You’re in a crowd pressed against a metal barricade. The sun is setting and you can see the media setting up. The carpet is red but empty. You can feel the impatient anticipation from the people around you. A car pulls up, a foot steps out, and suddenly you’re seeing your favourite celebrity in the flesh. This is why you’re at TIFF. But before you get here, it helps to have a bit of knowledge on how to successfully meet your favourite actor. Luckily, I have seven tips to help you spot celebrities.
1. Attend red carpet premieres:
This is the best way to meet your favourite celebrities. They’re usually willing to take pictures and sign autographs during premieres. Sometimes, you can only get one, so make sure you prioritize whether you want a photo or autograph. I usually aim for a photo, but I always make sure to bring an extra item for a signature just in case.
Premieres are happening all over downtown, from right here on campus at the Ryerson Theatre to the Princess of Wales Theatre. Check the TIFF schedule to know which movies are premiering where.
2. Try the exit:
If you happened to miss the early red carpet excitement, fear not. You can always catch ce
lebrities leaving through the back door. That’s how I got my photo with Andrew Scott (Pride, Sherlock). Just keep in mind that you’ll have to wait until the film and Q&A has finished before they exit.
3. Hang around the downtown area:
When TIFF is in town, downtown Toronto is the best place to be. Last year, I saw Bill Nighy (Pride, Love Actually) outside a Tim Hortons on Queen Street. As he was leaving, I managed to get a photo with him as he was making his way back to the Elgin Theatre. The TIFF Bell Lightbox is also a good place to seecelebrities when they’re doing press conferences.
4. Go with your gut:
Celebrity hunting may be a hobby, but for some it’s a business.
These people, armed with binders of
glossy photos, chase celebrities to sell their autographs online. They usually try to get you to leave by convincing you a celebrity is not going to be there. Don’t listen to them. They want less competition for a celebrity’s attention.
5. Make a schedule:
The number of premieres at TIFF can be overwhelming, which is why making your own schedule is easier. Take some time to figure out which ones you want to attend. That way, you aren’t scrambling around last minute.
6. Be direct and polite:
Getting someone’s attention by constantly screaming in their face is not only annoying for the person involved, but also for the people around you. The best way to get someone’s attention is to simply call out their name. Be polite but don’t be shy, or else they won’t come up to you.
7. Expect to wait:
If you want that autograph or picture, chances are you’re going to have to wait for it. Try going as early as possible to ensure that you’re in the front. Some people line up hours before their favourite celebrity arrives on the red carpet. I waited about four hours for my photo with Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock).
Celebrity hunting is a lot of work, but it’s also really fun. It’s all about making memories and sharing your passion with other fans in the crowd. Best of luck to all you celebrity fanatics!