I received an email from Lionsgate Films inviting me to see the Premiere of Johnny Depp in ‘Mortdecai.’ I received this same type of invite for the ‘John Wick’ movie premiere. Before that premiere, Lionsgate kept sending me ‘update’ emails, saying passes were available for ‘Wick,’ click to get yours. Each and every time I said Yes, I would like to attend the screening, alone, the response came back: “Sorry, no passes at this time, try again later.” I got pissed, gave up and did not go to the premiere of ‘John Wick.’
I was hesitant to accept the ‘Mortdecai’ invite based on my ‘John Wick’ experience and the fact that 5 years ago Lionsgate purchased a friends script and put him through the ringer, never producing the film, yet keeping the script and all rights. No, I am not a fan of the Lionsgate experience.
I clicked ‘Yes, I’d like to attend +1.’ I received an instant reply: HERE ARE YOUR PASSES TO ‘MORTDECAI.’ I thought, that was odd. A Johnny Depp movie and I can get TWO passes, but I can’t get ONE pass to a Keanu Reeves film!! What!? Do they not like Captain Jack?
I usually attend these things alone in case the wait is ridiculous and I bring a book. However, my friend from Junior High’s birthday is the following day and she loves Depp-i-dee-do, I invited her for a birthday treat. I put out my feelers – being I am more in tune to the whereabouts of Keanu Reeves than I am of Johnny Depp and that Gywneth Paltrow(sp) I didn’t know what to expect. Do they have a large fan base? I don’t know. However, I got nothing but white noise when I meditated on it…I could feel something was up…I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I wouldn’t be able to figure out what was up until we got to the theatre…that’s where my instincts would kick in and I’d figure out what Lionsgate was up to. My spidie instincts were tingling supremely bad! Something was up about this premiere, something NOT RIGHT, and I had dragged my friend into it for her birthday present. GRRRRR.
I get to Rita’s house in Hollywood and we walk up to Hollywood Boulevard to take the subway. One stop to Graumann’s Chinese Theatre – do they still call it that? Has somebody else bought and taken over my beloved theatre, I don’t know, for this blog and this Hollywood native – it’s Graumann’s Chinese Theatre, my blog, my home towne. pppppppppppbbbbbbbbbtttttttttttt :^p
We exit the Hollywood/Highland Station, walk toward The Chinese, and I see the set up. The normal division of fan/spectator and the “Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close up! Look, I am wearing rented and/or borrowed clothes and jewels!!! Take my picture!!!” What they call ‘The Red Carpet.’
Keep in mind, it is daylight when we arrive at Rita’s birthday adventure. I put my feeler’s out to find the security person that knows what’s going on. I spot him. He tells us we have to cross the street – fight through the fans – then re-cross the street and find the ‘end of the line.’ Exactly what I didn’t want to do.
What I was putting my feeler’s out for earlier, was an “in and watch the film” experience. Not a ”fake the fans out to make it look like it’s a packed MOVIE PREMIERE for the masses.” I wasn’t gonna get upset, YET. But my instincts where telling me, I had been dupped by Lionsgate Films. I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt and wait it out to see if they were honest with this pass, as all other studio’s I have dealt with in the past where. It was still a few hours before start time, they had time to be honorable. I was hoping they wouldn’t keep us out there in the cold, all night…something told me they were planning to and I didn’t want to be a part of the shenanigans.
I don’t know why I assume everyone is as in tune as I am. I assume everyone is like me and I need to stop it. They are not. I kept asking Rita (not her real name), what she was picking up on about this premiere thing. I kept getting NO RESPONSE from her and also what I call ‘the look’ = O.o ~ the “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis!!??” face/eyes. I am teaching myself to stay quiet and just let them think I am a weirdo while I pick up on the vibes around us.
I weaved us through the dense and packed crowd of spectators – not my favorite thing to do. We wait for the traffic cop to allow us to cross back to the heavily guarded theatre. I find the next security guard and show him my pass – he motions for us to go to the end of the line, which we do. It snakes along Hollywood Boulevard, makes a right and heads all the way up Orange Avenue, then snakes into the driveway of the new monstrosity they have built behind the Chinese. We go to the end. Fine. No problem. I get to hang with my friend I don’t get to see too often, instead of reading a book.
Once the line started to move I became antsy. That ‘something’s up’ feeling wouldn’t leave. This was waaaaay too many people. Lionsgate knows it. They know how many passes they’ve handed out. Why would they hand out way more than the capacity of the theatre?? PROMOTION!!! GRRRRR. They wouldn’t do that to us would they? OF COURSE THEY WOULD!
I stood there, getting increasingly angrier. Was I the only one who was picking up on the fact that this was the ‘Premiere’ and in attendance were the cast, crew and whomever they brought with them. Then there’s the press. How are they going to fit the fans in with that mass amount of bodies!? They weren’t and I knew it. I should have listened to my instincts when they said “FUCK THAT! LIONSGATE IS FUCKING WITH YOU.” Because that’s exactly what popped into my head when I received that pass – and I foolishly ignored it, hoping a “Movie Studio” would be honourable.
I began to think…WTF!!?? Is this how the ‘New Hollywood’ treats their fans??!! Bring out their loyal followers, get them to waste their time in hopes for a special treat, then pull it out from under them. I don’t like that. Not one bit. I watched as various people walked by counting us. I decided to do my own deducing what’s going on and began to investigate my surroundings.
Night had fallen and it was close to the time the passes wanted us IN the theatre. Hmm…we are nowhere near the entrance. I left Rita and put my feelers out for what was going on with this ‘EVENT.’ I didn’t like what I was picking up on. There is no reason to overbook a Johnny Depp film, so why did Lionsgate do it? Hmmm….
I walked up to the head of security and said: “Could you let me know if the folks around the corner are getting into the premiere, because if they are not…I want to go home. I don’t want to be here. Home is where I’d rather be, couldja let us know.” He looked me in the eye and said we would get in. I knew at that moment, he was LYING to me.
I walked back to Rita and asked her if she wanted to “start a riot? I was at the Ramones show at The L.A. Street Scene in the ’80’s. I saw how it started! We don’t have to take part in it, we can just initiate it, then walk away safely. Let the headlines play out!” The look of sheer terror on her face and the “Wendy!!!” that followed made me realize, man, my sarcasm can be a bit rough on some…even when they’ve known me for decades. I was just kidding. We are not getting in, this was all a set up by Lionsgate to make it look like it was a packed premiere! It’s all propaganda for the media! We were fooled into coming out here and making it look good for them!! GRRRR.
All of a sudden, it all clicked. I saw it all. The cutoff was at my friend and I! I could be the one to start a riot, if i truly wanted to!!! Woo hoo!! “Anarchy in Hollywood at Depp Premiere!!!” “Riot on Hollywood Blvd Started by Mad Native!!” I saw all the headlines in my head. heehee. I voiced to a gal behind us, what they are going to do is come back here and hand you all passes to ‘another’ showing and hope you will be happy with that!! The gal and her beau just stared at me, as did others around. I was reading the whole crowd. I could tell who was getting ‘in’ and who wasn’t and we WEREN’T. This was the suckiest birthday present I ever gave someone, EVER!
I saw two feet away from us with a stack of papers in hand, the Head of Secur~duh~tea (in the ’90’s, I met a security officer, who pronounced it like that, it stuck, I like it! ;^p) and the gal from Lionsgate with the sexy accent whispering amongst themselves. Hmmm…what could that be…hmmm…maybe…more MOVIE PASSES!!!???
She informed us she was sorry to say: BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH those around me already knew what the weasels where up to! I let them know. The Security fella and the Lionsgate girl wouldn’t look me in the eyes, only truly gifted liars can stare you in the eye and weave their tales. These two, could not. I asked what and where ‘the passes’ were for? Their response: “Tomorrow ~ ‘Mortdecai’ at the Grove.” I looked to Rita, it was up to her, that was the actual day of her birthday. She is the Depp fan, if she was willing to see if Lionsgate were honest and we would actually get IN to see the film the following day, I’d take her. She shook her head NO, so we politely refused another day in Lionsgate Hell. I turned to Rita and said “Let’s go!”
Something told me, Johnny Depp was near. From the few interviews I have seen with Depp on Letterman, he doesn’t care about watching himself on the screen. In my mind’s eye, I thought to myself, to redeem this whole BS “Premiere,” Depp better be out there lovin’ up his fans. If he is not ~ there is no reason for me to ever view another one of his films.
He’s supposedly not into all the pomp and flash, so he better be out there taking photo’s with the people who keep him in his lifestyle, dude! Man, don’t you leave them (us) out in the cold and lead us on. That is a load of BULLSHIT!! I have bumped into Depp on several occasions, so I am cool with not seeing him on this occasion, but it’s my friend’s birthday and all and to see Depp would be awesome for her. At least that’s what I thought.
Crossing the street, as we re-entered the fan portion of the crowd, I hear Rita say: “Why is it so crowded, what’s going on here!?” I tell her Johnny Depp is on this side of the street! “D’ya wanna see him? I can get you closer to him. I see him, can you keep up with me?” She smiles and nods, yes. I lead her to get a closer view of her Depp-i-d-do. While she got her peaks in, I chatted up the fans that where there. I asked: “Did Depp come over to them?” “How Depp was with them?” “Was he nice?” “Did he give you a photo?” “Yes!” Depp was a perfect gentleman, to all I querried.
Me: Did he have long hair or short? (As I say this I see Sir Depp running back across the street toward his premiere and his world, leaving us in spectator hell.)
The girl: short.
The guy: I like him better with long hair.
Me: Me, too. I tell everybody I see to grow their hair, let it grow, let it grow!! I see you two are doing a great job with keeping yours long!! Way to go guys, excuse me ~ guy ‘n doll!!
I grew up down the street from two television stations (KTLA and KTTV) and Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, California. I have attended hundreds of television taping’s from: Maude to Facts of Life to Johnny Carson to Joan Rivers to Donny Osmond on Pyramid. I have attended hundreds of red carpet premiere’s and have always stirred clear of the lens and carpet. I feel the camera steals your soul. I am not an actor, nor do folks know who I am, so therefore the paps don’t need my photo. I was there to see the film. I am not interested in drooling over the celebs, nor do I crave the media attention. I grew up around all that, as well as having had the opportunity, for awhile, to work within that industry. I wanted an escape from life’s stresses and experience an enjoyable evening out for my friends birthday. The icing on the cake was a free movie with a cast and crew she dug! We knew we were in for a long wait, but COME ON!!!
An invitation gets you in whether or not the celebrities are in attendance and you VIEW the film. I get the small print says first come, first serve. We were there waaaaaaaay early enough. This was NOT AN INVITATION TO THE MOVIE PREMIERE OF ‘MORTDECAI.’ This was a publicity ploy on behalf of Lionsgate Films. Nothing they can say or do will change my mind about it.
LIONSGATE FILMS SHAME ON YOU! SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!! You ruined my friends birthday, she doesn’t think so, but I DO!!! O.O You won’t fool me again. I’m watching you O.O
So are others ~ here is a review of the film: http://www.thewrap.com/mortdecai-review-johnny-depp-gwyneth-paltrow-ewan-mcgregor/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=contactology