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You okay, seemed to have been the catchphrase for the 48 hours of no sleep. 48 hours? Well, it wasn't planned that way. I flew to London on Tuesday evening and arrived around 9:30 pm at Leicester Square. My usual overnight accommodation was completely booked except for the dorms. Figuring I wouldn't get any sleep in a dorm I decided I could very well stay at the Square.
This premiere was a really hard one to estimate. Usually you know beforehand how many fans may be there. This was the big question. As it turned out I was the only one staying overnight and thus I entertained myself with watching people.
For once I met Galina. Galina is one of the street artists doing portraits and she is the only female there. Her work is impressive. Beautiful drawings of any actor you could imagine and she not only draws you but sells copies of those actor portraits for around 10 pounds. Stay tuned for more because I may have her stuff on my website very shortly. Galina works from February to September at Leicester Square, then takes a break during the winter months. If you should visit and decide to get a drawing of yourself, say hi from me. She is really good.
At around midnight I moved to the Empire entrance. Although Leicester Square is packed with people well into the wee hours of the morning the later it becomes the more strange folks stroll around; strange and either very drunk or very stoned. The Empire casino has entrance security. Thus I felt more save closer to them.
While sitting there and staring into space it happened for the first time someone asking me: You okay? I guess with sitting on the ground not really looking like a homeless person made people asking this question. Apparently my facial expression also needs work because I also got to hear: Are you sad? Do you need a friend? Wow, I thought. In a world that usually revolves around itself and people looking the other way when something happens in the street I figured the world is not that bad as often portrayed in the news. I am a people's person anyway. I like to make contact and talk to others. Very sweet were the security people of the Empire Casino. They quite often asked whether I was okay, whether I needed anything. I even got the offer to stay at someone's home for the night, which I declined.
Thus the hours crawled by. Around 3am four police officers came running in a mad dash back to their car obviously having received an emergency call. Around 3.30 am an ambulance showed up. Someone at the Empire Casino had complained about chest pain. At 6am the Empire Casino closed and the sun was very much on the verge of rising. Funny sky though. It was all green. Due to the slightly clouded sky the city lights' reflection made it look like being on an alien planet. LOL
At around 9am the first fans showed up. Thank god finally some entertainment. By the time the premiere started the place was packed and we were standing like sardines in a can. But it was not unpleasant. The pushing was within a bearable tolerance only the heat got to me. I am not very good in heat. I prefer cooler temperatures.
People had come from all over Europe. My left-hand neighbour came from Minsk in Belarus, only 17 years old and a big fan, a bit sad the film wouldn't be shown in her country. The reasoning for this, she told me, was that the first film had not been shown. What a stupid excuse not to show a film. I gave her my Moviestar magazine copy, which has several pages of report about the X-Files in it. She almost freaked out for the goodies in there. Although the text is all in German she didn't mind. She said she was learning German anyway. Curious as I am I wondered how the very young fans actually became fans. When the X-Files were on television this girl could only have been 7 years old. It was her mum watching the series and letting her watch along. Congratulations, I thought, you will become like me; already a free soul in the early years growing up with horror stories.
I guess I was the lucky one with having had the chance to see the film the week before in a cinema at its official German release date. Stupidly I told the people around me and then got asked questions about it. I didn't spoil anything. The makers of this film have managed to keep everything under wraps for so long I played along. I really liked the film for reasons I shall put into this space when it has been released worldwide.
Screaming announced that one of the big names must have arrived. And indeed it was Chris Carter who was first. Shortly after, massive screaming for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the crowd behind us moved in closer.
David Duchovny seemed to be tense and nervous in the beginning and strolled up the Red Carpet rather without knowing what to do first. Finally a handler showed up and directed him to the media and the fans. It was fan frenzy by that time; not so much screaming but calling his and Gillian's name over and over again. The crowd was really good this time. Both made signs they'd come sign later. And both were true to their words. And how much they signed is beyond believe.
David Duchovny did the line three times. At the very first time he was standing in front of me he rather curiously was looking down at me. Well I usually make myself small for the people behind me to get their autographs since I do take pictures only keeping the camera to my body so I do not hurt the actors (big tele lens). It must have been a surreal image for him because he asked me: "You okay – You're not getting crushed?" I almost started laughing at that. Here we go again. No, I told him. I'm absolutely fine down here and I am quite robust. Then he proceeded asking whether I had seen the film, which I answered with a definite yes. He did a double take at that and you could see his mind whirling like what? Is it already on the internet? And thus I quickly proceeded to tell him that it had its official release date the week before in Germany. Signs of relieve. LOL. It was quite funny. All the while he kept on signing left, right and behind me.
Next up was Chris Carter and I told him too that I had seen the film and his immediate response: "How is it doing?" That I could not tell him because the first figures will show a week later. But I told him that I originally had pre-bought the tickets for a cinema with around 250 seats and that on the day I went the multiplex had to free their biggest cinema (around 700 seats) for the film as well because ticket requests were so massive. I got a thumbs up for that.
Sadly I do not have any pictures of Gillian Anderson. She moved so quickly and then was standing so close to the barrier that I didn't dare to take the camera out. As already said big tele lens and with the people pushing from behind I didn't want to hurt her. But I told her that she was looking absolutely gorgeous, rather glowingly gorgeous.
Frank Spotnitz (the producer) looked like he had a glorious time. He was all smiles and when he had to go inside he once more came out yelling a "Thank you" to the crowd. In the meantime David and Gillian had discovered the doors to the balcony and although I think it was not planned to go out there they briefly came out and waved to the crowd. Too quick to get a decent shot, but I do not complain. By that time I already had taken great pictures.
Usually when the actors are inside the cinema most of the fans not accustomed to film premieres move away. This time no one budged. Everyone kept on waiting. Then the cars were pulled up front, a good sign for the actors to come back out again of the main entrance. And indeed they did. Once more signing from the very end down to their waiting cars.
My right-hand neighbour then told David that she loves Californication, which I said Amen to as well. By that time I think David was absolutely relaxed and enjoyed the mayhem. Gillian was at a total ease with the entire event right from the beginning.
I should also mention John Doe, the security guy who didn't want to tell us his name. He was absolutely great towards the fans. And of course there was Michael Underwood doing the interviews for the crowd in the cinema (they had on the screen what was going on outside) right in front of us placing the actors that way so we could take pictures. Love the guy and gave him my big thanks.
Superb premiere this one was with actors, director and producer so generous in signing towards the fans that I hope there will be another X-Files film. They really do deserve it.
Go and watch the film!
In the end I moved to Victoria Station to wait for my bus to Stansted airport at 4:30 am in the morning. By that time I was so over the edge I didn't care any longer. The 48 hours of no sleep were worth while it.