Man oh man… Those nasty Hobbit-ses… lol… Erica just sent in this awesome recap of one of the main stops on her New York adventure. She had the good fortune to attend the Premiere and after party for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!
And it’s pretty amazing. I think that this is one of the most anticipated movies of 2012 and I know I loved it when I saw it. She was able to meet pretty much the entire cast!
But I’m not going to bore you with my stuff. Let me turn it over to Erica! Check out the full report after the jump!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The Hobbit – a much anticipated premiere!
I absolutely loved the Lord of the Rings films and was a big fan of the Hobbit as a kid so I’ve been waiting for this return to Middle-Earth for about 10 years. When I had an opportunity to buy charity tickets to the premiere and after party, how could I refuse? (Oh yeah, it’s for a good cause as well –AFI). My sister and I got tickets and headed to NY!
Mike asked me to write this up because it would be “epic.” At one point, I considered breaking this into 3 parts, but then I decided it’s just one long story, isn’t it? Ahem!
(Editor’s Note: I said Epic? Me? What? LOL… M-)
My epic begins the day before the premiere with a nightmare flight on American Airlines where the flight attendant wanted to kick me off because I didn’t want her to molest me. Seriously. I was grabbed and cornered and threatened. In response, all American Airlines customer service said “thanks for your feedback…have a nice day!” Yeah, American doesn’t give a shit about its customers so if you want to be manhandled by staff who seem to have permission to do so, you know what airline to fly. I know they are bankrupt, but I had no idea that also applied to their standards and morales and not just the balance sheet. Grrrr! Arg!
So with that loathsome start to my trip, things can only get better, right? Thank God the universe seemed to think I was due a little something since American Airlines couldn’t care less…
One of my wishes for the trip is granted the night before the big premiere! (Thank you, Universe!) I really wanted a picture with the gorgeous Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) and guess who was attending a play the night before the premiere? Yes, I love theater! I bumped into a casual and very kind Richard Armitage. Holy crap! He looks so amazing in casual clothes!
Richard was so nice and stopped for me and my sister. Yeah! He’s a bit shy so when I start to gush a bit (I’ve been wanting to meet him for years now), he got a tad uneasy. Oops! I dial it back a bit and wish him good night. Ah! Note to self: keep it cool with Richard! Yeah!!!
The day of the premiere was cold – roughly 30 degrees, but with clear skies so at least we’re dodging the rain. Ah, New York premieres in December! A group of us are waiting for the premiere including Big Apple Elisa and my two sisters and a friend. We’re following Sir Ian McKellen’s live chat on Twitter which is thoughtful and hilarious and helps pass the hours as we wait.
The premiere set up keeps moving around so we don’t really know if we got a good spot until maybe an hour before the carpet. They pass out Gandalf hats (yeah!) and are re-using Comic Con decorations for the red carpet which is pretty small considering this is for the Hobbit.
The fan space is relatively small space since they parked some trucks and we’re not in the best spot, but it’s workable. Fingers crossed!
There is a slow start to the carpet as no one arrives for the first 15 minutes. No starlets or TV folks. After a bit, Terry O’Quinn arrives and waves to the cheering crowd. They shove him through the carpet to keep the press entertained.
Peter Jackson is the first to arrive at 6:15. We yell like crazy for him, but he heads directly inside. Drat! He was one of my other big wishes for the day – to finally meet him. Sigh!
About 5 minutes later, a SUV arrives with Stephen Hunter (Bombur) waving out the window. Dwarves! We call out, but he and a few other actors get hustled to the empty carpet. Uh oh. Not a good sign. We really need someone to come over and break the ice!
And like the universe has heard our wishes, Andy Serkis arrives and, without even consulting his handlers, he goes straight to the fans! Love this guy! He’s starting at the far right end so it will be a few minutes before he comes over to us in the middle.
The next car arrives with Adam Brown in the front seat. Adam plays Ori – the baby of the dwarves with the slingshot and mittens. We call for him and he waves from inside the car. He gets out and chats with the handlers when I see the back seat open and the “Hot Dwarves” appear – Kili and Fili aka Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman. Yikes! I start to yell for Dean and Aidan who also consult their handlers.
Adam dashes over to us with a big smile. Yeah! The first of the night! He’s friendly, but rushed so he signs just a few in our area and then jumps back to the carpet very quickly.
Aidan and Dean have spread out to our left, but are moving towards us since we’re the only ones calling for them by name. Thank God they are moving towards us!
Then Andy Serkis arrives from our right and I’m worried that Dean will leave since people usually leave once they bump into someone. Also, the guys are not dressed for 30 degree weather so I wouldn’t blame them if they jumped back.
But Dean waits for Andy to sign for us and then goes around Andy to continues on the line. Good man! Dean goes another 10 feet or so and then heads to the carpet.
Aidan is still to our left and about to leave when he bumps into Andy, so I start calling for him. Ah! Luckily, he comes back for us. Thank God! Aidan makes his way over and I compliment him on Being Human and he looks up with big smile and says “Thanks, mate!” Too bad he signed with black in the black, but at least I got him!
Andy, meanwhile, continues down the line and will be the one person to go corner to corner. So great to the fans!!
The next car of dwarves arrives and I see Jed Borphy (Nori). I start to call and he turns and waves from inside the car.
He gets out and checks in with his handlers and I can see that William Kircher is seated next to him on the far side of the car. I call out for William and my outdoor voice seems to be working (also, premieres are a helluva lot quieter in NY) and he turns and waves.
Jed dashes out straight towards us and signs a handful with an apologetic “I’m not supposed to do this!” and then goes back in. Whoa! He signed just about 5 – I’m so thankful that no one else is calling them by name so they are making their way to us.
William (Bifur – the one with the axe in his head) is out with his lovely wife and he signs a few and ends with us (almost missing my sister!) and then heads to the carpet.
Meanwhile, I didn’t even see the other dwarves, but thankfully both James Nesbitt (Bofur – the one he empathizes with Bilbo) and Graham McTavish (Dwalin- the tough dude) came over and started to sign. James is not a great signer so I’m desperate to make sure he comes over. I call for him and throw in a “Mr. Jekyll!” which makes him smile as he comes over (he played the title character in the BBC show). He finishes up a few people past us. Whew!
Now it’s just Graham and he’s slower to move down the line and seems like he could go at any time. I call out for him a bit more and he makes his way over and finishes up a few feet after us. Yeah!!!!! Whew!! 8 cast members back to back…!
Through all the dwarf chaos, we miss Martin Freeman who slips inside to the red carpet. I’m wondering if he was still wearing the ring so he could slip by all of us… Sigh!
It’s strangely quiet for a moment and we catch our breath as most of the dwarves are now inside. We figure out that Stephen Hunter was in the first car with Peter Hambleton (Gloin – Gimli’s dad), John Callen (Oin) and Mark Hadlow (Dori). Ken Stott (Balin – the advisor) is doing a play in London so that means the only dwarf left is Thorin – Richard Armitage.
The next car drops Sir Ian McKellen who gets a huge roar. However, he is a man on a mission and heads towards us and says “Where’s PETA?” (Elisa thinks he’s asking for “Peeta” which is another film altogether!). There are a couple of PETA protesters who first staked out a place on the carpet until security shoo’d them away. They are now standing somewhere behind us since this is where all the actors are coming over.
Sir Ian beelines it towards them and leans over to have a chat in a very friendly, but stern voice: “I was on the film for 18 months and not once did I ever see any mistreatment…” He’s leaning over and my sister is bending backward trying not to knock her head into his chest while Gandalf is schooling the protesters in a very kindly, but firm manner. After he’s said his piece, he does a quick interview on the street and heads in. Sadness that he didn’t sign, but I wouldn’t expect him to cover the barricade!
Richard Armitage drops next and there is a huge cheer and he heads straight for the Armitage Army.
He signs for about 20 feet on the barricade and he’s smiling and engaging with folks as he goes.
I get him to sign my North and South DVD (the BBC mini-series) and he looks up in surprise with a big smile and says “Thanks!” Such a lovely man!
A car drops, but I can’t see who’s in it since the occupant got out the back side of the SUV. There is an ear-piercing squeal to my far left and then the car leaves and reveals that Elijah Wood is here! Elijah heads towards the squealer and signs a few down that way, but heads quickly to the carpet since it’s pretty late. Ah well!
Lee Pace (Thanduil – an Elven king who happens to be Legolas’ dad) arrives for a quick dash on the carpet, but won’t stay since he has a play to do tonight.
Since that’s the cast, we head to the premiere. As we are grabbing our tickets, I hear a huge ovation from the crowd – Sir Patrick Stewart is here to support his friend (sometimes nemesis), Sir Ian.
We head inside the theater and see Peter Jackson heading up a receiving line by the escalator. No way! He’s surrounded by security so we can’t approach him, but he’s right there!
Peter is finishing up his greeting duties and we wind up walking next to him as we head toward the auditorium. My sister asks him if he’ll sign and he agrees! Ah! I have to fumble to get my poster out, but security is telling him no. However, Peter agrees to sign one more and he signs mine! I manage to say “it’s an honor” and he says “ my pleasure” before he’s gone. Of course he signs at the bottom over the signature in black (Aidan), but I don’t care! Peter Jackson!! Peter Jackson!!
So where would you hold the after party for the Hobbit? At Bag End, where else! The entry to the party is a re-creation of Hobbiton.
The party is a ton of fun – where else can you see Terry O’Quinn in a Gandalf hat?
We manage a few more signatures and pictures at the party including Elijah Wood who, as always, he’s always kind enough to sign. He looks almost the same as he did at the Return of the King premiere. I also grab a photo with Andy Serkis who is awesome!
I find Aidan and have him sign my poster again. It’s such a relaxed moment that he writes out an inscription and we chat a bit. (Always easier after you’ve seen the film!) I ask how he enjoyed having the weapon of the year (bow and arrow) and he laughs and says, “Yeah! Fuck Hunger Games!”
I also grab a picture with Dean who likes to point at people when he takes pictures with them. We were well into the party at this point so it was an interesting, uh, conversation!
We also bump into Richard Armitage. Yeah, like I’m not going to say ‘hi’ when he’s around! This time, I get out a restrained compliment on how amazing he was in the film and he beams and answers with “Oh thank you!” He seemed genuinely happy to hear that. I’m able to refrain from yelling “I love you!” after him so I will count that as a victory for my self control…
I missed Ben Affleck even though I was apparently looking straight at him. Yeah, I’m hunting dwarves so I’m rather focused right now. Peter Jackson, Liv Tyler and others have left so I think it’s just the three dwarves from that first car drop off that I need now.
Fortunately we find Stephen Hunter who is amazingly alert since he and a few others only arrived in NY at 3 am that morning after flying 20 hours from Sydney. We also find Peter Hambleton so now we are just waiting for Mark Hadlow. The party has been extended for some extra hours so we’re not sure who is still around. The dwarves have amazing endurance!
Finally it looks like they are clearing out the party and we see Sir Ian again – and this time he stops for us! I get a chance to thank him for returning to this role on behalf of the fans and he says “How kind! You’re welcome.”
Across the room I spot the back of the head of someone who could be Martin Freeman. And then I know it’s him when he starts scratching his ear – just like when I was talking to Martin at Comic Con this year. Too funny! He’s in a hurry and signs for us quickly. I plead for one more since I just happen to have my Sherlock poster with me. He looks like he’s going to refuse, but he looks at me and says “Because it’s such a pretty face asking, one more!” (!!!!) I think he’s just being uber polite, but just in case, I may wear make-up more often…
Security says the place is empty so we head out and just happen to walk with the last group of people heading out – including final dwarf we need, Mark Hadlow! No way! We stop him and he’s as friendly and as talkative as can be and asks how we liked the film since “we did this for the fans!” So sweet!
We’re all headed to the cars and I laugh when I see their handlers counting dwarves like Gandalf in the film: “ Adam, Aidan, Dean and Stephen….” Life imitating art!
An epic, fantastic night where the cast was friendly and chatty, I had a quick flyby with Peter Jackson and a great picture with the lovely and gorgeous Richard Armitage. Yeah!
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