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TIFF Day 4: Witherspoon, Bateman & Washington walk red carpet

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 8th, 2014

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More Hollywood stars walked the red carpet for the premieres of their films on Day 4 of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Reese Witherspoon, who has two films at TIFF this year, stars inThe Good Lie directed by Canadian Philippe Falardeau whose 2011 film, Monsieur Lazhar, was nominated for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

In The Good Lie, Witherspoon plays a reluctant employment agency officer tasked with finding work for three Sudanese refugees, part of a group of displaced youths who fled the civil war in their country and later resettled in America and known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.

On playing her character, Witherspoon said, “I feel like it was an opportunity for me to learn about the Lost Boys of Sudan and really learn a perspective about America from outsiders. There’s a lot of things that we take for granted, a lot of freedoms that we have that a lot of people don’t have, and I think it’s a great opportunity also to make a film that you can show your kids.”

Two of the actors, Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal, who themselves are former refugees now living in Toronto and play Lost Boys in the film, said they were excited and thrilled to work with a director who took a chance on them as first-time actors.

Jal, a musician with an album coming out featuring Nellie Furtado, credited Falardeau with giving inexperienced actors an opportunity to act in a Hollywood film. Duany said the night belonged to all of them and that the film was a product of teamwork.

This Is Where I Leave You

Fans also got a glimpse of the cast of This Is Where I leave You who were on the red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall for the world premiere of their film.

Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda star in the comedy about a patriarch who dies and his four adult children must live under the same roof for a week during Shiva.

In the film Fey throws a mean punch and when asked on the red carpet if she could take Bateman, she joked, “I could beat him up ‘cause he only has actor strength. They’re very weak.”

Bateman went along.

“I bet she could as long as she wears the ring that she wore in this movie. It’ll leave a groove in you.”

The Equalizer

Actor Denzel Washington stars in The Equalizer, an action thriller about an ex-black ops commando who fakes his death to lead a normal life in Boston only to go back to what he knows to rescue a girl.

It wasn’t the first time in Toronto for the Oscar winner who made two films here: John Q andThe Hurricane.

“I first came to Toronto years ago to see my wife sing in a show called All Night Strut,” he told CityNews. “It ran for about a year.”

He said to his wife Pauletta who was on the red carpet with him at Roy Thomson Hall that he was really here again for her because she was singing this Friday at the Church of the Holy Trinity.

“So that’s why I’m here,” he joked. “It just happens that there’s a film festival going on.”

His Equalizer co-star Marton Csokas said it was a “great pleasure” to work with Washington and the film’s director, Antoine Fuqua.

“Denzel is methodical and very intense and studious,” he said. “And Antoine is the same although his role is different as the director but we all got on very well.”

The 11-day TIFF festival runs until Sept. 14.

Click here for full coverage of TIFF 2014.

Click here for a list of the gala presentations.

Click here for a schedule of the film screenings.

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