​Big Chill Cast Gather For Big 30-Year Reunion

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September 7, 2013

“The Big Chill” cast reunited at the Toronto International Film Festival to celebrate the film’s 30-year anniversary. It’s a story of a group of baby boomer college buddies who attended a reunion 15 years after their graduation.

The film debuted on September 9, 1983, and to honor the occasion, cast members Glenn Close, Mary Kay Place, Kevin Kline, Meg Tilly, Tom Berenger and JoBeth Williams gathered at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre for the anniversary screening. All of the film’s major players were accounted for except for Jeff Goldblum, who played sex-obsessed People journalist Michael Gold, and William Hurt, who played Vietnam veteran and former radio host Nick Carlton.

Kevin Costner, played Alex Marshall, a friend of the group who committed suicide. The longtime funny story in Hollywood tells of the up-and-coming actor having all shots of his face being cut from the final version of the film, though he went on to headline later Lawrence Kasdan movies such as “Silverado” (1985) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994).

Tilly, 53, was 23 when she played Chloe, the youngest participant and something of an outsider among a group of former college friends coming together for the funeral of their longtime friend, Alex.

As they examine life from a 30s-something perspective, they reflect on how close they once were and consider how their lives have changed, all set to a score filled with 1960s and early ’70s hits from their college days.

Tilly and other stars from the film — Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger and Mary Kay Place, as well as director and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and producer Marcia Nasatir — will be at TIFF for a screening of the movie and onstage discussion at the Princess of Wales Theatre with the cast and crew.

Piers Handling, now TIFF director and CEO, has a very personal memory; he was in the audience in 1983, as just another festivalgoer.

“I was at that screening as a member of the public, so I do remember what it felt like,” Handling told the Star’s movie critic Peter Howell in a recent interview. “The festival was still very tiny, a local festival trying to persuade the big American movies to come to Toronto and hadn’’t succeeded in its first years and I think The Big Chill was the first film that put the festival on the map in a significant way. Very exciting screening, of course, it went on to multiple Oscar nominations and set up a generation of young actors actually who went on to incredible success.”

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