Dallas Buyers Club premiere - McConaughey! Leto!

Dallas Buyers Club has been getting considerable Oscars buzz… so much so that I decided that even though it was sub-5 degrees and raining, I’d make my way down to the Curzon Mayfair. This means going away from the comforting glow of Leicester Square and taking a stroll to an ill-lit cobblestone street that’s rarely if ever closed to traffic when a premiere takes place, let alone the site of an actual red carpet. As for lighting? Street lighting at best.

Still… Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Here’s how it went down.


I’ve been standing here for an hour but it’s cold and wet enough that the Spanish (?) couple standing near me have left, presumably to do the smart thing and head indoors and buy a 30 Seconds To Mars album and The Lincoln Lawyer on DVD and/or Bluray (or download both in iTunes, I guess). I have inherited their front row spot, which means I’ve got a better view. Of passing traffic, at this point.


It’s our first arrival!! (Apparently her name is/might be ‘Tanya’). But don’t get too excited : it’s still another hour and a half til McConaughey and Leto arrive..

After that… the waiting, like the rain, continues.


“I could wait for 90 minutes for Leto and McConaughey to arrive. On the other hand… it’s warm inside and there’s popcorn” Her wayward strand of hair has the right idea.


“When they arrive, tell either or both I’ll be having a hot chocolate inside”

With that bit of excitement over with, it’s just me and the rain and the crowd and the disappearing sun and two cameras I’m fairly certain are weather-sealed.


Waiting gives you time to think. Mostly about how cold and rainy it is when mere hours before, you (meaning I) was in a nice warm cafe with an impossibly pretty woman…. and I don’t think I imagined that…. it seemed real at the time, if implausible.


An hour later, things are (finally) happening! My first thought (other than the woman and the warmth of the cafe) was that this reminds me of the painting of Washington Crossing the Patomac. Hence, I call this image McConaughey Crossing The Road. (My mind may safely be presumed to be elsewhere right now)


If the other shot was analogous to ‘Washington Crossing the Patomac" this one’s closer to ‘The Last Supper’ albeit from behind. The cold is starting to seriously affect me, in other words. Incidentally, while there’s no journal to prove it I have photographed Matthew McConaughey before – it was a hotel premiere for ‘Magic Mike’. I never posted a journal because honestly it wasn’t worth it. The journal I mean. I haven’t watched the film.


“Hold on a minute… all this autograph signing reminds me that I still have to validate and sign the back of my new bankcard” It must be tricky to make sure a signature is more formal for formal occasions.


“A Silver Linings Playbook 2 screenplay? I’m flattered, but perhaps you’re thinking of Bradley Cooper? He was in that film.” Matthew McConaughey also appeared in numerous roles ‘requiring’ him to be shirtless for extended periods, but as his acting cachet has improved he’s slowly added layers. (I hear Sean Penn pretty much works in full-body ski gear these days)


Jared Leto has arrived (as has passing traffic : that’s the helmet of a dude riding a motorcycle on the road he’s about to cross to sign autographs). It’s not as glamorous as it seems, but the crowd’s excitement if anything exceeds that of the previously-arrived Matthew McConaughey.


Wow… at this point I’m not even considering wiping the water off the Nikon’s 50mm prime – the lighting effects I’m getting are amazing.


You know, if I can maintain this kind of exquisite incidental lighting, I’d almost be happy never to take a front-face portrait at a premiere.


“The hat? It’s not for sale. The coat? I’m open to offers” Jared Leto’s performance in this movie has seen him nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. His hat, like so many before it, was snubbed.


Jared Leto. I don’t really have strong apologies for the way this photo turned out. I could blame him but he’s won 6 more Kerrang! music awards with 30 Seconds To Mars than I have.


Now it’s Matthew McConaughey’s turn to be photographed by a waterlogged 50mm Prime and honestly right now I’m thinking of taking a bottle water with me to all nighttime premieres and dousing parts of the lens before the stars arrive.

. . . . . . . . and then the next day . . . . .

for the first time I had the opportunity to have a second attempt – both stars were at the Apple Store answering questions and hosting clips of the movie. And if nothing else it was warm and indoors AND they let you take photos as long as you disable the flash (no big problem : I never have mine turned on!)

Here’s how THIS one went down!


Matthew McConaughey looks like might come back later and buy an iPod nano if they put one aside for him.


Don’t let the relatively sparse-seeming crowd fool you : it was packed – I was just lucky I fought my way closer to the front of the standing area and ended up behind two girls only one of whom had a hairstyle taller than I was.


“The guy who downloaded the latest 30 Seconds To Mars album onto every instore iPod and iPhone? Yeah, that was me”


“I don’t have a band or an album out. But some of William Shatner’s spoken word stuff is pretty awesome. Just sayin’ "


The Apple store employed a lady to translate the commentary in the interview. Sadly she was partly blocked off from view from where I was standing – I loved watching her take both sides of a conversation!


We shared a moment. Matthew McConaughey didn’t know what to do.


Jared Leto actually hasn’t seen the movie and didn’t want to watch (or listen to) brief scenes from the film that they showed us.


“I have a question from twitter. Two trains depart separate stations 200miles apart, one travelling north at 100km/h the other is a First Capital Connect service that’s running 45 minutes late then skips all stations stranding customers on platforms and proceeding at 80km/h….” This isn’t what Matthew McConaughey was expecting.


“Only 45 minutes late? Sounds unlikely”


“Matthew’s just acting. He actually only travels by Bentley and he has no idea how trains work”


“Jared? Time to go, buddy. They’re closing the store”


I don’t usually do formal portrait sittings, but this is about 90% of the way there. I’m just disappointed at the shadow tripod used for filming on the left side, but I think the ghostly hand adds some pathos to the overall effect….

So that’s another one. I’m going to combine it with the original Dallas Buyers Club premiere journal and put the combined one in the ongoing behemoth that is my 200-or-so-events long Archive of Movie Premieres

More premieres at/in

Twitter : @berndt2_photo

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