TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, DAY SIX
Julianne Moore was wearing the color of the red carpet – orange – at a press conference this morning for “Maps to the Stars” where most of the questions were asked of her and director David Cronenberg while Robert Pattinson was able to blend into the table of 10 and stay quiet for most of the session. Fans were waiting outside, though, smart phones and cameras in hand and he smiled more than this photo might indicate.
Novelist Bruce Wagner, a onetime limo driver in LA, wrote the satirical story which features the “Twilight” heartthrob as a driver, struggling actor and aspiring screenwriter. Moore plays Havana Segrand, a desperate and insecure actress scheming to land the lead in a remake of a film once featuring her mother.
“In terms of driving a limousine, I’ve said that I drove an ambulance as well when I was younger and there was something quite similar between driving an ambulance with people in the car that were either dying or thought they were and with driving those who were either famous or thought they were,” Wagner said.
As for how true “Maps” is, “there’s a tremendous amount of truth and yet there’s no truth at all about it.”
Cronenberg, for his part, said the movie isn’t just about celebrity.
“There are no scenes of paparazzi, there are no red carpet scenes. A lot of it is family drama and although it’s set in Hollywood, yes, and, yes, the desperation for identity and recognition is there and it’s highlighted because it’s moviemaking and so on, it could have been a story about Silicon Valley or Wall Street or any other really intense business that encourages desperation and ambition and fantasy and deception and all of that stuff.
Moore also called the family dynamics the core of the film.
“There are all these people who are desperately seeking some kind of validation in an external way. They’re looking to the world at large to validate who they are as human beings and they don’t have any intimate relationships with others. The saddest thing to me about Havana Segrand is that she doesn’t have any friends. She doesn’t have a partner. There’s no one in her life she doesn’t pay.”
The real validation she wants is from her mother and she doesn’t have that.
Illinois native John Cusack, a self-help guru in the movie, recalled his first trip to LA for looping or redoing dialogue. He was a teenager in a Who T-shirt staying at the Chateau Marmont not long after John Belushi died.
“I walked into the Chateau Marmont and Belushi had just died there some weeks ago and there was Andre the Giant in a satin jacket with the word ‘Hell’ written on the back. I sort of thought, all right, this is what this is going to be. You have no [expletive] idea what you’re getting into when you get into this thing.”
Hollywood might be like Silicon Valley or Washington, D.C., or any power center, Cusack added, “but it can be a really kind of toxic place where people lie and it’s so predatory and people are so afraid, it can be comical but it can be quite vicious.”
Moore, a four-time Oscar nominee won the best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for “Maps” was asked what it might mean to win the Academy Award. “I don’t think I have an answer for that.”
Top photo: Director David Cronenberg and Julianne Moore, cast of "Maps to the Stars" and, immediately above, Olivia Wilde, Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson. WireImage/Getty for TIFF photos.