…or should I say world premiere-like event? Because it actually seemed bigger than the world premiere in LA. I was so excited when the premiere was announced because I had hoped for something like this, but I never imagined so many actors to come. The date was announced before there were any hints about the guest list. The next step was a short lineup – short, but certainly high quality, since it included Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch. Even only Benedict Cumberbatch had been on this list, I would have come to Berlin, so it was a „must-do“ for me any way.
But eventually there were announced: Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Aidan Turner, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Adam Brown, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Ryan Gage, John Bell and Ed Sheeran. Which was already great, but I learned of two more cast members to join the premiere, the day before (while we were trying to catch Benedict at the „12 years a slave“ film presentation): Orlando Bloom (my reaction: :-O :-O :-O) and (while we were standing at the red carpet, at some point during the 10 hours): Andy Serkis.
So my goal was to get Benedict’s autograph (of course), and Peter’s and Orlando’s. They were the three most important because via mail more or less impossible to get. And I wanted to get Ryan Gage’s autograph, he was the fourth actor missing in my collection, and my two letters to him seem to have been lost on their way.
But I take two steps back: I had some vacations days left this year, so everything seemed to work out, when I got ill last Monday, with fever for three days, which made me worry about my plan to go to Berlin. But I was determined to not let this damn cold ruin this one-time-opportunity. And thankfully the cold retreated. Not fully, but enough for me to go.
So I booked my train ticket for Sunday and a few hours after that, Nicole told me that on Sunday evening Benedict would present his movie „12 years a slave“. Obviously, I was thrilled – two chances to get Ben’s autograph… many of you know how I felt that my trying to get Benedict’s autograph was cursed, because neither all of my VV attempts, nor all my tries to get his autograph with help of nice people who were to meet him IP.
And I was relieved because I had booked an early train on Sunday, so I would be able to bring all my stuff to my aunt’s and get there to the film lounge in time.
It was a bit chaotic and I don’t really wanna write a lot about this disappointment, but after approx. 9 hours (which we spent partly in front of a hotel and partly in front of the film lounge) in the cold and for some time also rain, Benedict arrived to this presentation through the back door – and left through the back door. So this was a complete failure.
Well, I like to think positive and thought back to the STiD premiere where we spent hours in front of the hotel without any success one day, and the next day at the premiere was super successful. So I took the failure with Benedict for a good omen (or tried to ;)).
I arrived first (of the 6 or eventually 7 people – Nicole, Katrin and their friends), at 7.40, and the entire first row was already taken. But right then when Andrea and the others came, the barrier had been prolonged towards the street, so we got ourselves places in the first row in a potentially great position, since the actors had to leave the cars on the street and walk all the way to the cinema over this long red carpet, instead of leaving the cars right in front of the „stage“. Those of you who have watched the livestream, you probably saw that the actors walked a short distance, 10 or 15 meters maybe, from the street to the curve after which followed the 100-something meter straight carpet. We were standing right in/behind this interior angle at the beginning of the straight line.
And then we waited and waited and waited… and it rained and rained some more, and it didn’t stop for more than a couple of minutes. We feared that the actors would „run“ straight to the part of the Red carpet with a roof over it. But it was such a big premiere, that it was likely that the actors couldn’t ignore all of these people waiting in the rain for hours.
It was a very drizzly rain, eventually a bit stronger, eventually a bit fainter. It wasn’t as cold as the days before, but I was glad that I was wearing 6 layers of clothing :D and I was even more thankful for the big fleece blanket that I had brought (after feeling really cold during the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere). So I basically wrapped myself in this blanket, sat on the backpack in which I had brought the blanket, and stayed there for most of the time. And most of the time a) I didn’t really get wet because the blanket prevented it, and b) I wasn’t cold. And I even manage to sleep for a few minutes :D
When it was getting closer to the show time, we got nervous because it kept raining… and there wasn’t any wizard, at least not greater than the Brown, to stop this „deluge“ :) But of course, we were mistaken. It only rained until the raining stopped: We had forgotten that Peter Jackson was the greatest wizard! Okay, maybe the raining didn’t fully stop, when he arrived (first, with Martin Freeman), but from that point on, it was so faint that it wasn’t gonna ruin our photos and autographs, until the last actors reached the press area. :)
„Funny“ enough, I totally missed Martin Freeman who was one of the first. Why? Because I only saw James Nesbitt and a few steps behind him his daughters (who play Bard’s daughters in the movie), and not at all Martin, who apparently was just between them.
They were more or less running towards the press area and didn’t give any autographs, promised to come back later but of course they only went back half way, so we didn’t get any of these four. I would have loved to get the autographs of Peggy and Mary Nesbitt, so it really is a pity. But there wasn’t much time to be annoyed (and then we still had hope that they would actually come back).
I don’t know in what order the rest of the actors came, so just a few „episodes“ that stood out (almost random order):
- When Dean O’Gorman came to my spot, for some reason he didn’t have any pen. Andy Serkis was standing right next to him and had just signed my photo, and when Dean asked if anybody had a pen, I just said „Andy!“ (and because noone else had a pen in that moment, Andy gave him his pen to sign.
- When Adam Brown signed my photo (of him, Jed and Mark at HobbitCon), I asked him if he remembered and he laughed, affirmed that and asked me if I would come to HobbitCon next year :) Of course I will ;)
- When Richard Armitage came around the corner onto the long straight, he was, for one moment, stunned by the length of the carpet and all these fans waiting there. I don’t know anymore whether I could hear him or just read his lips, and if he said „wow!“ or „oh my god!“, but he did, pausing for a moment, before taking on the masses :)
- I think it’s weird how many people didn’t know the actors. Why go to a premiere if you don’t even bother looking them up? One time it was really „funny“, when some guy behind me held out a photo to sign for Ryan Gage… but it was a photo of Aidan Turner! I hadn’t seen it before, otherwise I maybe would have told him that that wasn’t Aidan, but only heard when Ryan told him „That’s not me.“
And a few moments later he saw my photo and told me: „This is me. You should show it to that guy.“ And he signed it (which was great because he was the 3rd of the Hobbit people missing in my collection til then, whose autograph I got at this premiere. After that, he even took a photo of us :) Such a nice guy! And very handsome ;)
- Aidan Turner reached for my photo to hold it while signing it and since I was holding it too (beneath the photo, so he didn’t see it), he actually grabbed my fingers and with a pitying tone he told me that my fingers were freezing cold. Yup, that happens ;D
- It was pretty chaotic to figure out who would come next because as I explained, we were standing in/behind that bend, and some actors first signed on „our“ side of the red carpet and then changed to the shorter other side, and then back to our side to continue their way on the red carpet, and others came from the shorter other side and then changed to our side. So it was a bit tricky to figure out who was next. And at some point, Ken Stott was coming our way pretty slowly, and right behind him Benedict Cumberbatch (who had already signed for a while on the short other side and then changed back but started in the beginning on our side so we had lost sight of him for several minutes). Now, Ken Stott was slowly signing and Benedict was catching up… and Ken Stott first looked at every photo and commented now and then, so he just started signing for me and Benedict already was signing next to him…. I was SO afraid that Ben would skip a few to continue ahead, and it was so close that I actually wanted to pull back my photo while Ken was signing *lol*
- but luckily he finished just in time and Benedict signed for me. And not just the usual „BC 2013 x“, but I had somewhat of an unusual photo (of him doing mocap of Smaug), so he wrote more on the photo. My heart was pouncing and I was stunned. Still am. I’m so happy that the curse was finally broken and I finally got his autograph :)
If I decipher it correctly, it says „Don’t try this at home!“ :D
So, a resume:
I did not get: Ed Sheeran (who apparently only signed Hobbit posters and not the photo of him, and I didn’t react quick enough to hold out the Hobbit poster I had. Sylvester McCoy (whom I didn’t even see), Martin Freeman (see above), James Nesbitt and his daughters (:(), and Katie Jackson (I wasn’t sure if the girl following Peter was Katie… although I had prepared a collage for her, and for the Nesbitt girls, because I had thought that they would maybe accompany their dads). Such a pity, especially regarding the three girls. BUT
I got – and this is the most wonderful result for me:
(I uploaded the full scans to the Hobbit page (LotR -> Hobbit) – I’ll gladly send you the password if you ask for it ;))
Richard Armitage (2x, one on my favourite Thorin poster and one on my favourite North & South pic)
Aidan Turner (on the same pic)
John Bell (2x. He’s a funny and very kind kid – and he was wearing a kilt :D)
It was so worth the trip and the wait!
Oh, PS: Again, I managed to grab one of those banners (the ones on the barriers, I’m afraid not the nicer ones on the poles). ;)
PPS: A general note: It was a very „quiet“ premiere, which I thought was great. Of course people can scream and yell the actors’ names, but at the Catching Fire premiere some girls really screeched like crazy… that was not at all nice for the ears, almost unbearable (without putting ones fingers in ones ears) but literally cringeworthy. This one was different and I think this is also much nicer for the actors. At least we didn’t hear that much shrieking.