What do the delicate and doe eyed Abigail Spencer and I have in common? One could say that we both have brown hair & brown eyes. A fair and valid point. Or perhaps they would note that we are both actresses, and both work on “Suits.” True, indeed. But would you ever guess that we were both born on the same day, of the same month, of the exact same year just hours apart. And that somehow in the cosmos of things happening for a reason and stars coming into alignment, we met and became great friends. I’m all about practicalities and pragmatism, and yet it’s these sort of “coincidences,” these improbable realities, that bring out the hippie dippie in me. We do call each other “birthday soul sisters” after all, and happened to show up at dinner (having not seen each other for a year) wearing matching leather jackets with rose gold hardware, the same thin gold ring on the same slight finger, and craving the same glass of Viognier. It’s something in our tastes and tastebuds – or it’s just something in our stars.
Abigail is an absolute force to be reckoned with – with an illustrious resumé, moonlighting on shows like “Mad Men” and “Suits,” and flexing her powerhouse acting muscle on the critically acclaimed Sundance series “Rectify.” And that’s just a sliver of her TV career – add to that the blockbuster films she wows in, the soulful indies she produces, and the two game changers she starred in at TIFF this season, and my goodness – it’s fair to say that my birthday soul sister is making me feel mighty lucky to be born on August 4th. The stars are looking blindingly bright and I am so grateful to share that day with the very best company.
Here is Abby’s Diary of TIFF
Oh Toronto. In 2006 I lived and worked in Toronto for almost a year. When Suits started 4 years ago I was invited back to this town to play the luminous spitfire, Scottie. But something has always eluded me. The Toronto International Film Festival. I have never gone to the festival, but with each passing year the film festival was gaining steam in premiering some of my favorites, discovering great artists, and uncovering Oscar hopefuls. I had always wondered, in all of my visits and time — would I ever go to the festival??? The mystery prevailed.
My first premiere was for “This is Where I Leave You” – It was such a wonderful premiere at Roy Thompson Hall downtown (with 2000 fans)! A moment I will never forget. My stylist Karla Welch had dreamed up me wearing this gorgeous silk Dolce & Gabbana dress that looked like a painting. We did a full Gabbana look head to toe. It was so fun to go for it and get ready for a “festival premiere” — sometimes when you are in the middle of your dream, you can’t see it. I was overcome with so much gratitude this night. This was a night of reflection with my agent of 15 years. We both got teary eyed at the opportunity. And all the hard work it took to get here. And to do it with this group!!! The more and more I do and see and feel – the more I understand the people you choose to do it with are everything. They color every experience.
I had one more film to stay for – “The Forger,” my 2nd film in TIFF starring John Travolta, Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan which was not premiering until Friday September 12th. And it just so happened I was invited to come back to “Suits” and shoot that week as well. Crazy!
When Toronto rains it pours. In waiting for Friday to arrive — I got to really hang out and soak it in. I was staying at the Shangri La (with the best service I’ve EVER had) and got to see world premieres. I met new people I hope to commiserate with, and re-connected with others. I got to see my favorite trainer Dr. Craig McNamee at Catalyst Health Yorkville, go to my fave all natural beauty jam HUSK, grab Acai bowls and green juices at The Good Press, and of course see my Suits, birthday Leo soul sister, Meghan Markle at The Harbord Room for a delicious dinner!
When the premiere came on Friday, it was a funny thing to be on stage and look over and see your acting heroes. It’s a funny thing to realize you didn’t sneak in… Your name was on the list. In fact you may have been invited. And it’s a wonder to then be able to talk about how wonderful your art heroes are… Because you know them. I haven’t fully wrapped my head around it… But my week at TIFF taught me so much. It was a week of endurance (I was recovering from strep and bronchitis). It was a week of discovery. It was a week of wonder. A week of joy. And a week of love. For this thing I get to call my life.