Toronto 2011: U2's Bono in Spotlight on Opening Night

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TORONTO -- U2 frontman Bono on Thursday night at the Toronto International Film Festival let slip the creative process behind the world’s most successful rock band.

"We are very protective of our privacy and particularly the creative process, not just because we’re precious -- which we are -- but just because it’s not that pretty,” he told an opening night Roy Thomson Hall audience on hand to see the world premiere of David Guggenheim’s From The Sky Down, about U2’s struggle to get back its creative mojo.

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The old adage about people wouldn’t want to eat a hot dog if they knew what went into the sausage applied to U2’s success, Bono insisted.

"We got some sausages and mash coming up, ladies and gentlemen,” he added, with fellow band member The Edge at his side.

For his part, Guggenheim peered into the cavernous Roy Thomson Hall before telling the Toronto audience: “Did anyone tell you that it’s a documentary?”

Guggenheim insisted he’d brought his earlier films An Inconvenient Truth and It Might Get Loud to Toronto, and praised the festival and its audiences.

Earlier, TIFF director Cameron Bailey pointed out that the TIFF and U2 were both formed in the same year, 1976.

“We started a film festival, and they started a band,” Bailey recalled, noting how both now converged as Toronto for the first time opened with a documentary.

And opening night in Toronto got started with actor and stand up comic Susie Essman emceeing a 50th anniversary party at Roy Thomson Hall for domestic broadcaster Astral Media.

A predictably foul-mouthed Essman took aim at Konrad von Finckenstein, head of the CRTC, Canada’s TV regulator, who was in the audience.

“I hear you’re leaving. Who will you be replaced by, Klaus von Bulow?” she asked.

Essman, full of F-bombs Thursday night in Toronto and on Curb Your Enthusiasm, which airs in Canada unedited, insisted she must the Canadian regulator’s worst nightmare.

“Do you bleep me Konrad?” she asked a red-faced von Finckenstein.

The Toronto International Film Festival now goes into its opening weekend, packed with star-driven acquisition and launch titles.

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