Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Huntsman: Winter's War

The Huntsman: Winter's War premiere was scheduled for April 3, 2016 at Universal Studios. Fans who wanted a glimpse of the stars: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain had to buy the standard Universal Studios Day pass to gain access to the red carpet or they could enter numerous competitions that would allow them entry into the "exclusive" fan zones.

I decided to take my chances and enter the competition. As I was working on a project for Resorts World Sentosa, I was able to snag two tickets to the premiere, but those unfortunately did not include access to the red carpet. I gave those tickets to Joyce and Chee.

As luck would have it, I managed to snag one of the competition passes and together with fellow movie fans Ray, Anthony and Liza, I headed down to Universal Studios at around 3:30pm well ahead of the 5:00pm start time of the event. The place was packed with fans by the time we got there.

With passes in hand, we were ushered to the far end of the carpet.  Though we were able to get to the front of the barricades on the red carpet.Suddenly it didn't look like the prized passes were so fantastic as the stars would probably sign for a long line of fans before making their way  towards us. From past experience, when the stars reach the far end of the carpet, their handlers rush them along and they barely have time to sign any autographs.

Nevertheless, we took our spots on the barricade and waited it out. The movie premiere was supposed to start at 7pm but by 6:30 there was still no sign of the stars and we figured we  would just see them walk past, but 6:45pm we heard screams coming from the front of the carpet and figured that the stars had arrived.

It was a rather excruciating wait, not knowing if we would be skipped because at red carpet events there is no guarantee that you could get anything at these kind of events, even when you win a spot in the fan zone.

Cedric Nicolas Troyen, the Director @RLiw
It was a rather long wait before the director of the movie came over to sign for us. He signed and that was a good indication that the stars might sign for us too. Before he left I gave him a copy of my book The Lion Dance.
Ray and me waiting for Charlize Theron, you can see me about to give her A
Day with the Duchess ©Today

Next up was Charlize Theron, a vision in white. She was the last to hit the red carpet but the first to reach the end of it. She signed autographs and posed for photos and she gave multiple hugs to a girl who was no doubt her biggest fan there. The girl looked like she was about to burst into tears.

Finally, she came to our side of the carpet. I held out a copy of A Day with the Duchess for her. She took it and began to sign the cover. I yelled "It's for you and your children." My friend Liza took the photo below
Charlize realises that the book is for her and her kids.
She stopped smiled and thanked me graciously and then she kindly signed my poster. I later found out she signed an abbreviated version for the other fans. 

Then Chris Evans and Jessica Chastain joined her on the red carpet and posed for some photos before Theron moved off to the press section and Chris and Jessica continued to sign autographs and pose for selfies.

After a lot of yelling Chris came over and signed for us. He signed my poster but as you can see he must have been really tired because he didn't give me a complete Hemsworth. 

You can compare the one he signed for my friend Joyce on another occasion. Still it's similar enough and I'm happy that he signed for me. Ray asked him for a Selfie and I managed a photobomb. Then I gave him a copy of A Day with the Duchess for his kids. He seemed pleasantly surprised and he thanked me with a big grin and then moved on to the rest of his fans.


By that time security asked us, none too politely I might add to remove our posters from the red carpet before Jessica Chastain came over to us. She had been to the S.E.A. Aquarium that morning and so I gave her a copy of At the S.E.A. Aquarium and she promised that she would read it. Then she signed an autograph for me and posed for two pictures. She is such a lovely lady.

With that we called in a night and skipped the movie as we were too exhausted to go. All in all, it was a pretty amazing day and we got autographs from all the stars! We had a brief respite for star gazing before the next big premiere: The Captain America: Civil War  Blue carpet event at Marina Bay Sands. But getting up close and personal stars would prove to be a far trickier endeavour....

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