Another day in Leicester Square, another premiere. Once again the glitz and glamour of Hollywood will be visiting London’s Theatre Land as the European premiere of Entourage rolls into town.
For those of you not familiar with Entourage, it was a hit TV show that began back in 2004, running for eight seasons. Based on the real-life experiences of Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg (who served as the show’s producer), it showcased the Hollywood highlife, centring on actor Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), his close circle of friends (his ‘entourage’, played by Kevin Connelly, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara) and his trusty agent Ari Gold (played with manic ferocity by Jeremy Piven). And now, four years after it ended back in 2011, Entourage is back with a feature-length film, picking up from where the series left off.
I’m not expecting this premiere to be too busy. And I’ve already learned beforehand that footballing legend and Arsenal hero Thierry Henry will be attending as he has a small cameo in the movie, so I make sure I have my old Arsenal top with me just in case I’m lucky enough to get an autograph! And so I make my usual trip down into Leicester Square. When I arrive I see a small congregation of geeks, there’s no numbering system today as the crowds will be much smaller as expected. To kill some time, I have a wander around and pop into the M&M’s World store. They have a nice looking Star Wars range, and I buy a promotional Star Wars M&M’s fleece blanket. That should keep my cat warm and cosy at home!
I head back to the Vue Cinema and wait for the workies to finish laying out the barriers. Before long, they let us all through, and I pick a nice spot at the front. The geek next to me turns out to be a fellow Gooner too, and has brought his Arsenal shirt as well, hoping for a Henry autograph. We’ve both been warned to prepare for disappointment though, as Thierry Henry is apparently known for being elusive when it comes to autographs, and he will most likely just duck into the cinema after conducting his interviews. My fellow Gooner and I are optimistic though, confident that Thierry will come over when he sees us waving the sacred Red and White colours in his direction. Fingers crossed...
I watch the workies preparing the area as they lay out the carpet. Ok, when is a red carpet premiere not a red carpet premiere? Answer: when it’s a BLUE carpet premiere! I assume they’ve gone with sky blue to match the promotional artwork for the movie.
5:30pm and Alex Zane introduces the event. And first up to arrive is... Thierry Henry! The crowd goes wild! He makes his way onto the blue carpet, signing only a very small handful of autographs (that’s a good sign I suppose!) and works his way along the media line to conduct his interviews. As he draws to the end of the media line and nearer to my position, he suddenly does a U-turn and heads back to the stage area where Alex Zane is waiting to speak to him.
Thierry Henry then marches towards the cinema, smiling and waving. I wave my Arsenal shirt in his direction, and he spots it! He then walks straight past the crowd lined up on the barriers and heads straight for me! Arsenal is close to his heart and I just knew he wouldn’t resist the Red Army uniform! The legend says “Hello”, signs my top and shakes my hand! The geek next to me is just as chuffed as Thierry signs his shirt too. He then quickly scribbles for a couple more fans then heads straight into the cinema’s entrance. Woohoo!
Then one by one the Entourage stars begin to arrive. First up is the show’s and movie’s writer/director Doug Ellin. He’s eager to meet the fans, and happily signs my Entourage photo for me. Next to arrive is Kevin Connelly aka ‘E’. He’s clearly enjoying the spectacle, and happily poses for photos and signs autographs for the fans, including me!
Jeremy Piven aka ‘Ari Gold’ then graces the blue carpet with his presence. He’s in a relaxed smiley mood (unlike the character he plays!). He greet fans, working his way along the line, but then gets called away to do interviews before he can get to my area. Ah well.
Then Kevin Dillon aka ‘Johnny Drama’ and Jerry Ferrara aka ‘Turtle’ arrive. Screams of “Victory!” can be heard bellowing from the crowd in Dillon’s direction. He scribbles a few autographs before commencing interview duties, as does Ferrara.
Another sleek Mercedes pulls up, and out steps the man of the hour, Adrian Grenier aka ‘Vincent Chase’. Wearing a blue suit that makes him look like a GoodFellas hoodlum, he spends a long time mingling with the fans, and signs my photo with pleasure.
Last to arrive is Emmanuelle Chriqui aka ‘Sloan’. She’s obviously not in meet-and-greet mode, and just whisks past the geeks to fulfil her interview duties with Alex Zane before heading to the end of the blue carpet to pose for the paparazzi. A few minor celebrities start to arrive in force, including David Hasselhoff, ‘magician’ Dynamo, boxer David Haye, and Skyfall actress Naomie Harris.
The Entourage stars line up for group photos in front of the paparazzi (who probably still don’t have a clue who any of these actors are!). And with that, the European premiere is officially over as they head into the cinema to slap each other on the back and congratulate each other on a job well done. And consume exotic cocktails whilst surrounded by bikini-clad girls. Or something. As for us regular folk, we sling our hooks and disperse. I’m chuffed that I managed to obtain Thierry Henry’s elusive autograph, and will frame my shirt with pride! All in all it was a decent premiere, not as star-studded as usual perhaps, but there’s always next time...