On Wednesday 10th January, me and my sister Jess decided to go down to London for the premiere of The Post. Our mission, to see Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep! I also had a photo for each of them to sign, if possible, and I even took down my Woody doll, just in case I could get Tom Hanks to sign his shoe!
We got the train down from Coventry, and once at London Euston we quickly made our way to Leicester Square. The premieres are free to go to the fan areas (you don’t see the film but can see the guests entering). We got a wristband that would allow us entry into one of the fan sections, and were told to return at 1 o’clock. It was 11, so we decided to wander round London, visiting the National Portrait Gallery and the Huntsman/Kingsman shop.
We made our way back to Leicester Square, ready to be put into the fan area at 1. However, they were still busy building up the carpet, so security asked us to line up in number order (based on our wristbands) and they’d come for us when they were ready.
TWO HOURS LATER, we were still lined up in a cold alley just off Leicester Square, and it became evident to me and Jess that most of the people before us were autograph hounds, rather than fans excited to meet the stars. These are the people that hound celebs for multiple autographs, with the intent of instantly selling them on to dealers. They’re not really fans of the celebs, and are usually there to make a quick buck. I’ll give you an example of what the people were like in the form of a fun game!
Which of the following was said by one of the autograph hounds?
- Someone shouting “Meryl Streep is a homophobe” when she didn’t sign her picture
- Someone moaning that Steven Spielberg only signed two of his pictures, even though he held three in front of him
- While discussing two signed photos of Alan Rickman, a man said “they’re dedicated to Tony which annoyingly devalues them, but I can still easily flog them for £200 each now he’s dead”
- A man saying “look how rushed Hanks was when he signed that. I’ll have to knock a tenner off at least”
And the answer is… all of them. This is what we were dealing with…
Anyway, by 4 o’clock, they slowly began letting people in, and it was nearly 5 when we finally got into our area. It was a very small premiere, so we were quite far back and the prospect of selfies with the stars were very unlikely. (and in the end, the three main stars took no selfies at all, so we didn’t miss out on that.)
My sister and I were behind some hounds, as well as having some behind us, so we were very squashed and could feel them trying to push through to get a better spot. But we stood our ground, and patiently waited for the stars. At 6 o’clock, one of the hounds got a text from a mate, saying Steven had left his hotel, and the hype began to build.
Ten minutes later, a car pulls up, and out stepped His Holiness, Mr Spielberg himself! It was so utterly surreal to see him in real life, a true cinematic legend just feet away from me. He began signing pictures, and everything got a bit chaotic. I was holding my picture out, but began thinking that he wasn’t going to reach it. Suddenly, my sister spotted a gap, grabbed my arm and pushed me into it.
And then it happened. Spielberg held my picture, and pen touched paper. My heart stopped and he took his time really neatly signing my photo. And then it was over. The six-hour wait was all worth it. I had it! And as my sister will agree, I was ECSTATIC! I thanked Steven, and he looked at me and smiled before continuing on hastily signing for everyone else. My night had been made, right there and then.
The rest of the premiere passed by much quicker. Before the other two stars arrived, the guests of the film began entering the cinema, and one of the guests was YouTuber Hazel Hayes. I called out her name, and she came over and we had a quick chat about how I loved her channel, and whether I was enjoying the night. She said as she left “I hope waiting in the cold was worth it” and I said “it definitely was! I got a signed picture from Spielberg!” She walked back in amazement as I held it up and said “oh wow that’s incredible! On the E.T moon aswell! Well Done, I’m glad you’re having such a great night!” It was a lovely chat, which my sister claimed was like we were old friends just catching up.
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks arrived soon after, and they were clearly rushed to get to the film, so didn’t sign a lot before making their way to the press area. But just seeing them so close to us was really amazing! As the three stars entered the cinema, the crowd dispersed, but me and Jess stayed to see who else was going into the cinema. And because we waited, I was able to get a selfie with actor Shaun Dingwall and Youtuber Jack Howard. Both were very humble and again thanked me for my support and said they were glad I’d had a nice evening.
So as the last of the guests trailed in, me and my sister left the fan area, ready for some food! But what a day we’d had! Seeing three icons of cinema, right in front of us, and even getting a signed photo from Steven Spielberg(!!!) After waiting for six hours in the cold, that was what made it all worthwhile, and is why I’d happily do it all again!