My sit down with Rosewater’s Jon Stewart, Gael Garcia Bernal and Maziar Bahari

Before Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut had its bow in front of audiences at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the busy multi-tasker — along with journalist Maziar Bahari and star Gael Garcia Bernal — stopped by Cineplex to let us in on what to expect from their true-life tale Rosewater.

Based on Bahari’s memoir “Then They Came For Me,” the film is the dramatized true story of the Iranian-Canadian journalist’s five-month captivity following the Iranian elections (and subsequent protests) in 2009.The reporter’s detention came about, in small part, because of his appearance on Stewart’s satirical news series The Daily Show in the days running up to the vote. Tapped by Iranian authorities as a Western spy, Bahari was held in solitary confinement for 118 days following his arrest. The reporter appeared as a guest for a second time on The Daily Show after his release, where talks began to turn his amazing story into a feature film.

To say Stewart’s visit had the Cineplex TIFF team buzzing more than any other big star this Festival would be a bit of an understatement. Let’s just say it’s a good thing the host is used to performing in front of a live studio audience given the number of people who turned out to meet and talk with him. With self-deprecation at the ready and wielding a Scarlett O’Hara impression none of us will soon forget, Stewart was on top form before turning to the more serious subject matters at hand.

Check out what all three had to say as I talked to them about this tale of resiliency, hope and love.

(Originally posted at

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