Actor Donald Sutherland arrives before the screening of "The Leisure Seeker" at the Toronto International Film Festival, in Toronto on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Sutherland hit the TIFF red carpet still beaming from news of his Oscar honour, joking about how he'll prepare for his first Academy Awards bash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov.
TORONTO — Donald Sutherland hit the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival still beaming from news of his Oscar honour, joking about how he'll prepare for his first Academy Awards bash.
"Well, I probably have to lose weight," the legendary actor quipped Saturday as he mused on the upcoming Governors Awards.
The 82-year-old screen star from Saint John, N.B., learned last week that he's among four recipients of a lifetime achievement award, to be handed out Nov. 11.
"I'm really happy, I was thrilled," Sutherland said of learning the news while working in Rome on Danny Boyle's limited series for FX, "Trust."
"It's everything, it's everything."
Sutherland greeted fans and posed for pictures as he headed to a screening of his latest feature, "The Leisure Seeker," with Oscar-winner Helen Mirren.
They play an aging couple who hit the road in their vintage RV for one last adventure as health woes close in on them.
On the way into the theatre, Mirren called Sutherland's Oscar honour long overdue and admitted to being in awe of his long career.
"I'm always rather intimidated working with very, very big movie stars like Donald," Mirren said.
"Donald and I had to spend many hours in a camper van together so certainly there was every opportunity to get to know each other. I loved working with him. It was very funny, it was very fun, it was often quite challenging but it was a marvellous experience."
The film's Italian director, Paolo Virzi, added that he and the cast "were so happy and moved" when they heard the news.
"I think he totally deserves that, he's a legend, he's worked in such masterpieces," said Virzi, who described a dedicated and detailed performer.
"It was so astonishing for me to see how intense and how deep he can be, a brilliant actor like Donald Sutherland, embodying a human being and becoming him.... He was brilliant and unpredictable and from sorrow to joy, he was also funny and poignant and touching."
Sutherland's diverse credit list includes "Ordinary People," "The Dirty Dozen," "Don't Look Now," "M*A*S*H," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and the "Hunger Games" franchise.
Writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman and director Agnes Varda will also be honoured at the Governors Awards.
Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press