Posted by: James Rhodes | January 2, 2016

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 UK Premiere

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 UK Premiere

Thursday 5 November 2015

So, yes, this post is a little bit late. Well, I guess it’s actually very late. But the past couple of months have flown by on me, and I’ve really not had time to write many of these posts. But better late than never! For three years running, early November meant only one thing: standing in the freezing cold in Leicester Square to try and meet my favourite actress Jennifer Lawrence – 2013 for the very wet premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and last year for the much drier premiere of Mockingjay Part 1, also known as the greatest evening ever, where I met all of the attending cast, and got a photo with Jennifer. She is one of my favourite actresses (and I definitely have a soft spot for her), especially after seeing Silver Linings Playbook, which I still think is the best film of 2013.

Anyways, this time was the premiere for the final installment in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2. Just like last year I took a day off work and headed over to Leicester Square, met a few friends and let the waiting game begin. Unlike last year, this time round it was not dry. To say it rained was an understatement. Hours and hours of waiting in the pouring rain, huddled under umbrellas, trying to keep dry. The forecast didn’t show any signs of it stopping, and at points I was contemplating going home as it looked pointless being there. The warm-up DJ tried (and succeeded) to build up the atmosphere despite the weather, with the whole of the red carpet doing the Mockingjay salute over and over. Somehow, the premiere Gods were looking down on us – about five minutes before the arrivals started, the rain stopped. Five solid hours of rain and it stopped just at the perfect moment!

I wasn’t near where people were being dropped off, so other than for watching on the big screen and listening to Edith Bowman announce who was here, there was no way of knowing who was arriving until they were within vision. First to get to us was the film’s director, Francis Lawrence. At the past two premieres I’d not got to meet Francis, so I was pleased when he came over. He kindly signed an index card for me, and posed for a photo too.

Francis was followed by the star of films including M*A*S*H, Don’t Look Now, Steelyard Blues and Ordinary PeopleDonald Sutherland! President Snow himself took quite a while to sign a lot of autographs for people, including an index card for me. He also posed for a photo with me. Off to a good start!

Last year’s X Factor winner Ben Haenow came by, so I got an index card signed by him, and a quick photo with him too.

The film’s producer Nina Jacobson soon followed. I got an index card signed and a photo with her.

Julianne Moore, known for her roles in Still Alice, Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, The Big Lebowski, Far from Heaven, The Hours, Hannibal, Children of Men and The Kids Are All Right was next to come over. As with the past two times I have met her Julianne was really friendly, and happily signed an index card for me, before posing for a photo too.

Straight behind Julianne was by Stanley Tucci aka Caesar Flickerman! The star of The Lovely Bones and The Devil Wears Prada was as friendly as always; he signed an index card for me before posing for a photo with me. It’s funny, I went years wanting to meet Stanley, and have met him six or so times over the past two years now! Sadly Stanley used his own pen which wasn’t of the best quality, but its better than nothing.

Star of Game of Thrones and The Tudors Natalie Dormer came over next. Natalie, who plays Cressida in the series, signed an index card for me and posed for a photo.

Olympic diver Tom Daley came by next. Whilst people were calling out for him, I was much happier that he was accompanied by his boyfriend, Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Dustin, who wrote Milk and J Edgar happily signed an index card for me, and posed for a photo too.

I also got an autograph from and photo with Tom Daley.

They were followed by Effie Tinket, better known as Elizabeth Banks! Despite her reputation for not being the nicest person, Elizabeth signed loads of autographs and posed for photos with fans. In fairness to her, of the four times I have seen her, she has been nice three of those times. Elizabeth signed an index card for me, and posed for a photo too!

Newcomer to the series Gwendoline Christie was next to come over. The Game of Thrones star was lovely, and was happy to sign an index card for me, and to pose for a photo.

Gwendoline was followed by my favourite, the awesome Jennifer Lawrence. I know Jennifer hasn’t got the best reputation for signing, especially since the Oscar buzz from Silver Linings Playbook, but this was the fifth time I’ve been lucky enough to meet her, and each time she has always made a big effort to sign as many as she can. Each time she has moved pretty fast, and sometimes has barely put more than a line, but has done her best to sign as many as she can. As she gets closer, she’s a lot more rushed than last year (but then, it was never going to be calmer, I knew I wasn’t going to have time for someone to take a photo of us and for her to sign three things!). However, Jennifer did sign a photo for me, albeit not the right way up.

I think I again babbled about how much I love her and so on, and I asked if she’d pose for a quick photo. Joy of joys, she said yes! Again! I think I died with happiness. This time four years ago, I’d never have believed it if you’d said I’d now have three photos with my favourite, as well as seven autographs. Unreal!

Jennifer was shortly followed by Gale aka Liam Hemsworth. Liam has probably been the best signer at all four of the Hunger Games premieres, and this one was no exception. I think he pretty much signed for every person in Leicester Square! He signed an index card for me, and posed for a photo too.

Sam Claflin, who plays Finnick, soon followed. As I’ve said previously, I know Sam best for his role playing Duncan Edwards in United, in which is well worth a watch. Sam was as nice as ever; he signed an index card for me and posed for a photo too.

Josh Hutcherson aka Peeta came over a few minutes later, and was the last cast member to come over. Having missed Josh at the first two premieres, I’ve been lucky at the two Mockingjay premieres! He signed an index card for me, and posed for a photo too.

That, as they say was that. Another ridiculously fun evening, where it stayed dry for the 90 minutes it needed to. Sure enough, the rain started falling whilst I was on the way home. The premiere ended with the whole cast on a custom built stage in front of the cinema doors, and a pretty impressive fireworks display from the cinema roof. I’ve not seen anything like it before (well, since then something at the Star Wars The Force Awakens premiere has possibly beaten it).

A great set of four premieres, over four years, for four fantastic films. I’ll miss the fun and games (!) of the Hunger Games madness in Leicester Square, and my annual J Law fix!


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