Monday, October 4, 2010

Zach and 'Spider-Man' entertain at TIFF

Besides the movies, another one of the grand things about attending film festivals is the time you get to spend talking to stars away from the rush of Hollywood and, perhaps, even from a few pushy publicists.
During roundtable interviews for "It's Kind of a Funny Story," in fact, at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, a very relaxed Zach Galifianakis took time to say a lot of smart things. One kind of funny tale was about boning up for the film, which opens Friday.
"I went to a couple of mental facilities to do research for this," Galifianakis said. "One of the common things I kept hearing is that the difference between the patients and the people who work there isn’t much, and I found that to be true.
"I went and talked to one (woman) I thought was a patient. I was very convinced. Then she said, 'Come to my office.' I thought she was calling her room the office, but she really tuned out to be a hospital administrator."
(Read more from Zach and co-stars Emma Roberts and Keir Gilchrist right now at Sun News and CriticsChoiceMovies.")
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Also talking freely and very easily at TIFF -- and even munching on a fruit breakfast at the same time -- was Andrew Garfield, currently starring in "The Social Network" and "Never Let Me Go. " Of course, he's also the young Brit recently tapped by Sony Pictures to star as the new "Spider-Man."
"Yeah, how incredible is that?" Garfield said in answering the inevitable question with one of his own. "You know what? I've been very lucky, very lucky and, if I analyze it too much, it freaks me out.
"I'm an actor and I love being an actor and it's very difficult to be a working actor, whether it's work that you're proud of or not. Just to work is difficult because you're constantly at the mercy of other people. Sometimes foolish people."
Garfield said that sometimes he has to pinch himself to believe that directors Mark Romanek ("Never Let Me Go') and David Fincher ("The Social Network") hired him and then he got a potentially iconic and franchise role as a superhero to boot.
"(Producer) Scott Rudin introduced me to David, and I auditioned for him a couple of times," Garfield explained. "Then 'Spider-Man' came about in the same kind of way. I just auditioned. I went through the process and I worked hard and had no hope of it ever occurring.
"It's something that you dream about when you're four years old, and how often does reality match up with a dream? Never."
Well the match was made -- and just as suddenly, apparently, as an appearance by the webbed wonder in Times Square -- Garfield quickly found out about it.
"I was in Cancun for 'Social Network' and after my junket date they called me up to one of the rooms upstairs, saying, 'Follow us. It's good to see you.' Then they sprung the news (about "Spider-Man") on me about a half-hour before announcing it at a press conference.
"Then I couldn't leave the room," Garfield explained, "because no one else knew outside of those walls. So we walked down and told people about it.
"I felt happiness, joy, fun and playing the role of 'Spider-Man' is all that, but I'll approach it in the same way that I approached (playing) Tommy (in "Never Let Me Go" (at left with co-stars Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan).
"I'm just going to serve the story as best I can," the 26-year-old concluded. "An actor isn't an auteur. They're for someone else's words, a human vessel to be used as efficiently and as well and as passionately and as exposingly and as expressly as possible. That's how I see it."

(See my review of "Never Let Me Go" right now at Sun News and CriticsChoiceMovies, as well as a Q&A with Garfield's co-star, Carey Mulligan. By the end of the week, my reviews of "Secretariat," "Buried" and "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop" should be posted, too. )

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