If you’re a celeb junkie and you like your tea served hot, you’re going want to get your teacup ready, because I’m about to whet your palate with a plethora of party-going celeb sightings from behind the velvet rope, if you will. The star power of it all will no doubt make your cup run over. Thirsty?
I can’t go any further without acknowledging the power house that is Jennifer Lopez. Jenny from the block, as we allknow, is in Toronto and came into the city in a full force on Sept. 7 for the premiere of her highly anticipated film Hustlers, with the festival’s biggest cast of notable names.
She came. She saw. She got around. When we talk of star power, I can say without a doubt she had the most in the room last night at the annual Hollywood Foreign Press Association party. That’s saying quite a lot because anyone who was anyone was in the ballroom at Four Seasons Hotel.
Nicole Kidman was one of the first to arrive and Jamie Foxx was one of the first to leave. Lili Reinhart, Toni Collette, Adam Driver, Chris Evans, Constance Wu, Michael B. Jordan, Eddie Redmayne, Willem Dafoe, Eddie Murphy, Craig Robinson, Wesley Snipes, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer and Imogen Poots also made appearances, as did Adam Sandler, Jonah Hill, Sarah Gadon, Don Johnson and more more more.
Sarah Gadon told me she's back home to promote American Woman, directed by Semi Chellas, who has her gala this Thursday at Roy Thomson Hall. While we were chatting, Dan Levy came over to greet us (fun fact: My TV debut was with him on MTV's The Hills After Show.)
(Editor's note: Earlier in the day, Jamie told reporters he and Dakota had met up at TIFF.)
I did, however, find - much to my amusement - Jamie looking into my abandoned clutch on the bar. When I went to fetch it, I caught him and his friend musing over the fact that someone left it there, so I swooped in to tell them I was the culprit and we shared a laugh.
The party started to empty out, and those invited to yet another hot-ticket-in-town headed down the street to my favourite restaurant in Toronto, INK Entertainment’s Sofia , for a celebration of the world premiere of Hustlers. Diageo World Class hosted the bash and the cast came out in full force.
Lili showed – with no Cole Sprouse in sight, much to my disappointment. I thought if there was ever a moment to get confirmation about an are-they/aren’t-they, it would have been this. I mean, it’s obvious this is one of the hottest parties during TIFF…
That brings me back to the queen of big deals, J.Lo. She reportedly wasn’t going to attend because the locale of the party was leaked. She not only showed up, but I caught her snacking on some late-night pizza, of all things. In a respectable power move, when she slipped out the back door at the end of the eve, she made sure thank all of the kitchen staff and marvelled about the bites. If you’re reading this girl, I’m down for some ‘za tonight. Call me?
Cast members, who were all given their own reserved tables, toasted the premiere with specialty cocktails featuring Don Julio Blanco tequila and Bulleit Bourbon themed especially for the film and were aptly named The Hustle and The Score. Bottoms up!
Before all that went down up in Bloor-Yorkville, the Entertainment District was abuzz with events aplenty. Marriott Bonvay hosted me at the Nordstrom Supper Suite at MARBL Restaurant for the Creative Coalition’s Spotlight Initiative Gala Awards Dinner honouring Nicolas Cage.
Nic was decked out in a whole new look and I was eating up what he was serving: His full (yet manicured) beard, his long (yet tied back in a bun) hair, his cowboy hat, his confidence… Check please! The legend accepted his award and gave a speech about the importance of the arts. He said it has saved him time and time again, and asked attendees to donate to the Creative Coalition (something you can do online right now.)
Other attendees of note were Keke (Hustlers), Imogen and Alex Wolff (Castle in the Ground), and Chloe Bennet (Abominable). My biggest takeaway is the importance of the Castle in the Ground , which sheds light on opioid addiction. I got caught up in convo with Imogen and the films writer/director Joey Klein later in the evening at the HFPA party about why awareness about the opioids crisis is so important right now in Ontario.
Meanwhile, the Avion Lounge at RBC House was completely packed as Arkells hit the stage for an amazing Motown inspired set. Frontman Max Kerman paraded through the crowd, creating intimate moments with the guests. The second the band walked into the room, the spot turned into a full-fledged dance party.
I’ll be putting on my dancing shoes once again tonight and bringing you into a slew of private parties. On tap? The premier party for Nicole’s Goldfinch, along with HUGO BOSS’s annual bash, which celebrates Jamie, Shailene Woodley and Sebastian Stan’s film Endings, Beginnings this year. Mongrel Media is also having its 25th anniversary party over at Mongrel House (put this on your radar because the starlets will be there for the silver anniversary!). There will also be a few other cast parties.
Be sure to follow along @HelloCanada on Twitter for up-to-the-minute tidbits on all party happenings, as well as the hashtag #jensTIFFbits. Also, send tips to me directly @jen_kirsch as my DM’s are open. Happy Sunday!