Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Perks.' Writer Says Toronto Premiere Was One of the Best Nights of His Life

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Perks.' Writer Says Toronto Premiere Was One of the Best Nights of His Life

Article excerpt

'Perks...' writer moved by audience reception


TORONTO - "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," about a shy and troubled teen who bonds with an eclectic group of seniors in high school, is close to writer-director Stephen Chbosky's heart.

The Pittsburgh native, who also wrote the hit 1999 coming-of-age novel of the same name, admits some of the story is autobiographical.

So when it got a standing ovation at its recent Toronto International Film Festival premiere, he felt "so connected to every person that was sitting in those seats," because they understood his feelings and message, he said.

"The fact that they get it, I feel less alone. That's the great trick, and I didn't expect it with this thing," Chbosky said in an interview at the fest.

"I wrote this book for very personal reasons; I was not guessing anything. There was no marketplace, there was no focus group, nothing -- it just poured out of me. But I knew, based on the reception of the book, now there are fans and there's expectation and you have to respect that, and it would be downright rude not to respect that.

"So in that moment, standing in front of everybody -- a lot of kids had their books in their hands -- I knew that we all felt the same thing, and it was one of the greatest nights of my life, I have to say."

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" opens in Toronto theatres on Friday and expands to Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton next week.

Logan Lerman plays Charlie, an introvert who's haunted by the recent suicide of his best friend and comes out of his shell when he meets free-spirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her gay step-brother, Patrick (Ezra Miller, "We Need to Talk About Kevin").

Paul Rudd plays Charlie's English teacher, who introduces him to the world of literature and sparks his dreams of becoming a writer. Toronto-raised Nina Dobrev plays Charlie's sister, who is in an abusive relationship. …

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