The Romanians Go To Hollywood
So, I get an invite for the Breaking Dawn 1 premiere and a few thoughts immediately jumped into my mind:
“Why in the name of all that is holy would anyone care that some actor from Breaking Dawn Part 2 is there?”
“Did I piss Summit off?”
“Can I wear the suit I wore to the last funeral?”
“Cool. Free alcohol.”
I am on my way to Germany when this premiere invite comes in. I’m at the airport while I am on the phone to my wife and she tells me that my manager is all aflutter with anticipation of the red carpet. I ask the question that seems to have escaped all my representatives,
“What exactly am I promoting? The fact that I do, in fact, still breathe?”
“I dunno, angel.”, she says. My wife calls me “angel”. I can hear the taunts from Twifans already. Shut up.
“Well, that makes me feel HIGHLY uncomfortable. It’s feels like I’m just press whoring around an event that is REALLY about Rob, Kristen, Taylor and broken headboards.”
“Well, you don’t HAVE to have your reps there. You COULD just go, see the movie, have a few cocktails and leave. It wouldn’t be unheard of, you know, to just be a normal person.”
So, I let my mangers know that there will be no big broo-ha-ha over this event and I would not be using a P.R agent for the BD1 premiere. In fact, I didn’t think I wanted any reps there. I would, however, let them all “do their thing” at the premieres for Breaking Dawn 2. BIG argument ensues. I win with this simple logic.
“There are no less than 34,507 new vampires in BD2 and many will be vying for attention. The press, the fans, the reviewers, NO ONE knows who will be doing what and how large their characters may or may not be in the in the final cut for BD2. AND I am sure that, as BD2 is still A YEAR away, they could all care less at this point.”
Don’t get me wrong. I am VERY proud of my role in BD2. I am very proud to be a part of the Twilight Saga. I am very excited to see how fans react to the Romanians. I am also cheap. P.R. agents are EXPENSIVE. And, kinda…weird at red carpet events. I dunno…to me, it feels SUPER weird and egotistical to parade around in front of people that don’t care all that much, insisting that they SHOULD care. I call a few actors from the cast to see what everyone else’s plans are for the evening and apparently, I wasn’t the only one to feel that way. So, I make a mental note to travel the Twilight black carpet with equally cheap cast mates that are also going the P.R.-less route. You know. Make it easier for the press if we’re all just a group shot. Sort of a ‘Those Nutty New Vampires’ thing.
Then, I hear from Noel. “Hey! How are you getting to the premiere?”
“Driving. I thought about hitchhiking, but that just seems SO 1967.” This discussion was necessary because Summit was not going to be providing us with transportation to and from the event. Why? Most likely the fact that WE AREN’T EVEN IN THIS MOVIE.
“What if we went together?”, says Noel.
“Look. I’m not bringing any reps or P.R agents, I am just going with Tammy. I am going ultra low key. I am not interested in battling with the rest of the cast for attention from the press. I think it would be super cool for us to go together to meet the fans and it would make sense. I just want to make sure you know that I am not interested in a full court press move. LOW KEY.”
“Yep, that’s what I am thinking too. My manager is coming but only to the party after. Cool. Pick me up?”, Noel said.
So, Tammy I pick up Noel and his girlfriend, from their VERY colorful neighborhood in my less than colorful mini-van (Shut UP!) and off we go. We’re chatting on the way, got lost a few times, cursed the Navigational System (because she is a lying whore) and finally we arrive. And park. ‘Cause we are STILL NOT IN BD1. We make our way to the black carpet and check in. I got there early to avoid the clusterf**k of actors and celebrities and their respective P.R agents fighting for their turn on the press carpet.
On the black carpet entrance, I see someone I know from Summit P.R. She sees Noel and gives me a smile. “Oh, good. You two showed up together. It would be great to get some shots of the two of you…” She’s cut off by…
The sudden appearance of Noel’s P.R agent. Noel’s P.R. agent has her own discussion with Summit P.R. as we all wait for the Jenner sisters to complete their walk on the black carpet. Yes, you did read that correctly. Noel and I are such IMPRESSIVE stars that we are, in fact, lower on the press totem pole than…the Jenner sisters. How’s THAT for reality?
I feel by the way Noel’s P.R rep is shooting daggers at me with her eyes that she did NOT feel our LOW KEY approach was best. I would also venture a guess based on the way she ignored me that she did not agree with the whole Romanian-coven-together-in-photos-thing. And this brings me to the recurring theme of this blog…the dumb-assedness of Noel Fisher.
See, P.R agents are hired to promote the actor that pays them. They are hired to FOCUS on the actor that pays them. They are hired to make other people FOCUS on the actor that pays them. Guess who wasn’t paying Noel’s P.R. agent for this event? You guessed it…ME. If only Mr. Dumb Ass explained to me that he was actually going to morph into Mariah Carey with his entourage in tow, I would have opted NOT to go with him. Summit’s P.R. woman looked at me after a conversation with Noel’s P.R. agent and said quietly, “Why did you come together if he was going to have a press agent here and you were not?”
EXCELLENT question. She sends me and Tammy, a Summit staffer, Noel, Noel’s girlfriend and Noel’s P.R. agent onto the black carpet. Well, I mean after we had waited for a the Jenner sisters to be finished.
I. Am. In. Hell.
Noel’s gladiator (AKA P.R. Agent) keeps standing in between Noel and I on the carpet and shooting the Summit staffer looks like we were all REALLY pissing her off. She actually scared me a little. The Summit staffer is very jittery. She’s seems like a very nervous woman in general. And she also seemed to be humor-challenged. She keeps rushing me ahead of Noel. I stop her. “Can we wait for Noel?” He is blissfully unaware that there is an issue (due to the flashing lights, his transformer-esque morph into Mariah Carey is now complete). Again, file under “Dumb Ass”.
She shrieks, “You should have had a P.R. agent too here if you wanted to do this with Noel! THEY are the ones that deal with this…”
“You know, I didn’t know he was planning on having reps here. I didn’t do this INTENTIONALLY.” I go to the fans section. I see GFYS shirts and signs and I start taking pics and signing stuff. She keeps rushing me off. “They’re COMING!”, apparently referring to Noel and his gladiator.
“You know, you are REALLY starting to freak me out. I don’t mean this as an insult but I would CAREFULLY consider if this is the career path for you…”
Then I feel Tammy’s hand squeezing my arm. She leans over and whispers in my ear, “Let’s go.”
And with that, we raced off the carpet and YES, I did resemble a wet cat as I ran off the carpet. For some reason, the staffer I am running from IS FOLLOWING ME.
“I need a cigarette…”, I tell the staffer.
“I need to re-think trying crack…”, Tammy adds.
In the end, we opted for nicotine. So, we smoked a cigarette and the staffer is staring at us like we are featured performers on “Girls Gone Wild”. We finish, I take a deep breath, Tammy squeezes my hand and then I say to the staffer, “We’re done and judging by your foot tapping, I’m sure there’s somewhere else festive that you are trying to take us to.”
Indeed. She drops us off at the VIP entrance. Without so much as cracking a smile. To be fair, though, I am sure this woman has mime skills that would BOGGLE MY MIND…
At the VIP section, there is a metal detector. As Tammy and I pass through, the alarm buzzes. It’s our phones.
The security guard looks at us like we have attempted to kill several puppies in front of him. “You have PHONES…”
“Well, of course. I need that so I can capture onscreen photos of the headboard scene and sell them on Ebay. DUH…”, I say.
“You can’t have a phone without a sticker.”, he says.
“No one mentioned a sticker to me. Would ANY sticker do or is this a special sticker?”
“They should have given you a sticker. How did you NOT get a sticker?”
“Damned if I know.”
The security guard speaks quietly into his radio and a few other guards approach. There is now a line forming behind us.
“You can’t take your phone in unless you have a sticker.”, he says. “How did you get your tickets without getting a sticker?”
“Look, I gotta have my phone. As much as I hate all the damn texting that has replaced phone conversations, it IS the technology age. OK. Look. I PROMISE not to take more than 10 photos of the headboard scene…”
Two more security guards walk up.
“OK. I can see you’re upset. Seriously…I don’t know why I didn’t get a sticker. Believe me…I am JUST as outraged by my lack of a sticker as you are…”
Two more security guards walk up. “Sir, WHERE did you get your tickets?”
“Oh. On the black carpet.”
He squints his eyes. “Wait…so you are TALENT?”
“Well, that is really for YOU to decide. It would be totally presumptuous of me to give myself that label…”
Two more security guards walk up. One looks like he’s considering tazzing me.
“WHY didn’t you just say you’re talent?” and against his will, he’s starting to smile.
“Oh, I dunno…” and at that moment another Summit staffer comes running up.
“Mr Weinberg! I’m so sorry…” and she flashes me and Tammy this really big, WELCOME smile. All I’m thinking is…where was this delightful creature when I had to navigate the treacherous waters of black carpet press with Noel Fisher’s gladiator?
“Not a problem. My fault, actually.” I turn to the security guards and smile and say, “Sorry guys. I was just funnin’ with ya…except about Ebay. I am TOTALLY doing that…”
And we enter the VIP section where we find food and cocktails. After my experience on the black carpet, I find that my right hand is shaking curiously and my left eye is twitching.
“When I get a hold of Mariah (my new pet name for Noel Fisher), I am going to REAM HIS ASS OUT.”, I say to Tammy as I down my second drink.
“Stop it. There will be no reaming tonight. I am traumatized enough.”, says Tammy as she orders her third drink. “Let’s just do what we came to do and see the movie and support the actors that are in BD1.”
Whatever. So, the actors start filling up the room and oddly enough, they are ALL walking in with their right hand shaking and left eye twitching. Except Lee Pace. He’s so used to all this Hollywood stuff, his left eye just has a SLIGHT twitch. Christian Camargo is a no-show. So, I mix, I mingle, I catch up with everyone…except Noel. After an hour or so, I get a text from Noel alerting me to the fact that he and his entourage have decided to forego socializing with the cast in favor of…sushi. He asks where Tammy and I are at. I contemplated a few replies…
“Keeping the car clean and dusted off for your ride home, Mr. Fisher!” but Tammy wouldn’t let me.
“In the VIP room. Hey! There’s cameras here! WITH FLASHBULBS!!!” but Tammy said no.
“With Bill Condon and his left ass cheek is missing your particular brand of moisture!” and at this point, Tammy gave me THE LOOK.
As I was contemplating what I could possibly say to Mariah AKA Noel, I looked at Tammy. “Well, then I don’t know what to say.” At any rate, people started moving toward the theatre and like cows being herded, we all sort of followed suit. Tammy and I even “moo’d”.
So, I get to the theatre to find my seat. All the new cast for BD2 are sort of seated off to the side of the theatre. ‘Cause, you know, we’re STILL not in BD1. The actors are milling about chatting with each other but I’m in my seat ’cause I already chatted my ass off in the VIP room. Finally, I see a few actors I hadn’t chatted with – Omar Metwally and Rami Malek. I LOVE both actors and have had many enjoyable and HONEST conversations with each. They’re both excellent actors, proud to be middle eastern and have both been tremendously supportive of me, perhaps moreso than is typical. Someone remind me as BD2 draws near to blog about those nutty Egyptians…
FINALLY, I see Mariah. He was sitting a few rows back in the theatre. He walks up and hands me a Romanian flag with “GFYS4Charity” on it.
“A fan gave this to me and really it belongs to you.”, he says. I’m a little touched until it dawns on me that he didn’t want to carry it around any more…
Anywho. The movie comes on. Lots of screams. Wedding. More screams. Headboard. Tons of screams. Pregnant. Many “Awwwww”s and finally, birth, imprinting (anyone else relieved how that came out?) and vamp conversion. Screamfest 2011. All in all, I gotta go with the headboard scene as a favorite ’cause…I’m a guy. And if we can’t have fight scenes, there should be sex. Just sayin’.
OK. Now the race is on…to the after party. People start racing out of the theatre and I once again have the strongest urge to “moo” as I follow the herd out of the theatre. I get to the party and there’s more security. I am PRAYING that there is no more mention of stickers…
But, no. Here, it’s the elusive wristband…stickers are now SO 2010…
I walk in to a MASSIVE tent. Alongside the perimeter of the tent are the VIP sections. Since I heard that the VIP section for the new vamps in BD2 is somewhere in Burbank (sorry – local L.A. joke) and therefore too far to hoof it, I look for a VIP section that might offer refuge. On cue, I see Peter Facinelli and Elizebeth Reaser. As I gratefully ascend the steps to their section, I am blocked by an unbelievably large man with a look on his face that says in no uncertain terms, “I could KILL you…”
“Do you have a wristband?”, he inquires, looking at me suspiciously. I decide then and there that perhaps joking around would be a BAD idea.
“I’m talent…” I say as Peter walks over.
“Peter! I don’t have a wristband…or a sticker…”
“You don’t need that. You’re one of the actors.”, he laughs. He thinks I am joking around.
“Yeah, well, unless they’re PSYCHIC, how would security know that? Color me cynical but I sense somehow that these dudes are NOT diehard fans of Twilight…”
So, I took refuge from the TwiCraziness in Peter and Elizebeth’s section for a good bit, chatting it up with them and some of the wolf pack, who have also taken refuge there. Eventually, I decide to mingle. I see lots of folks that I know but many, many more that I DON’T know. I ask someone how many people are at the after party and hear that it was something like 2,400. That’s like Royal Wedding attendance list…seriously…it was MASSIVE. Finding a seat was like a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. People were getting tipsy and kinda pushy and when I get up to say “Hi” to Bill Bannerman (who gleefully tells me to GFMS in front of EVERYONE), a woman places her empty food plate on my seat. As I walk back and see it, she looks at me with feigned innocence.
“Oh! Sorry about that.”, she says.
“No problem. I was just worried for a second that that came out of my ass when I stood up.”
Tammy decides everyone has had enough of my humor and I decide I need another cigarette. The no smoking wagon will have to wait another day for me to climb back on…
We see Daniel Cudmore and his long term girlfriend/better half on the way outside to smoke. They come outside with us and Daniel and I discuss how much longer until we are at home watching Sports Center…like God intended… The girls just shiver in the cold. They just want warmth and flat shoes. As the discussion turns to how uncool we all are, it feels like a Race to Nerd Mountain. So, Tammy decides she has just been too uncontroversial for the evening and drops in this ultra-comfortable question for Daniel…
“WHEN are you going to ask this girl to marry you?”
Let me explain. My wife has particular fondness for both Daniel and Charlie and often treats them both like they are her 15 year old twin sons. Also, she feels strongly that most single people need her assistance in marrying. So, Daniel is kinda used to this from my wife. He smiles shyly, which convinces my wife that it’s a good idea to keep the pressure up. Thankfully, she had to visit the restroom. Seeing that she is now physically distracted from her mission to marry off Daniel by shotgun if necessary, I decide to take this opportunity to start saying my “goodnights” to everyone. Well, not all 2,400 people but you get my point.
Then, I get another text message from Mariah (Noel Fisher). “Where are you?”
I respond, “At the after party.” I do not add the words “dumb ass” OR “Mariah” as it might set Tammy off to pick out a wedding dress for Daniel’s girlfriend.
He texts back, “WHERE?”, like I am a special needs child. I growl audibly but manage to hold it together to text, “First VIP section on the left.”
Nothing back. Tammy says, “Where IS he? More sushi?”
“I dunno but he has our car keys. I hope beyond hope that he is ready to leave soon. I also hope against hope he doesn’t call me “Dad” when we drop them off at their apartment…I feel like we were their chaperones for a junior high dance.”
So, I look for Bill Condon to pay my respect to the man with the impossible task of creating two epic films out of one book. He looks tired. REALLY tired. I’m thinking, poor guy. Can’t even relax. ‘Cause if it was ME that just directed a blockbuster film, I’d wanna get drunk and watch Food TV. For a week. Straight. Bill hugs me and who should suddenly appear like a magical elf? None other than my glamorous co-star, the incomparable “Mariah”. I should have KNOWN where to find him…
Bill leans across to meet my wife. A little history. Bill is a horror fan. One of his early films was “Candyman”. The star of “Candyman”, Tony Todd, did a cameo in a horror film my wife starred in, “Wishmaster”. When I told Bill this on set, he squints, “Who’s your wife?”
“Tammy Lauren”, I respond.
“Oh my God. I know who Tammy is. TAMMY MARRIED YOU?!?”, he blurts out.
“Hey Bill. EASY. In fact, can we try that again and this time, less SHOCK in your reaction?”
Bill smiles and says, “Over the top?”
So, FINALLY I get to introduce them. I chat with him for a moment, acutely aware of the throngs of folks behind me waiting to pay homage, and say my goodnight. I turn to Mariah. “You ready?”
He’s ready to go. Thankfully. Now to negotiate our way back to the car…through a few thousand people… Just as a reminder that these things are supposed to be FUN, I see Charlie Bewley. As he tackle hugs my wife, her purse and wrap go flying. Which was fantastic because 1) she was stone cold sober at this point and NEEDED the laugh and 2) she had spotted Daniel Cudmore again and would no doubt offer her services to be the officiant at his wedding. I see Wyck Godfrey and give him a quick “GFYS” and hug goodbye while Tammy is trying to convince Charlie that HE needs to marry someone too. As I steer her away from Charlie and corral Mariah and his girlfriend to the parking lot (’cause, believe it or not, we are STILL not in BD1) I see one more person that I need to say goodbye to. One of the executives at Summit that I have become friendly with.
I kiss her on the cheek and tell her I’m leaving. She looks at me and says, “What did you think about all this?”
“Incredibly subtle and understated…”
She laughs. Then she utters the words…the words that make my blood run cold. The words that made my whole career flash in front of my eyes. The words I never thought I would hear from a Summit executive…
“I’ve been reading your blog.”, she says.
Silence. Being the witty guy I am, I answer “Um…really? You read my blog?”
“Yep. All of them. That one is hysterical but I love them all. You’re really good…I loved it”, and she smiles.
Relief doesn’t describe my reaction. And, at the risk of pushing my luck, I kiss her cheek again and wish her a good night.
As we get to the car, Mariah asks, “Did everyone have a good time?”
And just the look on Tammy’s face led me to believe that any answer I WANTED to give might land me in some seriously hot water later…so I said nothing…but, I did have a few thoughts…
“REALLY looking forward to your next single, Mariah.”
“Your mom and I had a wonderful time watching you two kids…you’re both growing up so fast…”