Archive for March 12th, 2017
Six plus hours later, long after the sun set on Hollywood Blvd., here’s what hours and hours of waiting got them:
Surrounded by security, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson helped his mother down the staircase after the premiere of Kong: Skull Island, walked down the blue carpet, never once looking up, got into his limo, and disappeared into the Hollywood night, disappointing hundreds of fans (plus the usual handful of professional autograph hounds).
Here’s what happened in between:
- We arrived around 3:30PM to find ourselves about a third of the way from the beginning of the “carpet run.” It wasn’t really a run, except for the ones who wanted to make it one, such as…
- Around 6PM, the stars started to arrive. John Goodman was the first to walk by the fans. And that’s just what he did. He made no eye contact and looked somewhat like a scared rabbit.
- On the other side of the “wall,” where some lucky fans sat in bleachers while a radio DJ blasted them with his barely intelligible voice, Jackson, Hiddleston, Larson and the director posed for pictures and talked to media types. We couldn’t see any of this.
- We waited and waited. No sign of any of the above.
- Finally, just before 8PM, a crowed of people passed by and climbed the stairs to the Dolby Theater. But still no sign of the stars.
- Then, suddenly, there was Jackson. There was Hiddleston. There was the director with the beard.
- And just as suddenly, they were gone. Not one of them stopped. Not even the director.
- I did not forget Brie Larson. Going in, she was the last person we expected to interact with the fans, that is, sign autographs and pose for pictures. But tonight, she was the only one who did. She went down the lane of fans, signing and posing, stopping just past us, then turned around, got in a limo, and drove away. She did not watch the film. (FWIW, we did not get an autograph.)
- We came back ninety minutes later. The film was supposed to last about two hours. A bit more, if there was an introduction. But we were surprised to see the exodus start nearly twenty minutes earlier than expected.
- John Goodman was one of the first to descend the stairs, just as he was one of the first to ascend the stairs. A group of professional autograph hounds yelled, “John!” He went straight to them and signed for two or three. For a moment, it looked like he was going to engage with fans. But then, suddenly, he yelled to his handler, pushing her, “Go! Go! Go!,” and hightailed it, disappointing many fans.
- One of the autograph “professionals” reported Jackson, upon seeing them lined up along the blue (not red) carpet, said: “I see all the professionals are out tonight. So, tell me, are you rich, yet?”
- Not tonight.
- That goes for the film, too. It finished first in this week’s boxoffice race, but with a meager $61 million.
- However, Brie Larson was not the only one who engaged with fans:
15. No, we did not see the film. Apparently, no one did, really. Later, we learned from a fan that the film, with twenty minutes to go, suddenly stopped and that was it.
16. At least Mr. Jackson ran the gauntlet again on his way out. Director Jordan “The Beard” Voigt-Roberts? Tom Hiddleston? After they went into the theater, we never saw them again.
This happened March 8, 2017.