Want to know how to cozy up to A Star is Born’s Bradley Cooper or Lady Gaga for a selfie at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, starting Thursday and running until Sept.16?
Or how about getting an autograph from First Man’s Ryan Gosling, a native of London, Ont., or Beautiful Boy’s Timothee Chalamet of Call Me By Your Name fame?
Veteran TIFF star gazer (and also the Toronto Sun’s assistant city editor) Cynthia McLeod says it takes time, patience, and a trusty foot stool, but the celebrity encounter is usually worth it in the long run.
“Last year was the year that I upped my game,” said McLeod, who’s been snapping photos of celebrities at TIFF for the last five years since moving downtown.
“And it all started because (Borg vs McEnroe’s) Shia LaBeouf, the very first opening night, because he didn’t want to talk to people on the red carpet, the reporters — you guys! — he went and did everybody else,” she said. “And he took a picture with everybody. He took everybody’s phone and he handed it back. He called me, ‘Darlin,’” she added with a laugh.
McLeod says over the years her best TIFF moments have been with the likes of Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Benedict Cumberbatch and worst – because they didn’t stop for fans who had waited to see them – couple Annette Bening and Warren Beatty and Toronto’s own Drake.
“I don’t know if anybody wants to get excited about Drake,” she joked of the rapper, who will be introducing drama Monsters and Men on opening night. “I stood out there for Drake and he didn’t come over to fans. It can be kind of exhausting ‘cause if you do it hardcore, it can take hours.”