#SPOTTED: DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ZOE KAZAN, MEGAN PARK & MORE IN TORONTO FOR “THE F WORD”
Filmed in Toronto over the Summer of 2012, a Red Carpet Premiere in the City only would be fitting as a proper homecoming for The F Word. The Romantic-Comedy directed by Michael Dowse (Goon, Take Me Home Tonight) comes well-regarded after a debut at TIFF last Fall, with multiple nominations including Best Picture at the Canadian Screen Awards. The Film which almost didn’t get made locally, now at last is primed for an international release. From humble beginnings, it received a significant boost in profile with Megastar Daniel Radcliffe signing-on as the Male Lead in a bit of a mold-breaking move which has him trying something completely different than what we’d expect of the Harry Potter Star.
Stars Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), Megan Park (The Secret Life of an American Teenager), Meghan Heffern (Degrassi), Screenwriter Elan Mastai and Director Dowse all came out to support The F Word – the mysterious “f” of course standing for “friendship”. Also seen zipping through the Carpet was Kazan‘s longtime partner Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave, Prisoners), present but careful not to draw too much attention to himself.
The F Word, based on the Play Toothpaste and Cigarettes, centers around Wallace (Radcliffe), a Med School Dropout who falls hopelessly in love with an Animator named Chantry (Kazan). The only problem is however that she is in a long-term relationship with Ben (Rafe Spall). This poses the question what to do when the love of your life happens to be your Best Friend.
I had the pleasure of speaking with all in attendance tonight, the Group enthusiastic to promote what appears to be a labour of love for an endearing story about finding love when gray areas are involved.
Montreal’s Dowse tells us about how he came to be involved with The F Word and how the Toronto Story almost didn’t get made in the City. “I was only involved a year and a bit outside of shooting, but it took a while”, says the Director. “It went to a couple different Producers and almost got made in the States.”. “We got it to turn around and were able to make it and once we got Dan on it, it worked really quickly and went by smoothly.”.
We ask Matsai about the decision to brand the Film a tamer What If in other territories and the decision to keep its original Title here in Canada. “Actually, my Girlfriend at the time – who’s now my Wife – named it”, he reveals to us. “I’ve always loved the Title as I think it’s cheeky and tells you about the spirit of the Movie.”. “In the U.S., the ratings might find it a bit too cheeky and edgy, which is disappointing, but on one hand it’s like renaming your Child and I’m happy my Child gets to blossom.”.
Toronto’s Meghan Heffern tells us that she’s now based in Los Angeles and walks us through her casting process and the sacrifices she made for the role of Tabby. “I auditioned and it happened that all my auditions took place while I was outside the City. It was super-stressful because I really wanted it.”. “It was shot on the day of my Best Friend’s wedding, but she’s very understanding and happy. This is such a big deal for Canada.”.
Megan Park certainly is a familiar face, having starred in The Secert Life of an American Teenager alongside now-Superstar Shailene Woodley. Although she had read for another part originally, she landed the part of Dalia – Chantry‘s bubbly and sassy Sister. “I gave it a shot and really liked Michael as a person and was on the same page in what type of a Movie he wanted to make.”. As a Canadian, she finds it refreshing that The F Word portrays Toronto as itself. She states, “It’s the first time I’ve filmed here and it was supposed to be Toronto. It was nice not to hide my Canadian accent. I’m proud to be an honourary member of the Cast.”. Park can be seen currently in brand new Series, The Lottery.
Kazan has wowed Critics as both a Writer and an Actress, including 2012 Indie Darling Ruby Sparks which she penned and co-starred in along with Partner Dano. She lights-up the screen with a complex innocence to her in The F Word. Keeping busy much of late in New York starring in the Play When We Were Young and Unafraid, she calls working with Co-Star Radcliffe “a dream come true”. Dressed in a chic piece by New York Dressmaker Honor, she accepts a compliment how smart she has been in her output of work. On whether or not she feels it’s wise for Friends to date, she admits, “It’s better just to move on. Sometimes it’s actually better to be friends than romantically involved!”.
Always impeccably-dressed – we’ve met him a couple occasions now – Radcliffe is gracious in his interviews and when probed by Bloggers about his dating past, he defers with grace. Does he feel Men and Women can just be friends? The once-highest paid Actor in Hollywood replies, “I do, yes. If romantic and sexual attraction comes into it, then it’s a different question. But I think there’s plenty of people in the World who are just friends and it doesn’t go anywhere.”. I ask him about the most fun he had in Toronto since work has brought him to our City on multiple occasions over the past couple years. “I think it’s a great City to work in. The Crew on The F Word was awesome was really fun to hang with off-set as well.”. “One of the best things in the City to do was The Hockey Hall of Fame actually” he remembers. “If you’re not into Hockey you’ll hate it, but if you are into it, you’ll love it!”. We’re guessing he is a Fan of our National Sport?
Check-out some of our Chats with the Cast, Writer and Director of The F Word below:
eOne Films release THE F WORD across Canada on Friday, August 22, 2014.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
INTERVIEW: THE CAST OF “GOON” – FEATURING SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT, LIEV SCHREIBER, JAY BARUCHEL, MICHAEL DOWSE & MORE
Canadian Director Michael Dowse (Fubar, It’s All Gone Pete Tong) premiered his latest Hockey-Comedy back in September at TIFF to rousing reception and now is ready to unleash a “rink of fire” to the masses. Alliance Films has shown its firm vote of confidence in the distinctly-Canadian Film, touring it over the past week with stop-offs in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal and tonight, Toronto.
Montreal’s Jay Baruchel not only co-wrote Goon together with Evan Goldberg, but also stars in it. He is said to have been moved to tears by a surprise visit from now-Fiancée and then-Co-Star Alison Pill. The two developed a romance on-set and thus, the Film can be said to be a Labour of Love, in more ways than one. In addition to Dowse and Baruchel, talents David Paetkau, Liev Schreiber and Seann William Scott graced the Fan and Media-filled Red Carpet also at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre.
Goon centers upon Doug (Scott), a Jewish-Canadian Bouncer and trained Boxer whom after years of struggling to find his niche, gets hired aboard a floundering Halifax Hockey Team as someone whose purpose solely is to help his Team win fights on-the-ice, fully utilizing those Boxing chops. Doug turns out to be a much better at his job than anticipated and this causes some friction within his Team, especially with its Captain of many vices Xavier (Marc-André Grondin), and also a competing team’s soon-to-retire star, the tough-as-nails Ross (Schreiber). Along the way, Doug falls for Eva (Pill) whom at first appears emotionally unavailable, but nonetheless he is determined to win her affections. With the support of his Team and Buddy Pat (Jay Baruchel), he enjoys a celebrated, although stormy rise to the top – even if it should come at the expense of his overachieving Parents.
Certainly not lacking controversy, Goon has gained much Media attention of late for both its shocking Posters, showing Baruchel in what might be considered a lewd act, but more so its violent on-ice beatdowns. A Representative for the City of Toronto has denied that it ordered the removal of the offending Posters namely from bus shelters, according to a probe by The Globe & Mail.
Baruchel poked fun at the situation, performing quickly an encore of the said lewd act for the Cameras, shouting “Here you go, one more time!”. On a more delicate note, I asked Baruchel about how this Film might be misconstrued solely as a tough, violent Film when in fact much of it actually is a Love Story. “Yes, that’s exactly right. I was raised to believe that toughness has nothing to do with being a good person or not”, he comments. “It’s also a reaction to a terrifying trend in movies where they’re always cynical and always come from a mean-spirited place. I just wanted to bring a happiness and heart back into Films.”.