Yesterday’s North American premiere of Equals starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult drew a crowd that wrapped around a whole downtown city block. Ticket holders stood in the rain for longer than expected due to some technical difficulties, but once everyone got inside, the director, Drake Doremus, didn’t waste any time introducing the film and getting the screening under way.
Equals is a sci-fi love story set in a utopian future where no one has to put up with the terrible inconvenience of having emotions. That means everyone is hyper-logical, efficient, and frankly, pretty boring. But despite the fact that emotions have been mostly eradicated, there are still people who come down with an illness called S.O.S (Switched On Syndrome) which causes them to feel things like fear, anxiety, and if they’re lucky, love. The two main characters, played by Stewart and Hoult, are both luck and enough and unlucky enough to experience love in a world where it’s considered a disease.
Only a couple of blocks from the Princess of Wales Theatre where the premiere screened is Toronto’s Soho House, once of the most exclusive private clubs in the city. Partnering with Grey Goose, Soho House is the location of some of the coolest, most star-studded TIFF parties held during the 10-day long festival. If you hang around the area you might catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two heading from their black Escalades into the building.
For the Equals cocktail party, Soho House and Grey Goose made sure the atmosphere was cozy, yet exclusive, which is what you’d expect at a party where Kristen Stewart is scheduled to make an appearance. But unfortunately, Stewart had to rush out in the middle of the post-screening Q&A to catch a flight and get right to work on another project. But Nicholas Hoult and Drake Doremus did show up and were immediately surrounded by people. Fortunately for all the non-film industry party-goers, Hoult was still visible from across the room, as he towers a few inches above most of us regular folk.
Of course, Grey Goose had their Global Ambassador Joe McCanta create a series of signature cocktails especially for TIFF 2015, which Soho House serves at each party. Favourites include the Grey Goose Opening Scene, which is a twist on a classic Sea Breeze, and the Grey Goose Leading Lady, which is a crisp Gimlet with chamomile and lime.
In the Equals world there would be no such thing as celebrities or exclusive parties or getting the slightest bit starstruck when you see your favourite actor walk right past you. Maybe life would be simpler if we never fell in love, or never had our hearts broken, or we never bothered with getting excited about anything. But what would be the fun in that? If we’re alive we might as well live, and a Grey Goose cocktail is always a welcome addition.