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If you’re looking for stars on the opening night of the Toronto Film Festival at a time when there aren’t many stars, they were at the world premiere of the film gonzo girl, With four-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe and superstar director Patricia Arquette, who received a standing ovation Thursday at the Alexandria Royal Theater.
Arquette was drawn to Cheryl Della Pietra’s novel about the author’s torturous and creative time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant because she was a huge fan of the gonzo journalist. But it was more than that.
Arquette was also fascinated by her ’90s background and the idea of getting lost among celebrities. And also topics “What is the commodity of beauty? “It was a look at the mysterious nature of addiction and dependence and how you move across your boundaries,” she said in introducing the film.
“This is the theme of my life. Tada!” Arquette exclaimed.
“I thought it was interesting to be an artist and be confined to your own fame,” Arquette said. “The world wants to keep you in this box and doesn’t want you out of it.”
“When does codependency reach its limit?…When have you had all these years of self-abandonment? I think it’s interesting to see that maneuver,” she said.
The picture marks Arquette’s directorial debut. Originally, she was asked to play Claudia when it was under a different director. I succeeded at first, as this did not seem the right time to play this role. Then her agent told producers Tom Heller and Frank Green that Arquette wanted to direct. When the pic’s original director fell through, Arquette stepped in. New face Camila Morrone is set to play the lead role of Alley Russo, also known as Pietra’s doppelganger.
Morrone auditioned via tape and didn’t hear back for two months, thinking she was done with the role – until she was offered the part on her birthday. Meanwhile, Arquette shot the film in 21 days.
Gonzo girl It’s one of several headliners here at TIFF to secure a temporary SAG-AFTRA agreement, hence the presence of Arquette and the cast tonight.
It’s interesting to note: At the beginning of tonight’s Q&A, the moderator offered a specific question to audience members asking questions of the staff: Please refrain from mentioning disrupted work or companies on strike.
Sales agents on Gonzo girl They are WME and Gersh.
“Travel junkie. Coffee lover. Incurable social media evangelist. Zombie maven.”