Lain's Log

Haunting hallucinations!

September 21/12.

Hallucinations have rarely happened to me. Twice I think. Decades ago, while trying to sleep, I hallucinated I was hovering above the gorgeous rooms of my grandparents' antique shop, Century House - my favourite place in the world. (it has long since burned down). In this dream, (or whatever it was), I was completely convinced I was inside the place, floating on the ceiling, peering down upon the famous glass room, brass room, goblet room, workshop and on and on. All so incredibly real. When I opened my eyes, I was crying and absolutely revved by having seen all these familiar rooms up close again, but severely disappointed it was all just in my mind. To this day, I remember this wild dream and wish I could experience it again. Strange what the brain can do.

Century House in its heyday.

Since I sleep so little, I rarely dream. Haven't for years. But this week, I woke up and realized I must have REALLY slept since I had a dream - or some kind of hallucination - about actress Dee Wallace!

I was first captivated by her in the Dudley Moore movie, 10 - (1979). She played a lovely young woman he meets at a bar in Mexico. They attempted to have an affair, but it was a disaster, due to her insecurities and his drinking. It was a perfect performance. So sweet.

A few years later, EVERYONE knew Dee Wallace Stone for her work as "Mary", the mother in Spielberg's E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), here with Drew Barrymore, who played her daughter, "Gertie").

I'd been thinking about Dee Wallace (who dropped Stone from her surname long after her husband, actor Christopher Stone died of a heart attack at the age of 53 in 1995). They made such a beautiful couple. I once interviewed Dee and told her I had discovered her husband, Chris, in an episode of my fave TV show as a teen - Here Come the Brides. She told me it was his very first on screen role, as a lumberjack opposite my teen idol, Bobby Sherman!

About a week or so ago, I saw Dee in a TIFF screening as "Sonny" in the new Rob Zombie horror flick The Lords of Salem in which she plays a kind of self-help guru. The part was written specifically for her by Zombie. She's just as pretty as ever and I loved seeing her in the movie.

(along with other older film stars including the stunning Judy Geeson (seen here as "Pamela Dare" - To Sir With Love, 1967). - Judy is now 64),

and Meg Foster - (The Scarlet Letter TV mini-series), whom I also first saw in the TV show Here Come the Brides as "Callie" back in 1970. She is 64 now too and still has the gorgeous icy pale blue eyes.

At any rate, I had a wild dream about Dee Wallace in which she accused me of doing something I didn't (hmmmmmmmm, or maybe DID), do. I woke up thinking, wow. I'd like to interview her again sometime after seeing her incredible performance in Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem.

(if you know me at all, you know I have a thing for zombies - always have, always will - including Rob)!

So, enough about me and my hallucinations. I was surprised when my daughter, Kate, told me today, SHE had a hallucination (a first I think). She got up from sleeping on the den couch, went to get something, came back to the couch and was being careful not to disturb our cat, Tru, (whom she was convinced was sleeping on the couch with her), but she wasn't there! Kate found the cat sleeping soundly in her bed in the kitchen! What a week for hallucinations.

Tru in her bed.

Turning to realism now, spent part of my exciting week shopping at No Frills. What else is new? (Can never seem to stock up on enough groceries around here).

And then, another afternoon visiting my hair master extraordinaire, Paul Taylor, at I 'N I salon on Bloor Street West. He took one look at my mop and was ai carumba time again. He wasn't feeling very well and I don't think my challenging mess of hair was helping him much! But he's always ready to spring into action.

Once he gets those foils and lowlights in, (gak), I look like something

right outta Star Wars!

But once the goop and colour is washed out,

Paul goes to town, pulls it together, makes it happen and everybody's happy.

Mostly me! Thanks again Paul! Next appointment? - On my birthday - October 17th.

Now I think I want to go to sleep and have hallucinations about the men I TRULY love. Why sointenly! You got it! The Stooges! May Larry, Moe and Curly haunt my dreams forever. Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Oh...and just one more thing about zombies, while I'm on the subject in this entry. Will never forget the night we encountered Zombie raccoons on the back deck! Scary!

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Just breathe

September 16/12.

The chill of fall is in the air.

While out walking along the Danforth, saw this shirt and couldn't resist buying it! Came from a cute little shop called Jexy & Jax - Fashion in Motion. Still trying to wind down from TIFF. Can't seem to get enough sleep. After many days of three or four hours rest per night, suddenly it's crash 'n burn time.

Also stopped at a neighbourhood restaurant to catch up on some Toronto Star sections and articles I'd missed by Peter Howell, Tony Wong and Bill Brioux.

Felt good just to sit and read without having to take any notes!

Check out some of my TIFF interviews. I don't appear on camera (drag!) but it's me asking the questions.

Here's all 4 minutes with Jake Gyllenhaal from his new movie End of Watch.

If you're a fan of The Shining, check this interview with Rodney Ascher and Tim Kirk!

I had 3 and a half minutes to speak with Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener. At the end of the interview, I asked Catherine about her latest movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. She said she didn't DO one with him. But after tape stopped rolling, she said, "Oh! Yes! I DID do a movie with Jake, but I didn't think it was coming out! Can we roll tape again?" (But sadly, we couldn't.)

Alexander Siddig insists he is NOT a leading man type. I disagree. He's fantastic in Inescapable.

Our Vancouver-born Joshua Jackson has a fabulous role in Inescapable. He is a charming young man. (And can't quite escape his fame for playing Pacey in Dawson's Creek!)

Dennis Quaid is wonderful in his upcoming film At Any Price. He also spoke to me about his new TV series Vegas, which debuts on September 25th.

British supermodel Agyness Deyn makes her big-screen debut in Pusher. She spoke with me about her astounding career, which includes fashion design.

Tomorrow is Rosh Hashana. Happy new year to my family and friends.

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Festival fever!

September 14/12.

I spent the past four and a half weeks covering the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for Tribute Entertainment.

The job involved attending screenings, taking notes, reading press kits, writing questions and interviewing actors, actresses, screenwriters and directors - and getting very little sleep. It's the first time I've covered the fest in a decade (although I did it for 18 years at Global TV).

My old friend, Bonnie Laufer Krebs (former producer at Global TV) is now producer of Star Interviews at and was convinced I could do the job and be part of the Tribute team

at the InterContinental Hotel (TIFF headquarters for media) on Front Street West. Thanks for the chance and the vote of confidence Bon!

In prep for the gig, I drove around the Yorkville area, scouting out Green P parking lots so I'd know where to leave the car during Manulife Bay/Bloor screenings,

visited the InterContinental to get my bearings,

and talked to the poor doorman who tried his best to explain to me how to get into the non-valet underground hotel lot, as I am directionally-challenged.

Also trekked to the Hyatt Regency to pick up my media pass and an official TIFF bag which contained packets of info, a bottle of Coca Cola, a bag of microwave popcorn and a couple of condoms. (guess ya just never know when you might need those necessities in a screening room).

By the time all the scouting was done, it was time for Max's first day of grade 12 and off he went. I didn't even have time to make his lunch!

(Meanwhile, Kate started her first day in Journalism at Ryerson, but I couldn't get a pic of her).

While they were at school, I was trying to get stuff done before the start of the Festival - a bit of last minute grocery shopping,

checking in with The Biebs again while stocking up at Shoppers Drug Mart - (where he still likes to hang out),

and working at the kitchen table,

which quickly became my makeshift TIFF desk! Press notes covered practically every OTHER table top and floor in the house as well. What a mess.

I spent hours in the dark at the Varsity Theatre, (never DID make use of the Coke, popcorn or condoms),

noticed a lot of film displays at the hotel,

found the ET Canada floor just off the main lobby - (the public washroom just behind the big black camera board had the most space and best lighting for makeup),

visited with camera folks and journalists looking for celebrity action out front,

and studied my notes behind closed doors at the Tribute suite, where there was a steady stream of interview guests in and out all day, every day (thanks to Bonnie's expert booking skills).

My personal fave guests were the directors of the animated flick A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman. Left to right, they are: Bill Jones (son of Monty Python star Terry Jones), Jeff Simpson, and Ben Timlett. They all brought pipes in tribute to the late Graham Chapman who was well known for his pipe smoking. I'm holding their Sigmund Freud doll. Freud plays a role in the film. And best of all, the movie is narrated by the late Graham Chapman himself from audio recorded back in 1986, three years before his death.

I also got the chance to interview Terry Jones who provides a particularly funny voice in the film...(NOT Freud!)

Also got the chance to talk with Dennis Quaid, who has a very challenging role in the upcoming theatrical drama At Any Price. Zac Efron plays his son, Dean. Quaid spoke to me about his role in the new TV western drama Vegas. He portrays badass Sheriff Ralph Lamb opposite Michael Chiklis as Chicago mob boss Vincent Savino. The show is set in the 1960s. Quaid says he hasn't appeared in a television series since my old fave crime drama Baretta with Robert Blake back in 1977. Vegas debuts September 25th on CBS/Global at 10 p.m.

Another of my interviews included horror filmmaker Rob Zombie, director of The Lords of Salem, which stars his beautiful wife, Sheri Moon Zombie. They were great together, and as a lifelong horror fanatic, it was wild to meet them!

It was fun to chat with CCH Pounder "Carolyn Maddox" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Tatyana Ali ("Tyana Jones": Love That Girl! and "Ashley Banks": The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). They both star in the new Sudz Sutherland drama Home Again.

In between screenings, interviews and prep work, I was caught up in the midst of Toronto cinema mania. Everywhere I went, crowds of people

clicking away, tweeting,
 and star seeking.

I couldn't hang around looking for celebs though. I was too busy waiting in Press & Industry screening lineups at the Scotiabank Theatre,

and trying to keep my eyes closed during that long, scary, dizzying escalator ride down to the ground floor!

The best times for me? - Reuniting and working again with my old Global team - Bonnie and Ola Sturik (who filled in for me years ago at Global during my maternity leaves!) Nicer women you could never meet! Watching them do their stuff was eye-opening. Our cameraman, Colin Grant, told me, "Bonnie's my girl!" He travels the world shooting everything you can imagine, but says he CAN'T miss TIFF because he HAS to work with Bonnie every year! I practically begged him to appear in a photo, but he's shy and said no, however, in the end, at the last second, he reluctantly agreed to pose with the Tribute team, as you'll see below.

Tribute TIFF team in our camera studio suite.
Back row (left to right): Aaron Marcovitch (editor), Colin Grant (shy cameraman extraordinaire), Devin Garabedian, Ola Sturik.
Front row (left to right): Riya Bawa, me, Sheena Kamal.
Sadly missing in action in this shot are Bonnie Laufer Krebs, Shelby Bronstine, Ali Malik, Morgan Bates, Alexandra Heilbron, Marni Standen and photog Joanne Chu-Fook who snapped this pic!) Thanks everybody!

Tribute team photos by Joanne Chu-Fook of JCF Photography.

When all my interviews were finally over, I headed for my favourite Danforth restaurant, The Friendly Greek for the first beer I've had in a couple of years! (a Carlsberg!) -

served by the best waiter, Kotsaftis "Bill" Vasilis. (He asked me to put his pic in the blog since he's on his way home to Greece for a month-long vacation and wants his family to see him at work)! Have a blast in Athens!

Since my son, Max and his girlfriend, Robyn, were out seeing KISS at the Molson Amphitheatre (in full makeup!) and Sam was out at a business dinner,

I took Kate out for Greek food and a cranberry cooler to celebrate surviving TIFF - and toasting her first radio interview for her Journalism course. It was fun and felt GREAT to relax after four kinda stressful weeks. Cheers!

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