EIFF – Final Day

Jun 29, 2014 | Posted by in Edi Int Film Festival, Movies

Well that’s it all over for this year. Today I attended the Empire Magazine Hero Hangout featuring Simon Helberg and wife/co-producer/co-director Jocelyn Towne. I had a lot of fun at the Edinburgh International Film festival and saw a lot of great films as well as meeting a lot of interesting people. There are things I would have liked to do such as attending more festival events and having the opportunity to interview some people but hopefully that will happen next year should I be accepted for a press pass again. I want to give a big thank you to all of the Festival organisers, guests and people generally helping it run as smoothly as it did. It was a blast and can’t wait for next year.

Hero Hangout – Simon Helberg & Jocelyn Towne

My third of these Hero Hangouts this year, the first two being Noel Clarke and Elijah Wood and the one I missed being Don Johnson. I generally think these things are a great idea because it gives the guest an opportunity to connect with their fans in a way that’s not always possible, they basically sit and chat for 60-90 minutes and take some questions so it’s a good format and I hope to see it repeated elsewhere in the future.

Empire Magazine’s Helen O’Hara chaired this event and facilitated Simon Helberg recounting his career from all the way back at drama school right through to the closing night gala film We’ll Never Have Paris which I reviewed quickly here and will cover in more details soon. Not knowing much about the guy other than seeing him crop up on various TV shows before being a regular on The Big Bang Theory -which I talk about a lot on this blog- it was interesting to find out where he came from and what decisions had led to him being in the position he is today. He had plenty to say but seems to be quite a nervous guy when faced with an auditorium full of curious fans.

I knew bits and pieces about We’ll Never Have Paris and had read that it was based on the story of Simon and Jocelyn’s break-up and eventual engagement but I had no idea how true the film actually is, the couple recounted how difficult it was to make at first but it helped them really move past the experience. The couple seemed very aware that it was a heavily fictionalised account but weren’t shy to admit that much of it was true.

Hearing Simon talk about The Big Bang Theory was interesting too, it’s interesting just how unlike Howard he is and that he can’t even say Tatooine to say nothing about knowing what a Padawan is, not to mention the differences in fashion sense. It all speaks volumes about his ability as an actor really. There was some really cool insight into how the show is made and what goes on in the background such as rewrites of scenes on the fly and gauging the audience reaction to particular jokes.

I knew almost nothing of Jocelyn before today but she had a lot to say as well. She seems like an intelligent and capable filmmaker who knows the types of stories she wants to tell and how to tell them. She was very candid about the experiences that led to this film being made and generally had a lot of interesting insight into other facets of the business that she has been involved in.

The Q&A felt a lot shorter than the previous hangouts I’ve been to but was no less interesting. A question was asked about his infamous impressions, particularly that of Nicholas Cage who Simon admitted to being a little scared of. Helen O’Hara commented that Cage visited the Empire offices and talked about getting wood from a haunted forest to make a Wizard staff so I doubt Simon Helberg has said anything as weird as that when doing his impressions. We were told a great story about Stephen Hawking and how he enjoyed Simon’s impression of him. It was an excellent experience and great to see these talented people be so candid with an audience.