Shooting stars at TIFF

You only have one minute to take a photograph during shoots

Movie stars don’t have a lot of time.

When you’re photographing them, there’s no asking about their Aunt Phyllis or how their golf swing is progressing. Yes, there’s small talk of the ‘How are you liking Toronto?’ variety, but really, they just want you to get the shot and move on. They have a red carpet to walk, scripts to read, multi-million dollar deals to sign, and, presumably, eating and sleeping to do. For the Movie Star, this is all part of their job; the promoting, the glad-handing and the quickie hotel room portraits. It’s all business.

Which is why you only have one minute to take the photograph.

For the Movie Star, there are varying degrees of involvement in the shoot. Most endure it like a grumpy kid having their picture taken with Santa Claus. Some enjoy the exercise, such as David Cronenberg, who cordially offered me his very effective Death Stare. Sarah Silverman had fun posing as if she were cramped into a photo booth. For some Movie Stars of a certain vintage, it’s about controlling their image: Juliette Binoche insisted on critiquing every frame and pronounced I “had the shot,” when I wasn’t sure I did.

(She was right. I did.)

But during that single minute I have with the Movie Star, it’s always an odd sensation, being so close to someone who is normally forty feet tall. Because after you’ve been face to face with them, in some anonymous hotel room or bland boardroom, you can’t help but feel the Movie Star seems, well, kind of normal.

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Shooting Ralph Fiennes


Ralph Fiennes


Emily Blunt


Juliette Binoche


David Thewlis


Sarah Gadon


Scott Speedman


John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten


Sarah Polley


David Cronenberg


Sarah Silverman