Sara and I rushed to the TGV station after my last class on Thursday and arrived in Paris around midnight. We took a taxi from the Gare de Lyon to my uncle’s apartment, a taxi ride that I love. You pass the Musée d’Orsay, drive on the Champs-Élysées and see the Eiffel Tower looming above the buildings. I found myself smiling and sitting up straighter to get a better look out the window without even realizing it.
On Friday we had a lot to do to get ready for the Catching Fire avant-premiere, the big event for which we travelled to Paris. Sara knew where there was a mall, but we had to take the metro to get there. We stopped and asked for directions to the nearest metro station, and managed to find it without getting lost. It took us quite a while to figure out where we even were, and even longer to buy tickets and figure out how to get where we were going, but we eventually figured out that we had to take line 9 to so-and-so station, then transfer to line 10. AND WE GOT THERE!! Okay, it took about three times as long as it should have since we didn’t know which direction the trains were going and had to double back to where we had just been at one point, but we got there. We even figured out how to get back, and commenced beautifying just in case Josh or Liam was in the mood to fall in love with one of us. My hair was done, my outfit was on, and my new earrings bought just for the occasion were adorning my ears when I went on facebook and saw a picture of people already lining up outside the Grand Rex, the venue for the premiere. We called a taxi, I put on my makeup at warp speed (which always results in my eyes burning when I get eyeliner in them) and we were out the door faster than I would have been if I had woken up at 8:55 for a 9:00 class.
We scouted out the place and found that there was a line to get into the theater and there were people waiting by the red carpet to see the stars. I obviously waited by the red carpet. Sara got in the line to go into the theater, but eventually joined me when she got bored. We did have a 4 1/2 hour wait until the stars even got there.
I spent the 4 1/2 hours maneuvering my way as close to the security barriers as I could. It was obvious that I wasn’t going to get close enough to snap a pic with any of the celebs but I could still snap pics of them. The wait was uneventful except for my conviction that my numb toes would never be the same. Whatever; it would be worth it if I got to see Josh.
The actors and production people started showing up at 8:30 and the crowd was packed so tightly I was getting claustrophobic. The first person to pass was Francis Lawrence, the director. I’m so short and everybody was holding up cameras and things for him to sign so I barely even got to see him! I held my camera up as high as I could and pressed the shutter button. Liam came next and since he’s so tall I could see him. Let me tell you, he is even more attractive in person. At that point I realized that even if Josh passed right in front of me, I wouldn’t see him. He’s 5’ 6”, a perfect size for me but not great for seeing over a crowd. People were standing on the bike racks on the other side of the street to get a better view, so I pushed my way out of the crowd and went to the other side of the street. The view was no better and all the bike racks were taken, so I just went to the line of people waiting to get in to the theater. To get in you had to walk on the red carpet so we had to wait until the stars were no longer there. Eventually they let us through. At the end of the carpet was a curtain, behind which I was excited to see the stars taking their official press pictures. Although the guards urged us to “avancez” I obviously pulled out my camera. I had a perfect view of Liam, Jennifer and Josh! When I got to the other side of the curtain, they had finished taking pictures and I could see Josh just standing there. I zoomed in and had a perfect shot, but as I pressed the button a guy walked in front of me! Luckily I still got some shots of Josh’s head, but mostly I have excellent pictures of that guy. Sigh.
I found a seat (Sara had gone in before the red carpet so she already had a seat) and took in the atmosphere. The energy was so high and on the movie screen they were playing interviews with spectators that they had done before the red carpet began. Eventually the emcee quieted us down and introduced the actors, director and producer one by one. They came down the aisle in the middle of all the fans and went on stage. I was pretty much in tears. Before we entered the theater, they confiscated our electronics so that we couldn’t record and leak the movie. Unfortunately that also meant that when Liam, Josh, Jennifer, Elizabeth Banks, the director, and producer were on stage chatting with the emcee I couldn’t take pictures. When the emcee asked Jennifer a question she answered with her signature genuineness: “Sorry, I don’t understand your accent!” When he asked Josh what he knew how to say in French, he answered, “Je suis fatigue.” Everyone cheered. A second later he added, “Je suis faim.” There was a pause before everyone cheered for his incorrect French (it should have been “J’ai faim”) but since it was Josh everyone cheered anyway. Josh, Liam and Jennifer play-fought on stage. Josh danced off stage. It was adorable. After they left, the movie played.
It’s technically not out yet and I don’t want anyone from the studio knocking on my door, so I’ll just say that it was INCREDIBLE! Fans of the book will not be disappointed or think that they drastically changed anything. The screenplay got every single major point from the book and I don’t think it left any confusion in the minds of those who didn’t read the book. The acting was absolutely amazing and the sets, costumes and filming techniques were gorgeous.
After the movie we got back to the apartment about 12:30 but I was too pumped to go to bed until 2. The next morning Sara and I bought pastries, walked to the Eiffel Tower and decided to climb to the second floor just for fun. We took the TGV back to Aix at night after our star-studded weekend. Being up close with celebs and deciding on a whim to climb the Eiffel Tower definitely agree with me.