Because I don't follow Michael around the world, due to the fact that I have a life and I consider it creepy to mindlessly stalk a celebrity, I have relied on his being at TIFF to get lucky to see him. Meeting Michael back in 2008 was lucky; in 2011 it was crazy good luck; and in 2013, it was a miracle good luck. In each subsequent meeting at TIFF, Michael's celebrity status doubled, making it more cumbersome trying to meet him on each TIFF visit. As a rising star in 2008, Michael had a few minutes to spare before the screening of Hunger to meet a small group of his fans. Three years later, and at a different venue for Shame, and more star cred, there was no such luxury of having him linger around without security and minders. And just by chance that year, I arrived at the then unknown standing spot behind the Princess of Wales Theatre, the first year that theatre was being used by TIFF, and I saw him come out and start signing autographs to the small crowd of fans gathered there. I think there were about a dozen people. This year, Michael's star status is A-list, there's no denying it and when you consider that he and Brad Pitt are the first to leave the theater with security and managers, with now over 300+ people hanging out back wanting autographs and pictures, this is a sign that Michael is now in a more protected zone from fans when he leaves a premiere at TIFF. As he should because with so many people in the back, all celebrities faced with that kind of crowd need to be careful. I'm quite sure that the Brad Pitt factor was the reason for 60% of the people being back there. In anticipation of writing about this, I took pictures of before and after of the fan barricades behind the Princess of Wales Theatre.
|Behind PWT before TYAS premiere. Empty fan barricades just set up.|
|About six hours later after Brad and Michael quickly left the theater.|
|Hundreds of loud fans and paparazzi. Ninety percent of these people weren't interested in the movie, they just want photos and autographs.|
|Fan barricades directly across the street from exit of PWT.|
Communications with Michael's people were very polite and they were willing to help me get an interview slot if time allowed. They told me that Michael's schedule was extremely hectic and booked back to back, and he was in such great demand that it was unlikely that I would be able to be squeezed in. But they tried, and in the end, it just couldn't happen and I completely understand. What gives me peace of mind is that they took my interview request seriously and tried to hook me up. I am just a fan blogger, and I hate writing "just" because it lessens the purpose and legitimacy of Fassinating Fassbender and my abilities to conduct a great interview. But in the grand scheme of a film festival, and TIFF in particular, accredited mainstream media outlets with seasoned journalists and an audience media reach in the tens of millions, I cannot compete with that, nor should I. An interview at TIFF was impossible for FF, but we will get that interview at a later time when Michael's schedule allows it. It'll happen when it's meant to happen.
So, getting back to the miracle of being able to at least see Michael and give him his t-shirt, I was so relieved because that t-shirt was one of a kind and specially made for Michael by Limelight Impressions and I did not want to bring it back home with me and mail it to London. Being positioned in my seat in the front row, and having Michael be in his position on the stage directly in front of me was miraculous. During the moderated Q&A, paparazzi and fans were lining up to take pictures of the actors on the stage, but the fans were prevented from standing in the orchestra pit to take pictures and therefore, not getting in the way of us in the front row. When it was announced that the Q&A was over, the paparazzi started to ask Michael to pose and such, and that's when I felt it was safe and ok to approach the stage with my camera and the t-shirt. I couldn't continue taking pictures of him with him being literally like 4 feet away, I had to focus on getting his attention to give him the t-shirt. So once he was finished with the paparazzi, I called his name, pointed at my t-shirt so he could see what it said, I smiled and told him my name and the blog, and I said that I have the same t-shirt for him. He smiled, took it, winked, and said thank you. I was like, 'Yes!'. No interview, but just that contact to remind him about Fassinating Fassbender made up for not having an interview. And as you can see from the video, he had it in his hand and was holding on to it. Will we ever see him wear it? Maybe, maybe not. And that's ok, because the point is, he got it along with my message.
Michael Fassbender has come a long way since 2008. As Steve McQueen said in a recent interview, Michael is the actor of his generation, everyone wants to work with him, be with him, and be him. Being a part of a fandom that celebrates who this man is, is rewarding and fun, the good times outweigh the negative attitudes of people who are not fans or a part of the fandom. The next six months are going to be very hectic for Michael with two films coming out, with one positioning itself as the Oscar worthy nomination role. All we can do here at Fassinating Fassbender is stay positive and supportive, and have a lot of fun discussing Michael's career and making him proud that he has our support.