Toronto’s International Film Festival, which drew to a close on Saturday, teemed with titans like Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Robert De Niro. But only one “Boss” dazzled the crowds: Bruce Springsteen, who swept into town for the premiere of Thom Zimny’s new documentary, “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” a film about Springsteen’s hit 1978 album. While there, the 60-year-old rocker also treated fans to an hour-long conversation about his career, moderated by old friend Edward Norton, at TIFF’s new Bell Lightbox theater.
Outside, diehard fans lined up to score a last minute seat. (“I’ll pay $300 for a ticket,” read one hopeful’s sign.)
Inside, Norton introduced his friend, who, like Norton, was dressed in a black button-down shirt, jeans and black leather shoes. “We should explain how long it took us to figure these outfits out,” said Springsteen.
The musician talked about his blue-collar roots, his music’s cinematic feel and spending his 20s living inside a surfboard factory. “After three days, you don’t smell it…anymore, but it’s in there,” he said.
“Explains a lot, actually,” Norton quipped.
Springsteen also wisecracked about his kids (“They think I looked ridiculous 30 years ago”) and offered fans romantic advice, a service he said he’s provided to Norton over the years.
The icon opened up about the career-altering 1978 album that inspired Zimny’s film.
“We came out of a little town. We wanted people to hear our voices. There was no modesty involved,” he said. “I wanted the pink Cadillac. I wanted the girls. And I also wanted what I needed most, which was a purposeful work life. That’s what we were in pursuit of.”
“The Promise” features new interviews with Springsteen and the band, as well as rare footage shot working on the follow-up to 1975’s phenom album, “Born to Run.”
“The Promise” airs Oct. 7 on HBO. It will also be included in a CD and DVD boxed set of “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” due in stores Nov. 16.