Paul Giamatti Oscar buzz circulates over brunch

Paul Giamatti Oscar buzz circulates over brunch

(Image: Giamatti by Stefania Yarhi)

It was hard to tell who came for the networking, who came to hear Stomp the Yard director Robert Adetuyi, and who just came for the eggs at the ReelWorld brunch on Monday. The goal of the organization, which Young and the Restless actor Tonya Lee Williams started as a film festival for racially diverse filmmakers in 2001, is to nurture emerging talent. As Williams puts it, “It’s the incubator stage. TIFF is the big leagues.”

The remarkably young-looking 52-year-old is up next in the Colin Mochrie sitcom She’s the Mayor, premiering on Vision on March 4. She’s come a long way from her start on Polka-Dot Door. “To tell you the truth, my Polka-Dot time was, like, three weeks,” she says on the patio of the Yorkville restaurant Empire. “But they play them and play them and play them and play them and play them and play them and play them and play them so many times, because when you’re a little kid, you don’t need to see a new show. So people saw that over the years, so they think my part was bigger.” Three decades later, she’s still mum on the identity of the Polka-Roo. “I will take that to my grave.”

Also mingling amid the industry types was K.C. Collins, who won an ACTRA award for his role in the CBC miniseries Guns, and his co-star Clé Bennett, whose new film Barney’s Version premiered Sunday night. The Canada co-production is getting glowing reviews, not that the Toronto actor is surprised. “The performances are out of control,” he says. “Paul Giamatti—I will be surprised if he doesn’t get nominated.”

As for Bennett, he’s satisfied with two Gemini nominations: one for Guns and one for HBO Canada’s The Line. There will be no false modesty from Bennett. “I’ve worked my ass off,” he says. “So it’s always good when people appreciate it.”