Close-Up shot of Hugh Jackman at the Scotiabank Red Carpet Premier of "Real Steel" - Photo Credits: Arthur Mola |

Hugh Jackman: The Australian’s Back In Town!

I was going to make a post on the reflections of IIFA 2011. I will maybe in due course but another interesting thing came that I felt was a bit of a priority. Well, when I say interesting I mean uber crazy! Toronto welcomed the Canadian premier of Shawn Levy’s new movie, Real Steel. and in attendance were Shawn Levy himself, Dakota Goyo, Kevin Durand & *drum roll please*, the man himself: HUGH JACKMAN (*visualizes women screaming*). It was not a long time ago that the Australian was in Toronto. He was here for his one-man show at the grand Princess of Wales Theatre that ended on July 17th 2011. He amazed the city then and he did it again this past Tuesday, September 20th, when he brought himself and some of the cast to the Canadian premier of Real Steel at the Scotiabank Theatre on John & Richmond.

Usually these are the kind of events you attend to just be a part of the fun. I did have a long day at work and meeting up with the many photographers and PR individuals from TIFF would have been a fantastic conclusion to the day, not to mention the chance to see Hugh again! The event was like every red carpet. There was…well…a red carpet! However, it wasn’t where I was expecting it to be! It was inside the Theatre and I was just curious on how it was all going to work. There were hundreds of fans in the city who would love to see Hugh and I didn’t quite understand how they planned this. Either way, I was glad to meet an old high-school buddy Arthur, who’s now a full out pro photographer. Even he looked confused on the layout. Either way, I thought Id might as well stick around, catch up on emails and see whats what. I was only there for a good 1 1/2 hours, considering I spent 2 hours before going through new possible reads at Chapters (its amazing what books you can find when you don’t have a plan!). After a short bit, I noticed media started coming in and that was the cue to look around and see whats what. Funny enough, when I say “see whats what”, I honestly couldn’t see anything at all! For a space that was about 15 people across, i couldn’t see down the hallway! I knew this was going to be a mess. It was a red carpet against a wall with posters of the movie, followed by a line of media personnel and then a few lines of fans behind the media personnel and in between all that was a couple of security personnel. I sincerely didn’t want to get hurt for no reason. So I left the scene and joined my friend at the ground level entrance where I just waited to see what was going to happen.

In moments, you could see people rush up the elevator; fans and even the autograph hounds. I didn’t want any part of the commotion so I stood still in the lower level lobby. I wanted a story to put on my blog, not have like an arm dislocated in the commotion! Right then; surprise, surprise! Right outside the theatre stopped the very familiar sight: A black Cadillac SUV. When you have been in the arts scene long enough, you understand how it all works, on the surface anyways. In fact, what was funny was the man who got out. I immediately recognized him as the one and only, Kevin Durand. Some of you may know him as Little John in Robin Hood playing aside Russell Crowe, or as Fred Dukes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Either way, I recognized him immediately as I am a big comic book fan and he was pretty amazing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What I found funny was that no-body around really knew who the heck he was. I was just like, “people…Kevin…Durand…IS HERE?!?” – I was just amazed about the lack of attention. I very politely approached him as he entered the Theatre and he looked super enthusiastic, waited for a few moments and chatted before excusing himself to go do some press work up-stairs. My friends who had joined me were pretty amazed for the fact I recognized him. Thats the point when your into films & the arts. A short-while after, Dakota Goyo entered in the same way. He played the Young Thor in the movie Thor. Walked in with an amazing grey jacket and I got a chance to meet him and his PR agent as well.

The interesting meet was the third and when I say interesting, I really do mean it. With genuine class arrived Director Shawn Levy. Now, Shawn is not exactly some new boy on the block. He has directed movies such as the Date Night & the two Night at the Museum`s. What was interesting was that when he arrived, he blended in with all the guests and all the PR crew. Not flashy, not over confident, even held the door open for guests and the general public to enter! When he walked in, I called out to him and he looked up, a bit surprised and came right over. He was a bit late so the little chat we did have was awesome. Sadly didn`t have a working camera to get a picture with him but with the time limit we had, it was all good. Meeting the man was good enough. Humble, calm and genuinely interested in seeing his movie succeed. He was just in Europe a few days ago. The jet lag must be awful!

I was here just for half an hour. Chatting with my friends, dressed up in formal clothing after coming from work. Toronto provides such an amazing opportunity to truly engage with the arts and thats what I love about this city. Well enough of me because a very short moment after Shawn went in, I could hear a couple of screams. Thats more like it! The man of the hour was here: THE AUSTRALIAN HAS ENTERED THE BUILDING! In came Hugh Jackman in his well cut suit and brilliant smile. He’s just awesome and you could tell when he went out to meet the rush line of individuals waiting to see the movie! Considering he had 20 minutes to do PR, he seriously knows why devoting time to the fans is important. I have had a chance to meet him before so just to make eye contact, share a laugh was awesome. I got an autograph in my book, one for my friend as well and a picture with her and Hugh and he then politely went up-stairs for his PR work. All you have to do is sit on one spot and just observe the room. The way the atmosphere changes. People are surprised and excited, the bright flashes of many Camera`s, the running about of security and PR. The excitement is why I go to these events because it truly is a completely different experience!

Real Steel is out 7th October 2011 in Canada at various theatres across the city. Check out the trailer below. It is definitely a staple watch for this fall!