Wednesday was the hobbit premiere. Starting time was 4.30pm. We decided to have lunch with Mat at noon and then head to the red carpet and meet Tina at 2pm. Seemed like a reasonable plan.
At 10am I saw the first pictures of the people waiting at the red carpet and I started to wonder if we wouldn’t be too late. Anyhow, lunch was great and then we headed in the embassy direction. We weren’t too late. To be honest, it was almost empty. A couple of hardcore fans blocked the first row but it was _only_ the first row. Imagine a red carpet with a single line of people all around it. That’s how it looked at 1pm. Also, I was surprised that almost no one was dressed up. Only a couple of really shitty applied ears and some Gandalf hats were to be seen. Flo and I went along the red carpet once to get a feel for what’s happening and also saw a girl in a Galadriel costume who declared very vocal that she wanted Cate Blanchett to sugn her dress and if people could help her achieve that goal.
At the start of the red carpet, the Argonath were watching over what was happening. At the intersection of Courtney Place and Tory Street, there was a bunch of trolls. The next intersection was made up like a hobbit market stall with lots of flowers and vegetables and the like. In front of the embassy theatre was a grassy hill with hobbit holes. After inspecting the whole length of the red carpet, we settled at a place near the trolls. Right at the red carpet sat a couple of Japanese girls and we sat down in the second row, right on the street. Despite the weather forecast telling us it is cloudy, the sun burned down mercilessly. Luckily we had caps and had put on sunscreen before leaving home but I could feel hoour skin burnt from the sun. We told Tina to bring more sunscreen when she came down because ears and necks were in immidiate danger of a sunburn.
Then we sat in the sun and waited and waited. At about 3pm, people in the first row got up to stand from now on. Because sitting takes up more space than standing, there was still room in the first row and the Japanese girls asked me if I wanted to upgrade to the first row. YAY! =) Entertainment started at some point, some musicians (I don’t know who to be honest) played on the hobbit hill infront of the embassy and a couple of hobbits ran around on the carpet. They had fun. =) After a while the Air NZ crew who had acted in the safety video came along the red carpet. They gave out postcards and huge autograph-sheets. Then the NZ post gave out flags with the hobbit stamps and someone gave out big plushy Gandalf hats. I didn’t get one…Flo later reasoned that they specifically excluded me (which they did) because I was already wearing a hat and they gave them to people who didn’t have sunprotection. =( I wanted one though.
Then the procedure started. And pretty soon it got pretty full on the red carpet with people I had never seen before. Obviously, there were a lot of B-list starts on there as well. After a while, we discovered that the A-stars would go from the start of the red carpet to the embassy and all the unimportant ones would start at the embassy and continue (in the wrong direction) to reading cinema. First dwarf we spotted was James Nesbitt and he totally snobbed the fans, at least where I was standing, and went straight past. And then a lot happened at the same time and I can’t really put it into the right order. The ones who stood out: Cate Blanchett also darted past the fans which was quite a disappointment, Andy Serkis used cover to sneak past the fans. On the positive side: Hugo Weaving is amazingly nice, Richard Taylor and Philippa Boyens took so much time with the fans and Mark Hadlow who chatted with everyone. Elijah Wood was hurried by his manager (?) who kind pushed him to the embassy while he snobbed our side and just wrote autographs and the other side. Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner at least wrote autographs while some of the older dwarves as well as James Cameron escaped my attention, I think.
John Rhys-Davies was also there and Andy Serkis made up for his sneakyness earlier by running up and down the red carpet, high-fiving everyone who was there. =) And now: Picture time!