The Red Carpet Life on Week Ten

The hard life of an intern. Three red carpets, two movie premieres, one screening, one awards show, tons of celebrities, and that’s just one week! Told you this post was going to be good.

At the risk of sounding young and naive, I really love my job. Enough that it makes the stress, the long hours, the late nights, all totally worth it. It’s absolutely exhausting though. This past week, I was out the door at 8:45am and coming back around 9 or 10 at night. Then again, it’s been an unusually busy past few days. Big events tend to be a bit more spread out, but it just so happens that quite a few departments had some big events this week and I happily volunteered for them all.

So without further ado, here’s a recap of the coolest work week by far:

Monday – G.I. Joe: Retaliation premiere
First red carpet experience in London was anything but boring. Now I’m not new to the behind-the-scenes red carpet life but this was different for a lot of reasons, the first being the weather. My previous experiences had been under the warm Los Angeles sunshine and bright blue skies in breezy sundresses and flats for utmost comfort and cuteness, paired with a chic blazer for that touch of professionalism.

This was the complete opposite. We arrived at the Empire Theater in Leicester Square to pouring rain and bitter cold, the sky already gray and rapidly turning dark, the sun non-existent. My black and white dress worn over tights and boots was not even seen underneath the cardigan, jacket, raincoat, and scarf that had me bundled up to the ears. Throw in a huge pointy umbrella that was more a safety hazard than anything, a slippery sidewalk, and a recovering cold threatening to make a comeback, it was then that I officially accepted what I had known for a while. Forget the 50/50 London or LA decision; after graduation, I am going straight to the west coast and never coming back.

Anyway. The second reason this was different was simply my responsibilities. Back in LA, my job during premieres was a runner. Basically I would stand by the ticket table with a radio and whenever someone on the other side of the red carpet needed their ticket, I would run right over and hand it to them. Of course, then I was working under the supervision of the special events coordinator so my duties were mostly in the preparation of the event and arriving early to set everything up. Once the actual premiere got underway, I was just there to assist when needed.

Here, working for an agency rather than a studio, I was on talent duty. Whenever a celebrity arrived, one of us would approach them, introduce ourselves, and walk them down the red carpet for interviews, photos, autographs, and etc. This would have been really cool if it wasn’t pouring rain and my fingers weren’t frozen onto my umbrella and I wasn’t 5 foot 2 because all the celebrities wore six inch heels and I couldn’t lift my arms high enough to protect their paparazzi-ready hairdo and make-up from the brutal London weather.

I’m kidding. Well not really. But it actually was really cool despite everything. As I was coming in and out of the theater, at that point already soaking wet, I ran right into none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and yeah he really is that huge. Like I must have been a mosquito to him because he didn’t even notice when I bumped into him. Memories from running into Vince Vaughn at The Watch after-party last summer came back. He hadn’t noticed me bumping into him either… Why am I so short?

I was able to attend the screening due to my supervisor’s friend having an extra ticket. Some free popcorn and a ridiculously cliched but entertaining action movie later, I was making my way home, frozen and damp, but feeling successful. Take that, London weather.

Tuesday – Trance premiere (see picture above!)
No rest for the wicked. The very next night I was hitting the red carpet again, this time for Danny Boyle’s latest mind-bending thriller starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel. And guess what? It wasn’t raining! Unfortunately the Scottish King of my heart wasn’t staying long and was already off and away by the time I arrived to the Odeon Theater in Leicester Square. It’s a mark of how bad the weather has been that I was rejoicing in the evening temperature of a mild 30 something degrees (that’s Fahrenheit by the way, I still haven’t gotten the hang of this Celsius business). But it wasn’t raining and that made all the difference.

This was a much smaller premiere. They even sent a few of the volunteers home because we had more talent handlers than we had talent. I wanted to stick around and watch (and there’s always the possibility James McAvoy could come back and fall in love with me I mean what it could happen).

Anyway, all things considered, it was quite uneventful but it was still thrilling to casually walk by and see Danny Boyle giving an interview or Vincent Cassel saying hello to fans. The movie was fantastic. Kind of like a more violent, less depressing, Eternal Sunshine. One of those movies you have to watch a few times to really get it, or at the very least leaves you thinking for a few days. Won’t say any more at the risk of spoilers (because man is it easy to spoil this movie) but I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a good suspenseful thriller.

Thursday – Spring Breakers screening
Not a red carpet, but on Thursday night my department was hosting an online screening for Spring Breakers, which doesn’t come out here until April 5 but I believe is already out in wide release in the US. It was in a hotel in Soho right around the corner from the office, but we had to bring four large cardboards carrying life-size cut-outs of the five stars. Which would have been really easy and not even worth mentioning if the wind hadn’t been particularly strong at the exact moment we started to make our way over. We had a bit of a laugh at everyone’s faces as we desperately tried to keep our weightless cardboards from flying away.

After a quick set-up in the screening room, I stood outside the door to check the journalists in as they arrived. The cut-outs looked great with the four girls on the steps directly across from the entrance and James Franco’s (metal) toothy grin greeting guests at the entrance. Next to a table of free wine of course. Yeah sometimes the Brits really do it right.

It was cool to finally meet some of the people whose articles I read during my daily coverage. Once everyone was inside, seated comfortably, with their second (or third or fourth depending on how early they had arrived) glass of wine, we were ready to start.

Now I have been morbidly curious about this film since I’ve started tracking its coverage at work. And I can’t say much because it hasn’t come out here yet but I will say this. Harmony Korine haters to the left. Homeboy is not selling out. If anything, this might be his most interesting work yet. Some people will love it, some people will hate it. But this has all the makings of a cult classic and if you have any interest or curiosity, it will be worth your while. Also James Franco sings Britney Spears so at the very least you’ll get a good laugh.

I’m still trying to work out where I stand on it. But one thing’s for sure. It really, really made me miss Florida. And yes this is me complaining about the weather. Again.

Sunday – Jameson Empire Awards 2013
Okay you know how it’s been cold? Well add snow. And a windchill that dropped the temperature by like ten degrees. Now imagine me standing outside in that for an hour and a half.

In case you are wondering, that was my evening last night and I literally still can’t feel my toes.

But it was so worth it.

I was on talent duty yet again which meant being out on the red carpet from 4pm as the celebrities arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel for this year’s Empire Awards. What made it worth it you ask? Oh you know just being in the casual presence of:

  • Martin Freeman
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Jenna-Louise Coleman
  • Helen Mirren
  • Elle Goulding
  • Samantha Banks
  • Sam Claflin
  • Daniel Radcliffe

Or how I like to call them:

  • Martin MY DEAR WATSON Freeman
  • Tom perfect British human look at me being perfect Hiddleston
  • Jenna-Louse I kissed Matt Smith and I’m prettier than you’ll ever be Coleman
  • Helen literally the queen of everything Mirren
  • Elle my voice is an angel and I look like one too Goulding
  • Samantha I’m a Broadway star now I’m a movie star and I’m gorgeous Banks
  • Sam would you like some apples Finnick (I mean Claflin)

So you know, just small-time celebrities I was totally fine.

Well most of those big names had their own publicists and walked themselves down the red carpet so I strategically grabbed those celebrities that coincided with them and then hovered awkwardly near them as my person did interviews and photos. I’m pretty sure I’m behind Martin Freeman for most of his interview but I have no idea who it was for. Also Tom Hiddleston is even taller and more good-looking (read perfect) in real life than you can imagine. And Daniel Radcliffe is shorter and happier and more good-natured and kind-hearted than I ever imagined possible. I just want to be his best friend and drink tea and sing show tunes together.

The actual awards ceremony was pretty cool too. I watched from the balcony of the reception area looking down at the stage directly in front of me, trying to distinguish who was sitting where. Daniel Radcliffe won the Hero award and the Harry Potter montage was extremely nostalgic and he was gracious and humble in his speech. Helen Mirren won the Legend award introduced by Tom Hiddleston and he’s just so proper and well-spoken and hypnotizing I just want to hear him speak for the rest of my life. Helen Mirren gave a girl power acceptance speech and it was not as controversial as everyone is making it out to be so the media really needs to take a step back. More on this later if I have time (which as we all know I really don’t…)

Anyway. I was a bit starstruck and you would think at this point I would be such a professional and this is just a day in the life. Like my supervisors who have done this so many times and can’t see the hour when they can go home to bed. And again, maybe it’s me being young and naive, but there’s something about this world that intrigues me and despite the stress and the weather and the crises, I still really really love it. I don’t mind working the nights and weekends and the long hours. It’s the same kind of exhaustion I would get in high school when I was juggling three soccer teams. Every night I would come home from a double practice, muscles aching, knowing I would only get a few hours sleep before getting up and doing it all again, I lived for those nights. They gave me an incredible happiness that only deepened my love and passion and commitment for the sport. It’s something I have missed every day since I stopped playing regularly in college. But through film and through these internships and through my work, I have found it again in a different way.

I’m extremely thankful for it. And I hope I never lose that youthful excitement, no matter where my life takes me.


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