21 Jan - Valkyrie premiere

January 21st, 2009.

Damnit... you know, this was a tough one. I arrived late(ish), shifted location twice, and the action was either a long way away or blocked by a wall of Paparazzi and a 2m high hoarding. The stool was pulling double shift, and the results were.... only under the circumstances, pleasing. Sort of.


Valkyrie. And did you know... Tom Cruise brings his own security to these events? This is surprising, as honestly :premieres in London already feature police and security in place. But Tom Cruise STILL brought more security. Plus ninjas. (You couldn't see the ninjas, they were that good...)

Valkyrie. And did you know... Tom Cruise brings his own security to these events? This is surprising, as honestly :premieres in London already feature police and security in place. But Tom Cruise STILL brought more security. Plus ninjas. (You couldn't see the ninjas, they were that good...)

The source of a Paparazzi's power : The Book(let) Of Celebrities who will be Attending (insert reverent Gregorian Chant here)

The source of a Paparazzi's power : The Book(let) Of Celebrities who will be Attending (insert reverent Gregorian Chant here)

It's TomKat!! Albeit from a distance of 40metres, so the shot was next to impossible to take. Reall, I should be fairly happy with it.  But just a little bit more zoom wouldn't have gone astray. Their car took them all the way up the red carpet, where he and she posed for the Paps and then he led her inside, returning on his own. I guess she doesn't do autographs?

It's TomKat!! Albeit from a distance of 40metres, so the shot was next to impossible to take. Reall, I should be fairly happy with it.  But just a little bit more zoom wouldn't have gone astray. Their car took them all the way up the red carpet, where he and she posed for the Paps and then he led her inside, returning on his own. I guess she doesn't do autographs?

"Two snipers. There, on the roof. Can I get my guys to take them out, or are you gonna pull that jurisdiction crap on me?". Tom Cruise's security team doesn't take prisoners.

"Two snipers. There, on the roof. Can I get my guys to take them out, or are you gonna pull that jurisdiction crap on me?". Tom Cruise's security team doesn't take prisoners.

"So... uh... what questions are out of bounds?" "I just don't want to talk about whether there'll ever be a sequel to 'Risky Business'". Yeah... they probably missed the boat with that.


"So... uh... what questions are out of bounds?"

"I just don't want to talk about whether there'll ever be a sequel to 'Risky Business'".

Yeah... they probably missed the boat with that.

Tom Cruise was the only celeb on the red carpet for over half an hour, and to his credit once he finished with the Paparazzi and interviews and the rest of the cast and celebs arrived, he did nothing but sign autographs until the last cast member had already entered the cinema. Impressive. I know, I know, a lot of people don't like him. He doesn't necessarily hate them back, it seems.

Tom Cruise was the only celeb on the red carpet for over half an hour, and to his credit once he finished with the Paparazzi and interviews and the rest of the cast and celebs arrived, he did nothing but sign autographs until the last cast member had already entered the cinema. Impressive. I know, I know, a lot of people don't like him. He doesn't necessarily hate them back, it seems.

Tom Cruise's head of security (?) (centre, with trenchcoat) would have preferred to launch a pre-emptive air strike on the whole Leicester Square area in the hours before the premiere, but was overruled 3-2 by the Mayor of London's office. Or so I heard.

Tom Cruise's head of security (?) (centre, with trenchcoat) would have preferred to launch a pre-emptive air strike on the whole Leicester Square area in the hours before the premiere, but was overruled 3-2 by the Mayor of London's office. Or so I heard.

Meanwhile...Top Gear Host James May aka Captain Slow. I've now photographed each of the three hosts (Clarkson, Hammond, and now May): only The Stig left!

Meanwhile...Top Gear Host James May aka Captain Slow. I've now photographed each of the three hosts (Clarkson, Hammond, and now May): only The Stig left!

What the world looks like from behind a 2m high hoarding and a wall of Paps. Theoretically, this is where I should have been for shots of TomKat going in, but the wall is kind of more impenetrable the bigger the celeb, I found... (This shot was taken shooting high and blind)

What the world looks like from behind a 2m high hoarding and a wall of Paps. Theoretically, this is where I should have been for shots of TomKat going in, but the wall is kind of more impenetrable the bigger the celeb, I found... (This shot was taken shooting high and blind)

Shooting high-and-blind can work... in theory... and with trees that don't move much, or get jostled by PAs when signing autographs.

Shooting high-and-blind can work... in theory... and with trees that don't move much, or get jostled by PAs when signing autographs.

A celeb, and a pretty one, too! I'm going to say 'Natalie Portman' even though I know she isn't. (I believe she plays Tom Cruise's wife in the film) (edited to add : she's Carice Van Houten)

A celeb, and a pretty one, too! I'm going to say 'Natalie Portman' even though I know she isn't. (I believe she plays Tom Cruise's wife in the film) (edited to add : she's Carice Van Houten)

Just remembered he still owes me $5...yes, YOU sir!

Just remembered he still owes me $5...yes, YOU sir!

Yellow Cap Guy does what Yellow Cap Guy does best. And for this premiere he was in pole position, too. Well played, sir.

Yellow Cap Guy does what Yellow Cap Guy does best. And for this premiere he was in pole position, too. Well played, sir.

Actors Eddie Izzard (left) and Bill Nighy (right), who are both in the fim. I know of Eddie Izzard, but I'm not sure what he's been in, whereas I know Bill Nighy was in 'Love, Actually' and played Davy Jones in the second and third 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies.

Actors Eddie Izzard (left) and Bill Nighy (right), who are both in the fim. I know of Eddie Izzard, but I'm not sure what he's been in, whereas I know Bill Nighy was in 'Love, Actually' and played Davy Jones in the second and third 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies.

Actor Tom Wilkinson (crime boss Falcone in 'Batman Begins') was in the movie and its premiere. That's all I've got.. .they can't all be zingers where commentary is concerned.

Actor Tom Wilkinson (crime boss Falcone in 'Batman Begins') was in the movie and its premiere. That's all I've got.. .they can't all be zingers where commentary is concerned.

Director Bryan Singer, who looks improbably young and disturbingly intense to me (And I was behind a protective double cordon of Paparazzi and a 2metre hoarding, so that's saying something). Also : he directed The Usual Suspects and the first two X-Men movies.

Director Bryan Singer, who looks improbably young and disturbingly intense to me (And I was behind a protective double cordon of Paparazzi and a 2metre hoarding, so that's saying something). Also : he directed The Usual Suspects and the first two X-Men movies.

"Maverick, would you join us for a moment of silence for Goose, who couldn't be here tonight?" "Umm... sure"

"Maverick, would you join us for a moment of silence for Goose, who couldn't be here tonight?"
"Umm... sure"

And that was mostly it. But I have to say I was impressed with Tom Cruise at this premiere. Yes, he was hard to photograph what with the security around him even when he was signing autographs, but he covered a hell of a lot of the crowd, even the further reaches the other celebs didn't.

Of course, what many people don't know (but would concede is logical even if it is surprising) is that when it comes to premieres, the stars rarely stay to watch the movie. They've either seen it before (eg. at the World Premiere or a private screening) or the allure of the afterparty is much, much greater. For this reason... it's often worth staying just a little bit longer if the weather's not too cold and your position is half- or quarter- decent and grabbing a few shots.... if you're lucky.

Well... there you go. (Literally... you're going)

Well... there you go. (Literally... you're going)

And because it needs to be said : props to Tom Cruise for mixing with most of the fans, and also for his small private army for keeping him (and by extension most of London) safe for a couple of hours.

And because it needs to be said : props to Tom Cruise for mixing with most of the fans, and also for his small private army for keeping him (and by extension most of London) safe for a couple of hours.

So, notwithstanding the rather lower quality of shots (especially the Big Two, regrettably) this was still actually a pretty good premiere. I don't think I'll make it to 'The Secret of Moonacre', so the next one I'm aware of would be 'Confessions of a Shopaholic", scheduled for Febuary 16th (mmm... Isla Fisher, possibly!)

Until next time!

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