Monday, November 15, 2010

Red Carpet

Alright, I admit it.  I went to see the world premiere of the seventh Harry Potter movie in Leicester Square last Thursday. Here is my defense as given to other Cambridge friends:
Can't you imagine yourself having even a little bit of fun watching the world go mad for a couple of hours? I'm not going in order to get Rupert Grint's autograph...not at all! I've never been star crazy in my life, but I think it sounds like loads of fun to watch everyone else go star crazy. Red carpets, celebrities, tabloids, screaming fans -- the whole thing is so utterly bizarre I would absolutely love to experience it first hand just once in my life. Aren't you in the least bit attracted to the ridiculous, even sometimes?
Unfortunately, the world didn't go mad.  Brits must be too proper!  I was hoping the atmosphere would be filled with the same kind of buzzing excitement I have experienced before midnight movies and sought-after tickets or seats in the Marriott Center.  I was expecting some kind of pre-show tailgate party, with music, pizza delivered and card games.  Instead, everyone stood quietly and patiently for hours on end, looking, for the most part, rather somber.  Of course, it was not the most comfortable thing; we were standing in a pack for literally the entire afternoon and evening, and it did deluge three separate times during the day.  I am posting pictures of the day's many "transformations" below:

Hair down
Hair up (picture taken after one of our deluges - please
note the facial expression of the girl behind me)

Reading (like a good Cambridge student)
Giving it up as a lost cause

Sky five minutes after the picture above was taken
(hooray London!)

Fenced (by 3:00 we could leave but couldn't return)

View into the central premiere space
View blocked :(

Cool enough
Cooler (Lights and Christmas trees added, though the
trees are hard to see in this picture)
Such was our afternoon.  I will admit for you now what we didn't know until about 8:00 that evening: we were standing on the wrong side of Leicester square.  We arrived on the tube and saw in front of us a theatre, a Harry Potter display, fences and a red carpet:

We naturally assumed we had arrived in the correct location and promptly took our spots.  What we learned (after standing for an hour through the premiere without seeing any of the celebs we knew were signing autographs just across the fence) was that we had parked ourselves in front of the guest theatre.  Basically, we saw a lot of people who know people, but who aren't "people" themselves.  That wasn't exactly what we had planned.  However, the trip wasn't entirely fruitless.  We saw a newscaster who is undoubtedly well-known somewhere in the world:

We watched the poor girl practice her part (walking across the red carpet, speaking to the camera and then proceeding to walk straight into the pillar next to her - presumably in a choreographed attempt to enter platform 9 3/4) about 200 times.  She was coached by both the producer and the cameraman.  I've been dying to find the actual clip somewhere; we think it might have been a Spanish MTV or Disney.  If anyone has seen it, please let me know the YouTube URL. 

We also saw the contestants of X Factor.  Since all three of us are Americans and don't follow British reality shows, that didn't mean much.  But everyone else was happy:

Don't worry.  We did see some of the Harry Potter stars:

Dean Thomas
Mr. Weasley (not on the stairs; look directly to the left of the purple glove)
Ron (Rupert Grint) [just trust me here.  I promise he's the blurry
head in the middle]
Hermione (Emma Watson) both here and below [Here in the
 middle with the short, dark hair.  Below in the center left.]
She was definitely the star of the show.

We also saw Kingsley Shaklebolt and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe).  Daniel came down after Emma and Rupert and I had decided, by then, that I just wanted to watch instead of wasting my time trying to get him on film (I actually didn't think I had been able to snap the pictures fast enough initially, so I was pleasantly surprised to find my pictures of Mr. Weasley and Emma).  

Unfortunately, we were unable to see any of the other actors and actresses because they all entered another theatre elsewhere in the square.  I was disappointed, I admit, but at the end of the day, there were other joys that made the experience worth it.  First, I was able to spend the day with and get to know Christine, the wife of one of the other new students in the Cambridge LDS congregation.  I was also able to meet Victoria, a ten year old celeb expert who wanted to add Emma Watson's signature to her home collection, which includes the signature of Angelina Jolie.  And I got to talk quite a bit with her lovely Spanish mother, who was so excited to hear our "beautiful" American accents (she had learned "American English" in school). She and I were so comfortable with each other by the end of the day that we shared my package of milk chocolate Digestives (British cookies), passing it back and forth like old friends.   


Jacob & Clarissa said...

Sounds like a fun adventure! I'm a little jealous that you've already seen the movie! By the way, Digestives? Really? Whose idea was it to name a cookie that?

Ashley said...

Love it!!! I would do it just for the adventure!

And good ole London rainstorms...

Jonathon and Sarah said...

I will admit that I am a little bit of a Harry Potter fanatic. I can't wait to see the new movie in a few days. Seeing the stars would be really fun, but I don't know about standing out there all day. You are a trooper.

Oh, and just so you know... Jonathon and I took your suggestion about reading Carry on, Mr. Bowditch, and it changed our lives. Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic, but seriously, it is now on our top ten list. What a great, inspirational story. Thanks for writing about it.


Melissa said...

wow! i'm so jealous! not that i'm a huge harry potter fan, but i will admit that i had pictures of daniel radcliffe on my walls, when i was like 11. =)) that's so cool you got to experience that though!

Ryan said...

I can't tell you how many girls in my ward would give up chocolate for a year to stand where you were this week. They are so jealous. I'm just jealous that I can't be there with YOU! haha. Love you Amy

paulita said...

i would have loved to experience that craziness with you!!! thanks so much for sharing.

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