Stars of the film “Spotlight” joined their real-life counterparts at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday. Actors Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James, and John Slattery play past and present Boston Globe reporters/editors Michael Rezendes, Walter Robinson, Marty Baron, Sacha Pfeiffer, Matt Carroll, and Ben Bradlee Jr. in the movie, which tells the story of the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
The Toronto audience at the public festival screening at the Princess of Wales Theatre gave the real-life news team a standing ovation when they took the stage with the cast and director Tom McCarthy after the Monday-night premiere. Carroll told the crowd that he was pleased the film would shed light on the stories of the victims.
Pfeiffer commended the cast for learning every detail about the Globe team (she added that McAdams studied her so well that the actress even walked behind her to replicate her gait). Baron, who spoke about the importance of investigative journalism, also joked that Schreiber had the challenge of portraying a character who “doesn’t emote.”
Ruffalo told the reporters that their investigative work “changed the world,” and thanked the group for sharing their lives. He added, “Journalism is the only real last — well, it’s a big part of what democracy is.”
Another note on “Spotlight”: Matt Damon revealed over the weekend that he was in line at one point to star in the film. He said he’s a fan of “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy, and he loved the script.