20 May - The 'Rocketman' UK Premiere

May 20th, 2019.

I guess in some ways this movie could be seen as the spiritual successor to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, especially since directing duties in that film were ultimately taken over by the very director of this film - Dexter Fletcher. And not only is there no doubting the subject is a musical icon… he was even rumoured to be attending.

Here’s how it went down.

In these days of hover-cars, hyperloops and moon bases (not pictured), one of the Big Three cinemas in Leicester Square still hangs large tarpaulins rather than changing pixels on a display. It’s something to tell the grandkids.. so they’ll say that you’re really boring and you won’t have to babysit them anymore.

In these days of hover-cars, hyperloops and moon bases (not pictured), one of the Big Three cinemas in Leicester Square still hangs large tarpaulins rather than changing pixels on a display. It’s something to tell the grandkids.. so they’ll say that you’re really boring and you won’t have to babysit them anymore.

“In days past they’d have put a giant pair of star-spangled glasses in the middle of Leicester Square, or a giant pair of thigh-high boots to make it look more spectacular. What’s happened to this town, Frank??” ”Well…..” ”You can’t blame Disney for everything, Frank” ”I can and I will.”

“In days past they’d have put a giant pair of star-spangled glasses in the middle of Leicester Square, or a giant pair of thigh-high boots to make it look more spectacular. What’s happened to this town, Frank??”
”Well…..”
”You can’t blame Disney for everything, Frank”
”I can and I will.”

Meanwhile, outside the Odeon….  “What if he’d been born in Jamaica? They might have called the film ‘ROCKET,MON”!!” ”You should remember to have breakfast before you start work, Frank…”

Meanwhile, outside the Odeon….
“What if he’d been born in Jamaica? They might have called the film ‘ROCKET,MON”!!”
”You should remember to have breakfast before you start work, Frank…”

Somewhere between 5 and 9 hours later…

“The music? Not really a fan. It’s really all about the explosives for me… also where are my treats?”  Sniffer dog. My bag passed the sniff-test, even though there’s something in it that keeps making ballpoint pens (but not papers or anything else) sticky.

“The music? Not really a fan. It’s really all about the explosives for me… also where are my treats?”
Sniffer dog. My bag passed the sniff-test, even though there’s something in it that keeps making ballpoint pens (but not papers or anything else) sticky.

“GARISH? I’ll have you know these are my dull, Monday afternoon clothes. You should see me on Thursdays, when I’m really going wild. Also… what exactly is going on here?”

“GARISH? I’ll have you know these are my dull, Monday afternoon clothes. You should see me on Thursdays, when I’m really going wild. Also… what exactly is going on here?”

“Of course, I’m far too young to remember the ‘70s, and all of you, my loyal youtube followers, are even younger than I. So what am I doing here? Free donuts. Or so I’ve been promised. I’ll keep you all updated…”

“Of course, I’m far too young to remember the ‘70s, and all of you, my loyal youtube followers, are even younger than I. So what am I doing here? Free donuts. Or so I’ve been promised. I’ll keep you all updated…”

“I’m going to have to do my whole premiere journal in black’n’white just so I can recognise the people on these pages, damnit…” . Eh.. I’ll see how I go. Three and a half pages is quite hefty - but I’ve got my triage list of priorities of whom to photograph prepared.

“I’m going to have to do my whole premiere journal in black’n’white just so I can recognise the people on these pages, damnit…”. Eh.. I’ll see how I go. Three and a half pages is quite hefty - but I’ve got my triage list of priorities of whom to photograph prepared.

“What am I listening to? Ermm…. Guns’n’Roses. Sorry. Please don’t tell Elton.”  In devastating news, your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and his tame DJ El Tonnage were NOT officiating over the warm-up at this premiere. This saddened me. I had quite the scratch-list of things rhyming with ‘Elton’ ready to be unleashed. In this journal, where nobody would see it and laugh, I mean.

“What am I listening to? Ermm…. Guns’n’Roses. Sorry. Please don’t tell Elton.”
In devastating news, your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and his tame DJ El Tonnage were NOT officiating over the warm-up at this premiere. This saddened me. I had quite the scratch-list of things rhyming with ‘Elton’ ready to be unleashed. In this journal, where nobody would see it and laugh, I mean.

“This is not how I wanted to watch the Game of Thrones Series Finale… but what the hell”  I’ve got the iTunes season pass all ready to download every episode to start watching it as soon as I can. Please don’t spoil me on the ending. I’ve got a lot of cash riding on The Return Of Joffrey.

“This is not how I wanted to watch the Game of Thrones Series Finale… but what the hell”
I’ve got the iTunes season pass all ready to download every episode to start watching it as soon as I can. Please don’t spoil me on the ending. I’ve got a lot of cash riding on The Return Of Joffrey.

The map for this event is an inscrutable runic screed even before the part where Security try their hand at the complex physics of sequential numbers and logical pen-filling. Add four different coloured wristbands and it’s a recipe for chaos even before your favourite Autograph Dealers are heaved into the mix.

The map for this event is an inscrutable runic screed even before the part where Security try their hand at the complex physics of sequential numbers and logical pen-filling. Add four different coloured wristbands and it’s a recipe for chaos even before your favourite Autograph Dealers are heaved into the mix.

“I’ve still got the steady arm and perfect shoulder. Those four summers of cattle branding have not been wasted.”

“I’ve still got the steady arm and perfect shoulder. Those four summers of cattle branding have not been wasted.”

We finally begin, and amazingly I have a front row pen, with all the security of somewhere between 2 and 3 rows of people behind me all willing to sell their kidney (or preferably mine) for Richard Madden or Bryce Dallas Howard’s autograph. It’s anyone’s guess how many (of my) organs a Taron Egerton might go for.

We finally begin, and amazingly I have a front row pen, with all the security of somewhere between 2 and 3 rows of people behind me all willing to sell their kidney (or preferably mine) for Richard Madden or Bryce Dallas Howard’s autograph. It’s anyone’s guess how many (of my) organs a Taron Egerton might go for.

“I don’t want to know. I stopped watching when my character… you know…”  Richard Madden is still best known for the 21 episodes of Game of Thrones he played Robb Stark…and let’s just say they were the first 21 episodes of the show that ran for another 5 seasons and leave it at that.

“I don’t want to know. I stopped watching when my character… you know…”
Richard Madden is still best known for the 21 episodes of Game of Thrones he played Robb Stark…and let’s just say they were the first 21 episodes of the show that ran for another 5 seasons and leave it at that.

“Okay, fine. I care greatly. And anyone who gives away spoilers will feel my wrath.”  Again… Game of Thrones’ finale aired less than 24 hour ago, and I’m still all of season 8 behind. I could be elsewhere right now, but I’m pressed against barriers with little chance of extricating myself.

“Okay, fine. I care greatly. And anyone who gives away spoilers will feel my wrath.”
Again… Game of Thrones’ finale aired less than 24 hour ago, and I’m still all of season 8 behind. I could be elsewhere right now, but I’m pressed against barriers with little chance of extricating myself.

“Happily Ever After… for the most part”  - Richard Madden also played the prince in one of Disney’s early forays into live-action-adapting its own cartoons, in his case 2015’s    “Cinderella”   .

“Happily Ever After… for the most part” - Richard Madden also played the prince in one of Disney’s early forays into live-action-adapting its own cartoons, in his case 2015’s “Cinderella”.

Gemma Jones’ 100+ imdb credits include three Harry Potter films (2, 6 and 7b), and possibly a recent highly successful raid on a tablecloth factory.

Gemma Jones’ 100+ imdb credits include three Harry Potter films (2, 6 and 7b), and possibly a recent highly successful raid on a tablecloth factory.

Random attendee : the third (and current) Spider-Man - Tom Holland, who zipped by so fast that I barely had time to raise my camera (the one with the long-range zoom set to “full”). This photo alone, blurry or otherwise already makes this a better Avengers premiere than    the last one   .

Random attendee : the third (and current) Spider-Man - Tom Holland, who zipped by so fast that I barely had time to raise my camera (the one with the long-range zoom set to “full”). This photo alone, blurry or otherwise already makes this a better Avengers premiere than the last one.

“Oh, no. I don’t think our hair-colour is going to be in sync for this premiere….. like… at all”  - Taron Egerton plays Elton John in the movie.

“Oh, no. I don’t think our hair-colour is going to be in sync for this premiere….. like… at all”
- Taron Egerton plays Elton John in the movie.

“This is a figurative high-five, not a literal one, people.”  It’s Elton John! And he’s in a pope-mobile / golf-cart… which itself is wearing glasses. I feel like I probably should add that photo… but it’s way after midnight and I don’t want to .

“This is a figurative high-five, not a literal one, people.” It’s Elton John! And he’s in a pope-mobile / golf-cart… which itself is wearing glasses. I feel like I probably should add that photo… but it’s way after midnight and I don’t want to .

“And I hereby reiterate my offer to the Fast & Furious producers, for me to join Dominic Turetto and his gang on their next two adventures….”

“And I hereby reiterate my offer to the Fast & Furious producers, for me to join Dominic Turetto and his gang on their next two adventures….”

“That’s a camera… right??”  - Elton John with husband David Furnish.

“That’s a camera… right??” - Elton John with husband David Furnish.

“For private use ONLY. And I mean PRIVATE. And I mean ONLY”

“For private use ONLY. And I mean PRIVATE. And I mean ONLY”

“But what if he looks in my direction and sees right through me? I mean, I’ve grown the hair as wide as I can to prevent that, but what if it’s not wide enough, Sarah??”

“But what if he looks in my direction and sees right through me? I mean, I’ve grown the hair as wide as I can to prevent that, but what if it’s not wide enough, Sarah??”

“that’s one of the most compelling black’n’white QPR code-and-seat-allocation combinations I’ve ever seen… I wonder how boring the other side of the ticket must be?”

“that’s one of the most compelling black’n’white QPR code-and-seat-allocation combinations I’ve ever seen… I wonder how boring the other side of the ticket must be?”

This is Kelly Osbourne (left), and for the life of me I can’t remember whether she parlayed that early ‘000s reality TV show she was in into a singing career, modeling career, or what. But the guy with the star-struck glasses in the background left : you know he’s building up to a level of fame that will last for Decades Glorious.

This is Kelly Osbourne (left), and for the life of me I can’t remember whether she parlayed that early ‘000s reality TV show she was in into a singing career, modeling career, or what. But the guy with the star-struck glasses in the background left : you know he’s building up to a level of fame that will last for Decades Glorious.

“Well, yeah I wrote most of Elton’s songs, but I’d kind of prefer you didn’t call me the “John Lennon of the band”, for obvious reasons”  - it’s Bernie Taupin!

“Well, yeah I wrote most of Elton’s songs, but I’d kind of prefer you didn’t call me the “John Lennon of the band”, for obvious reasons” - it’s Bernie Taupin!

“Is that your Nikon making me artistically blurry, or are you just happy to see me?”  Hard to say.. I’m not entirely sure who singer James Bay is…. but this is he.

“Is that your Nikon making me artistically blurry, or are you just happy to see me?”
Hard to say.. I’m not entirely sure who singer James Bay is…. but this is he.

“They stopped making Oddka Buttered Popcorn Vodka and nobody told me? Why?? And when?? This is unacceptable”  Agreed. I myself am down to perhaps two servings of my last ever bottle. A true tragedy. I named a cocktail that had it as the crucial ingredient… what am I supposed to do, now??

“They stopped making Oddka Buttered Popcorn Vodka and nobody told me? Why?? And when?? This is unacceptable” Agreed. I myself am down to perhaps two servings of my last ever bottle. A true tragedy. I named a cocktail that had it as the crucial ingredient… what am I supposed to do, now??

“What do you have written on the back of the shirt…it had better not be what I think it is…”  Taron Egerton, along with actually singing Elton’s songs in this biopic, has notably been in the Kingsman series of films (   “The Secret Service”    and    “The Golden Circle”   ) at neither of which I photographed him particularly well.

“What do you have written on the back of the shirt…it had better not be what I think it is…”
Taron Egerton, along with actually singing Elton’s songs in this biopic, has notably been in the Kingsman series of films (“The Secret Service” and “The Golden Circle”) at neither of which I photographed him particularly well.

It’s former German supermodel Claudia Schiffer!! She’s at this premiere because her husband (Matthew Vaughn) is a producer. I didn’t photograph him… because she’s Claudia Schiffer, and I have an ironclad triage-esque system of priorities in play at these events. And I stand by it.

It’s former German supermodel Claudia Schiffer!! She’s at this premiere because her husband (Matthew Vaughn) is a producer. I didn’t photograph him… because she’s Claudia Schiffer, and I have an ironclad triage-esque system of priorities in play at these events. And I stand by it.

“I can sign that for you, but only if you can tell me whether the thing around my neck is a thin scarf or an un-tied tie.”  - Jason Flemyng, among other things, was in the Guy Ritchie movie “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” - with Dexter Fletcher (in an acting capacity)

“I can sign that for you, but only if you can tell me whether the thing around my neck is a thin scarf or an un-tied tie.” - Jason Flemyng, among other things, was in the Guy Ritchie movie “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” - with Dexter Fletcher (in an acting capacity)

Writer/Presenter/Actor Stephen Fry - host of multiple Bafta ceremonies, he was also the Cheshire Cat in the live-action Alice In Wonderland, the Master of Laketown in two of The Hobbit movies AND was in one of my favourite movies V for Vendetta. His tie features colours you wouldn’t believe, so I turned it down.

Writer/Presenter/Actor Stephen Fry - host of multiple Bafta ceremonies, he was also the Cheshire Cat in the live-action Alice In Wonderland, the Master of Laketown in two of The Hobbit movies AND was in one of my favourite movies V for Vendetta. His tie features colours you wouldn’t believe, so I turned it down.

“Brown? You’re getting me to sign things with a BROWN sharpie, Janice? Well… it’s on you if it all turns out horrible and autograph dealers’ feelings are hurt.”  - Dexter Fletcher signs in our area - and on the strength of all three of his prior directing duties -    Wild Bill   ,    Eddie the Eagle    and (unofficially)    Bohemian Rhapsody   , I’m both looking forward to seeing this movie AND very pleased that he signed my Moleskine journal.

“Brown? You’re getting me to sign things with a BROWN sharpie, Janice? Well… it’s on you if it all turns out horrible and autograph dealers’ feelings are hurt.” - Dexter Fletcher signs in our area - and on the strength of all three of his prior directing duties - Wild Bill, Eddie the Eagle and (unofficially) Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m both looking forward to seeing this movie AND very pleased that he signed my Moleskine journal.

“From what I can see, this is the shape your spine is currently in. You should probably get a chiropractor to look at it afterwards”.  My spot in the pen might be front-row, but there is an army behind me happy to surge forward (and, worryingly, sideways in both directions). I think my spine is fine, now, though, and I say that as somebody who runs an entertainment-themed website and does pricing analysis.

“From what I can see, this is the shape your spine is currently in. You should probably get a chiropractor to look at it afterwards”. My spot in the pen might be front-row, but there is an army behind me happy to surge forward (and, worryingly, sideways in both directions). I think my spine is fine, now, though, and I say that as somebody who runs an entertainment-themed website and does pricing analysis.

“She might even be that blurry naturally… but I still think she’s pretty….”

“She might even be that blurry naturally… but I still think she’s pretty….”

“With that light shining on me and those glasses you’re wearing, I just want The Hague and the guys from the Geneva Convention to know that any of the answers I’m giving to you are provided under duress, okay? That said, Dexter was a delight to work with, and I genuinely mean that….”

“With that light shining on me and those glasses you’re wearing, I just want The Hague and the guys from the Geneva Convention to know that any of the answers I’m giving to you are provided under duress, okay? That said, Dexter was a delight to work with, and I genuinely mean that….”

“Hey, you got my good side. And I only had to contort my whole body to make sure you did”  Along with being famed director Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howards’ movie credits have included both Jurassic World movies, MNightShyamalan’s The Village and… erm.. more than one Twilight.

“Hey, you got my good side. And I only had to contort my whole body to make sure you did”
Along with being famed director Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howards’ movie credits have included both Jurassic World movies, MNightShyamalan’s The Village and… erm.. more than one Twilight.

“I’d love to do a Rizzle Kicks biopic. Do we know if they’re still around??”

“I’d love to do a Rizzle Kicks biopic. Do we know if they’re still around??”

“He said I’d have first pick of either Rizzle or Kicks…. and the other would go to Channing Tatum. And I think we could definitely make it work…”

“He said I’d have first pick of either Rizzle or Kicks…. and the other would go to Channing Tatum. And I think we could definitely make it work…”

“Okay, thanks for that. Your feedback is noted, and will be cheerfully disregarded”  Let’s just say autograph dealer behaviour at this premiere, from one of their members, was about as low as you can get, and we’re talking about a class of (loosely) “human” that has hit depths the earth’s crust is no longer reliably solid at.

“Okay, thanks for that. Your feedback is noted, and will be cheerfully disregarded”
Let’s just say autograph dealer behaviour at this premiere, from one of their members, was about as low as you can get, and we’re talking about a class of (loosely) “human” that has hit depths the earth’s crust is no longer reliably solid at.

So… that was that. It was a frustrating premiere insofar as angles being difficult to come by, the carpet being very crowded, and the level of aptitude shown by Security being about on par with the average neanderthal who bangs two rocks together (and not in a Large Hadron Collider kind of way).

Still, as always, it’s another +1 to the Archive of Premieres, which must now be getting to within +/- 1 or 2 of 500 all-time premieres. I should probably check and buy myself something to drink and celebrate (or commiserate) the occasion.

….Until Next Time!

If you like and/or want to know when I post one of these journals, feel free to follow me on facebook at premeiresdotco, or twitter at berndt2_photo.

And I mean it about the Game of Thrones Spoilers.