Monday nights are not usually the most exciting. Eat dinner, work on a project, watch an episode of something, maybe meet up with a friend, these are the sorts of things you do on Monday. That is, unless for some reason on a given Monday you are in Hollywood, attending the Red Carpet Premiere of the new Marvel movie, “Thor: the Dark World.” Which is what I did this week, thanks to the amazing people at Skype, Marvel and of course Geek & Sundry.
The strangest part was actually getting to observe a red carpet firsthand. I was there with Juan Carlos Bagnell, another guest of Skype and Marvel (see his amazing coverage of the event) and it took us three wristbands each and several attempts to find the place marked out for us, but eventually we arrived in a long, narrow holding zone most of the way down the carpet.
Is it odd that I was mildly freaked out by the sight of the carpet, by the way? It was just strange to have an abstract concept like “the Red Carpet,” which I’ve been conscious of for so many years, suddenly present in its very literal physical form. It is actually a carpet, and that carpet is actually red. Red Carpet. Right in front of me.
Another aspect of the Red Carpet which should have been obvious but still felt surprising was just how close you really are to the people traveling down it. It’s surprisingly wide, but that depth still puts you mere feet from the folks walking along the far edge, and those guests who are talking to press are, of course, immediately in front of you. In fact, with so much to look at, you can sometimes miss someone who has been standing right in front of the reporter next to you–more on that later.
More of my first press experiences: did you know they hand out cheat sheets for all the reporters, as well as occasionally heading down the line in advance of an arrival to prepare the press for a guest whose contribution is less linked to a famous face? That’s how I got to talk to the film’s composer, Brian Tyler, who shared his inspirations (like Norse folk music) and that there was one scene in the film more challenging to compose for than any other (but that it was a huge spoiler, so he couldn’t say which–I have my guess, but we’ll talk when everybody’s seen it, okay?).
I also met these kids, John Hoffman and Alex Ito, who are junior ambassadors for the L.A. Children’s Hospital. They were guests of Skype & Marvel, who also hosted a parallel screening for many other Children’s Hospital patients off-site. John and Alex are both former patients who are highly involved in fundraising for CHLA. John, who could neither walk nor talk during his treatment at CHLA, is now on his school’s football team and playing Charlie Brown in the school play. Alex, who was born with missing vertebrae and ribs in his back, has had 30 surgeries at Children’s Hospital and is now in his school’s marching band. I asked John why he works so hard as a fundraiser for the hospital, and he said, “They helped us so much that we want to help them back.” Then, of course, I melted into a puddle on the ground.
There were many familiar faces passing by on their way to enjoy the movie, like Nathan Fillion, Edgar Wright and, of course, Executive Producer of “Thor: the Dark World” and the other Marvel movies (and patron saint of faithful, brilliant comic book movies) Kevin Feige.
There was also that guy, what’s his name? Oh, Stan Lee. This is around the time I am really losing it.
You would be, too, right? Here’s a typical line-up:
I got to talk to a few of these uniformly sweet and friendly folks and record some footage in the form of Vine videos, which you can see here: Hogun of the Warriors Three (Tadanobu Asano), future Guardians of the Galaxy villainess (and, of course, Amy Pond) Karen Gillan, and, speaking the words in all our hearts, the one and only Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson). All of them were incredibly sweet (and patient: like Asano with my multiple attempts at capturing his clip, and Gillan who suffered through long seconds of excited but directionless flailing on my end before I just started rolling and asked her, by name, to state her name).
I learned, as well, that Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje didn’t get to learn what character he’d be playing until well after he’d signed on, that Tadanobu Asano is extremely generous with his time, that seeing the assembled Agents of SHIELD would completely geek me out, and that Zachary Levi is highly eloquent on the subject of living his geeky childhood dreams in a project like “Thor.”
I also learned that I need to “LOOK TO [MY] RIGHT.” Because that’s where Tom Hiddleston was, for several minutes, before I saw him as he walked away.
So I missed Loki altogether, although in reviewing my pictures for this post, I realized I think Tom and Chris Hemsworth are the last figures in the dream-team picture from above.
At the end of the carpet, the whole cast and major crew lined up for a beautiful collective photo op, the assembled masses (like me) roared our approval, and it was time for even more magic, as we filed into our respective theaters (I saw it at Grauman’s Chinese) to see “Thor: the Dark World.”
And it was wonderful.
One more round of thanks to Skype, Marvel and Geek & Sundry, for an unforgettable experience. Now stop reading, everyone, and go see the movie!
By Amy Dallen. Check out her vlogs!