25 Sep 2019 - The 'Catherine the Great' Premiere

September 25th, 2019.

As at 3:30pm this afternoon, the status of this premiere on the mighty Premierescene was still “rumoured”… and that was shortly AFTER I got there, found the whole of the road next to Curzon Mayfair had been closed down, had a red carpet laid, and I was the proud recipient of a #16 wristband… !

Here’s how it went down:

Autumnally symbolic. Of course, Starbucks has been selling pumpkin spice lattes for three weeks already… because commerce beats the environment almost every time.

Autumnally symbolic. Of course, Starbucks has been selling pumpkin spice lattes for three weeks already… because commerce beats the environment almost every time.

“I know it seems like we outnumber fans’n’dealers by about two to one, but think of it this way : if Helen Mirren goes apeshit violent we’ll be glad we over-provisioned on security”  My legal team suggests I should throw an “allegedly” in there somewhere.

“I know it seems like we outnumber fans’n’dealers by about two to one, but think of it this way : if Helen Mirren goes apeshit violent we’ll be glad we over-provisioned on security”
My legal team suggests I should throw an “allegedly” in there somewhere.

“She is and always will be our Empress” ”I thought she was our Queen?” ”And I thought I told you to shave those ridiculous sideburns, Dimitri”

“She is and always will be our Empress”
”I thought she was our Queen?”
”And I thought I told you to shave those ridiculous sideburns, Dimitri”

“Let me tell you about Russian History…”  - Right now, all I can remember from High School History is that the last five Czars in sequence were Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II (Sorry, Mrs Richardson!)

“Let me tell you about Russian History…” - Right now, all I can remember from High School History is that the last five Czars in sequence were Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II (Sorry, Mrs Richardson!)

“What’s the matter? You seem worried” “I just don’t think this photo is historically accurate to the period… will he sign it??”  (In Catherine the Great’s time, Russia mainly relied upon short-range cruisers and tanks (Sorry, Mrs Richardson!!)

“What’s the matter? You seem worried”
“I just don’t think this photo is historically accurate to the period… will he sign it??”
(In Catherine the Great’s time, Russia mainly relied upon short-range cruisers and tanks (Sorry, Mrs Richardson!!)

Security at this premiere went so far as to ask people to text their friends to try to beef up the attendance, but sadly many were at one of two different events also on that evening : a Suzi Quattro premiere, and a special screening of the new Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” film. Still… it ultimately filled up nicely.

Security at this premiere went so far as to ask people to text their friends to try to beef up the attendance, but sadly many were at one of two different events also on that evening : a Suzi Quattro premiere, and a special screening of the new Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” film. Still… it ultimately filled up nicely.

“Shhh… I think he’s going to say something Anti-Star Wars, and I want to know what it is”  Jason Clarke plays the role of Grigory Potemkin in the series. And the connection between Star Wars and feudal Russia is a bit too tenuous for me to go there. Much as I’d like to.

“Shhh… I think he’s going to say something Anti-Star Wars, and I want to know what it is”
Jason Clarke plays the role of Grigory Potemkin in the series. And the connection between Star Wars and feudal Russia is a bit too tenuous for me to go there. Much as I’d like to.

“I was in Fast and Furious 8 AND Hobbes & Shaw… can’t you do a J-turn or Hook Turn in this thing?”  - Helen Mirren plays Catherine The Great in the series.

“I was in Fast and Furious 8 AND Hobbes & Shaw… can’t you do a J-turn or Hook Turn in this thing?” - Helen Mirren plays Catherine The Great in the series.

“Sorry, I can’t hear you when I’m in this. It’s totally soundproof : it’s both frightening and convenient!”

“Sorry, I can’t hear you when I’m in this. It’s totally soundproof : it’s both frightening and convenient!”

“Very well. Wifi reception in that thing was terrible anyway.”

“Very well. Wifi reception in that thing was terrible anyway.”

Helen Mirren and the Case Of Who Just Realised Who Owes Who Five Dollars….

Helen Mirren and the Case Of Who Just Realised Who Owes Who Five Dollars….

“I absolutely can not understate the importance of symmetry in your appearance…. Wait, are you wearing a watch on only one of your wrists?? What the hell, Jason…”  a quick trip to imdb.com confirms what the accent of Jason Clarke suggested : he’s Australia’s Own <TM> Jason Clarke!

“I absolutely can not understate the importance of symmetry in your appearance…. Wait, are you wearing a watch on only one of your wrists?? What the hell, Jason…” a quick trip to imdb.com confirms what the accent of Jason Clarke suggested : he’s Australia’s Own <TM> Jason Clarke!

“Actually, that really good Lebanese restaurant is just over there” ”You mean right next to those guys with machine guns at the Saudi Embassy?” ”That’s the one…”

“Actually, that really good Lebanese restaurant is just over there”
”You mean right next to those guys with machine guns at the Saudi Embassy?”
”That’s the one…”

“Andrew is nice… but he’s no Joseph”  Initially identified as Andrew Rothney (who plays Alexander Mamonov), turns out he’s Joseph Quinn (who plays Prince Paul) - apologies.

“Andrew is nice… but he’s no Joseph”
Initially identified as Andrew Rothney (who plays Alexander Mamonov), turns out he’s Joseph Quinn (who plays Prince Paul) - apologies.

“No, I totally understand you wanting to compose the shot so you take in that security guard with the enigmatic expression behind us. In fact, if you weren’t already going to, I would have insisted upon it”  Kevin McNally - I last photographed him at the    Downton Abbey World Premiere   .

“No, I totally understand you wanting to compose the shot so you take in that security guard with the enigmatic expression behind us. In fact, if you weren’t already going to, I would have insisted upon it”
Kevin McNally - I last photographed him at the Downton Abbey World Premiere.

I don’t know who this is, but he said he was here to mainly to get autograph. Bold move, being on the carpet (turns out he’s “Will Manning” and I still don’t know who that is)

I don’t know who this is, but he said he was here to mainly to get autograph. Bold move, being on the carpet (turns out he’s “Will Manning” and I still don’t know who that is)

I also photographed her at Downton Abbey. (She doesn’t seem quite as certain.)

I also photographed her at Downton Abbey. (She doesn’t seem quite as certain.)

Joseph Quinn and the battle of the faces.

Joseph Quinn and the battle of the faces.

“I could move a bit to the right, sure. Or I could… you know… not. What are you going to do?”

“I could move a bit to the right, sure. Or I could… you know… not. What are you going to do?”

“The anecdote you’re recounting is mostly accurate, but I do seem to recall rather a lot more profanity being used at the time”.  Probably time for another ‘allegedly’ to be thrown in there.

“The anecdote you’re recounting is mostly accurate, but I do seem to recall rather a lot more profanity being used at the time”. Probably time for another ‘allegedly’ to be thrown in there.

(at far right)  ”You’re praying? At a time like this?” ”Yeah… how else is Joaquin Phoenix going to show up to this event?” ”Well… he’s not in this series and he’s not on the list and he’s got an event tonight and it’s not here” ”Hence the praying. Obviously”

(at far right)
”You’re praying? At a time like this?”
”Yeah… how else is Joaquin Phoenix going to show up to this event?”
”Well… he’s not in this series and he’s not on the list and he’s got an event tonight and it’s not here”
”Hence the praying. Obviously”

“Hi, and I am….?”

“Hi, and I am….?”

Possibly somebody in some way related to the Arsenal football/ soccer team? (Based on what he signed for a Dealer…)

Possibly somebody in some way related to the Arsenal football/ soccer team? (Based on what he signed for a Dealer…)

“You’re taking my wallet, aren’t you?” ”Taking? I took it a minute earlier. Now I’m just seeing what else you’ve got”

“You’re taking my wallet, aren’t you?”
”Taking? I took it a minute earlier. Now I’m just seeing what else you’ve got”

“Well, at least I got your wallet from your suit jacket” ”That’s not my wallet… and good luck explaining to Helen how you got hers”

“Well, at least I got your wallet from your suit jacket”
”That’s not my wallet… and good luck explaining to Helen how you got hers”

“You did WHAT?”   =INDIRECT(  It’s an excel function. I’d never even heard of it prior to today.

“You did WHAT?”
=INDIRECT( It’s an excel function. I’d never even heard of it prior to today.

“And that guy is…. is?” -  similarly, I had/have no idea who Gina McKee was prior to this evening. Her imdb.com listing is VERY long, so it’s almost certainly my fault.

“And that guy is…. is?” - similarly, I had/have no idea who Gina McKee was prior to this evening. Her imdb.com listing is VERY long, so it’s almost certainly my fault.

“I’ll grant you the photos you’re holiding look a bit like me… but you’re holding them upside-down. Why is that?”

“I’ll grant you the photos you’re holiding look a bit like me… but you’re holding them upside-down. Why is that?”

So… that was that. And immediately afterwards, I ran (yes, RAN) to Piccadilly for a Bafta Screentalk from Titles Designer Dan Perri. Home after 10pm because as usual I missed my train, and the slow train was additionally held up for no reason. Except probably incompetence, I assume.

Until next time? Erm… yeah. BFI London Film Festival starts in one week from today… hopefully the Archive of Premieres will gain some bulk at that.

Dan Perri Bafta Event (he’s the gentleman on the right)

Dan Perri Bafta Event (he’s the gentleman on the right)