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Defendor’s stars hit the town In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA September 14, 2009

UnknownWho could have imagined that one of the hottest parties at this year’s TIFF would happen on the top level of a parking garage in the heart of Toronto’s trendy Yorkville district?

On Saturday night, the stars of the gala film Defendor — along with hundreds of other party-goers and scene-makers — held sway at ET Canada’s Festival Central, a glamorous “pop up club” high atop an industrial building.

The setting was a good match for the movie, which is a mix of star power — Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings and Elias Koteas — and downtown urban grit. It’s the story of Arthur Poppington (Harrelson), a regular man whose rich inner life spills out into his regular life. By day, he’s dead-end-job-Arthur but by night, he’s the homemade superhero Defendor who combs the streets of Hamilton in search of his arch-enemy, Captain Industry.

Wearing pink wristbands (All Access!), the stars of Defendor and other celebs (including Being Erica’s Erin Karpluk; Bridget Nickerson, Miss Canada International 2010; The Guard’s Steve Bacic; and TIFF favourite Kristin Booth) walked the red carpet on their way to mix and mingle in the elegant open-air club.

Michael Kelly, who plays Arthur’s boss in the film, told Metro that now that the premiere was done, he could take some time and relax in Toronto. The former Sopranos star said, “Tomorrow I’m going to go watch NFL football at Gretzky’s, which I do whenever I’m in town, then I’m going to go to Burrito Boys and then go to Barbarian’s tomorrow night. I’ve got it all planned out. Toronto is one of my favourite spots.”

The Canadian-born New York-based (and Robert De Niro look-a-like) Elias Koteas, who plays Arthur’s rival in the film, will be spending some time with his old friend and director Atom Egoyan. “I’m going to Chloe tomorrow and we’re doing a screening of The Adjuster on Wednesday night.

“I haven’t seen it in 19 years,” he says of the TIFF film that helped launch his career. “It’ll be wild to see myself at 28-years-old with all that hair.”

Co-star Kat Dennings told Metro she loves the festival. “It’s wonderful. Torontonians really embrace film and really love it. It seems like the whole city is really energized. There’s a buzz. It’s like a hive of Canadian film bees!”

For full coverage of the Defendor party, and a look at the fêtes for Chloe and Glorious 39, check out ET Canada weeknights at 7 p.m. on Global.

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