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Our TIFF army’s most memorable moments Mark Ruffalo in tears By Gayle MacDonald, Globe and Mail

Ethan+Hawke+Mark+Ruffalo+Fifty+Dead+Men+Walking+CQ2tKeo8HO7l(This is account of a press conference Richard hosted during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival for the film What Doesn’t Kill You. On the panel was Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, director Brian Goodman and Amanda Peet)

Mark Ruffalo’s, Ethan Hawke’s and director/ actor Brian Goodman’s Q&A with the media redeemed TIFF’s sorry press conferences for me. I’ve come to dread them, slinking down farther in my seat when reporters ask things like, “Do you like tacos?” (That question was directed at Renée Zellweger, who appears in the western Appaloosa, shot in New Mexico). I almost walked out.

Goodman wrote, directed and starred in the film What Doesn’t Kill You, which is about his early, stormy life in South Boston, where he was a coke addict, jailed thief, and all-round lousy dad/husband. It’s a raw, compelling film that Ruffalo – a good friend of Goodman’s for the past 10 years – told the crowd he was terrified to act in. (He plays the badass Goodman, who is now reformed and sober.)

You could hear a pin drop in the presser as the three men explained – Ruffalo in tears, and Goodman close to it – how the film was a wrenching (and for Goodman, therapeutic) journey. The questions were smart and insightful. The answers were honest and heartfelt. It was an exchange of mutual respect, an increasingly rare occurrence at TIFF pressers of late.

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