#INTERVIEW: STARS OF 2018 TORONTO COMICON
Returning once again at Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend is TORONTO COMICON. The three-day event runs March 16-18, 2018, bringing together all things Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Cosplay and Gaming-related.
Artists and Celebrities are abound at the event, giving Fans a rare chance to meet the talent including the likes of Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead), Eugene Brave Rock (Wonder Woman), Manu Bennett (Arrow), Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files), Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars), Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables), Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Mara Wilson (Matlida) and John Wesley Shipp (The Flash).
We even spotted iconic international DJ/Producer Deadmau5 out and about with his wife Kelly Fedoni. They looked extremely excited to meet Game of Thrones’ Kristian Nairn (Hodor)! You just never know who you’ll see at Toronto Comicon!
We got to chat with some of the talent at this year’s Comicon including the likes of Gilliam, Rock and Shipp at a Press Conference launching the event. We chat about some of their fan experiences and their own paths to success.
EUGENE BRAVE ROCK
Rock, an Alberta native now living in Los Angeles who has starred in the likes of Oscar-winning The Revenant, tells us that L.A. has made him “soft” in dealing with the Canadian cold. Since his role as Wonder Woman as The Chief, had admits “It’s nice not having to audition and just being given the role sometimes. I’ve been in this business a long time. It’s nice to be where I am. I’m thankful.”.
He was just in Salt Lake City for the Premiere of his Short Film Reign of Judges which he hopes will become a Trilogy or a Feature.
Gilliam whose The Walking Dead character Father Gabriel has recently been upgraded as a main character, tells us about his journey on the beloved Series. “It’s been surreal. Like holding onto a locomotive train and holding onto dear life.”. On some of the crazier experiences he has had on the Convention circuit, he says it’s “when people blur the lines between Father Gabriel and Seth Gilliam.“. “People tell me ‘I don’t like the way you did this and that’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, do you want me to conjure Father Gabriel for you? I’ll give you three turns and you can talk to Father Gabriel so you can talk to him!'”, he jokes.
On what makes Father Gabriel different from the him, he says “The real Seth likes to use profanity.”. We love real people!
JOHN WESLEY SHIPP
Shipp has built a long-lasting career on Series like Dawson’s Creek to now, The Flash playing psychopaths to superheroes. On still being in his prime, he reveals, “I work out four or five days a week. I was a really skinny kid. It wasn’t something I got into until I was 19 or 20.”.
On touring the Convention circuit, he tells us the greatest thing about it. “It’s an amazing opportunity to interact with an audience. Other than in Theatre which I’ve done, we don’t get that kind of rush in the studio. If all we had to do was work within the studio having a great time with each other, all we’d do is be pleased with each other but what makes it matter is the audience.”. He adds, “People are so warm and generous in their actions.”.
See some Snaps from the event below. Hover cursor left and right to navigate.
Learn more about Toronto Comicon here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#SPOTTED: DEADMAU5 IN TORONTO FOR DIGITAL DREAMS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Taking over Ontario Place this past weekend, the Digital Dreams Music Festival was a heaven for lovers of Electronica and Dance Music as some of the World’s most prolific DJs played to thousands for two straight days. Although he wasn’t a Performer this year, there is no name bigger than deadmau5 in the World of Producer-DJs and we spotted the Icon, known best for donning his mouse headpiece when he spins. After enjoying a weekend at the Festival, deadmau5 (né Joel Zimmerman) was spotted having lunch in Yorkville earlier today with a Friend. He apparently was waiting on DJ Eric Prydz, although we’re unsure where he was!
deadmau5, who is one of the nicest DJs you’ll ever meet was nice enough to chat before getting his bill. He messages me on Instagram after seeing our Snap that he misses his favourite Raybans which he was sporting in our Pic, apparently losing the shades soon after. Surely good Karma is on the way for the Star who just released his latest Double LP while(1<2) a couple weeks back.
He also made headlines recently making it known that his famous Purrari, a Ferrari plastered with a digital cat graphic, is up for sale for $380k! So far there are no takers, but why would anyone not want to hold on to that forever? More on that here.
More on the Digital Dreams Music Festival here.
See our Snap:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Virgin)
#CMW: ELLIE GOULDING, TEGAN AND SARA AND M.I.A. TO HEADLINE 2014 CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK
Now in its 33rd year, Canadian Music Week is set to kick-off in Toronto Tuesday, May 6 through Saturday, May 10, 2014! The Festival this year is heavy on talent in the Female Contingent with Tegan and Sara, Neko Case, M.I.A. and Ellie Goulding among those headlining. The Lineup will continue to be unveiled in coming weeks but we’re pretty impressed already!
Here in Toronto for Interviews this year are the likes of deadmau5, City and Colour, Bruce Cockburn and recent GRAMMY Winner Nile Rodgers (Get Lucky).
For now, you can buy Tickets on CMW‘s Official Website here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#SPOTTED: PHARRELL IN TORONTO FOR BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB X HOLT RENFREW
Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Mega-Producer, Fashion Mogul and Entrepreneur Pharrell is in Toronto today to promote his Billionaire Boys Club Fashion Line’s 10th Anniversary via a Pop-Up Shop at High Fashion Retailer, Holt Renfrew. Available exclusively at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre location, the Shop is curated by Pharrell himself and features installations of some of his most coveted items, including those 2005 Louis Vuitton “Millionaire” Sunglasses we all wanted so bad. The Shop also features exclusive Holt Renfrew x BBC Sweaters and T-Shirts for Men and Women.
Pharrell appears today at Holt Renfrew – Yorkdale Shopping Centre between 2-3 PM in Q&A, hosted by CTV‘s eTalk Personality Tanya Kim and you too can see him in-person as he discusses his Career, Life and of course, Fashion.
I had the pleasure of spotting Pharrell earlier and in perhaps one of the most “chillaxed” vibes I’ve ever witnessed, his amazingly-nice Bodyguard asked, “What do you want?”. Gesturing for a Photo, he replied “A Photo? Alright. That won’t be a problem.”. Moments later, Pharrell kindly came out with his Entourage and threw a Handsign for the Camera as he posed in his Sunglasses and Fedora. Definitely one of my most highly-sought-after Photos-with a Celebrity. Ever. The Hitmaker responsible for Summer 2013 Smashes Blurred Lines and Get Lucky, is amazing and a real Example.
See our Snap:
We spotted Pharrell‘s Blurred Lines Collaborator Robin Thicke this Summer in Toronto too. More on that here.
You must watch deadmau5‘s Coffee Run Video with Pharrell, as the new Icons filmed their Chat in the former’s Car during his visit here. They go on about Cars, Tim Hortons’, Technology and more:
“Like” Billionaire Boys Club on Facebook here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Billionaire Boys Club)
#TIFF13: MR. WILL’S HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2013 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
With great sadness, we must say farewell to another TIFF. And with fatigue, a limp in my right foot and great pain in my neck today after a gruelling run these past 11 days, I look back at the happy times, the regrets and what TIFF ’14 might hold. Despite all these mixed emotions, I know it won’t be long before I’m begging for more! I live for the Toronto International Film Festival – the greatest in Film Festival the World – and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
Here’s a look back at some of the Highlights for me of the Festival in Compiled Lists:
MR. WILL’S MOST GRACIOUS 10
Anyone who encountered these Stars up-close and personal during TIFF ’13 can vouch that they deserve a warm round of applause for the respect, appreciation and courtesy they’ve shown our City. Whether it be Jessica Chastain‘s consistent grace and humility towards her Fans, Brad Pitt‘s surprise Red Carpet appearance in which he took several Photos with Fans at the 12 Years a Slave Premiere, Hugh Jackman stopping in the rain outside the Press Conference for Prisoners to meet and great all his Supporters individually – these Stars understand exactly what the Festival is all about for us Fans!
1. Jessica Chastain
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Tom Hiddleston
4. Daniel Radcliffe
5.. Brad Pitt
6. Josh Brolin
7. Hugh Jackman
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Nicolas Cage
10. Emma Thompson
MR. WILL’S SUCCESSFUL 6
These six Films gained a great amount of buzz and momentum coming out of TIFF ’13 in advance of their forthcoming Awards Season Best Picture Campaigns. Sadly, August: Osage Country didn’t wind up getting critical love universally (I enjoyed it much!) hoped for, but it still remains a major Contender in the Acting categories – especially for a heartbreakingly-absent Queen Meryl Streep.
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Labor Day
3. Dallas Buyers Club
MR. WILL’S EMERGING 5
These five up-and coming Stars caused quite a stir wherever they spotted around TIFF ’13. This time next year, expect to know them pretty much on a first name-basis.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Daniel Brühl
4. Jai Courtney
5. Taylor Schilling
MR. WILL’S NAUGHTY LIST
Although we try to keep things positive here, we remain hopeful that next time these Stars visit our City, they show us a bit more Fan Appreciation – not just only when the Cameras are on – than they showed this year. Little things like picking-up a Sharpie or taking time to pose for Photos with Fans, or maybe not distancing themselves a 15 feet from the Barricades where their Fans had queued for hours to see them, would be a first step. In all fairness, some had hyper-assertive Handlers or lateness to blame.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Mila Kunis
5. Emilia Clarke
MR. WILL’S FASHIONABLE 5
These Stars certainly made a Statement whether it be out and about in our City or on the Red Carpet. I still cannot get over Kitsch‘s gray-on-gray Suit he wore at the Premiere of The Grand Seduction and certainly was a bit obsessed with Toni Collette‘s new Bangs. Julia Roberts was a Vision in her Dolce & Gabbana Dress at the Premiere of August: Osage County too, but my favourite look was Sandra Bullock at the Gravity Premiere in Narciso Rodriguez!
1. Sandra Bullock
2. Julia Roberts
3. Taylor Kitsch
4. Toni Collette
5. Jessica Chastain
And who exactly did Mr. Will got a Photo-with at TIFF ’13?
Ben Cotton, Dane Cook, Jason Reitman, Josh Brolin, Nicole Kidman, Anika Noni Rose, Bill Condon, Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg, Jack Huston, Tom Arnold, John Torturro, Lauren Lee Smith, Sami Gayle, Mary Walsh, Saoirse Ronan, Michael C. Hall, Tye Sheridan, Katie Boland, Aaron Abrams, Kelly Rowan, Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Schilling, Effie Exarchopoulos, Dan Stevens, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander, Tom Hiddleston, deadmau5, Carice Van Houten, Tom Welling, Vanessa Paradis, Michael Bolton, Alice Cooper, Taylor Kitsch, Toni Collette, Dakota Fanning, Jai Courtney, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Jared Harris, Adelaide Kane, James Lafferty, Jennifer Morrison, David Arquette, Alfre Woodard, Ryan Kwanten, Catherine O’Hara, Mark Boone Junior, Will Forte, Emma Thompson, Cara Gee, Demian Bichir, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Alfonso Cuaron, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Thompson (again!), Lea Seydoux, Robert Baker, Amanda Walsh, Adam Driver, Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Cage.
To re-visit some of the amazing names that I snapped in the City over the Festival, click here.
To read some of my Reviews of the Films that premiered at TIFF ’13, click here. More Reviews to come over the next day or two as I play catch-up after all the madness.
…until next year, Wongsters!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
#TIFF13: STARS OUT AND ABOUT THE 2013 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL | BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, MIA WASIKOWSKA, TOM HIDDLESTON, JUNO TEMPLE, DANIEL BRÜHL, DEADMAU5, ALICIA VIKANDER, DAN STEVENS, TOM WELLING, COLIN HANKS
It’s only Day One of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and already our City is lit bright on Star Power alone. Although all eyes are on the Opening Night Gala, of Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate over at Roy Thomson Hall, several Stars were spotted out today, a taste of the excitement to come over the course of the next eleven days.
Benedict Cumberbatch undoubtedly has thrust himself into the Spotlight as Hollywood’s Next “It” Boy and with three Films at TIFF ’13, he has commanded attention from all. The Star of Box Office Hit Star Trek Into Darkness, was spotted at a Cocktail Party prior to heading to his Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall. Although not many Fans got their coveted Photos with him nor Autographs signed, citing fatigue, Cumberbatch was ever dapper in a Tuxedo and in good spirits at the star-studded Afterparty for The Fifth Estate.
TIFF‘s relationship with Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has been noted and although the Pacific Rim Director really is in town to prep upcoming Series, The Strain, he is known to partake in TIFF Festivities. Don’t be surprised if he’s sitting next to you at a Screening this weekend!
Canadian Actress Cara Gee recently was named one of TIFF‘s Rising Stars for 2013 starring in Empire of Dirt. The stunning Beauty was seen mingling tonight at The Fifth Estate‘s Afterparty with EE BAFTA Rising Star Award-winning Actress Juno Temple (seen second below) who left her with some supportive parting words. The always delightful Temple stars in Horns opposite Daniel Radcliffe, premiering later tonight.
We spotted Daniel Brühl arriving in Toronto just yesterday and although he was a little Fan-shy then, he delivered upon his promise at the Roy Thomson Hall Red Carpet Premiere for The Fifth Estate and also again at the Afterparty for the Film. He will continue to be in the City for the next week, promoting also Ron Howard‘s Rush in which he stars as Formula 1 Driver Niki Lauda.
An absolute vision of beauty, Swedish Actress Alicia Vikander stunned in an elegant green floral print dress at the Premiere for The Fifth Estate in which she plays the important role of Anke, Wife of WikiLeaks Spokesperson Daniel Berg (Brühl). In addition to being amazing to Fans, she also will be starring in eagerly-awaited Fantasy Seventh Son next, making her one to look out for.
Dutch Actress Carice van Houten has gained a Cult Following thanks to her work as Melisandre on HBO‘s Game of Thrones. Her star continues to rise on an international level, starring in The Fifth Estate as Birgitta Jónsdóttir and she was delightful with Fans. After the Afterparty for the Film she was the only Cast member amazing enough to greet Fans from the Patio of the Venue.
Downton Abbey Fans will rejoice that handsome Star Dan Stevens (Dan Crawley) is at TIFF ’13 after all for The Fifth Estate! The British Star was amazingly nice to stop for Fans both at the Airport today, arriving just hours before his Red Carper Premiere and again at the Event itself!
We wouldn’t be in Toronto without a shout-out to our amazing Homegrown Talent. World-famous DJ and Producer Deadmau5 was spotted out and about tonight at The Fifth Estate Afterparty with his new Girlfriend, Actress/Singer Sophie Tweed-Simmons (Daughter of Gene). The latter of course got to ride “Shotgun” in his new Ferrari 458 Italia as the zoomed off into the night.
They don’t come any classier than the brilliant Tom Hiddleston and he couldn’t have been any more kind to his Fans thus far in his TIFF ’13 visit for Only Lovers Left Alive. The British Star known best for his work in The Avengers/Thor as Loki, graciously zipped his way through the large crowd of Fans at Ryerson Theatre tonight, signing as many Autographs as fast as he could. Our Snap I will reveal at a later date, I being one of the few to get one!
It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Anton Yelchin at TIFF, but he remains a true Gentleman and also a name just below the radar still. The Actor who filmed Charlie Bartlett here in Toronto back in 2007, stars alongside Hiddleston in Vampire-Thriller Only Lovers Left Alive as one of the few Human Characters, Ian. As always, he was outstanding to his Supporters at the Premiere.
Although we met her this Summer in Toronto filming David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, Rising Star Mia Wasikowska always is a pleasure to see and she is fully supporting her three Films at the Festival this year: The Double, Tracks and of course Only Lovers Left Alive. She was a vision in red at the Ryerson Theatre Red Carpet but unfortunately several Fans were left disappointed as she zipped by into the theatre. Better luck next time?
An unexpected name tonight at The Fifth Estate Afterparty was Colin Hanks, who was a late confirmation for Historical-Drama Parkland. The Son of Tom who was recently in the City filming No Stranger Than Love, has a shot at being back at TIFF ’14 with that Romantic-Comedy. Although opting to be low-key, he still obliged for Fans looking for a Photo, taking the Selfie himself.
Tom Welling, known best for playing Clark Kent on Smallville also was a surprise at the Afterparty for The Fifth Estate, here to present Parkland tomorrow night at Roy Thomson Hall. Set on the day President John F. Kennedy died, he plays his Right-Hand Man, Roy Kellerman.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
#SPOTTED: KAT VON D IN TORONTO FOR “GO BIG OR GO HOME”
Toronto definitely loves their Kat Von D! The Tattoo Artist-turned-Celebrity thanks to the success of TLC Reality Series L.A. Ink, is back to a City she knows well, being engaged to Toronto Superstar DJ/Producer deadmau5. The best-selling Author is in-town to promote her latest Book from HarperCollins, Go Big or Go Home, which features Essays and illustrations of large-scale Tattoos.
Von D (short for von Drachenberg) kicked-off her day of Press out at KISS 92.5 appearing on the Roz & Mocha Show, before heading the down road to Global Television‘s The Morning Show (National Edition). In great spirits, she stopped to sign some Autographs and pose for Photos. Noticing Billy with me she called out, “Oh, look! A little Marshmallow!!”. Aww! For some odd reason I clicked the Timer button on my Camera by accident and when doing our Selfie, she was more than nice to smile for a full 12 seconds before the flash finally went off. Sweetheart!
She will appear at Chapters – John & Richmond tonight at 7:00 PM and if her last Signing in December 2010 is any indication how popular she is, you should really get there early as she signs copies of Go Big or Go Home tonight.
Learn more about Go Big or Go Home right here.
Our Snap below:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/HarperCollins)