Whew! What a week. Thursday was the Austenland premiere in Los Angeles. Dean and I flew out just in time to get ready at the hotel, go have fantastic Indian food with my lit and film agents (thanks Barry and Eddie!) and go to the Arclight Theater for the red carpet. I imagine I was the only woman on the red carpet that night who did her own hair and makeup as well as bought her clothes at the J Crew outlet. That's one nice thing about being a writer--no one expects me to be fancy. So much less pressure. Did make at least one rookie mistake: red shoes on the red carpet. In the full body pix, they're totally camouflaged.
All the leading cast was there except Rupert, and it was just a luscious reunion. I love them all so much. So there were many hugs. And soon it was my turn to tred that scarlet rug and smile. Barry took this picture of me posing for the cameras:
With director and my co-writer on the screenplay, the fabulous Jerusha Hess. My laugh is sincere. I couldn't stop laughing. It felt like a joke. There's a couple dozen photographers with huge cameras, and they're all yelling. "Shannon, look here! Shannon, over here! Ladies, look here, look here!" Like, kind of desperately. And there's just no reason to be desperate about taking my picture. It all struck me as hysterical. Everyone else seemed so used to it.
And then the three of us, where the movie all began--Stephenie Meyer, Jerusha Hess, and moi. Looking at this photo, I'm reminded both how much the three of us have in common and yet just how different we are. I think any successful project builds on the participants commonality and then takes advantage of their individual strengths. I remember one interviewer asked us about our ideal fictional man. I said, "Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy," Steph said, "Laurence Olivier's Mr. Darcy," and Jerusha said, "The Mr. Darcy of the 80's: Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing."
Aw, they were so kind to include me in this one. Jerusha had this photo op with her leading men (James Callis, Bret Mckenzie, JJ Feild, Ricky Whittle), and then someone pulled me in--probably Ricky, since I'm next to him and he's such a sweetheart. I love those boys!
And now one with the ladies! I treasure this picture too. This was at the after party with Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, and Jane Seymour. I look at these photos and just want to gush. How did we get such a talented group of actors? We're only missing Keri Russell. Gah, I can't wait for you all to see this film!
And now the camera phone snaps. Man, what a difference from the professional luster. Jerusha and I with John Cochran. He and my friend Dawn Meehan won the last season of Survivor. (Technically he swept the vote and won but I'm not a very technical person.) Super fun to hang out with him that night.
Apparently I'm so pale I begin to melt into the photo. Dang, even with weird camera-phone-flash-eyes, that JJ Feild is one dapper man. And such a sweetheart. He was there with his sweetie, Neve Campbell. They have a baby boy named Caspian. How can you not love?
On the way out of the screening, I snagged Bret's name tag off his reserved seat and wore it to the after party. I've never been so popular. Seriously, being Bret Mckenzie is one sweet gig. (I'm him in his FiGWIT incarnation--you know, clean shaven, long hair.) BTW if any of you have a crush on Bret, I approve. (I mean, a crush on the Bret on the left, not the one on the right. Crushing on the one on the right would be creepy.)
And that's it! Go here for more Austenland premiere photos and after party photos. And remember the film opens in LA and NYC this Friday, and in Salt Lake City at the Broadway Cinema Aug. 23. Check back for more cities and dates. I hope it will be in a theater near all of you very soon. Tallyho.