While filming David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars in Beverly Hills, on Rodeo Drive nonetheless, Canadian actress Jayne Heitmeyer got a serious taste of what fandemonium is like in the social media era. As word spread via tweets and Instagram photos that her costars Julianne Moore and Hollywood heartthrob Robert Pattinson were in the neighbourhood, the crowds multiplied. We can’t imagine a more fitting experience for an actor while shooting a movie about the modern era’s obsession with all things Tinseltown. The critically-acclaimed Cronenberg film already made waves at Cannes, but it’s set to premiere in the director’s hometown this week with many of the Canadian stars of the film representing on the red carpet, including the talented Jayne Heitmeyer. We caught up with the actor to find out more about the shooting the star-studded film…
You star in the highly anticipated David Cronenberg film, Maps to the Stars, with Robert Pattinson at this year’s TIFF. What are you most nervous or excited for regarding seeing the film on the big screen with audiences for the first time?
I am excited for Maps to the Stars to screen at TIFF. I was fortunate to attend the screening at Cannes last May, which was unforgettable. It was a privilege to witness the lengthy standing ovation for the film – certainly a breathtaking moment when the credits ended, the lights went up, and there was a nanosecond of silence before the clapping began and shouts of “Bravo!” I was thrilled for David Cronenberg, and also for Bruce Wagner, who wrote the screenplay, for the producers including Martin Katz and Renee Tab, and for all the cast and crew involved in the making of the film. And, of course, Julianne Moore later walked off with her merited Best Actress Award for her fearless, funny, fantastic performance!
While you can never anticipate how an audience will react, I have no doubt Maps will make a huge impression at TIFF in Toronto where Maps was mostly filmed (along with Los Angeles). TIFF is obviously a highly respected film platform. It is wonderful that Maps will be screened as a gala presentation for its North American premiere. It will surely be one of the most talked about films at the festival. It is compelling, intelligent, sad, humorous, and, yes, being a Cronenberg film, jaw-dropping!
What did you take away from the experience of Maps to the Stars as an actor? How did filming such a huge blockbuster with critically acclaimed talent help shape you?
While filmmaking is obviously a complex process, what struck me about a Cronenberg set ironically was the ultimate simplicity of the process, the quintessential well-oiled machine. This is a director who has the film clearly in his head, knows what he wants and therefore works quickly, efficiently, and, I must add, enthusiastically. He has solid trust in a crew he has worked with for years. He is approachable and kind – you could not ask for more in a director. And having the privilege of sharing space and time with four-time Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore and to see a sliver of how she created this monstrous yet touching character was a gift. She and Robert Pattinson are ultimate professionals. We were shooting on Rodeo Drive and it was startling to see how the crowd grew from a few scattered people to a large throng held back by security, all through the power and speed of social media. They never lost focus and handled all the commotion graciously.
Finish this sentence: I love TIFF because…
…as a Canadian, to have Toronto host such a prestigious, high profile film festival is an accomplishment Canadians in the film industry are proud to see. As well, Canadian filmmakers like Cronenberg, the talented Xavier Dolan, along with emerging new directors like Michelle Latimer and Jeffrey St. Jules are all contributing and ‘representing’ in a big way. It is exciting to showcase films from all over the world, inviting people who are passionate about film and who appreciate dynamic, ground breaking work.
What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
I am an animal rights advocate and volunteer regularly at the SPCA. I love animals of all kinds! I also am a strong supporter of the Starlight Children’s Foundation. I am involved with organizer Larry Day in an annual event called Strangers In The Night, a gourmet/entertainment gala which hosts over 4,000 people in Montreal. We are hoping to do a similar event soon in Toronto. We have the talented PR master Cory Stewart from Toronto on board. Our goal is to do a bi-city event for the kids.
How would you describe your red carpet style? Any favourite designers or secret style tips?
I love classic, simple styling. For Cannes I wore vintage Vera Wang – a black gown with a jewelled halter neck piece. My current favourite is Badgley Mischka. I have a white Grecian cocktail dress I can’t wait to wear! I’m a shoe fanatic. Alright, I confess, a shoe hoarder!
What’s always in your beauty bag?
Lip balm and Chanel Le Rouge lipsticks, Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat, and a new find, Natura Bisse Diamond Moisturizer (one of the generous gifts from the Nathalie Dubois DPA lounge in Cannes). Also Moroccan Oil light spray. As I switch hair colors so often, my hair is always dehydrated!
Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 to 15 years?
Not to diminish the importance of having goals, but I try to live in the moment. And there is that saying, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”
Let’s get social for a moment. How do we stay up-to-date with you?
Twitter! Please visit.