Wednesday, March 26, 2008

LEATHERHEADS, The Movie, The Stars

What a revelatory day. I had no idea, at this late date, that I was a movie star groupie. The late Sidney Blackmer had been my patient when I was a student nurse -- twice -- and I'd seen cowboy star, Bob Steele, in person at the State Theater when I was three. I was...blasé when it came to celebrities. Really.

I was pretty sure I wasn't a George Clooney fan. I did know I liked Renée Zellweger (above) and had ever since I saw the "Show me the money!" movie. I liked her -- but did I like her enough to go stand and gawk when she and George arrived by vintage train to promote their new movie, Leatherheads?

Apparently so -- because despite the book proposal I should have been working on, less than fifteen minutes from their ETA at the restored 1920s depot (where some of the scenes in the film were shot), the dh and I decided to go. Amazingly, we managed to get to town, find a parking place, and hike down to the depot ahead of the train.

Let me say here that I am no photographer, and I have enough pictures of my own fingers and the cat from the ears up to prove it. Nevertheless, I am about to show you some of the photos I took on this exciting (I was soon to learn) occasion. You can see a larger version by clicking on any of them.

The crowd was daunting by the time we reached the depot:

And what a colorful crowd it was. Having never been to anything like this before, I had no idea that some people would actually show up in appropriate costume. And some not so appropriate. And the headgear. I was very taken by one lady's bright emerald green hat with feathers, and somewhat startled by another one which looked like a mirrored disco ball from the back. And then there was the man who was actually wearing a period leather football helmet -- the kind that inspired the name "Leatherheads." I assume he was a paid part of the PR/promotion effort, mostly because I don't know where a grown man would get something like that, much less wear it.

The train came shortly...

...and I took a stab at getting a photo of Renée and George as the train car they were in passed by -- in one of those bold hold-the-camera-high-and-shoot-what-you-can't-see moves. And I actually got it. Sort of. There's George peering out as if he's not the least bit scared of us, and you can just see Renée in the left window. She is so pretty. He is, too, for that matter. And at this point, I'm beginning to realize that this experience is going to be nothing like the ones with Sidney and Bob.

Which brings us to the taking of celebrity photographs in a mob of people armed with every kind of camera and picture-taking electronic device known to mankind, some of which had a telephoto lens the size of a water bucket. And they weren't afraid to use them, either.

I took most of my better shots while hanging off a wrought iron fence -- with the dh doing his best to keep me from falling. (I'm telling you this so you'll appreciate the effort if not the result.)

First, we have a photograph of George's hat:

(I know, I know. But, see, I wasn't brought up to whack people who are in my way no matter how much I might want to -- and believe me, I wanted to. I was getting into the spirit of this "groupie" thing.)

And here's one of George's sideburns:

(You have to admit this is a little better, right?)

How about this?

And here's George and the Giant Elbow:

(I can't tell you how hard it was to get this shot -- that elbow was formidable. George Clooney is pretty, isn't he? Forget what I said about not being a fan.)

Which brings us to Renée again:

She was so pleasant, chit-chatting and signing all manner of things, some of them living. Both she and George couldn't have been more gracious to the people waiting to see them. It was a truly enjoyable event. I don't know when I've had more fun. (And I loved her shoes.)

is in theaters on April 4. Maybe you'll want to check it out. I'm pretty sure I'm going.


Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Oh, Cheryl, what a treat! I'm glad you included the photos of George's hat and sideburns; it made the rest so much sweeter. And it was lovely of you to climb up that wrought-iron fence on behalf of everyone who'd like to see George & Renee in person -- thanks so much!

Julia Mozingo said...

Cheryl, how fun! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of George and Renee. It's kinda like being a teenager all over again and star struck. I appreciate all the trouble you went through of hanging over the fence. You're a real trooper for your friends! said...

I adore Renee's shoes too, Cheryl. But you know how I am about shoes! :) Thanks so much for sharing the pix and your experience as a groupie. Wish I could've been there with you.