Typical. The weather is lovely for once and the premiere is inside anyway.
Tuesday night, myself and my ear drums braved the Vue, Westfield for the premiere of the new Robert Pattinson movie – Water For Elephants. Yeah, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz are in it too, it’s directed by Francis Lawrence (‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Constantine’ – which I think only I really liked) and they are all walking the red carpet, but there is no getting around the fact that everyone, every screaming, camping out all night, homemade sign carrying fan is here for one reason only. The R-Pattz.
Based on an acclaimed best-seller, in Water For Elephants, Pattinson plays student vet, Jacob. He meets and falls in love with star circus performer, Marlena, played by Reese Witherspoon. Unfortunately for Jacob, Marlena is already taken and her dangerous and charismatic husband (Christoph Waltz) isn’t going to step aside quietly. Beneath the big top, will Jacob and Marlena find lifelong love? Yes. Of course they will.
The atrium of the mall was done up like a big top and there were lots of actual circus performers showing off their skills. Everywhere you looked there were bendy ladies, swinging from red ribbon ladies, hoop hoola-hooping ladies and screaming ladies. Lots and lots of screaming ladies. First up to saunter down the shrieks of devotion soaked red carpet was the director, Francis Lawrence.
FilmShaft: Hi Francis, I’m Alan from FilmShaft, nice to meet you. So, were you a fan of the book already?
Francis Lawrence: I was, yeah, yeah. My wife actually gave it to me, she had me read it.
FilmShaft: Which is your favourite of the circus acts?
Francis Lawrence: My favourite circus act… wow… I think, the one I researched and found, that was one of my favourites, is the Slack Wires. It’s an authentic act from the 30’s and it’s a little bit like the tight rope, only the rope isn’t tight. The guy walks on it and swings and does a drunk act – so he pretends he’s drunk as he’s swinging around on this rope. It’s unbelievable that a person can stand on that rope alone, let alone dance around on it like that.
FilmShaft: What are you up to next?
Francis Lawrence: I’m doing a television pilot for Fox, called ‘Touch’, with Kiefer Sutherland. I’m gonna do that this Summer, but I’m not sure what the next movie will be.
FilmShaft: Constantine 2?
Francis Lawrence: Not yet… I’d love to figure out a story for it.
Franny L. (I get to call him that now because we’re best buds, post Constantine appreciation) then began to be pulled away via the sleeve by his handler, so I thanked him and turned to see Reese Witherspoon fast approaching. She wasn’t going to be doing the bloggers pen so I stretched my dictaphone arm to breaking point to eavesdrop what she was saying to the telly folk.
What was it like working with the elephant?
Reese Witherspoon: It was a really great experience, we really bonded.
Tell us about your character (scintillating questions guys)
Reese Witherspoon: Her name is Marlena, she’s a 1930’s circus performer and she rides elephants.
What was it like working with Robert?
Reese Witherspoon: It was great. He’s very professional. He’s a very hard working guy.
Do you find all his screaming fans annoying?
Reese Witherspoon: No! It’s really sweet. It’s really nice to see them.
The combo of mind numbing questions and a cheeky ask of whether a rumour that she’s pregnant is true (that elicited a swift and stern ticking off from her handler) were enough to leave Reese still smiling, but obviously short with her answers and in a bit of a grump. Maybe smarting a bit she left the interview line and went to sign things instead.
I then braced myself for The Pattinson. Being a rather popular chap, he was only making a brief stop by the online pen and was immediately descended upon by the gaggle of girls to my left. They had one question for the sake of all of us. They asked if he enjoyed playing a vet and if he would like to be a veterinarian.
Robert Pattinson: It’s great but it’s not something you can do part-time.
They then had him sign something and he scarpered. Sigh.
Though the Water For Elephants premiere ended up being a particularly barren hunting ground for interviews; I got lots of lovely photographs, so check them out below. Yes, there are lots of R-Pattz.
Pattinson was laid back and moves with the grace of a benevolent universe behind him. Reese Wetherspoon’s was a tiny package of big smiles and it was a shame her zen got wrecked by someone asking her if she was knocked up! Director Francis Lawrence was enthusiastic, if a little vexed at being in a shopping mall, and Christopher Waltz… well matey, you really let me down. Unfortunately Chris decided that he didn’t want to do any press. At a premiere. Of his new movie. So, bitterly disappointingly, all I got of him was some long range shots of the back of his head. So we’ll never get to know if he would have spilled me lots of beans about Django Unchained.
Water for Elephants stomps into UK cinemas from the 4th of May and you can read what our Cheryl thought of it here. You can also have a go at winning merchandise from the movie here. Best of luck.