Independent films from around the world are showcased together at the San Diego Film Festival (SDIFF). Dawning on its 17th year, the annual festival celebrates the powerful ability cinema brings to connect varieties of people. From October 10-14 attendees experienced events such as the film premieres, the Night of Stars Tribute, a festival party, filmmaker awards, and a food-based movie viewing matched with dishes to taste. The Night of the Stars Tribute honors and recognizes unique visionaries from past and present who influence cinema with their talent and dedication. Topher Grace humbly accepted the Vanguard Award at the Night of the Stars Tribute on October 11, 2018. During our interview, Topher explained how grateful he is to declare acting as not only his passion but a profession: a title he cherishes. The Vanguard Award recognizes Grace’s abilities as a trail blazer, leading an innovative and creative pathway in the cinema industry.
Topher Grace is an American actor most likely recognized for his lead role as the awkward, yet witty Eric Forman on Fox’s comedy show That 70s Show. On the big screen, he can be seen in movies including Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), and Valentine’s Day (2010) to just name a few. One of his more recent projects is the comedy/ drama BlacKkKlansman (2018), a Spike Lee film taking place in the 1970s. Grace’s accomplishments include awards such as the 2004 National Board of Review’s Breakthrough Performance Actor for In Good Company and was a part of Daytime Emmy winning web series The Beauty Inside (2012). Grace hinted to his upcoming projects in our interview mentioning the book turned film: Hot Zone and Breakthrough where he stars alongside actress Chrissy Metz (This Is Us).
Host: San Diego International Film Festival 2018 – Joining me right now is Topher Grace.
Topher: We’re both coming to you live from the red carpet.
Host: Actually, it’s on YouTube, ya.
Topher: Oh, it is live, okay.
Host: We’re live on YouTube. Hi everybody!
Topher: I always wanted to be reporter so it’s great that I have my own mic.
Host: Isn’t it awesome? It makes everyone feel so much more comfortable. You’re here to pick up such a wonderful award tonight. What went through your mind when you received this award and what does this particular award mean to you?
Topher: Well, when they said I was receiving the Vanguard Award, the best part of that was that I got to go to the dictionary and look up the word vanguard.
Host: That’s a pretty big deal! (Laughs)
Topher: And, ya it turns out they were wrong. I, in terms of of me being a vanguard. But, I’m gonna take it anyway.
Host: (Laughs) Take it, just take it.
Host: Being the fact that it’s in San Diego do you have any personal San Diego connections besides Comic-Con?
Topher: Well certainly, I’ve been to Comic-Con both in a professional manner and just cause you know I’m a huge fan of a lot of those properties. And then Ihave come here with my family like my parents when I was younger. We went to the Hotel Del. And then I’ve also come here with my wife and my family now.
Topher: We love San Diego.
Host: Oh, so you have a great San Diego connection. So that worked out perfectly. Being the fact that we are at an independent film festival, we’re here to showcase you know a lot of well-known talent that’s not out there right now. What advice do you have for those filmmakers and actors who want to get into this industry?
Topher: Oh man, you’ve got to work with talented people like to my right and to my left. And it’s really, your– well this is great I’d love a copy of this.
Topher: I think it’s about working with directors and actors and people that make you better. I think all the people who are much more successful than me that I’ve worked with, are all really smart and egoless about working with people that are– to make them look better–
Topher: You know.
Host: Exactly. What special projects do you have going on that you can give us a little tease about? Since you work on some really good projects.
Topher: BlacKkKlansman which came out a little earlier this year. And then I’m in this movie called Breakthrough which comes out this spring with Chrissy Metz who is amazing.
Host: Oh, from This is Us.
Topher: Then I’m doing something called the Hot Zone which a really cool book they’re turning into a movie. It’s shooting right now in Canada.
Host: Nice! Last question, how has acting enriched your life both professionally as an actor and spiritually as a person?
Topher: Well, professionally it’s very easy to see how it enriches your life. I feel so lucky that I am an actor who actually gets paid to do it. Cause it’s one of those jobs that’s so much fun you kind of would be happy to do it and not being paid. I’m so thrilled to be a professional actor. And then spiritually, the acting part is great. It’s not something that’s cool to complain about. But, you know the fame element of it can be kind of tricky and you gotta be careful with all that stuff.
Host: Oh ya, and you do a pretty good job with that. Congratulations on your award tonight! And we hope to see you again in the future. It was a pleasure meeting you Topher.
Topher: Thank you.
Cathleen Meyer | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Cathleen is a college student who places an importance on being active and is an old soul at heart. Her music taste is a jumble of different artists with favorites like ABBA, Def Leppard, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac. When it comes to movies, musicals and 80s are her first choice. Cathleen wrote for her school newspaper for two years in high school and since then has participated in a government and human resources internship. She enjoys delving into a good book whenever possible, with time period pieces being her favorite type of literature to explore. Being a Disney fan since birth, her favorite time is spent with her family at the happiest place on Earth. A personal hobby of Cathleen’s since she was young, is hairstyling and makeup. Once she completes college, she plans to attend Paul Mitchell Beauty School to follow her passion. Cathleen hopes to apply her communication and literature degree to a variety of career paths most importantly including public relations. | Instagram @Cat17Cat| View My Blogs
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