There’s no bigger fan of Parks and Recreation than James from the other side of the pond. He had a great weekend that he dubbed his Amy Poehler weekend. How can you not love Amy Poehler? Seriously! Parks and Rec is one of the funniest shows on television ever. Plus, it gave the world Chris Pratt! Hello!
Check out James recap below!
Leslie Knope Weekend
I think I have made no secret of the fact that I absolutely love Parks & Recreation; it’s definitely my favourite American show, and I think one of the best things to be made in a long time. Over the past 18 months I’ve been lucky enough to meet Chris Pratt (Andy), Aziz Ansari (Tom), Rashida Jones (Ann), Megan Mullaly (Tammy), Natalie Morales (Lucy) and the show’s co-creator Greg Daniels. I even got to spend a day watching Chris, Aziz and Natalie filming whilst on holiday in Chicago – that’s a day I’ll never forget!
As awesome as all this is, I have always wanted to meet the show’s main star, the fantastic Amy Poehler aka Leslie Knope. However I’d resigned myself to the fact that the chances of her ever coming to London were slim to none; unlike Chris she’s not a Hollywood star, or a touring comedian like Aziz. So, imagine my absolute when it was announced (on my birthday no less!) that Amy would be coming to London to attend a gala screening of her new film Inside Out. I think I may have screamed a little. In fact, I think this tweet sums up my reaction on the day pretty well…
I’d always heard mixed stories about how Amy is to fans, but that didn’t stop me from being majorly excited about her coming to London. If I could just get my Parks complete series boxset signed I’d be happy. I knew of a couple of promotional things that she would be doing over the course of the weekend, but was hoping that there would be a few more things I’d hear about closer to the time. Indeed, there were. So after some bargaining with my work to get a couple of hours of Friday morning off, this is how my two days dedicated just to Leslie Knope weekend went.
On the Friday morning, Amy was due to be a guest on a BBC Radio programme promoting Inside Out. I’ve not been to the BBC for a weekday recording in about four years, so wasn’t really sure what to expect or what time guests usually arrived. So I decided to just be there half an hour before the show started. That was 6am. Yes, I left home before 5am to try and meet Amy, that’s how much this meant to me. I arrived, and of course was the only person there. Over the next hour a handful of other collectors arrived, mainly for the show’s other guest, Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour. Time passed, and at about 7:30 a security guy came out and set up a couple of barriers. Five minutes later two cars pulled up, and out got Amy. Her PA said she was in a rush to get inside, but Amy saw my boxset and came over to sign it, and even personalised it to me. Happy James!!!! She signed a handful more before going inside, but didn’t pose for any photos. I didn’t care though, I’d just met the main star of my favourite TV show and was over the moon!
I decided to hang about for her leaving. About 90 minutes passed before she came out. She signed some more autographs (a few more collectors had turned up). Amy still didn’t pose for any photos, but did sign my copy of Pawnee: the Greatest Town in America, making me even happier!
After that I had to get to work, but decided that I would regret leaving the weekend without making every chance to get a photo with Amy. So after work I headed to a London hotel where there had been a press conference for the film with Amy, director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera. I was hoping to meet Pete too. I arrived, and there were 4 or 5 people waiting. I knew Amy had another recording to get to, so was pretty confident she’d be leaving before too long. Sure enough after a 10 minute wait, she came out with a few PAs. She signed my Parks & Rec season one DVD sleeve, but still didn’t pose for photos. There was no sign of Pete or Jonas, so I called it quits after a while.
Saturday came, and I couldn’t decide whether to go to the BFI to try and meet Amy, Pete and Jonas after a Q&A there, or to go to their hotel and try my luck there. I decided to go to the hotel, and pleasantly found only two other people waiting. This seemed like the best chance to get a photo, and I was pretty sure if I didn’t here then I wouldn’t get one at all during the weekend. About 20 minutes passed, and Amy, Pete and Jonas all came out. I was going to go for Pete, but Amy had come out without the PA who kept saying no to posing for photos, so I went to her. I got my season two DVD of Parks signed, told her (again) how big a fan I am of all things Pawnee, and asked for a photo. She thanked me for being a fan and said she would have to be quick, but agreed to a photo! Happpppppyyyyy me!!!
I was seriously so happy!! Undoubtedly my favourite photo of the year! I decided to hang about to see if I could catch Pete on his way back. Amy was the first to return, I couldn’t resist getting another DVD sleeve signed, this time season six.
Five minutes later Pete and Jonas came back. Pete went straight into the hotel but said he’d be back out in a few minutes. Jonas was happy to stop, and signed an index card and posed for a photo with me.
Pete came back out as he promised, and was really chatty. He signed a couple, and I decided to be cheeky since there were only a handful of people waiting and ask if he would mind drawing me a quick sketch. Cue one of my favourite autographs – Mike from Monsters Inc drawn by the film’s director! So cool! He posed for a quick photo too.
So that was my Leslie Knope weekend. I still can’t believe I got five autographs and a photo with Amy! To sum up, this was me by the end of the weekend:
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