As I am still recovering from the exhaustion and excitement of 3rd April 2016, I feel that the late documentation of my very first meeting with giant Hollywood stars is still rather timely.
Let’s start at the beginning.
When the news of the 3 main actors reached my ears, I was frankly not as excited about going for the event. Don’t get me wrong – I do love Jessica Chastain (she’s my favorite actress!) but just thinking about the crowd got me rather turned off at the idea. Not to mention, an admission ticket into Universal Studios Singapore was required and I wasn’t ready to part with $70+ just to see them for less than 10 minutes.
But as the day drew closer, I couldn’t deny my desire to be involved. And luckily for me, the awesome website I wrote for had a pair of media pass that I could use!
Needless to say, I was a freaking happy camper and I was ready to get star-strucked.
The interior of Universal Studios Singapore was seriously amped up to give the stars a huge and warm (literally) welcome.
Despite holding the Media Pass, I actually had no idea where to go upon entering. I walked around the crowd twice, asked the kinda clueless crew and only ended up getting to the Media area after following a couple of other Media Pass holders. We entered via a special entrance, where I found my ‘sweet spot’.
Yes people. I found myself standing right in front of the photo wall where I stood vigil for nearly 2 hours, awaiting the arrival of the director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain & Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth.
It was a long wait for the stars to arrive and when they did, it was another long wait for the Media to actually get a glimpse of them. Were they walking at a super slow speed? No – they were not. In fact, they were being really gracious celebrities who took the time to sign autographs, take selfies and generally thank the fans who turned up.
I honestly couldn’t get mad at that. I mean, who would? This was truly a special day and them going out of their way to please the fans, despite the incredibly unbearable weather made everything worth it.
Cedric eventually made his way over to the Photo Wall where a collective sigh from the Media could be heard.
Just to give you a little background on the arrival of the stars. The first to step onto the red carpet was the Director, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Second was the lovely Miss Jessica Chastain and the third was Mr Chris Hemsworth. The last to arrive (might I add 15 minutes behind Hemsworth’s arrival), was Miss Charlize Theron.
The background is essential for this part of my recount because Charlize was the next to arrive at the Photo Wall after Cedric. It came as quite a surprise to a lot of us who were waiting for either Jessica or Chris to turn up first.
I’m someone with this weird quirk where I need to see a celebrity in the flesh in order to consider them real. So, when Ms Theron stepped up to the Photo Wall dressed in a glamorous white gown that had an ‘Angelina Jolie slit’ at the side, I was in awe. Everything about her screamed ‘OSCAR WINNER’ and I literally had to stop myself bowing and saying ‘We’re not worthy!’. She carried herself with so much elegance and poise that she is simply flawless.
As if taking Charlize as their cue, Chris and Jessica suddenly appeared along the barricades nearest to the Photo Wall. Although they were still signing and taking pictures, the Media (and I) were ecstatic they were finally at our stop.
Chris Hemsworth was the first among the two to break away from the fans and take his spot in front of the Photo Wall. I felt truly bad for Chris seeing him all suited up for this event. The heat was already getting to me in my t-shirt and jeans so I can’t imagine what it must be like for him. Though he tried to clean his sweat away subtly (with the aid of his PA and some tissue), he must have been feeling like he was standing in a furnace. See, even Thor needs to sweat sometimes. But he’ll always maintain that cool, smouldering look of his no matter the weather.
The last to reach the Photo Wall was none other than Jessica Chastain. Seeing her right in front of me nearly brought tears to my eyes. Having been a HUGE fan of hers since her debut in The Help, it was like a dream come true to see her standing there. It took a lot of restrain from me to not wave like a mad person, even though I did sneak in a wave or two.
As Jessica made her way down towards the videographers, the photographers took it as a mad rush to head to another location. I was one of those who went through the videographers like a whirlwind, stunning them as I quietly push pass them.
This was the most crucial part of my night as I needed to get my hands on the ‘Money shot’.
What is that? Well, it’s the concluding photo of the night where all four of them stand right in front of Pantages Theatre for the group shot.
Some of the regional reporters got lost, others figured they had time to get there. I didn’t. I hurriedly made my way to what I felt was the best spot and not a moment later, the thundering of footsteps can be heard from my right. The others had made their way over just as Cedric, Charlize and Jessica took the stage. When Chris arrived a few minutes later, the ‘Money shot’ was a-go.
Once they were done, Charlize and Cedric retreated into the theatre for some much-needed air-conditioning while Chris and Jessica graciously went back to do more interviews.
I stuck around, taking in more close-up views of Chris and Jessica. I had a super close view of Chris Hemsworth as he took a selfie with someone behind me but I never got around to asking him for one. My hopes had been pinned on getting a selfie with Jessica, which I never managed to as her PAs whisked her away after her interview.
Was I disappointed? Obviously. But it was a trade-off for an experience that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.
As I left the venue with a cup of well-deserved Starbucks in my hand, I could only look forward to the prospect of meeting Jessica Chastain again someday, where we would finally take that long-awaited selfie.