Deemed one of the “rising stars” at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, local actress Sarah Gadon spends her down time studying film at U of T and may be best known to audiences for her TV work in Are You Afraid of the Dark, Mutant X and Being Erica.
“A lot of the work I did in television when I was younger I did as a result of what was shooting in Toronto,” Gadon revealed “But when it became my area of study, it changed my approach to what I do.”
Gadon’s had a whirlwind year. Her name made headlines in the spring when fan photos from the set of David Cronenberg’s latest film Cosmopolis showed her canoodling with her co-star, a certain heart throb who’s developed a rabid fan base thanks to his starring role in a little series of films about a vampire and his mortal girlfriend.
“I didn’t really think about how insane working with Rob (Pattinson) would be in terms of all the fan stuff. It’s hard to wrap your head around something like that. You don’t really think about it, you’re thinking about the work and the character and you’re working with David again and so it didn’t kind of hit me until we were doing our camera tests and we were in the limo together and I looked over at Rob and I was kind of like, “this is so weird…”
All of a sudden Gadon became famous by association and she got a taste of the Twilight-level of adulation that actors like Pattinson have to deal with on a daily basis.
“At the beginning it’s not so hectic because I guess his fans don’t really know he’s here and don’t really know where we’re shooting so it was kind of cool. I thought, “whatever, how famous is this guy really?! There aren’t even any fans at the studio. This is not a big deal at all. And then someone tweets a picture of us and then everyone knows we’re in Toronto and there are all of these fans everywhere and security and you begin to realize how much a part of a cultural phenomenon he’s a part of.”
Cosmopolis marks the second time that Gadon has worked with Cronenberg. A Dangerous Method debuted at the Venice Film Festival and just had its North American premiere at TIFF. In the film, Gadon plays Emma Jung, the wife of psychiatric pioneer Carl Jung and the odd woman out in an “intellectual triangle” between patient-turned-analyst Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Jung’s mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen).
“I’d done a self-taped audition tape for David and then just stopped thinking about it and I was working on another film and my manager phoned me to tell me that I got the part and I just exploded, it was just so amazing.”
Gadon is also looking forward to the release of Dream House, which stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz.
“I did Dream House before I did A Dangerous Method or Cosmopolis so that was the first time I was in the presence of such a big movie star like Daniel Craig. A part of me was definitely in awe but it’s so great to work with someone who’s such a professional and studied actor that that kind of movie star persona fades away really fast and then you just become two actors working on a film. It was great.”
After returning to school for a few weeks, Gadon will be once more jetting off, this time to Budapest, to continue shooting her part in the Ken Follett miniseries World Without End, a 13th Century period piece directed by Michael Caton Jones and starring Miranda Richardson.
In the meantime, keep your eye out for Sarah Gadon on a big screen…or in a Toronto neighbourhood near you.
Dream House opens in Toronto September 30 and A Dangerous Method opens on November 23.