Sunday, September 2, 2012


Dearest Mavenati,

As you might have heard from me on Twitter, Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven is re-branding soon simply as Mr. Will Wong, right in-time for TIFF 2012.  This change marks a return to myself as I look forward to taking my Friendship with my Readers to an even deeper level.

It’s been an awesome three years here at Blogspot and I owe them everything for providing me the Foundation, Resources and Support to learn the ropes of Blogging. Their user-friendly Interface and loads of fun options have helped me be the best Blogger I could be. Together with your Support, we’ve transformed Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven from something born purely out of Passion into a locally-influencial Brand and Experience.  In September 2009, I started this Blog solely to showcase my TIFF Celebrity Photos and now it has blossomed into something bigger and more beautiful.  I cannot believe that I have found myself interviewing the likes of Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, Malcolm McDowell and Daniel Radcliffe!

Beginning next week, my Team of Developers and I will be launching our new Website and we look forward to showing you a fresh, exciting look. You  as Readers will benefit most from some exciting  interactive options such as now being able to show-off some of your own Celebrity Sightings to the World!

Sadly, this will be my final Post on the Blogger Platform, but I look forward to seeing you over at the new Site soon!  Don't fret as all my old Posts are going nowhere and I'm around as always on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: mrwillwong.  You'll definitely want to be around for my exciting to-the-minute updates of who's been spotted around town during the Festival and which Films are most Buzzworthy!

Lastly, I'm thrilled to be partnering together with CP24 - watched by over 3.1 million people every week around the City - to report live Hits from the Red Carpets and also I can be seen on LeDrew Live at noon throughout the Festival. Don't forget to tune-in.  Furthermore, if you spot me, come over for a quick Snap together!

As always, thank you for everything over these past three years and thank you for being there for many more years to come.

With love,

xMr. Will


Still from The Possession
Horror Flick The Possession rockets to the top of the Box Office in its debut for Lionsgate/Alliance Films. Starring Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Matisyahu, the Film earns $17.7 million this Labour Day weekend (Friday to Sunday) from 2,816 theatres; it was made for $14 million already making back its Production costs.  In Canada alone this weekend, Alliance Films accounts for all top three Films.

Western Lawless opens with $9.6 million from 2,888 theatres for The Weinstein Co. and Alliance Films, a positive showing boosted undoubtedly by its all-star Cast including Tom Hardy, Shia Labeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain. The Film which premiere at Cannes in May, has received positive reviews, garnering 65% on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer.

Former Champion The Expendables 2 earns $8.8 million it its third week of release, now earning a cumulative total of $69.3 million, just ahead of The Bourne Legacy in fourth with $7.2 million.

Family-focused Films occupy the fifth and sixth spot with ParaNorman and The Odd Life of Timothy Green respectively. The former earns $6.5 million this weekend, while the latter earns $6 million.
2016 Obama's America, continues to gain feverish buzz in the U.S., expanding to 1,750 theatres and earning $5.1 million in ninth. The anti-Obama Documentary to date has earned $19 million thus far all on word-of-mouth with its micro-budget.

Sony Pictures' Hope Springs rounds out the Top Ten with $4.7 million in its fourth week of release. It now has earned $52.5 million domestically.


Gillian Jacobs, Billy, Mr. Will & Yvette Nicole Brown
Right in-time for Back to School!  NBC's Community Stars Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs arrived in Toronto to promote the upcoming season of the Comedy Series after a highly-publicized Hiatus last Season, causing an outcry of support from Fans online.  

The Ladies, who play Shirley and Britta respectively, were out and about touring the TV Circuit including appearances on Global Television's The Morning Show and CityTV's Breakfast Television.

Braving the rain without umbrellas, both Brown and Jacobs - who looked incredible - stopped for a quick Photo while waiting for their Vehicles amidst the Bloor Street traffic.  Jacobs in particular was obsessed with my Dog Billy and we all joined-in on the fun for a Snap!

Season Four of Community premieres Friday, October 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM on CityTV.

UPDATE: Aww!  Check-out this Tweet from Jacobs herself on Billy!

(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)


Billy at Yoco Froyo
Although TIFF 2012 preparations are occupying much of my time these days, I took a moment to bring Billy on a late night stroll through Yorkville, deciding to give him his first taste of Frozen Yogurt.  Just look at the excitement on his face. Scoop by scoop, he murdered it.  

Needless to say, we'll be back soon at Yoco Froyo - a fave of Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Chloë Moretz while filming in Toronto.  

Surely he'll be dragging me towards it on our walks, whether I'm in a Froyo mood or not!

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

Friday, August 31, 2012


Roxette in Toronto - August 2012
Swedish Pop Outfit Roxette performed their first Toronto Show in over 20 years tonight at Molson Amphitheatre, their last Show here being March 1992 as part of their Joyride! World Tour. The Duo, which consists of Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, have sold over 60 million albums worldwide and are known of their international smash Hits: The Look, Joyride, Dangerous, Dressed for Success, Listen to Your Heart and It Must've Been Love; the latter known best as the Theme Song from Pretty Woman.
With three stops on their Canadian Tour including Ottawa last night, Toronto tonight and another in Montreal tomorrow, the Duo are touring in support of their latest Disc from EMI Music, Travelling.
Although a little shaky to start, with Fredriksson marked by having lost a few steps in that powerful upper-register of hers, Gessle kept things energectic on-stage, rocking-out with his Guitar and riling-up the Crowd.  As this was my first time ever witnessing Roxette perform live, I actually was surprised to see him front and center considering that a majority of their North American Hits featured Fredriksson's Vocals. I always assumed that she in fact was the Lead Singer. 
By the second-half of the Show, the Crowd was on its feet - the in-house Camera panning on Swedish flags waving and ecstatic Gay Men screaming - as their up-tempo numbers were emphasized.  The entire Show culminated in an Encore, which included a high-octane seven-minute-long version of their first Hit, The Look. Truly epic.
Witness some of the magic of Roxette tonight below:

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Official Artwork for The Words
I've seen it and loved it. Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven & Alliance Films want to take you to an Advance Screening of The Words in Toronto on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.

Starring Bradley Cooper, Oscar®-Winner Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Zoë Saldana, the layered Romantic Thriller The Words follows young Writer Rory Jansen (Cooper) who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American Novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary Star continues to rise, Rory is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another Man’s work, and for placing ambition and success above life’s most fundamental three Words.

To enter to win, simply click "like" on this Post at Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven on Facebook before September 2, 2012. Good luck!

Watch the Trailer below:


Promo Photo for Spring Breakers
Getting a TIFF Premiere 6:00 PM on Friday, September 7, 2012 at Ryerson Theatre, this official First Look at Spring Breakers has just surfaced!  The Comedy centers around four College Girls who get thrown in jail after robbing a restaurant to fund their Spring Break. They get bailed out by a Drug/Gun Dealer who bails them out but gets them to help with some "dirty work". I'm hearing this one is v. bloody, violent and edgy. Must see.

Selena Gomez, James Franco, Heather Morris, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens all star in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers.

Watch the Preview below:


Official Artwork for Take Me Home
Scheduled for a November release, the official Artwork for One Direction's eagerly-awaited sophomore Disc, Take Me Home has surfaced today.  

First Single, Live While We're Young is due for a release from Sony Music on October 1, 2012.  Debut Album Up All Night just hit stores in North America on March 1, 2012, even though it was released prior in Europe.  Is this too soon or the sooner the better?

(Photo credit: Sony Music)


A naughty Dog gets shamed for misbehaviour on
I could spend hours on this Site! I only recently discovered the hilarity that is, a Tumblr Page devoted to naughty Dogs who get their due Karma from their Owners for misbehaving. Okay, the name of the Site really sounds worse than what it actually is.

Often others think it's all fun, games and cuddles raising a Dog, until you've experienced that vengeful peeing on the floor because your Dog couldn't have their way or their turning their nose-up at their Dinner and refusing to eat until you give them something they want. Nightmares. Sometimes these little Guys are such little Terrors that you can only laugh about it!

You must discover it here.

(Photo credit: Dogshaming)


Taylor Swift & Mr. Will-W.
When it rains it pours. On a week that certainly isn't short of Star Power, Country-Pop Sensation Taylor Swift will be stopping-off in Toronto to promote her latest Disc, Red. In addition to all the Celebs here for the Toronto International Film Festival, plus Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran and Madonna all slated here also for Concerts, I'm just not sure how Toronto is going to handle this. Oh yeah, did I mention Elton John also will be here for a Signing too? Toronto, Mecca.

Among Swift's Stop-offs in Toronto on Monday, September 10, 2012, is  an appearance at CityTV live in-studio, and you can even win a chance to get up close and personal ...well as close as you can get until her Bodyguard tells you to move back!

Click here for more.

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Our v. own Victor Garber is in-town currently to promote Paramount Pictures' Titanic 3-D on DVD and after arriving over the weekend, he continued a second day of Press today which saw him visiting Bell Media for an appearance on CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show.  Yesterday the London, Ontario-born Actor appeared on CityTV's Breakfast Television.

After catching his attention following his appearance earlier, he flagged me over for a quick Snap.  A real Gentleman and every bit as classy as I thought he'd be.

In addition to this visit, Garber - who has appeared in a litany of Hit Films and Television Series, including Alias, You Again, The First Wives Club, Legally Blonde and Sleepless in Seattle - will be returning again shortly for TIFF 2012, as he stars in Warner Bros.' Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.  "I'm heading back home today and will be back again next week!", he says.  On Argo, he tells me, "You're going to love it. It's an excellent Film.".

Titantic is available on Blu-ray and DVD on September 10, 2012. Pre-order here.

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

Monday, August 27, 2012


Bridgit Mendler in Toronto - August 2012
Definitely one to look-out for! 19-year-old Bridgit Mendler is the latest in a long line of Disney Stars to make the transition to the world of Pop Music. Her first Single, Ready or Not, is undeniably catchy, sampling The Delfonics' 1968 Hit of the same name, although a little more like The Fugees' 1996 take on it.

Mendler is a bona fide Superstar-in-the-making, having appeared in high-profile Films like Alvin and the Chimpunks: The Squeakuel and providing the voice of the Lead Character in Disney's The Secret World of Arrietty.  Currently, she stars in Good Luck Charlie as Teddy Duncan. Make no mistake though, Music is her real calling - she has a real natural Presence about her and those Vocals are polished and stylized.  A "now" Miley who actually is proud of being "Pop", with some Rihanna and Natasha Bedingfield-like leanings, if you will.

The beautiful Entertainer appeared last night as the Headliner at Molson Amphitheatre alongside the likes of Tyler Medeiros, Allstar Weekend, VERONICA, Ross Lynch and Mimoza Duot for the Family Channel Big Ticket.  Mendler made a v. special appearance this morning at Global Television's The Morning Show, performing her debut Single, drawing a large crowd outside their Bloor Street Studio.  Arriving with a large Entourage, she was even awesome enough to make time afterwards for Fans - big and small.

You can catch her Interview and Performance out here.

Mendler's debut Album My Name Is.. is due out October 22, 2012 (my Birthday!) via Universal Music Canada.

Check-out Ready or Not in full below. You will adore...


The Faces of Fan Expo 2012
As many as 80k Fans filled Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend for Fan Expo 2012 and with Line-ups queued reportedly running into the Building's Underground Parking Lot, inevitably several were left disappointed when word caught-on that Tickets were sold-out completely.

The likes of Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Rose McGowan (Charmed), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Marvel Comics President/Chairman Stan Lee drew huge crowds.  Meanwhile, high-profile Guests to cancel late included the likes of Sam Trammel (True Blood), Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jason Priestly and Luke Perry (both of Beverly Hills, 90210).

A special thanks to my dear Friend Catherine for the awesome Photos (above). She tells me with excitement, "Gillian Anderson looks great.  I think she's one of those few People who actually gets better looking with age!".

Film Distributors also got an opportunity to give a Sneak Preview of their upcoming Films including Walt Disney Studios Canada's Frankenweenie - the latest from Tim Burton in theatres October 5, 2012. An elaborate Exhibit featuring The Art of Frankenweenie was said to wow several Onlookers. Alliance Films also highlighted three of their Fall releases with highly-touted Horror, Resident Evil: Retribution (out September 15, 2012), Sinister (out October 5, 2012) and also Antiviral (out October 12, 2012), which is set to premiere at TIFF.

(Photo credit: Catherine Dennis)


Sir Elton John at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street
Sir Elton John and David Furnish. Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM - Holt Renfrew Bloor Street. $50 Limited Edition Candles: Jardin des Fleurs or L'Orangerie. Proceeds go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Candles available now on or in-store.

Have fun!

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Still from The Expendables 2
It's a tepid weekend at the Box Office, but not enough to stop The Expendables 2 from firing their way back to number one again .. even with a meager $13.5 million. The Action Blockbuster in two weeks has earned a cumulative $51.2 million in North America.

The Bourne Legacy once again finds itself at number two this weekend with $9.3 million and a total $84.9 million banked in three weeks of release - just enough to edge-out ParaNorman in third with $8.5 million in its second week.

Sony Pictures' Premium Rush is one of only a few Films opening this weekend, but could muster only an seventh-place debut with $6.3 million, despite solid reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (76% on the Tomatometer).  This raises some questions about talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt's bankability as a Lead Actor with Looper coming out next month.

2016 Obama's America debuts in eight spot with $6.2  million, impressive for a small-budget Documentary opening in only 1,091 theatres this weekend in the U.S.  The Film asks what America would be like if President Obama were to be re-elected once again; it is said to be anti-Obama.

Meanwhile, Hit and Run, the Comedy starring (and directed by) Dax Sheppard and Wife Kristen Bell debuts in tenth spot with $4.6 million.


Anna Faris & Chris Pratt in Toronto - September 2011
Favourite People! Congratulations to Anna Faris and Chris Pratt, the adorable and funny Couple who welcomed their first Child, Jack, into the World on Saturday. Married for three years now, Faris and Pratt were just in Toronto exactly one year ago for TIFF.

Faris' Rep released a Statement last night stating: "He arrived earlier than expected and will be spending some time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The happy parents thank you for your warm wishes and ask that you honor their privacy during this time.”

Imagine having Anna Faris as your Mom? The laughs, the fun, the love...  How much more lucky could one be?

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)


My baby Nephew, Keegan
Like an Uncle (hey!)... for the v. fifth time!

I'm proud to announce that my baby Nephew Keegan was born on Thursday. The handsome little Devil already has quite an appetite and like his Uncle, also was born in the Year of the Dragon, is sure to be a fiery one! 

Welcome to the Family, Mr. Wong.

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Bruce Springsteen in Toronto - August 2012
Still lookin' good!  Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen played Rogers Centre last night to an audience of 40k Fans.  The Rock Legend brought his 16-piece E Street Band along with him, opening the night with a Medley of Summer Hits, including my personal favourite Hungry Heart, which had the Crowd singing along in unison.

Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven Reader Sari was one of the lucky Fans who got up-close and personal with Springsteen as he made his way out to the edge of an Auxiliary stage and she happened to be right there when it all went down! "He was amazing! He played for 3.5 hours!", she tells me. Just look at that  one Fan gazing lovingly at her Idol from the edge of the stage, channeling her best pre-Friends era Courteney Cox!

The Boss is off to Moncton, New Brunswick next tomorrow night, playing Magnetic Hill.

(Photo credit: Sari Colt)

Friday, August 24, 2012


Lauren Ann Miller, Katie Naylon, Ari Graynor & Jamie Travis in Toronto - August 2012
After doing the rounds at Sundance Film Festival this past January where it was well-received, Sex Comedy For a Good Time, Call... now is ready for its release. Toronto-born Director Jamie Travis, Actress/Producer Ari Graynor and Co-Writers Katie Naylon and Lauren Ann Miller (the latter who also stars in the Film) arrived in Toronto late Wednesday to promote what has been a labour of love for the Quartet.

For a Good Time, Call... centers around Frenemies, Katie (Graynor) and Lauren (Miller), both brought together by financial necessity in order to afford their super-fab Apartment in Gramercy Park, following the death of Katie's Grandmother.  The Duo soon find themselves starting their own Sex Line to make ends meet and under the most unlikely of circumstances, they find themselves forming an unbreakable bond. 

What many might not realize about this Story, co-penned by both Miller and Naylon, is that it actually is semi-autobiographical and yes, the latter admits to having worked prior as a Phone Sex Operator. "When you have a friend with you who is as funny and creative as Katie, it's easier. We actually cheated because we started with characters inspired by ourselves and we made a story with characters based loosely on our own archetypes. I don't know if it's officially cheating, but it certainly made things easier.".

Both Miller and Naylon give me the Backstory on their Friendship, which was sparked by a random pairing as Roommates in an off-campus Apartment during their College days at Florida State UniversityNaylon admits laughingly, "Lauren didn't judge me as much as I judged her. She was quirky and sure had a lot of requirements - including a clear shower curtain and a sound machine at bedtime".  Miller went-off eventually to Los Angeles, while Naylon headed to New York City to work as a Copywriter. After much convincing and years of mailed Holiday Cards, both of them reunited in Los Angeles.  "We got settled in for a couple weeks, sat in front of a computer and wrote this", says Miller. "Honestly, I feel this is our destiny. It's some kind of magic", adds Naylon.

In addition to a hilarious and flamboyant turn from Justin Long, For a Good Time, Call.. is chalk full of Cameos including appearances by Seth Rogen (Miller's Husband), Kevin Smith, plus two Toronto talents in Nia Vardalos and Sugar Lyn Beard (formerly a DJ on KISS 92.5).  "We wrote lovers letters to all these talented people to get them to play with us", says Miller.  "Making an Independent Movie is about dreaming big and not taking 'no' for an answer.  We kept pushing and pushing and got really lucky.".


The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones approaches the end of its first week of Production
The Cast of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones got a later start to their day today after some extensive setting-up. Now onto their fourth day of shooting, Cast Members Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West and Robert Sheehan were hard at work most of the afternoon, before heading into the same school building shortly before 6:00 PM used last year for Sony Pictures' Total Recall Remake.  It is said the Venue is being used to film Institute scenes - a Building which in Cassandra Clare's Novels is a safe haven for Shadowhunters to assist them in their fight against Demons.

Earlier in the day Zegers, West and Sheehan were seen chatting and enjoying the beautiful afternoon out by their Trailers, sharing laughs on the sidewalk.  Zegers, whom a Source confirms to me just got engaged to Girlfriend Jamie Feld two weeks ago, was kind enough to throw over a wave my way before heading-off to work. Meanwhile, Campbell Bower and Collins were a little more low-key in their own Trailers kept a short distance away from their Cast Mates.  Some lucky Fans who spotted the former, were lucky enough to score Autographs.  A red-haired Collins, meanwhile waved to Fans through her Van before heading to Set, many who were oblivious to her being right before their eyes.

I did have the chance of cross paths with lovely West earlier as she was out on a Cigarette Break. Hardly- recognizable in her dark locks, she politely declined a Photo telling me, "I'm so sorry - it's not that I don't want to, but I don't want to get in trouble!", pointing discreetly at a couple Guards on-set.


Church Apertivo Bar - 1090 Queen Street West
Delectable.  After having opened its doors only in February 2012, Church Apertivo Bar takes over what formerly was known as the Slavic Pentecostal Church, getting a sexy makeover in this its new incarnation. Dimly-lit, its high-ceilings help resonate the Soulful House Music blaring from the Speakers.  The new Hotspot situated at the corner of Dovercourt Road x Queen Street West, already is looking like a go-to after a hard day of work, judging by its gorgeous female Clientele, who are there just to have a bit of fun, a sip and a mouthwatering bite.

Chef Fabio Sacca tries something ground-breaking with his Italian-Style Sashimi, offering a mild-to-wild array of Fish including Spigola, Arctic Char, Sea Bass and Yellowfin Tuna, all delicately dressed, careful never to overpower already the intricate flavours of each variety.  Perhaps opt not to pair these with the side of Crostini as they stand well enough on their own.

My tastebuds were taken on a thrill ride with their Gnocco Fritto with Prosciutto di Parma and Stracchino Cheese topped with Truffle Oil. You have never enjoyed anything as heavenly as their Veal & Pork Meatballs - so irresistibly flavourful and tender. Furthermore, I was impressed by their house-made Fresh Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Zucchini, USA Shrimp and Bottarga di Mugine.  Their Spaghetti has a remarkable bounce to the chew - every bite a delight.  Co-Owner Sandra Cassaro tells me that she travels home to Italy often and that Chef Fabio's Pasta is on-par, if not a step above those offerings in dear Italia... and I'd tend to agree.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Stills from Carrie (2013)
Scarrie! Entertainment Weekly got the exclusive First Look of Kimberly Peirce's Carrie, which wraps production in Toronto shortly. Although I'm sure several of you are nay-saying that they've touched a Classic, this sure is looking v. promising. On a Frozen Yogurt run this weekend, I ran into one of the Cast Members who showed me candid snaps on their iPhone from the iconic Prom Scene. Frightful!  Bloody!

Julianne Moore tells Entertainment Weekly: "This Woman has clearly had a psychotic break, perhaps several. But what’s sad about it for me is that she’s clearly sick and here’s this poor Child in the thrall of this person who is seriously ill. And on top of that, they have this Mother-Daughter relationship. So we want to make that relationship as meaningful as possible, even though it is horrible and destructive.”.

Click here to read more.


I caught-up with a few of the Cast Members during their Toronto stay. Click here for more on that.

(Photo credit: Michael Gibson/Sony Screen Gems)