As expected, the ladies came early to the Princess of Wales Theatre last night for the TIFF premiere of The Place Beyond The Pines starring our Canadian homeboy Ryan Gosling. Well over two hours before his expected arrival, they were sweating in line, hoping for a glimpse of their fantasy boyfriend, a three-second opportunity to make eye contact and re-enact The Notebook.
The media, though perhaps less lascivious, were equally enthusiastic. It was a tightly jammed press line – this would be the first time Gosling appeared on a red carpet with his girlfriend and co-star Eva Mendes. Oh yeah, and Bradley Cooper, the reigning Sexiest Man Alive, was coming too. Cooper arrived early, bro-downing with three friends from grad school also cast in the movie.
Cooper was gracious about including his boys in all his interviews and greeted director Derek Cianfrance with a high five and a huge hug, assuring him that, "Bro, it's 99-per-cent done for sure". Does that mean they sold the movie? When I interviewed him, Cooper at one point spoke in French. I think he told me that he was unfamiliar with the Quebecois accent though I can't be sure because I swooned and blacked out.
Mendes arrived before Gosling, telling people she was really nervous. She said to me that she was uncomfortable in crowds, joking that she'd chosen the wrong profession. Having a boyfriend who causes riots on King Street probably doesn't help with that either. They erupted for him outside.
Gosling and I talked about his look in the movie. His character has bleached-blond hair and when I asked him about the inspiration for it, he namechecked . . . Zack Morris on Saved By The Bell!
Later on at the after-party at Ame, after Gosling spent the early part of the night working the room, he and Mendes took a moment to themselves on a bench. As we all tried not to stare too obviously, she rubbed his back and kissed his cheek when he offered it to her lips. What is it about Ryan Gosling that a romance novel always develops when he's around?
Even though he had his own party to host in support of Artists For Peace & Justice at La Societe, Paul Haggis, the ex-Scientologist, stopped by Soho House Grey Goose to toast The Master, the highly anticipated new Paul Thomas Anderson film said to be based on Scientology. Glee's Darren Criss was also there and apparently enjoyed the Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails so much, he had to run back inside after the event had cleared out to visit the facilities before jumping in the car. Smart move. Downtown gridlock during TIFF is the worst.
It was full glamour for the starlets of Spring Breakers on Friday afternoon for the film's press conference at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. James Franco, on the other hand, was dressed like a college student, which seems appropriate. It was reported this week that Franco is being sued by Jose Angel Santana, his former professor at New York University, for defamation. Santana failed Franco for not showing up to class to go work on movies and claims that Franco trash-talked him in interviews, harming his reputation.
Though Franco was on a plane out of Toronto immediately after the premiere, his co-star Selena Gomez lived up to her wholesome image at the Spring Breakers private dinner and after-party sponsored by Vitaminwater. While girls in bikinis served Popsicles dipped in champagne, Gomez stayed close to mom all night. Justin Bieber had nothing to worry about.
And to round out our coverage of Kristen Stewart, the festival's most talked about celebrity so far, while the scandalized actress brought her game face to the premiere of On the Road on Thursday night, I'm told by several journalists that she was nervous and fidgety and looked exhausted during the junket on Friday. Stewart was paired with co-star Garrett Hedlund and reporters were told that no personal questions were allowed. She did explain the splint on her middle finger, a digit that's become very familiar to paparazzi. She broke it, she said, because she's clumsy.
And finally, my favourite outfit at TIFF 2012 isn't Marion Cotillard's magnificent Dior or Kirsten Dunst's pale pink gown, but rather Christopher Walken's sweat pants pulled way up at Pearson airport upon arrival on Friday, perfectly illustrating his eccentric personality and style and the reason why he's earned a devoted cult following.
Lainey Lui is a reporter for CTV's eTALK (weekdays, 7 p.m. ET) and gossip blogger for LaineyGossip.com.