Movie Premiere Hopping: From MEENA to Tammy In One Night

After two nights in a row of covering events I was a little tired and was ready for a quiet night in. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment I had signed up for the movie premiere of ‘Meena’, Lucy Liu‘s directorial debut film. Meena is a short film that deals with child trafficking in India and this premiere screening was held to raise awareness for UNICEF’s child protection programs worldwide*.

I desperately tried to get out of attending the event because sitting on my couch, in pajamas, with a bottle of wine and some of my pantries finest offerings sounded much better. I emailed.  I texted. Nothing happened. I watched the clock as it grew closer to the time of the premiere. Eventually, I gave up hoping for someone to take my place and threw on some clothes to head out for the movie theater.

As I stood in line with the press and photographers I vaguely overheard someone mention something about the movie Tammy. I instantly perked up because Tammy was filmed at my house last summer and I had been dying to see the movie. I got to hang out with the entire cast and crew for three weeks while they took over my house and transformed it into Lenore’s lake house.

I was then informed that Tammy was premiering in New York City, and not only was it just premiering in the city, but it was premiering that night in a few hours!! Obviously I freaked out because all that I had been wanting to do this summer was go to the premiere but I didn’t think they were having one. I emailed and texted producers, directors, and the event coordinator to no avail.

photo 7Lucy Liu and Zac Posen

From then on out it was hard to stay focused and interested in the Meena premiere because all I could think about was Tammy. I took over 300 pictures of the cast and crew, 20 of which actually came out decent, and interviewed Lucy Liu. Once my work was done I flew out of the movie theater in the direction of the Tammy premiere movie theater. I was that obnoxious New Yorker power walking down the street barely skirting by everyone in my way, and I swear everyone was walking at a snails pace that day.

My plan was to just show up to the movie theater and charm my way in. I strutted up to the sign in table and gave my spiel about how the movie was filmed at my house and how I know Chris Bromley and Rob Cowan and all the other crew members. The two woman working the desk looked at me then looked at each other and finally one of them spoke and said, “She dropped waay to many names to not be legitimate” and so that is how I got in!

I called my roommate Callie and told her to quickly get on the next downtown train to Sunshine Cinema, which is practically on the opposite side of the world in relation to where we live.

photo 2I waited in a crowded room outside the movie theater for Susan Sarandon, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and Toni Collette to arrive. I mingled and chatted with the people around me and we talked about how excited we were to see the film. Not blurting out to everyone that they filmed the movie at my house took an extreme amount of will power.

The room was very crowded but I had found one little open spot near an elevator. All of a sudden the elevator doors opened and out walked Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone! Melissa had taken half a step into the bustling room when she immediately made eye contact with me and dropped her jaw in excitement and surprise. SHE RECOGNIZED ME! HOLY SHIT, I’M JUST ME, LITTLE OLD ME. HOW DOES SHE REMEMBER WHO I AM SHE’S MET SO MANY PEOPLE! AND THIS ROOM IS SO CROWDED BUT SHE SPOTTED ME. WHAT?!?! That was approximately what was running through my head.

As she walked farther into the room she said to me, something along the lines of, “Oh my god hi I didn’t know you were going to be here!!” Then Ben Falcone passed me and had a very similar reaction. Everyone in the room was looking at me like, “who the hell is this girl?!” Melissa’s first big entrance into the premiere of her movie was her saying hello to me. That, right there, isn’t real life. No way.

photo 3Callie finally arrived and waited along the side lines with me for Melissa and Ben to finish their press interviews. All the while, Callie was freaking out that she was going to meet Melissa and I was freaking out that I had swung this seemingly impossible act.

Once Melissa and Ben were done with their interviews Ben came up to me and gave me a big hug hello. I told him about my crazy unexpected journey to the premiere and he told me how awesome my house looked in the movie. Then Melissa came up and she said hi and we talked for a little. It was unreal. Callie was absolutely star struck and I was floating on cloud nine. 

A bodyguard then came through and began to usher Melissa and Ben into the theater because the movie was about to begin. We hadn’t finished our conversation though so Melissa yelled over the crowd to me, “Is your mom here?! Tell her I say hello!!” and then Ben yelled “Please tell your whole family we say hello!!” Now EVERYONE was staring at me and I was grinning like an idiot from ear to ear. It was honestly one of the coolest, greatest moments.

Callie and I took our seats and I was just bursting with excitement. I had been waiting over a year for this moment! Not only was I getting to finally see the movie, but I had some how, by complete chance, made it to the NYC premiere!!

Last summer, while they were filming in Wilmington, NC my family and I were invited to watch them shoot around town in all the different locations. I had seen a lot of the scenes piece by piece and knew a lot of the background info so I filled Callie in on what was filmed in Wilmington, how many takes each scene took, and how hard it was to keep from laughing at specific scenes while on set.

photo 8The first glimpse of my house!

In the movie, when Tammy and her grandmother Pearl arrived at Lenore’s lake house and a shot of my house was projected across the massive screen I squirmed in my seat with excitement. I SO badly wanted to scream out, “that’s my house!!”, but I thought maybe it would be better if I kept quiet because Melissa and Ben would have definitely known who said it.

photo 4Spoiler alert: the deck Tammy is walking across is actually a fake dance floor over the shallow end of my pool

My house is the 4th of July lesbian party scene and not only do you get to see my house in the movie but you get to see me and my sister!  When Tammy and Bobby are talking outside on the lawn if you glance to the left side of the screen you will see me in a waiter outfit pouring glasses of wine. My big movie debut, I’ve made it! You see me for all of three seconds, but hey three seconds is better than no seconds!

Once the movie ended Callie and I headed to the private after party! It was held at a very low key bar that was serving delicious appetizers and drinks. I managed to sneak my way past the bodyguard and get into the private section where Melissa, Ben, Toni Collette, Susan Sarandon, and all their family and friends were. Callie didn’t get so lucky though, she got caught. The man wouldn’t let her in but I was on a high and I was determined to get her in with me. Confidence is key my friends. I was so confident when talking with this man that he finally let Callie go so that we could both say hi to Melissa again.

We got Melissa’s attention and talked to her some more about the movie and the house. She is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. Both her and Ben are two of the nicest people. It’s funny because you hear celebrities talk about how they don’t feel famous and how they are just normal people and I can totally see that Melissa is exactly like that. At the end of the day they are just regular people, like you and I.

Callie desperately wanted a picture with Melissa, as did I, so I came up with a clever plan to get our picture without looking like dumb fans in the private party, aka “no fans”, section. I told her that my mom wanted to be here so badly and that she was so jealous and what not. I also slipped in there that we should take a picture to send to her! Melissa loved the idea and the three of us took a picture, where Melissa is waving to my mom.

photo 5This night was one for the books. When I think about all that happened I can’t help but ask myself, what is my life? I feel like sometimes I’m living in a movie because, really, stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen in real life. I’ll very, very gladly take it though!

NG