Prince of Persia World premiere
9 May 2010
What an incredible day!!!
My head is still buzzing! And it's over 24 hours after I've seen Jake on the red carpet, just a couple of inches from me (I was standing in second 'row' so fortunately I could get a very good look!...). I'd never hoped to be able to see Jake so close by this time. The last time, at the Rome Film Festival in October 2007, I was there, but not outside by the red carpet, 'cause I had tickets for the Rendition premiere and we were shoved inside by security staff before I could get a closer look at him... but in the end I was able to see him about 10 metres away, right inside the screening hall, when he walked inside to take a seat just a few row behind where my friend and I were sitting...
Anyway, this time the feeling was different, like I could... grab him, he was so close.
No doubt some of you will have read many other reports and seen pictures and clips of the event from many other sources, far more professional than me, but to me this premiere was really special in many ways. I'd seen some other Gyllenhaalics I'd met before not far from where I was standing, but as time went by and people started filling up the stands it wasn't that easy to socialize with anybody for fear of losing your vantage position... Plus some fans were shouting and pushing, and though some seemed like genuine fans who'd made a special effort to be there from other countries too, others just kept annoying me, 'cause it just seemed they were there just to get an autograph from *any* celebrity, not that they were specially there for Jake or Gemma or others... A few of them standing close to me had never heard of Jake before then *eye roll*
Fortunately, I'd arrived at Westfield well on time (3 hours before the 'warm up' was due to start) and that enabled me to, ehm, get a Prince of Persia purple bracelet from security (that's now permanently stuck to my wrist!...) meaning I was part of the crowd who was free to come in and out of the 'pen' by the red carpet and still get guaranteed access till about half an hour before the event. By the time cast and crew started to arrive, they seemed to be spending an exceedingly amount of time being photographed outside, and especially, once inside they were being ushered towards the opposite side of the red carpet to where we were, being photographed and interviewed there, because that's where the foreign press was. And between us and where the stars were we couldn't see much, despite it was a only a couple of metres, because the red carpet was being constantly filled by all the invited guests to the preview screening, and therefore we couldn't actually see much beyond this 'wall' of people flowing in... So it felt like Gemma and Jake & al. *were* near, but we couldn't see them!... Oh, the frustration!...
When it seemed like Gemma and Jake had finished with the press and photographers, they were being ushered towards the centre of the stage (where they were later interviewed), and we were growing desperate we had missed them completely, that they'd never come back to where we were... But fortunately first Gemma came back to *our* section, to sign some autographs, and a few minutes later, after a very vocal group inside our pen kept shouting "WE WANT JAKE, WE WANT JAKE!" louder and louder, Jake came back too!!! And that's when the general squeeing started for real!!! it all happened in a few seconds, so everything was a blur in my already buzzing head at that point, but although my presence of mind failed me completely and made me unable to hold my camera & take some close-up pictures not to mention get an autograph from him, at least I was present enough to stare at him like a teenager and just revel in the sight of this gorgeous man :) more gorgeous than any of his screen appearances, if that's possible...
Whether it was him or his bodyguard bowing to fans' relentless shouting, I'm glad he came back... the whole way he behaved, from what I could see first hand, and heard from others later, just speaks volumes about how much he cares about his fans. He'd already taken several pictures with fans, especially by the entrance, before he was whisked out to the 'wrong' side of the red carpet, and now with us, though he couldn't linger for too long, he still found time to chit-chat besides signing autographs, and just being Jake :) There's this unassuming, friendly, gracious side of his behaviour in public that just can't help casting a spell on you, and I know several others who were there felt the same. Some were not new to red carpet Jake appearances, others were: no matter what, everybody was spellbound.
Among our crowd, there was also a man carrying a 3 or 4-year old boy on his shoulders who was impeccably dressed as a mini-Prince of Persia, sword and armour and all! He was so cute, he actually resembled the actor playing young Jake in the movie! At one point this boy drew his sword and started brandishing like he'd done that since he was born! And he also kept taking pictures as soon as stars were arriving, and I've read other fans' accounts who were closer to this boy than I was, that when Jake saw him and the boy's father asked Jake if he didn't mind taking a pic with his son, Jake readily accepted, and I can easily believe how cute those pics will be. I'm sorry I missed all this exchange among all the shouting and general craziness around me, but I guess I'll try to be better prepared next time (aka train myself to be able to look into multiple directions at the same time...)
Anyway, here are some pics of how the central stage looked two hours before the stars showed up. Free runners were warming up at that point and fans kept coming and filling up all the available space (I took these pics from the 1st floor of the shopping centre, during my one and only "recreational break" out of the pen downstairs):
And this is the best I could do as soon as Jake was discernible through the crowd, moments before he came nearer, answering to the "WE WANT JAKE" call!...
The two blonde women were the only 'obstacle' between me and Jake... as I said, I was in second row and they were fortunately a little less tall than me.
Because my tongue became *inexplicably* tied, I couldn't exchange any words with him, but I know a few others in front of me did and not surprisingly fell under the spell of his easy charm and humour. It was clear he was enjoying the attention and happy to be there to promote this film, that will attract the attention of a far wider audience than his previous films.
Personally, compared to how I thought he looked the last time I saw him, I thought yesterday he looked more relaxed and more approachable, sweet and gorgeous as always, and, strangely enough, less tall than I thought he seemed in 2007. I think it's got to do with the closer distance and maybe the dark, three-piece suit he was wearing, which by the way was impeccable, together with perfectly matched polka dot pocket handkerchief.
After that, he had to move to different sections of the red carpet, including a section with other fans who'd won a competition to be able to stand there, and then the cast and crew finally stood on the central platform for some interviews, based on questions from fans from all over the world.
Because by now I had sufficiently recovered from seeing Jake so close, I was able to take some more pics of him and the rest of the cast/crew being interviewed by Alex Zane on stage:
(Ok, this pic is just to show that *other* people were being interviewed besides Jake.... just in case you think I'm too biased..................... yeah, right!)
After that, though the stars gradually made their way out and up the stairs to the cinema, the stage was filled with free runners and parkour acrobats doing all sorts of gravity-defying numbers, and they were really good. Though at that point my head was spinning so much I could barely see what was in front of me...
The day before, at the last moment, I managed to get a couple of tickets for me and a close friend. Apparently the film last night was taking 7 screens, and although we were not in the screen with the stars, we were pretty lucky to have gotten 3rd-row seats.
The film was very good, very gripping. Even though I'm not much into action films, I did enjoy it. It's very fast-paced from the start and throughout, even in those scenes where there's a little less action. Once again, Jake's screen-piercing, special 'luminous' quality upstaged everyone on screen, so even in action movies he's always "Jake". The scenery and special effects were very good, but I'll probably appreciate them better at a second viewing...:) and that includes the plot... yes, I could barely follow that either!
This was such a memorable weekend for me, starting with Jake's appearance on the Jonathan Ross show on Friday and culminating with yesterday's world premiere . As I said, I'm not much into action movies and blockbusters, and yet I'm happy Jake got a chance to star in this one.
I haven't read any movie review so far. I know there was a press screening in
Some of the official red carpet photos are here
And finally, here's a short clip I recorded from the stage interview. I'm sorry for the poor sound quality, but I assure you it was not much better if you were there. The background chatter from where I was hadn't relented a bit, it actually seemed to grow, as people started comparing notes after seeing Jake at first hand...
~Please do not repost my images and videos without permission. Thanks.