Much like last year, we are in the thick of the Toronto International Film Festival and, therefore, in the white-hot vicinity of many famous strangers we’re obsessed with. Of course, this means that most of us will exchange any and all shreds of dignity for a chance to take a blurry selfie with someone we think we saw on Netflix. And in the midst of that moment, we will scrounge conversation fodder and pray that it lays down the foundation for a lifelong kinship. Or, at the very least, buy enough time for us to take two selfies since the first one did neither party any favours.
Fortunately, to help you avoid descending into a cycle of repeatedly asking the celebrity in question if they like Toronto or not (they do, it’s fine), I’ve made another guide to conversing like a person who deserves to be friends with Nicole Kidman. Here’s how to approach and dazzle her or any star. Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
Read more: The Globe’s guide to TIFF 2018 movies
Approach quietly, with respect, the way you would any dignitary. Then, as you extend your hand, deliver your news: “I’ve destroyed all evidence of True Detective season two,” you say with purpose. “Yours is the only true sequel now.” You nod and retreat back into the crowd. In the distance, Colin Farrell whispers, “Why?”
“You are the best, Chris,” you drop casually after waiting outside the men’s room you saw him walk into. He stops. “Impossible,” he says, before handing you a photograph of Chrissy Metz.
You, despite knowing that Big Little Lies was a work of perfect fiction, vow to keep Alexander Skarsgard away from her at all costs. Will it cause a scene? Yes. Will you be barred from the festival for years? You will. But it will also be the closest you’ll ever get to being Reese Witherspoon throwing an ice-cream cone at Meryl Streep in BLL season two, which makes it (kind of) (maybe) worth it (not even close).
Honestly? How dare you think you’re worthy of approaching Viola Davis.
Say nothing. Say absolutely nothing. Do not ask him stupid questions about politics, do not make a remark about his clothes. Instead, take three deep breaths and compose yourself before making direct eye contact and telling him you like his movies. Then, as he’s about to say thank you, announce that you have to go. You’ll say that these industry parties are too much, too loud, too Hollywood – but if he wants to hang out, you’ll meet him at the closest 24-hour diner in 45 minutes. He will not show up (he will never show up), but he will never, ever stop thinking about you.
Four simple words: “Give me your hair.”
Using Ethan Hawke’s recent anti-superhero-film comments to fuel your courage, introduce yourself to the Thor: Ragnarok director and boldly declare that you think superhero movies are art. Then, after throwing a DVD copy of Gattaca as far as you can, turn and leave, offering no explanation and zero context, while ignoring Waititi’s polite asks of “Who was that?” to anyone near him.
Sidle up next to her, laughing in the spirit of the jewellery scene in Pretty Woman. Then, as she falls silent in horror, tell her that you’re just a person, standing in front of a celebrity, asking them to make you feel special. Seconds later, trust that your shouts of “Big mistake! Huge!” while being escorted out by security will leave their mark on all witnesses for years to come.
In an act of brave camaraderie, fight the urge to say, “Hey, girl” and instead exchange knowing nods in silence, gaining his trust until you’re close enough to sing the opening bars of the Breaker High theme. Perhaps he’d forgotten. You hadn’t. And you never will.