Johnny Depp a no-show at Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus premiere; crowd boos Christopher Plummer

Johnny Depp a no-show at Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus premiere; crowd boos Christopher Plummer

Don't sweat the small stuff: fans expecting to see Johnny Depp had to be satisfied with Verne Troyer (Photo by Karon Liu)

Even though it probably had the most star-packed cast of any movie at TIFF (Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, etc.), was directed by Terry Gilliam and had a lot of hype (it was Heath Ledger‘s last movie), we didn’t expect any of the truly big names to show up. TIFF is almost over, after all, and there was no press conference for the film. Plus, we saw the red carpet call sheet and the most recognizable names confirmed were Verne “Mini Me” Troyer and Tom Waits.

Fans lined up for more than three hours, hopeful that one of the mega hunks would come. Director Terry Gilliam arrived first sporting a ponytail and yellow kicks. Eager fans wanting any autograph were disappointed by his “I’m late” gesture. Newcomer Andrew Garfield also came and disappeared instantly into the media pit (we were lucky to get this shot of him).

Up next was Verne Troyer, who we recognized instantly in the car because we saw a small bald head bobbing up and down. We wondered how he would sign autographs with all those barricades in the way, but he dispelled the mystery simply enough: he waved, smiled and left. Surprisingly, there was a 50-50 split between people who yelled out his actual name and “Mini Me!” It was also amusing to see the photographers get down to shoot him.

Conversely, five-foot-ten model-actress Lily Cole made all the photogs tilt their cameras up (she also wore platform heels). Singer Tom Waits was an equal opportunist as he gave neither the media nor the audience much camera time. His friendly wave also translates horribly on camera.

By now the fans were getting restless as it became evident neither Depp nor Farrell nor Law would arrive. Their last hope? Christopher Plummer. He emerged from his Cadillac, paused for one hopeful second, then moved deliberately into the press area. That’s when the crowd erupted in boos for the 80-year-old actor (isn’t that some form of elder abuse?) who turned around to wave at us—at the insistence of his publicist.

Fans in denial stuck around for a while as the media set up for the next premiere, hoping that someone—anyone—else would make a last minute appearance. Better luck next year, guys. And please, don’t boo the talent.

See our 22-photo slide show of the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus red carpet>>