Work Memo No. 5: The Wolverine Premiere

Not only did a get to go to Liverpool this week for a hotel stay and review, but on Tuesday I attended the red carpet premiere of The Wolverine. I walked past Hugh Jackman. End of story. #swoon


This week, I did a lot of work for the website outside of the office, so I didn’t observe too much out of the ordinary while I was in. However, I did manage to snag a spot at London premiere of The Wolverine and interview the director about his project. Even though this was a pretty huge deal to me (being arm’s length away from Hugh Jackman and interviewing accomplished director James Mangold in the flesh!), setting it all up was a breeze with the right connections at the Radio Times.

When I think of movie premieres, I think of huge celebrities, tons of paparazzi and a glamorous red carpet. I did get to witness all that on Tuesday evening at the Empire Cinema to a certain extent. What I’ve never seen, or have never really thought about, is who else shows up to those big events. Apparently, interns like me might be able slip through to the red carpet, too. All it really took was responding to an email that Ellie, one of the writers, sent out a few weeks back. Someone from the PR agency Substance got in touch with her about arranging press interviews with the director, and she then sent it out to the rest of the staff. I just so happened to be sifting through my emails at the moment she sent it out and was the first to respond. That’s actually how quite a few of these kinds of big-name interviews take place. With a few simple emails through to the Substance representative, I secured a seat at Empire Cinema for premiere night.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that it turned out to be a little less glamorous than I expected, at least at first. I was to pick up my ticket from the press agent outside the Burger King in Leicester Square, and from there I joined a long queue waiting to walk the red carpet into the theatre that seated several hundred people. That got me to wondering just who these people were in line with me and how they were able to get their names on the guest list themselves.

Once seated, I struck up a conversation with the folks sitting next to me, and they were both at the premiere for press. Apart from journalists and critics, others in the crowd seemed to be ordinary non-celebrities. The two premiere veterans clued me in that the other audience members were most likely members of the production crew, as well as friends, family or whomever they invited. Not too many celebrity sightings other than the main actors, probably because it was a Hollywood movie being premiered in London. I would imagine a larger turnout at a premiere stateside, since that’s generally where all the actors hang out.

I even have more respect for people who can conduct a good short interview. Since most of what I do for the Radio Times website doesn’t include actually talking to sources to include information in the article, I’ve been a little out of touch with my interviewing skills since the end of spring semester. My chat with James Mangold was a whopping 12 minutes, although I’m used to writing profiles and features with interviews lasting past the hour-long mark. Not to mention, they aren’t usually famous (side note, before this summer the most famous person I interviewed was over the phone with Oscar-winning director Dan Lindsay for a MOVE Magazine Q-and-A). I really had to come prepared with very tailored questions and anticipate follow-up questions carefully so as to not lose track of thought or time.

In any case, it was still a totally amazing experience. I learned quiet a bit from my neighbors at the theatre about writing for entertainment and getting to attend cool events. I mean, how many other people can say that they got to go to a London film premiere during a college internship?


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