The Bay” was a small, personal film that looks at environmental waste in a unique, found footage thriller. The movie was scheduled for midnight at the Ryerson theatre and a good friend of mine (we’ll call her Kelly Fox) was doing the publicity and the celebratory dinner for the movie. Kelly invited me to the dinner where the cast and Barry Levinson would be in attendance. While at dinner Kelly explained to me that Barry would introduce the film but not watch it, at which point we were to find him a bar where he could have a few drinks while the screening was going on.
So the meal ends and Kelly and I walk over to our limo that was to take us to the screening (Barry has already left) and I see this woman standing outside trying to hail a cab. I had already seen “The Bay” and recognized her as Kether Donahue, the movie’s lead actress! I ran over and told her to take our limo to the theatre and myself and Kelly would follow in a cab. We arrived just as her limo pulled up and I saw a big line of press holding cameras and microphones wondering who to speak with. I ran over, grabbed Kether, told her to go onto the carpet and announced to the press “She’s the star of the Movie! You should talk to her.” Kether had her moment on the carpet and then was taken onstage to see Barry introduce the film.
Kelly and I then headed out to a bar where we found a quiet table and waited for Barry Levinson, who never showed!
A couple year’s later I was doing a press interview for a new series on FX called “You’re the Worst.” I see this woman who looks familiar and ask “where you in movie The Bay?” She says yes, I ask her if she remembers TIFF. Kether does a double take and says “Oh my god? The guy with the limo? My knight in shining armour!” We laughed and took this picture (with her co-star Desmin Borges).
So whenever you see a woman at a fancy restaurant hailing a cab to a movie theatre…remember she might just be the star of the film.