In Toronto for two nights and a day to see the premiere of THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (my husband E is one of the exec producers, and the producer D. is a friend and ex-colleague of his — they were at PayPal together way back when). I’ve met the writer-director Jason Reitman before and he’s affable, funny, completely without pretension. The movie screened to laughter (the intentional kind), and enthusiastic applause. I enjoyed it, although I’d read the screenplay years ago and kept waiting for a couple of moments that had been edited out or never made it to screen in the first place. The nice-looking kid I’d noticed a row or two ahead of me turned out to be Adam Brody, who turned out to be one of the best things about the film in one of the funniest sequences (set in LA), and he bounded to the stage when cast members were called up to join Jason for a Q&A. (Up there on the stage, Body’s face carved with light and shadow — wow, what a beauty). Jason handled the Q&A with aplomb: “I’m scared out of my mind right now.” When someone asked him what he plans to do next, he paused and then said, “You know, I’m just going to give you the same answer I’ve been giving people all week. I’d like to do a shot-by-shot remake of Pretty Woman except with a real prostitute in the Julia Roberts role.”
This morning I stepped into the hotel elevator en route to Starbucks (I would acknowledge my own Canadian blood by going to a Tim Horton’s or a Second Cup instead, except, well, Starbucks is right next door) and nearly bumped into Roger Ebert. I grew up watching the guy and still read him often so I felt this ridiculous wave of affection for him, wanted to start chatting him up about movies. I did not. He must deal with that crap all the time. I’m hardly going to shed a tear for celebrities, but I do think fame — anything that thrusts you out there with strangers and gives them such a false sense of entitlement to you — is a beast most strange and disturbing.
Now I’ve got a hour or two to kill — want to find a Chapters bookstore and pick up some cool Canadian writers I would never stumble across in LA.