Life’s most thrilling moments come in the blink of an eye—one minute you’re living your ordinary simple life, and the next you’re on an adventure—in an instant a dream comes true, the impossible becomes possible and you’re on cloud 9.
Last Thursday (December 6) I had the honor and good fortune to attend the U.S. premiere of The Hobbit in NYC at the Ziegfeld Theater. Only a handful of people knew I was attending since I had kept my attendance a secret because I didn’t know if I’d actually be able to make it.
But I did, and my lord, what an amazing night it was. I went with three twitter friends, MJ, M and PV. We sat in the theater eagerly awaiting the arrival of the cast, while simultaneously reading tweets from fellow fans who were outside watching the cast arrive. And then suddenly they walked in, one by one, in all their hobbity, dwarven, wizardly glory.
Sir Peter Jackson stood in front of the room and gave a mini speech, once he was done the cast joined him on stage for a photo and then the movie began. (The cast was spread out amongst the crowd, which was really neat of them to do. Imagine watching the movie next to Gandalf!)
At 48 fps and in 3D the film is stunning, literally pulling you into the world and letting you be a part of Bilbo’s adventure. Visually it feels like you’re right there in the scene with them; it really is quite mind-blowing.
The story’s pace was pitch perfect, and the amount of backstory really helped you understand Thorin’s motives, and why his quest is so important. For anyone that’s read The Hobbit, Thorin can come off as a bit of a one-dimensional character. Thankfully, Richard Armitage gives a stellar performance, probably the best in his career, and manages to give Thorin real heart. Every emotion comes across in Armitage’s performance, from his regal quietness to the roar of his battle cry. The crinkle of the forehead, the cold steely eyes and the voice bring Thorin to life, and make you cheer for him.
Martin Freeman made me love Bilbo. I’ve never been much of a fan of this particular Baggins, but Martin played him in such a way that I could relate to his situation as well as his thought process, and could appreciate his actions. There’s a Bilbo Baggins in all of us—comfortable in our conditions, afraid of the world out there. It takes courage to leave that behind and go out on an adventure (one that Bilbo knows he may not come back from). We should all be so fortunate to have such courage.
The rest of the cast was phenomenal. The dwarves are a fun, rowdy bunch! Singing songs, eating, drinking and fighting.
It was great to see Elijah back as Frodo and Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey and most especially Andy Serkis as Gollum. There is one moment in the film that Gollum breaks my heart. What comes across on the screen isn’t an obsessive creature who has been poisoned by his ring, but a lost, lonely soul, who has just lost his precious. You see Andy is that scene, his emotions are laid out in front of you; his big eyes make their way into your soul. It is truly breathtaking.
Once the film was done the cast along with the rest of us in attendance were off to the after gala party at Guastavinos. A stunning locale in the shadows of the 59th street bridge. The entrance was decorated to look like Hobbiton, with hobbit doors and that Hobbity font we’ve all become familiar with. Inside we grabbed our drinks and did a turn around the room. As soon as we made our way upstairs we saw Richard. The man is beautiful. Leaner than I thought he would be and incredibly good-looking. As a unit, we began mingling with the cast. I’ve chosen not to disclose most of what each said during conversation, not because I don’t want to, but simply because I don’t remember word for word what each said. And like M, I don’t want to misquote anyone!
First was the wonderful Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin in the film. We chatted with him for a long while and numerous times throughout the night. He even sent over a few cast mates for us to meet up with later in the evening. Soon after Mark Hadlow joined us. He and Graham began cracking Dwarve jokes and telling us about the beauty of New Zealand. Graham was kind enough to then walk us over to introduce us to the shy Richard Armitage. We chatted for a bit—well I should say that my three friends chatted with him for a bit (they were far more articulate than I was at the moment), I just said a few words here and there and then just stared in awe. (Kept thinking, “Its Mr. Thornton”).
After Richard, we met Bombur, played by the lovable Stephen Hunter. He was followed by the sweet and stylish Peter Hambleton who plays Gloin and had the most amazing bow tie EVER! Then we met the Hobbits, Martin F*cking Freeman and Elijah Wood. I didn’t dare say much to Martin for fear he would tell me to fuck off or something, but he was nothing but kind to me. Even offered to take a photo and thanked ME after it. Elijah, btw, must have something against me because I’ve met the dude twice and never manage to get a photo with him! One day Elijah, one day!
James Nesbitt was next. Then we met Fili & Kili, Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner. Both incredibly warm, easy and fun to talk to! Aidan was more than happy to photo bomb a number of photos, which made for some hysterical moments. We ended up getting a group shot of them with other dwarves too (Jed Brophy and Graham joined us). Such a great moment.
Adam Brown, who was out of sight for most of the evening turned up out of the blue in front of us, and he’s seriously sooo adorable. Told him I loved his Ori’s weapon of choice. Ha!
Before leaving the party a little after 2 am, I shared a wonderful moment with Andy Serkis. The man is completely accessible, making time for all those that wanted a photo and to chat with him. He’s funny, sweet and straight up lovable. And truly made my night.
If you’re wondering if I had a chance to meet Peter Jackson, we didn’t. We were near him, but he was busy “working,” at least that’s what we were told. As for Ian McKellan, M was able to tell him a few things and he was nothing but kind and gracious.
Other celebrities in attendance included the beautiful Liv Tyler, the amazing Patrick Stewart, one of the dudes from The Wanted (Or was it One Direction?), and someone told me Ben Affleck was there (although I didn’t see him).
It was an amazing night and one that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for MJ, so I must thank her. She’s truly amazing. I didn’t know about the event till she told me about it and made it possible for me to attend. She was also the one leading the way that night. So thanks MJ, you’re the best! M and PV, it was a pleasure sharing the evening with you ladies! I look forward to the next one.
One thing the evening taught me, this whole adventure taught me, was that life is so quick, and the moments that truly take your breath away are few and far between. So if you have an opportunity to do something that brings you out of your comfort zone, that makes your heart skip a beat and takes you on one hell of a journey, do it. It may be the adventure of a lifetime.