Ah, The Hunger Games. Finally a post-Twilight franchise with a female lead I can actually support and enjoy the exploits of. I’ve read and liked the books, watched the prior movie, and even went to the rather raucous out-of-town premiere for the first film a few years back. But this time around, the premiere was a World Premiere, right in the heart of London. And it rained.
Here’s how it went down.
I was able to limit my total queueing time to a mere 5 hours and score a view of the Odeon Leicester Square. Or, if I turned around, a view of the stage that hopefully most of the cast would be interviewed on. It’s a Monday now, but there were rumours of people camping since last Thursday for spots, and the queue was apparently at 174 twenty four hours before the premiere’s scheduled start time.
Willow Shields plays Katniss’ rather useless younger sister Primrose in the film. Her dress was yellow, but I went black’n’white.
Stanley Tucci is trying to remember whether he’s signed the Petition of “Tucci For Luthor” in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel Sequel. Meanwhile, I’m trying to remember whether I ever got around to starting that petition. I last photographed him looking equally dashing and debonair at the premiere of Iron Man 3
I don’t know who this is, but I would like to point out that it is raining. And I have a conference call with the US to look forward to soon after this. My life is so rock’n’roll.
Jeffrey Wright plays the improbably named Beetee in the movie, but is possibly better known as CIA Agent Felix Leiter in two of the Daniel Craig James Bond films, which he and I both just simultaneously remembered.
Meanwhile, Josh Hutcherson plays love/not-love interest Peeta in the film. He’s just remembered that District 12 isn’t just about Coal (and Cake Icing), it’s also about The Dancing. (The capital isn’t really as repressive or evil as the Districts make out….)
Liam Hemsworth, meanwhile, plays Gail, the other side of the love triangle with Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta at its apex (it’s also possibly a quadrangle if you count Stanley Tucci’s character’s rather unhealthy obsession with Katniss)
A little bit of Hunger Games humour. I’m only viewing it with disdain because I didn’t think of it first.
Jennifer Lawrence signs autographs, and possibly proofreads implausible Hunger Games fanfiction.
The Amazing Donald Sutherland has arrived, and he seems fairly certain he’s in the right place. According to imdb he’s best known for the Italian Job remake (2003), which I agree with. M*A*S*H is well before my time, I haven’t watched Pride & Prejudice and I don’t know Ordinary People.
“Jen told you to remove the love scene on page fourteen? I say put it back.”
What dress through yonder stage cometh? It is…. red. And feathery.
“District 4? We’re mostly into body origami. It’s not one of the wealthier or more productive districts….”
Jenna Malone was in ‘Contact’ (1997), which I feel is an underrated sci-fi film, and also ‘Sucker Punch’ (2011), of which no amount of criticism shall EVER be enough.
“Donald RE-authorised the love scene? Unacceptable”
The rubber-faced Sam Claflin, whom I’ve never previously heard of, seen, or photographed, brought along a very vocal crowd of fans (which surprised me as I was all set to assume this was a J-Lawz, L-Hemz and J-Hutchs event, with possible chance of S-Tuccs and E-Bankz support).
“And then I was like Amgaaaaaaaahhhhh!!! It’s Sam Claflin!!!!!” But then he, like, remembered that HE was Sam Claflin, I’m guessing.
So to summarise, Sam Claflin was apparently in both Snow White and the Huntsman and Pirates of the Caribbean, both of which I watched but I can’t remember him from. But he’s well liked by the ladies, so there’s that.
Jennifer Lawrence hits the stage and I briefly switch to fisheye lens. It’s not staying on.
We made a connection earlier this year at the BAFTAS and it seems she hasn’t forgotten. Good times! (She never called…. they never do)
“We were here some two weeks ago to see his hunky brother Chris… which is a lie, of course. We were mostly here for Tom Hiddleston”. That was for the premiere of Thor the Dark World
“So… have you always been this tall?” Hmm… as chat-up lines go, it’s also about the level I reliably achieve.
Hemsworth The Younger is about to leave the stage. Let the screaming recommence.
“What do you mean ’there’s a piece missing from my dress? We need to deal with that NOW!”
“This is not solving the problem with the dress…. Though to be fair I can no longer see properly out of either eye now, so well done. Problem solved”
“Sure, Katniss is great with a bow and arrow, but I carry a Beretta. Wanna see?” Umm… no. Also, I think those are a packet of breath mints.
Josh Hutcherson still owes me five dollars, hence the reluctant eye contact.
I like Elizabeth Banks a lot – between you and me, I actually really liked last year’s Pitch Perfect and she was great in it. And I’ll thank you not to hold my age, gender (or taste in music) against me. It’s a great film. Go see it.
“Security! Some old dude in a suit scrawled over all over my nice new Hunger Games Book. I think he was the director…”
Along with this movie, and its two announced sequels, Francis Lawrence also directed Will Smith in ‘I Am Legend’, which I quite liked, and ‘Constantine’….. which next to Man Of Steel earlier this year is one of only two movies I’ve walked out of as an adult.
Francis Lawrence walks off a stage. Nobody mentions ‘Constantine’.
Elizabeth Banks and her incredible dress walk the red carpet unaccompanied, and I can’t help her. Actually, all of sudden that view of the Odeon Leicester Square behind me has opened up some great additional photography opportunities!
“You’re going to make a ‘catching fire’ comment with the flames behind me, aren’t you?” No. I was just… looking at the coat. It’s a red coat.
“I can sign this ‘Jennifer’, ‘JL’, and possibly ‘J-Lawz’… but I will not sign ‘J-Lizzle’. I don’t even know what that means”
And now it’s time to join the crush to leave the centre part of Leicester Square, a route that takes me right past the giant mockingbird that everybody wants to pose next to.
The premiere occupied the entire centre part of Leicester Square, along with one whole vertex of the exterior, and a part of another corner for the drop-off. That’s big in anyone’s language. So is this giant Mockingjay statue. It’s not quite as large as Thor’s Hammer , but part of me can’t wait to see what they do for The Hobbit. (I took this photo later – it’s nowhere near where I was)
So… that was pretty major. And I’m pretty tired. Until next time!!
it’s another one for the Archive of Movie Premieres
Most recent and notable premieres:
Thor – The Dark World – Hemsworth! Hiddleston! Portman! Whedon! Dennings!
Saving Mr Banks – Tom Hanks! Colin Farrell! Emma Thompson!
Twelve Years A Slave – McQueen! Ejiofor!
The Counselor – Ridley Scott! JBardem! MFassbender! PCruz!
RUSH world premiere- Hemsworth! Howard! Wilde! Lauda!