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Stars of Sundance

This year's film festival had snow, deals, and no shortage of celebs—many of whom dropped by EW's photo studio to express themselves

This year’s film festival had snow, deals, and no shortage of celebs—many of whom dropped by EW’s photo studio to express themselves

FRESH SNOW blanketed the first few days of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It seemed a little too cold to get excited about swag and parties, but that was fine with the Sundance organizers, who urged the media to focus on the actual films. There were fewer buyers in town this year, but deals did get made. Paramount snapped up Waiting for Superman, a doc about America’s failing public school system. Lionsgate paid more than $3 million for Buried, in which Ryan Reynolds appears in (and only in) a coffin. And at press time, other buzzed-about films (including The Company Men with Ben Affleck and Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) seemed likely to sell. A host of stars dropped by EW’s photo studio, where they cavorted for our photographer Ture Lillegraven (hair and makeup provided by L’Oréal). Everyone was in fine spirits, though Kristen Stewart admitted to one dark desire: ”I hope the paparazzi trip and fall in the snow.”

1. Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart star in the Joan Jett biopic The Runaways. ”I found myself doing things I never would have done,” says Stewart of portraying Jett. ”In rehearsal, I would be spitting everywhere. When Joan’s on stage, she spits.”

2. ”This was my parents’ favorite movie I’ve ever been in,” says Jonah Hill, who stars in the dark comedy Cyrus as a strange son of a woman dating a new man. ”I usually do comedy with a lot of sex jokes, [which is not unlike] when I was a teenager and cursed and made a lot of d – - jokes. This time I’m just playing a really weird guy. That was nice for them.”

3. James Franco, the prolific, eccentric actor—who’s in talks to reprise his recent role on General Hospital (see page 14)—was in town to promote HOWL, in which he plays beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Franco also had a short film at the fest, Herbert White, which was based on a poem.

4. Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) and Ben Affleck star in The Company Men, a timely drama—also starring Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper—about corporate downsizing.

5. Adrian Grenier directs and stars in the documentary Teenage Paparazzo, which chronicles his relationship with an actual 13-year-old shutterbug who snapped his photo.

6. John Legend wrote the song ”Shine” for the documentary Waiting for Superman. ”I was so inspired by what I saw,” he says, that when director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) asked him to do it, ”I said, ‘I would love to.”’

7. Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, and Ari Graynor star in Holy Rollers, the tale of a Hasidic Jew (Eisenberg) who begins smuggling ecstasy to New York via Amsterdam.

8. Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener portray a married couple in Please Give.

9. Blue Valentine’s Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play a couple whose marriage is falling apart. The actors filmed the early flashbacks first. ”Then we took a break, packed on a few pounds, and learned to hate each other,” Williams says.

10. In The Dry Land, America Ferrera plays the wife of an Iraq war vet. The actress broke through here in 2002 with Real Women Have Curves: ”My whole career started at Sundance.”

11. Orlando Bloom plays a rocker in Sympathy for Delicious.

12. Malin Ackerman shaved her eyebrows to portray a woman with alopecia in happythankyoumoreplease. ”You get put in a pocket in L.A.,” she says. ”I wanted to get out of it.”

13. Dax Shepard plays a young husband trying to spice up his marriage in The Freebie.

14. Jimmy Smits, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson all ponder the maternal bond in Mother & Child.

15. Mark Ruffalo makes his directing debut with Sympathy for Delicious, about a recently paralyzed DJ who discovers he has the power to heal others. It’s not Ruffalo’s first time at Sundance, but ”now when anyone says anything bad about my movie I want to knock their teeth in,” he says. With a smile.

16. Amanda Peet, six months pregnant with her second child, arrived at EW’s studio to help promote her ensemble dramedy Please Give.

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For more photos from the festival, go to ew.com/sundancephotos

1. Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, from The Runaways

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1. Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, from The Runaways

2. (From left) Cyrus codirector Jay Duplass, Marisa Tomei, codirector Mark Duplass, Jonah Hill, and John C. Reilly

3. HOWL’s James Franco

4. The Company Men stars Rosemarie DeWitt and Ben Affleck

5. Teenage Paparazzo’s Adrian Grenier

6. John Legend

7. Holy Rollers Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, and Ari Graynor

8. Please Give’s Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener

9. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, from Blue Valentine

10. America Ferrera, from The Dry Land

11. Sympathy for Delicious’ Orlando Bloom

12. (From left) Malin Ackerman, Josh Radnor (who also directs), and Kate Mara, from happythankyoumoreplease

13. The Freebie’s Dax Shepard

14. (From left) Jimmy Smits, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson, from Mother & Child

15. Sympathy for Delicious director Mark Ruffalo with writer/star Christopher Thornton

16. Please Give’s Amanda Peet