Chapter 2| The Red Carpet
“Do you like the red dress or the gold dress?” I asked my sister in the dressing room at Macy’s. It was a day before my flight to LA for a movie premiere and red carpet event. Nothing like last-minute shopping.
“I like the gold,” my 19-year old sister said. “The red looks like something from Ross,” she said bluntly. I love Ross. But maybe not for the red carpet. While I trusted her opinion better than my own, I asked for a few more to be sure.
The gold one.
GOLD for sure!
The answers rolled in as I texted friends for their opinions.
A couple people preferred red but there was no question, gold overwhelmingly won.
Although it was three times the cost, I went with it because I had no idea when or if I’d ever have another opportunity like this. I was going to The BFG red carpet Hollywood premiere. Go big or go home. Plus, my sister reminded me I could wear it on our cruise later.
I stood up straight, struck a pose, and decided I was going to own that gold dress in Hollywood.
Tuesday night it was game on. It had already been a surreal day of interviewing Steven Spielberg and other actors in the movie (more on that later). We’d screened the movie the night before, and though I had a good understanding of the heart and passion that went into the movie, I had no idea what to expect at the premiere alongside them.
In my years as a television reporter, I’d never been inside the ropes at a red carpet event.
“Play it cool.”
“Be ready to move fast.”
“Don’t bug the celebrities when they’re with their kids.”
“Wear comfortable shoes!”
I had 24 other bloggers giving me tips. For most of them, this wasn’t their first rodeo.
I squeezed into a pair of spanks I borrowed from my mom and slipped on my new wedges before heading downstairs.
I was told security collected cameras at the door and I wasn’t going to hand my baby over to just anyone, so I resorted to my phone for selfies, and prayed I wouldn’t run out of storage space.
As I rode down the elevator I took a deep breath and snapped a quick selfie before heading to Hollywood Boulevard.
Now there are a few things that surprised me about the red carpet and I’m going to share it here for memory’s sake, my posterity, and for anyone else who may find themselves in this exciting position some day.
It’s not about how you look, it’s how you feel. Describing what I think looking back at my red carpet photos can only be said in one word: Eh.
I’m pretty underwhelmed with how I look in each photo. I had no idea what I was doing posing and I probably should have practiced beforehand. And now looking at more photos of celebrities I see ankles together has a better look than ankles apart, but whatever cause you know what? In the moment I felt pretty dang hot.
No really, it was about 100 degrees outside.
That cool hot feeling was amplified as I walked down the red carpet ahead of the celebrities and heard this:
I looked behind me expecting J Lo or maybe Ginnifer Goodwin (never mind the fact that they didn’t have anything to do with this film). But when I looked back towards the yells of my name, I saw people waving right at me.
As I walked towards my crowd of two fans I realized it was Tyler and Nicole from Disneyland. Remember my mommy/daughter trip with Lil’ J’s last year? These are my people, now with D23, and covering the stars of the red carpet–Which obviously wasn’t myself but that’s neither here nor there.
Quick selfie and a newfound sense of confidence I moved on to take more bad photos and people watch. But do you know that not a couple stops later it happened again. I heard my name AGAIN! This time, I didn’t look behind me, I guess the whole experience was going to my head.
A woman stopped me and asked me if I was a blogger and if my blog was Baby Making Machine. What? Is this real life?
It would be da bomb if I could tell you she was just a random fan shouting my name from the paparazzi line but it was the beautiful Jihane, someone I knew through my blog (though we’ve never met in person). She said she wasn’t sure it was me since my kids weren’t with me. So funny. And still so totally awesome.
The evening was filled with even more “pinch me” moments as I met Catherine Bell from Army Wives (one of my current obsessions) spotted Mario Lopez with his little girl, shot a wink at the sexy Nate Parker, and congratulated Ruby Barhill after the US Premiere. All this while at the stunning El Capitan Theatre surrounded by the people who made this movie.
Alberto E. Rodriguez: 2016 Getty Images
If you’ve never been to a movie screening you really need to experience it. There’s nothing like a riled and excited crowd of early-viewers. You know you’re surrounded by people pumped to see the movie.
Now take that and times it by about 100 and that’s what a Hollywood premiere is like. You can feel the electricity surging through the crowd, and you’re literally sitting beside people you’re watching on the screen. It was something else.
I went into this experience not knowing what to expect and came out with a new love and respect for the thought and heart that goes into making a film.
Chapter 3 of my story continues Monday when I tell you about the interview with the star: Ruby Barhill who plays Sophie, and director Steven Spielberg, then throughout next week the rest of my story will unfold with other interviews and Friday we’ll conclude the story continuing the tradition of a mommy/daughter review of the new Disney film.
This magical movie hits theaters everywhere July 1st.