‘Arrival”s Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner praise Denis Villeneuve and Montreal

‘Arrival”s Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner praise Denis Villeneuve and Montreal

Actors Jeremy Renner, left, and Amy Adams, right, attend a press conference to promote the new science fiction drama “Arrival” at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, September 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu.

TORONTO — Quebec director Denis Villeneuve is passionate, fun and can belt out a certain Adele song with panache, say the cast of his new film “Arrival,” who also have high praise for the movie’s shooting location of Montreal.

Amy Adams stars in the sci-fi drama as a linguistics expert who is called on when 12 alien spacecraft mysteriously land around the world.

“Arrival” is making its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival after debuting to early rave reviews in Venice.

Villeneuve was unable to attend a press conference for the film on Monday because he’s shooting a “Blade Runner” sequel in Budapest. But he was a hot topic amongst the panellists.

“Denis was a joy to work with,” said Adams. “It’s such a bummer he’s not here because he is so much fun and has so much passion and so much love for what he does and you feel it every day when you arrive on set.

“So I always felt so supported. He’s the best. If you do a good job, he’s like, ‘I deeply love what you have done’ and it’s a beautiful thing that he does,” continued the five-time Oscar nominee, affecting Villeneuve’s voice and accent.

“That’s my bad Denis impersonation. I do it all the time. Ryan Gosling does a good one, just so you know, because he’s working with him now (on ‘Blade Runner 2’).”

Jeremy Renner, who plays a theoretical physicist in the film, said Villeneuve — whose other films include “Prisoners,” “Enemy” and “Sicario” — pays a lot of attention to his actors and has “a very Kubrick style of shooting.”

“He’s got a real great sense of framing and patience with storytelling with a camera and he’s just a genius and exceeds at that. But also with that, he has an accessibility I think in all his movies, especially this one, and I think he attributes that to his relationships with his actors and he trusts the people that are around him.”

Producers say they scouted all over North America to shoot the film. But they fell in love with Montreal and the surrounding area because of its beautiful exteriors and Villeneuve’s talented film support system there.

In fact, the landscape in one of the film’s posters was actually shot in Saint-Fabien, Que.

“I think it’s quite remarkable, if you look at the movie and you see the beauty of the movie. And you can identify it, if you know Montreal, but you don’t have to either,” said producer David Linde.

“I loved Montreal,” added Adams.

“I brought my family, so it was a great place to have my family for the summer. It’s got a great karaoke bar, Pang Pang. I took everybody out. Denis does a mean ‘Skyfall.’ He’s going to be so mad at me.”

Adams said she brought her daughter on set and Villeneuve’s family visited too.

“The set was so calm and so friendly and so familiar that I felt like it was a place that felt very welcoming.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

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