At TIFF, Eddie Redmayne, Daniel Radcliffe and Marie Clements reflect on Queen’s death

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TORONTO — As tributes to the late Queen pour in from around the world, celebrities and filmmakers from the Toronto International Film Festival are sharing their own thoughts on the longtime monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II died at her summer residence in Scotland on Thursday, the day the festival opened, aged 96. She had reigned for 70 years.

London actor Eddie Redmayne, who received an Officer’s Most Excellent Order from the Queen in 2016, said she was someone he greatly admired.

“I haven’t spoken to her long, but she has this extraordinary smile of genuine warmth that puts you at ease. He’s someone who I think has extraordinary resilience and an incredible sense of duty,” said Redmayne, who was in town to promote the Netflix film “The Good Nurse,” which premiered at the festival.

Redmayne said her grandmother, who is about to turn 101, received a letter from Buckingham Palace on her 100th birthday – as is customary in the UK – that she keep at his bedside.

« She’s a very important person in my life, » Redmayne said of her grandmother.

« My mother and the Queen connect us to the history of the 20th century and all that our country has been through. »

The Indigenous feature ‘Bones of Crows’, which is also screened at the festival, includes a very pointed reference to the role of the monarchy in the establishment of residential schools in Canada.

Marie Clements, writer/director and producer of the feature film, was among those reflecting on Crown-Indigenous relations and the royal family’s colonial legacy.

« People are reacting to his death, which is, you know, a big thing in our stories, but I think it’s worth taking a closer look at some of their commitments to some of these things that we’re still currently facing – the boarding school, it was all in partnership with the Queen,” Clements explains.

“It’s not like it happened overnight. It was a well planned and executed plan and strategy.

English actor Daniel Radcliffe, who was in town to promote the fictional biopic, ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’, said the death was very surreal.

He also said that the red carpet of a comedy film about the parodist was not the most appropriate place for reflection.

« My parents and I – nobody my age or her age has ever lived in a country without her, so it’s really inconceivable and surreal right now. But this is not the place for a long discussion on this… particular sadness.

English director Sam Mendes said the Queen’s steady hand extends to her beauty regimen.

« I once had the pleasure of sitting next to her at a dinner party and she put on her lipstick without looking in the mirror, » Mendes said. « I thought it was amazing. »

-With files from David Friend, Cassandra Szklarski, Adina Bresge and Jaclyn Tansil.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 11, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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