TORn staffer ImladrisRose writes: Last year when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had its US Premiere at the Ziegfield Theatre in New York City, I was fortunate enough to be on the black carpet representing TORn and covering the premiere. The event was busting at the seams with pure awesomeness and featured most of the film’s principal cast as well as Peter Jackson himself. However, there was no black carpet this year.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug had its world premiere extravaganza in Los Angeles this year and was covered by the Happy Hobbits. With the film’s cast and crew being sent on a whirlwind premiere tour after starting in LA, there was no mention of a New York premiere at all for this time around. I happened to stumble across a Twitter post from Evangeline Lilly on Tuesday afternoon which said “See you all at the #redcarpet in New York tomorrow night at the #timewarnercenter”.
I immediately emailed all of the TORn staffers in hopes of getting to the bottom of how we couldn’t have known about a New York premiere! Well, it turns out, it was a private Warner Bros. premiere, but I didn’t know that until I was already there… While we were trying to get to the bottom of this mystery premiere, I tweeted Evangeline Lilly asking her the time and location of the premiere. She replied and I was on my way!
Hoping to get some photographs and a little bit of footage for TORn to post, I set out on my journey to the NY premiere of DOS. Once I arrived after being directed around quite a bit, I finally came to the understanding that this was a private invite only premiere. Surely, we must have misplaced our invitation!
Slightly disappointed, my friend and I left One Time Warner and upon stepping outside, hoards of paparazzi were awaiting the arrivals of the various celebrities who would be attending the exclusive premiere. I did not want to go home empty-handed, so I decided to hang out and see just who was attending this private event! After all, much like the words of Dr. Seuss, “A premiere is a premiere, no matter how small!”.
Standing alongside paparazzi and fans alike, we saw throngs of NYC celebrities enter the Time Warner Center, one private car after the other. Among those in attendance: Brook Shields, Victoria’s Secret Model Lily Aldridge, and Patrick Wilson. As fun as it was to see all types of celebrities, the anticipation and excitement for “DOS” cast members was intense!
Another black car pulls up and a woman shrieks “Evy!” and the crowd rushes to the car. After a few moments, none other than the absolutely stunning Evangeline Lilly steps out of the car. This was my first encounter with her, and since I had just seen DOS on Monday night, I was giddy with excitement at the prospect of getting to meet her! Not only do I absolutely love her performance in DOS, I have been a fan of hers for years through her role on LOST.
Evangeline took her time with every fan out there, and I mean EVERY fan. Every person who spoke to her, she spoke back, not just a word or two, but a conversation. Every fan that asked for a photo or an autograph got one with immense enthusiasm from the star. Even though it was a bitterly cold, blustery night, Evangeline Lilly was poised, gracious and greeted every fan with a warmth that was truly magical to witness. When it came my time to speak with her, I told her that I was the girl from TORn who tweeted her. Her face lit up and she thanked me for coming out. Now before reading the following bit about our encounter, please keep in mind that I was in the cold for about an hour at this point so I had no feeling in my hands.
I asked Evangeline if I could take a photo with her and she said “of course!” so I attempted to take the photo, but my camera shut off. After turning it back on I attempted again but it shut off again. Evangeline turns to me and says, “I think you are accidentally turning the camera off?” which sadly, I was.
My hands were so cold, I wasn’t aware that my fingers were hitting not just the shutter but also the power button… All I could think was, “How sad is this? I use my camera for a living?!”, face palm… We finally got our picture and she said to go ahead and take another for “good luck” so I have two fabulous pictures with the sweet and fabulous Evangeline Lilly.
While waiting outside in the cold I was speaking to a fan that had met Evangeline at San Diego Comic Con. She had told me that she was sure that Evangeline would remember her from their last meeting. These stars meet a lot of people, so I was hopeful that she would remember so that the fan would not be disappointed. After her time with me, Evangeline went to that fan and she DID remember her. Beaming, she said “It’s wonderful to see you again!” and you could tell that Evangeline’s smile was genuine.
Out of all of my adventures in this fandom and with TORn over the course of more than a decade, I have never been so impressed by the interactions between the star and the fans. Evangeline Lilly would not go inside until all of her fans had some form of interaction with her. That is such a testament to her character and a testament to the continued ability of the Production Team to keep bringing on such incredibly talented and all around GOOD PEOPLE to this wonderful Tolkien universe.
Orlando Bloom also attended the private premiere. He arrived with his son and quickly went inside to the building. Not that I blame him, he is on Broadway right now and shouldn’t hang around in such cold temps!
Overall, even though New York didn’t have an “official red carpet” premiere this year, the fans who caught wind of this private premiere left happy, satisfied, and possibly frostbitten…