Every TIFF I develop an actress crush. In 2007, it was LeeLee Sobieski who knew the way to my heart was constantly complimenting my wardrobe. Last year, it was Sophia Bush because she was so darned excited to be at every party we met her at (and we met her at a lot).
This year, while the other boy reporters have drooled over Megan Fox, the girls have gone gaga for Drew Barrymore and everyone else, judging by Sunday's Precious press conference, has been hot for Oprah, I've been spending as much time as possible with The Trotsky star Emily Hampshire.
I wanted her insider's take on the TIFF party circuit but I also wanted to gush about how much I liked Jacob Tierney's film which stars Jay Baruchel as a Montreal teen who believes he's the reincarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and Hampshire as his love interest-slash-lawyer Alexandra. And I'm not the only one whose been pouring on the praise.
Hampshire reported that the cast received a five minute standing ovation after their Friday night premiere.
"I've never seen a reaction like that," says Hampshire sitting yesterday on the Proof patio at the Intercontinental Hotel. "Ben Mulrooney was behind me cry-laughing, staining his shirt with tears."
The Trotsky was also the only Canadian film on the Hollywood Reporter's TIFF top ten.
It's opening bash at Pravda on Friday night was the beginning of Hampshire's whirlwind TIFF weekend though she's first to admit that she's no bar hopping, table dancing, missing-her-call-time-in-the-morning actress.
"I never leave the house," she say. "I mean, I live in L.A. and look at how pale I am!
"Every party I do go to, all I'm thinking about is ways to improve it," she says naming off the bashes she's already attended this festival for Hello!, Holts and the Canadian Film Centre.
At the Pravda party, she would have turned down the music.
"But it was catered by Schwartz's and there was a Create A Commie etch a sketch in the swag bag," she says suggesting she'll let the noise level slide.
Hitting the red carpet has its privileges like the Comrags dress she wore to the Trotsky premiere and the Pink Tartan garment bag she unzips in the hotel courtyard. Inside is a camisole with a bead encrusted neckline and a slinky blue dress. She'll choose between the two for tonight's Shinan Govani book launch and the InStyle party at the Windsor Arms.
"Jacob was saying how Jay hasn't gone out at all during the festival," she says mentioning that Baruchel, Tierny and she had skipped Sunday night's parties to bond in his hotel room. "I hope I can do that one day but until I get to the point in my career where I can choose my roles, I have to get out there."[rssbreak]