Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Premiere Report: Los Angeles - Xoanon @ 13:48 PST

I went up to the premier yesterday, thank goodness there was no rain then. Of course, a water main broke a few blocks down and the gutters were swollen with run off water, so it was the same effect. The big rain storm has hit today, which will affect Line parties in the area, but the premiere was in a nice bubble of decent weater.

It's rather an interesting experience, going to a premiere simply as a fan. I still love all the comeraderie you get with meeting fans from all over the place, so that part was cool. Had some good discussions with some of the cast as well, which was nice. It didn't occur to most people to actually talk to them as they asked for autographs. How silly is that? Anyhow, here are some things I gleaned from the cast members I talked with.

John Rhys Davies is feeling better, but is still taking some pain medication. He showed me the scars on his arms, mentioned his back was still really screwed up, and didn't have to use a cane to walk until he left the premiere party rather late in the evening. He was a perfect saint each and every time he came out to meet the fans, and I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with him for his efforts. He asked if anyone had seen the film, and I was the only one within earshot who had, so we discussed it briefly. I won't mention anything here, I just let him know my opinions on his performance, and a few of the other key moments of the film. JRD signed for fans across the street, then again before leaving for dinner once the film started, and then again before entering the post party. He signed for anyone who wanted him to, and checked repeatedly before leaving.

Liv Tyler was also very gracious, coming to meet the fans before heading off for dinner after the premier started. She patiently signed, and enjoyed seeing some of the things people handed her that she had never seen before. This included the Topps card I asked her to sign, and I also handed her a READ bookmark, as I know she has only seen that one other time, when I had her sign one last year. She laughed at the fact that I knew she doesn't get to see all the product out there, and thanked me for letting her have one of the bookmarks.

Orlando Bloom actually braved the torrent of water to meet the fans across the street. The guards didn't really want him getting that close, partly because it was a lot of water in the gutter, and the barricade was close to the curb, leaving very little room for Orlando to stand. He didn't seem to care, and stepped through the water constantly, grabbed the railing, held onto people when needed, and signed for as many people as he could.

I also talked with Billy Boyd on the phone, while he was walking down the press line, very surrealistic little experience. Thanks to Asfaloth for being so ambidexterous, calling me on the cellphone, and holding her camera to film Billy. Billy was hungry, I did get that loud and clear.

He was quite gracious, wanted to know what I was doing across the street, waved several times, and then just couldn't hear anymore. Not something I was expecting, so it was a very pleasant little surprise.

After the screening started and it was clear that no one else was leaving early, we went to eat at the cafe in the main theater lobby. We ended up running into Bernard Hill in the cafe. Very nice man, didn't seem to mind overly much to be signing for the few of us at the dinner table. He even answered some of my costuming questions. Yes, I'm trying to develop a costume of my own, and no, it won't be ready this week. It's a costume we won't be seeing until ROTK, so I took advantage of having someone who knows what the costume I'm trying to make looks like. I got a little detail, but it's clear I'm going to have to corner someone from WETA on this, as there is armour involved, and other details I want to make sure I get right, instead of just guessing. Anyhow, Bernard Hill was quite pleasant, then went back into the screening.

Outside the post party, several of the actors decided that the smaller crowd of fans were doable, and some still thought it was a bit overwhelming, or at least, the security did. Very interesting standing out there, because that is also where you run into more of the autograph hounds, the professional autograph seekers. They made some of the evening quite unpleasant, but a few of the actors still braved the crowd.

Viggo stopped for a few moments, and signed for a mob of people who surrounded him. JRD also made his third foray into the crowd at this point too. Most of the actors were ushered right in, with just a wave or two to the crowd. It was when they were leaving that a few of them stopped to meet the crowd. As the evening wore on, the crowd thinned out too, which was nice.

The pleasanter experience was talking with Howard Shore again. I thanked him for the wonderful talk the day before, and asked for a photo to put up with this report for TORn. That's when he asked if I'd sent in a report for the discussion the day before. I had sent one in, but didn't know it had been posted yet. He had seen it and thanked me for it , so we then discussed the movie a bit. He seemed to really enjoy how enthusiastic the audience was at the screening of Two Towers after his discussion. I gave him my opinions on the good and bad in the film, as I do have concerns that lie in both directions.

Karl Urban was the next to come out, and was surrounded, so it took a while to get to see him. He seemed to be really aware of the difference between the fans and the professional autograph hounds. I heard him on several occasions say things like "No, I already got you", "I don't know what that is, so I'm not signing it" (this was for a blank page on a folder of some sort) and he didn't want to change pens at all, just kept to the one he had. He would also ask people who the item was for, and one lady said For Me, and then gave her name. So, he signed it "For Me", to which I said, "now that's Caesar talking" and he laughed. I guess I was the only person there who knew of his past work, as most everyone else was a bit clueless and had never seen him before. I then mentioned that I'd actually worked with him at a Xena con before, so he seemed a bit more at ease when I asked for a photo with him. I really like the way he sort of took charge and didn't get taken advantage of while signing, the mark of someone who has done this before and understands fandom a bit.

The last person to come out that evening was Andy Serkis. He's a lot shorter than I had thought, but then again, the only other role I've ever seen him in is as Bill Sykes in Oliver. That's such a physically imposing role, I guess I thought he was really big. Anyhow, he was very sweet, and I couldn't help but gush at how much I loved Gollum in the film. The combination of his work to bring the character to life, and the WETA digital guys to render Gollum so perfectly is just amazing, and I had to let him know how well it worked. I'll have a picture with him soon too, as soon as I can get my film developed.

All in all, it was a very strange day. Broken Water main, flooded gutters, three moves of the crowd by security, two fights, and lots of good companions to share the experience with. What more could a fan girl like myself want from life?