The morning of the premiere I’d been asked to participate in a press panel with Rob Reiner and his co-screenwriter and the film’s producer. It was being held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, which is famous to me only because it seems that lots of interviews I read in Rolling Stone are held at the Four Seasons.
We were given an address of 300 S. Doheny. We arrived on time.
Trouble is, there was no hotel of any kind at that address.
We checked the address.
Yes, it was South Doheny. There was a 302, but no 300.
So where was it?
We called the Warner Brothers publicist who’d set it up with me.
The call rolled over to voice mail.
Fortunately, Mark had the wherewithal to call the Four Seasons, and got through to someone who told him that they were located at…300 S. Doheny.
Mark told them we were at that location and there was no hotel. So the receptionist told him that they were up the street a few blocks at the corner of Doheny and some other street.
But we headed up the street, and seven blocks later, there it was at 400 North Doheny instead of 300 South Doheny. But they tell people they’re located at 300 South Doheny!?
There must be a reason, but you got me.
I guess you’re just supposed to know where the Four Seasons is.
It’s that famous.
Anyway, we did get to the press conference on time and it went really well. Rob is a very comfortable person. He stays on message, but you never get the feeling that he’s selling you something. He’s frank and just tells it like he sees it. I like that.
So we did a half an hour with print journalists and half an hour with (what I think was) radio journalists. Then we said our see-ya-tonights and headed out.
Fast-forward to the premiere: We arrived at 6:30 as instructed, parked in the parking structure, as instructed, and I switched out of my Converse and put on my heels. Mark and my younger son advised against it, but I told them I was going with the heels.
“You’ll be sorry…”
Fortunately we had, by coincidence, parked right alongside one of the women from Castle Rock who’s writing the script for Confessions of a Serial Kisser. And since she’s been to many red carpet premieres, she took us along, walked us to the will call tables, got our tickets and an escort and put us in line to walk the red carpet.
An escort? Yup. You can’t walk it without one. There’s lots of security and people checking tickets and we wound up in line right behind the boy who plays Garrett in the film. That was fun because the boys got to talk and it helped us relax a little.
And when it was our turn, my escort asked how to pronounce my name correctly, then we stepped out from behind the poster partition into a bunch of flashing cameras.
Each person on the carpet has an escort. The escort announces your name and your role in the movie (in my case it was “author of the book”) and then photographers start calling your name, getting you to look at them. The photogs were about 5 deep and it was a little…unnerving. I mean, it was fun for the first few minutes, but it took us about half an hour to go 50 feet. And after the photographers, the news stations with video cameras interview you. A lot of them ask the same questions, but the woman from a Tokyo station surprised me by asking me to give her my “beauty secret”. I told her, “Sweat every day,” and when he looked a little shocked by that, I added, “as in exercise.” Yup there you go—my one and only “beauty secret”. Ha!
Anyway, the boys were greatly relieved to get off the carpet and into the theater, where there were tubs of popcorn and sodas waiting. We found our seats (which were assigned) and admired the theater (it’s big, with beautiful dark blue velvet curtains, a lower level and an upper level), and then it was show time!
The first time I saw Flipped, I think I was in such a strange state that I couldn’t really assess it. But this time I got to enjoy it as a movie and you know what? It’s really good! I thoroughly enjoyed it and now I really want to see it again. It’s like I’m over thinking about how it compares to the book, and can just enjoy it for what it is.
Afterwards we went to a party at a restaurant about 5 blocks away, and talked with people involved in the film. There was a buffet with meat and pasta, but there was also a lot of “kid” food (because the movie did have a lot of kids in it!) including mini milkshakes (served in shot glasses with tiny straws). It was nice to visit with people we’d met when we’d gone out to Michigan to watch them film the movie, and nice to watch people celebrating their accomplishment.
But there was also a lot of … I wouldn’t even call it schmoozing…it was a lot more aggressive than that. We saw managers and agents take their young “talent” around to meet the big wigs, and they’d do the whole, I’m so-and-so, we met at such-and-such, I represent [insert moderately well-know actor names here] and this is [introduce young talent]. I guess that’s just part of “the Biz”, but that is so not me! I don’t even want to talk about my books when people ask me about them because I’m worried that they’ll think I’m trying to “pitch” them. I could never survive in those circles.
This is actually very valuable for me to know. It makes me re-appreciate what I do and where I live and that my family has such a solid and very healthy lifestyle. The red carpet was fun, but it’s nice to be home.
Nice to be back in real shoes.
Now, for those of you who would like to see what it was like, here’s a little 2 minute video that Mark put together of being on the red carpet. Hope you enjoy it! Video Link