Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Meeting Michael at 'Hunger' TIFF Screening

Michael's toothy grin is contagious! He was so thrilled to meet this motley crew of MFO fan girls that he could not contain his glee. It was so comfortable being with him at that moment because HE felt comfortable being with us. :D

I know I need not say this, but Michael is ridiculously handsome in real life, just as he depicts in his sexy characters like Stelios, Azazel, etc. He was very slim and standing at an impressive solid 6 feet. Just P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Ok?

He took a few moments to sign what everyone asked him to sign. He signed my photo of him and when he went on to sign Tina's massive rare foreign purchased Stelio's '300' poster, she did not have a sharpie pen. So I said to him, 'You can use mine again'. And he took it, signed hers, gave mine back to me, and as I type this, the sharpie used by Michael is being dipped in gold for posterity. :p

The director of 'Hunger', Steve McQueen went up on stage before the start of the viewing, and moments later, Michael joined him onstage to thank everyone for coming. They revealed a camaraderie of friendship and mutual respect. I hope they work together again one day. I'm very proud of Steve for what he did with 'Hunger', and he's reaping the awards for it too!

And after the screening, Steve and Michael went back upstage to answer about a dozen questions. All the questions were very good. One lady asked Michael how he prepared for the weight loss of upwards of 40lbs. Now mind, Michael is naturally a very lean dude, so for him to lose that much weight if not more, it was clear on screen that he was deathly thin. There were moments when I literally gasped out loud due to how emaciated Michael/Bobby looked, and it was REAL. Talk about method acting! But anyway, Michael being Michael, joked to her and said, 'So you want tips?' LOL! He then went on to say that he just ate berries, and nuts, and something else very minuscule. Talk about discipline. When I listen to my Nine Inch Nails 'The Slip' CD, there is a song titled 'Discipline', and lately, I have thought about Michael as he prepared for this role and the discipline necessary for this realism. He has totally earned my respect for taking on this challenging role.

These are just a few pictures, I'll post some more later. But I want to write a bit more about the actual experience of getting there that fantastic Saturday evening. I have been attending the Toronto International Film Festival for five years in a row, and this year was very important for me. I lost my sister Suzy in July to breast cancer and the months leading up to her passing and the weeks afterwards have been just absolutely terrible. I've been depressed and feeling absolutely hopeless and worthless... and very fucking angry, VERY angry. As they say, time heals and I know she's at peace and will always be with me, but for the most part, I'm still alive and I have to make the most of this life I have. One of the joys I have is watching films, and a by-product of that is enjoying and following the work of select actors; and a by-by-product of that is to blog about my film watching hobby.

I not only put so much financial investment in to being able to afford to attend this year's TIFF, but on top of that, when I learned in the middle of August that 'Hunger' was going to be screened at TIFF, AND that Michael Fassbender was going to be at the screening, the emotional investment entered the game and I knew I had to go there. And I knew that some cool ladies from MFO were going to go too, so it was going to be doubly brilliant to possibly meet Michael, and meet some friends from MFO. The process of buying tickets to the premiere was a complete nightmare! I totally failed at buying tickets to the screening when they went on sale, but thankfully my butt was covered by Christine (cyau723) when she was able to miraculously buy two tickets. I previously was able to get tickets to Appaloosa and Burn After Reading when those went on sale a week prior, but the Sept. 3rd ticket buying fiasco was a damn mess. But alas, I now had tickets and off to Toronto I was.

As the time approached to meet up with the girls, I was feeling anxious and wondering just how in the hell would we manage to be able to see Michael, let alone say Hi, shake his hand, get his autograph, AND pictures. But my hat goes off to Kathy for doing whatever the hell she did to impress the right people in a respectable manner that ensured them that she and her friends were nice and sane fan girls and that it would be perfectly ok to allow Michael to spend a few moments with us. Thank you Kathy .

Once we lined up we were first in line and started to strategize where to sit in the theater for access to Michael if indeed we could access him. When the time came, we went into the theater and we immediately settled to sit in the first three rows. We decided to do this as it would be more ideal to be close to the stage when the Q&A occurred, and thereby providing better photo opportunities. So we sat down and then seconds later, one of the girls let out a loud orgasm gasp and I turn and there HE was. Holy Shit! It's MICHAEL FASSBENDER!! I'm so proud of how we all maintained our sanity and didn't trip out or go into mental backstabbing ghetto fangurl mode, that would have been so uncomfortable and embarrassing! Kathy and Tina and Alice took a few moments to talk to him about the process of establishing communications with key people close to Michael and talking about MFO and how things came to what they are at that very moment then. They presented him with a lighter to his excitement. And then that's when all the rest of us proceeded to talk to him and take pictures and get his autograph.

Again, I cannot stress just how pleased I was with how kind and generous Michael was with his hectic schedule to meet with us and demonstrate just how excited he was to meet us too. Look, we all have egos, you're not human if you don't. So I know he felt good in knowing that a small army of his fans came in full throttle support for him in his North American premiere of 'Hunger'. We gave him a rousing applause and hoots and hollers which made him reveal his patented mega-watt toothy smile and caused him to 'wink' to us in the audience.

After the screening, and the Q&A, he came to our group again to say thanks and good-bye. I am confident that Michael's career is only going upwards from this point on, and I'm so glad that I got to meet him at the cusp of becoming a huge star because I and the other ladies will treasure how nice he was to us and again, appreciative of our support.

Thank you Michael, and best wishes to you always! xoxo



Simone said...

Dang, what started off as a most excellent review of 'Hunger' turned into a bitter and ignorant attack against the MFO ladies at the end of this blogger's review.


Toronto Screen Shots: Hunger Review

James McNally said...

Mea culpa, Simone. I meant no personal harm and am glad that I was able to find your forum and your discussion of my review. From my perspective, though, I thought I was seeing a film with an unknown actor (he was unknown to me, anyway) and had no idea that he had such a devoted group of fans.

I'm glad you enjoyed the film as well as the experience of meeting Michael, and I was pleased that your group seemed to like my review of the film. I was actually hesitant to add the P.S. anyway since I don't usually like to focus on anything but the film itself.

I did leave out another story in which a woman two seats over from me began eating a HUGE burrito just before the film started. So for me the atmosphere was pretty ironic.

I may also have been a bit cranky because we had been kept standing in line for so long in such a confined and loud space. So I do apologize if I somehow offended you or other members of your group or lessened your enjoyment in any way.

I think we can all agree, though, that Hunger is a major film and that Michael's work in it is superb.

Best wishes,
James McNally
Toronto Screen Shots

Simone said...

I accept your mea culpa James and I appreciate you finding your way back to this blog to clarify your thoughts.

I still stand by my words that your review of Hunger was outstanding as you eloquently shared your feelings about the film and translated clearly what occured in the film. As a proud Michael fan, it pleases me that his extremely hard work on this fine film is being appreciated by film lovers like you.

Thanks James, I'm relieved that you have a better understanding of what happened between Michael and his awesome fans just prior to the screening. :)

greyeyegoddess said...

Love your pictures!


Simone said...

I can't wait to see your pictures woman. I'm sure they are better than mine.

R-J said...

Simone, that was an amazing wrap up to an equally amazing night. I so wish I could have been there.

I was wondering what that little silver box was! So it was a lighter, lol! That's very nice of the girls :)

Your pictures are lovely as well and I can't wait to see the rest of them :) Is it possible for me to post them on MFO fan encounters with Alice's?

Thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

Simone said...

Hello RJ, I'm so glad that you enjoyed my wrap up. It was such a wonderful scene, I wish you and many other MFO fans were there too, but I reckon you will get your chance one day.

You have my permission to use my photos at MFO fan encounters, I'm sure it will be viewed by more people there than here. xoxo

Katie said...

Beautiful read! ;D Oh my gosh. I can't wait to describe my first meeting with Fassy in full detail in my diary. :D *please let that day be soon*

Loved the pictures as well. He is so photogenic.