When she isn’t starring on the big screen alongside stars like Julianne Moore, Michael Fassbender and Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon is just as excited to be part of the audience. This month the movie star and Toronto native is thrilled to watch emerging filmmakers in her role as a juror at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (June 11-19).
“I really like to get involved with film festivals,” Sarah tells Hello! Canada. “Of course, TIFF is at the centre of it, but there are so many others happening throughout the year and to call attention to them is important to me.” Looking out for impressive entries in the short film category will give Sarah the chance to “be more objective, use a different set of skills and flex those muscles.”
Besides keeping an eye out for an inspired up-and-comers, the Maps to the Stars actress and face of Giorgio Armani Beauty has plenty on her plate. This summer, she’ll play a young Queen Elizabeth II in A Royal Night Out. Here, we quiz the actress on the movies she grew up watching, was inspired by and will watch over and over again.
The films that have influenced me run the gamut from The Wizard of Oz to The Godfather. My parents showed me both of those movies when I was really young. My parents always loved film. They weren’t in the industry but have a real love and admiration for filmmaking. I also think that because I had an older brother I was exposed to a lot of films that I maybe shouldn’t have seen at the age that I saw them.
My mom has such a great background in film. When I was growing up, she would always tell me I had to watch movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. My Italian grandparents would say I had to watch The Bicycle Thief. The Italian roots in my family are definitely part of the reason why I love Italian film. My British grandparents are film buffs too. They’d say I had to watch Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
In the summer, I always love to watch An American in Paris and American Graffiti over and over. I think both of those represent such interesting points in American filmmaking. As Canadians, by the time we get to summer we’ve come out of this long winter and there’s this real strong sense of nostalgia for summer, which is probably why I watch those two.
FIT FOR A QUEEN
There were a lot of great films that I watched to help me capture the time period in which A Royal Night Out is set. One in particular was A Brief Encounter. We modeled my accent after the speech in that film. I’ve seen Helen Mirren play the Queen and Cate Blanchett play Elizabeth I. Cate Blanchett’s Australian and she was able to portray such a convincing Elizabeth I. So whenever the Brits say, “I can’t believe you’re a Canadian playing a Brit,” I say, “Oh you know, Cate Blanchett did it!”
I love going to the theatre to watch movies. I think that’s one thing that I love so much about Toronto is that we go to film festivals, check out art films and support ones that aren’t necessarily being produced in Hollywood. It’s kind of incredible and unique to this city, that’s why I love it here. I travel a lot and returning home is really important to me. I’m a Charlize Theron fan and [this summer] I’d like to see Mad Max: Fury Road. People have been saying it’s a feminist comic book movie so I’m curious to see it!