TIFF and the Fine Art of Celebrity Stalking

Well folks, it’s that time of year again: when the red carpets get rolled out, the champagne flows like water and A-List celebs fill the streets of Toronto.

No, not my birthday, fools.  Y’all know Ryan and I prefer to celebrate that with a nice bottle of Beaujolais and a quiet night in:

“Oh Ryan- I just love quiet nights in with you. Not even the fact that my head is 3x the size of yours can get in the way of our love”

Of course, what I’m REALLY talking about here is TIFF: the Toronto International Film Festival.

Now for me, film festival time usually means putting my stalkin’ pants on and trawling the streets of Toronto with camera in hand, stopping only to stare in the windows of the Ritz Carlton while making this face:

Until I get escorted off the premises.

This year, however, I was given the chance to kick my stalking up a notch when my friend Michelle offered  me an extra ticket to the premiere of the movie Spring Breakers.

A chance to see a cool movie and some celebs IRL? Sign me up. Plus, this was totally one of those things you could  post on facebook to make yourself seem all cool and in the “scene” when really all you did was shell out 40 bucks and hit “Refresh” an exorbitant amount of times on your web browser.

The movie, directed by Harmony Korine, is about four college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) who rob a restaurant in order to fund their spring break trip to Saint Petersburg, Fla. Once there, they wind up hooking up with a corn-rowed, silver toothed drug dealer named “Alien” (James Franco) who gets them into some seriously un-Disney sh*t.

Sounds Oscar-worthy, right??

Since my 8-year-old-niece Lola is in love with Selena and for some reason is under the impression that I look exactly like her (ok, I paid her to say it), my ultimate goal was to solidify my role as “best aunt ever” by meeting Selena and taking a real photo with her to replace this splitscreen I keep under my pillow and stare at every night made once as a joke for a blog post and never looked at again:

We arrived at the theatre somewhat late and were in a mad rush to pick up our tickets when we were stopped directly in our tracks by an oncoming limo.  The door opened, and out walked Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Not even 2 feet away from us.

I was like:

Needless to say,  by the time I came to, I totally missed my opportunity to become besties with get a picture with Selena. Good thing I can still buy my niece’s affection with McDonald’s and other sh*t she’s not supposed to have.

Anyway, we watched the red carpet progression for a while, listening to hundreds of tweens shouting “SELENA I LOVE YOU” and “WHERE’S JUSTIN BIEBER” before making our way into the movie.

Now, the movie itself was sort of interesting and arty and all, but my enjoyment of it was somewhat hindered by the following factors:

  • apparently they don’t serve popcorn at TIFF screenings?? Call me un-kla$$y, but for me, a movie without popcorn is like Ice without Coco. It just doesn’t work.
  • I had chosen to wear my hair in a sock bun for the event:

which, although incredibly chic and red-carpet looking, also renders it damn near impossible to sit back in your chair like a normal person.

Finally, after an hour and a half of shifting hungrily in my seat, the movie was over and the cast & director came onstage for a brief Q&A.

This was cool, but would have been way MORE fun had my friend not grabbed my hand and pulled it back down whenever I tried to ask one of my many stupid (albeit hilarious) questions.

After the Q&A we hightailed it to the back entrance where we knew the stars would be exiting the theatre. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones who knew the secret and had to jostle into position with hundreds of other fans.

As I got my iPhone out and preset my instagram filter to “You wish your life was this cool“, I remembered an interview I saw recently with a 16-year-old American girl known as “Stalker Sarah” for her talent of hunting down celebrities and getting her photo taken with them. Sarah has photos with over 5,000 celebrities, and prides herself in knowing all of the best stalking tactics.

As I dodged random elbows and struggled to see past the 6’4 man in front of me,  I wondered to myself, “What would Stalker Sarah do?”… while at the same time cursing my own name for not having the same alliterative potential.

Un (?)fortunately my question remained rhetorical, because just then the cast busted out of the theatre and Running of the Bulls: Toronto Edition commenced. Somehow I managed to snap the following pic before I met my untimely demise of being trampled to death by a gaggle of crazed Selena Gomez fans:

Just kidding. I’m totally still alive. But what a way to go.

Question of the Day: Ever been to a movie premiere? Ever had a star sighting?



62 thoughts on “TIFF and the Fine Art of Celebrity Stalking

Add yours

  1. I met James Doohan (RIP, Scotty!) at the “World of Wheels” in Evansville, Indiana once. He was the only reason to be there, as I’d already seen the Batmobile. Anyway, I shook Jimmy’s hand and noticed he was short a few knuckles on one finger. Actually, said finger was only 40% handshake-ready, and he apologized by explaining that the rest of his digit had been shot off by Nazi machine-gun rounds during the invasion of Normandy. So, yes: James Doohan was more of a hero in real life.

    The end.

    PS- i used to play hockey with Mike Rosenbaum, best known for his role as Lex Luthor on “Smallville.” But that was before he was, you know, Lex Luthor.


  2. I met Jenna Fischer (Pam from the office) in the Vegas airport on my honeymoon. I was all nervous and she was a giant bitchface. She ruined the Office for me as I couldn’t watch it anymore without experiencing major hatred for Pam. Stalker Sara would not approve. Love your blog!!


  3. Love this post, and your split screen with Selena is…. wow. I met Tracy Morgan once at Juniors in NYC. It was weird, like seeing a teacher outside school when you were a little kid, ” oh man, they ARE real people after all”.


    1. The resemblance is uncanny you mean? I know. I went to see Tracy do standup a few months ago and lemme tell ya, it was NOT for the faint of heart. People were getting up and leaving during the performance it was so blue. I still love him though.


  4. So funny! I think I need to keep my celebrity stalking in check after reading this, I don’t want to end up like Stalker Sarah! I tell myself that I’m not that bad because I see the movies with them but when I’m waiting for them to leave with all the crazy fans I realize I am just as bad. My claim to fame is that I shook Brad Pitt’s hand at a premiere.. haven’t washed it since. Love your blog!:)


  5. That sounds so exciting. It is amusing when you watch people’s reaction when they see a star (deer in the headlights lol). I wonder how I will react when I see a star. I remember meeting Ice T, and Wesley Snipes a long time ago. They were soo cool and down to earth.
    Wonder what will happen if I meet an A celebrity.


  6. Hysterical post — I’m pretty sure you’re totally “Best. Aunt. Ever.” considering you got a candid pic of Selena!

    My friend and I used to play “Celebrity they most resemble” every time we went out — we’d find random people and say, “Totally Morgan Freeman” or “Wow. Looks like Angie Jolie is slumming today,” etc. Until one day, we happened to be on vacation in SoCal, and we were in a mall in Beverly Hills. I said, “Ha! Looks just like Richard Gere.”

    But guess what? It WAS Richard Gere. How very “Pretty Woman,” considering we were in Beverly Hills and whatnot.

    I also once saw Billy Idol. But that probably means nothing to you and your readers — except that I’m WAY OLD. 😉


  7. Living in NY (and growing up in Toronto) has meant a bunch of celebrity sightings.

    But if you really want to see a celeb up close during TIFF, borrow my MO…Go to Holt’s and hang out. I met (shriek!!!) Keira Knightley in the accessories department (the size of some closets) there, with her entourage.

    What in earth does one say to the divine KK? I noticed she had very charming Chanel fisherman sandals. “Cute shoes,” I said. “Thanks,” she said with a smile. So fun!


    1. that is so interesting because I had heard Yorkville was done for celeb sightings, and it was all about King West and the Bell Lightbox. Thanks for letting me in on that little tip 😉


  8. I met the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island when I lived in LA years ago. We walked in to his restaurant and he was standing at the door greeting his customers. When he asked where we were from, I said Canada.

    He smiled and said, “magic”.

    Yeah, that’s right. Magic.

    Great post, and congratulations on your FP!


  9. HA Brilliant! I would do the same if I was in your position. Ever heard of the UK’s soap EastEnders? its being filmed in my town as we speak, NO where near the glitz and glam of TIFF but i’m gunna get my stalkin’ pants on!


  10. This was the most fun I’ve had reading a blog post in weeks! I was smiling throughout due to your humor but was still very interested in your account of the screening. SPRING BREAKERS is a film I’m interested in seeing although I’m not a big fan of the director’s other film, KIDS. I’d still like to see how this new endeavor, with its highly interesting cast selection, turns out.

    Hope you enjoyed the festival and thanks for a great post!


    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed 🙂 I haven’t seen KIDS but people seemed to be really into this guy. There were tons of film school kids fawning after him.. not sure that it’s really my scene though.


      1. Haha, that’s EXACTLY why I’m skeptical of him. Those “film school kids” can get on someone’s nerves very quickly and that director is a HUGE hero for that crowd. KIDS is a movie that kids “on the fringe” praise because few have seen it and it’s kind of gritty. But at heart, it’s not that great of a film.


    1. omg, I would have freaked if I saw Destiny’s child back in 2005! I Would have been an embarassment and started singing their songs to them. Good thing I wasn’t with you 😉


  11. Hilarious post! But I’m sorry, Spring Breakers looks crappy. I guess it was a sign when I saw Vanessa Hudgens was a part of it…

    But the TIFF Festival sounds like fun! I’ve always wanted to go to a movie festival, and Sundance and Cannes were always uber-expensive. But I think 2013 is time 🙂


      1. Have you ever gone to Toronto’s CMJ music and film festival ? I get invited to the New York city one every year and it sounds similar to this. Always fun!


  12. Have you ever made it to Toronto’s CMJ music & film festival? I get invited to New York cities CMJ festival every fall and it sounds very similar to this event. Always fun to schoomz with the beautiful people! ; )


      1. yeah its definitely worth checking out, they also have a lot of panels where people in different industries give tips on how to improve your work. I’ve really come away with a lot of constructive ideas because of these panels


  13. What a fun post. Ironically I wrote about meeting certain celebrities on my own blog a few posts ago. I once mistook a woman for Flo from those Progressive Insurance commercials. HAHA She was a phony Flo…the hair threw me off. Anyhow, I will have to check out this guru of celebrity stalkers. Interesting profession.


  14. I once saw Kaylee from Firefly on the street. I was so shocked and excited and confused that I punched my sister in the arm. Really hard. It’s lucky I live in New Zealand, where there are no celebrities, lest I be arrested for assault.


      1. Exactly what it sounds like… dudes vaguely cowboyish, in space. Worth it for Nathan Fillion’s butt in the pants, for serious.

        And actually, I HAVE seen both Bret and Jemaine on the street! They are so casual and beardy and blase about life though, you don’t even feel like they’re famous.


  15. Great, fun to read post with cool pics. Congrats on being FP!
    A friend and I met Princess Diana once when she was visiting Chicago. I made a failed, nervous attempt to take a photo of my friend’s magic moment saying hello and shaking her hand. The pic is a great shot of a smiling Diana shaking an ‘unidentified’ hand (only my friend’s hand and forearm made it in the shot). I still don’t think he’s forgiven me for this. Anyway, cheers to you, and happy star-gazing.


  16. Gosh, you have great literary style and I kept laughing through the whole post. Great job! Haha. You retold your day perfectly. 🙂 Kind of wish that I was there.

    No, I haven’t met any stars in real life (besides David Choi), but I did get to interview Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Steven Spielberg over a Google+ Hangout. 😀


  17. This is such a funny post! I worked in a touristy restaurant in Hawaii and celebrities would come in all the time. I think my favorite was Enrique Iglesias! ❤ ❤ <3!!!


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