I moved to California last year at this time and because I was such a newbie to LA, and didn’t have a clue of even where to go, I wasn’t able to attend the Season 3 Premiere of True Blood. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t go, so I made up my mind, then and there, that I wasn’t going to miss it this year! Therefore, on Tuesday, June 21, I went to the Arclight Theater in Hollywood to participate in the “fan experience” at the True Blood Season 4 Premiere.
I had arranged to go with some friends and we were originally planning to arrive at the Arclight Theater around 2 pm, but when I woke up on Tuesday morning, there was a text telling me to get there double quick because the line of fans had already started. I quickly got all my supplies together, Sharpies – check, 3 magazines to have Alex, Ryan and Stephen sign for charity – check, cameras (video and still) – check, as well as, all the other stuff I would need. Once I had all I needed packed up, I headed to the theater in downtown Hollywood. My main goal, as usual, was to see Stephen Moyer, but I know he always comes over to the fans, so I was pretty sure I’d see be successful. I had a Bullett Magazine that I wanted him to sign for his Charity, Facing the Atlantic.
When I arrived at the theater, I was OK because there weren’t a lot of people there yet and we were first in line. Also, neither the red carpet nor the barricades had yet been set up. My friends were all anxious for that to happen because they wanted to ensure a primo spot and they couldn’t do that until things got set up. They had arrived well before me (they were kind enough to save me a spot) and weren’t going to give up first in line to anyone. I was glad to be with them; they are pros at attending these sort of events.
At about noon, the trucks arrived with all of the equipment, and the first thing they did was set up the fan section. It was very close to the red carpet this year and therefore, much easier for the cast members to see the fans and come over to sign autographs and say. “hello.” Yea, a real piece of good luck!
It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was excited that things were finally beginning to happen. It wasn’t very hot, probably about 80 degrees (26c), but when you are standing in the sun with no shade for 10 hours and smashed up against a lot of hot fans, it really was stifling, in our spot behind the barricades. This was where the fans were to be contained, as I later started referring to as, “the cage“. It was about four people wide and produced a long line that extended around the corner. We got right up front in the most “primo” spot which enabled us to see all the action and to attract the most attention. While we were waiting I must have consumed two bottles of water, but yet was still thirsty. As the day wore on, the technology really started to appear with lots of lighting and camera equipment needed for the event. Also, more and more fans began to show up.
It seemed like the sun would never stop shining on us, and we wilted more and more, but when the press arrived, even though we knew they would block our view of the Red Carpet, our spirits perked up. At least now that the press were in attendance, we knew that the True Blood Cast couldn’t be far behind. And about 6 pm or so, the cast did begin to arrive.
At this point, it started to really pick up and it seemed like everyone was arriving all at once. We could see them from our location, but there were so many cameras and press people in front of us blocking them, it was difficult to get any really good photos while they were on the red carpet.
Shortly, as the cast members finished their tour of the red carpet, they began coming over to our area to greet all the fans. Those I know personally stopped by where I was standing to say Hi, thanking me for the work that Shadaliza and I do on The Vault. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about all the cast and crew of True Blood; they are the nicest bunch of people you could ever meet!
I then heard that Stephen had arrived, but didn’t see him, and only saw Anna. Just as I was about to despair, I saw him on the red carpet, so I knew he’d come over to us soon.
Once he completed all of his red carpet interviews, he hurried over to us. He was dressed in a Tom Ford grey vested suit and looked just awesome and unlike me, fresh as a daisy. He was his charismatic and fun loving self as he signed autographs and flirted with the crowd.
Below is the video I shot of Stephen as he meets with the fans and, also with me to sign my Bullett Magazine. He talked with me about Facing the Atlantic and that he had just spoken to his good friend Bertie Portal that day. Bertie is Steve’s “best mate” and I was privileged to interview him for our sites and for his charity. Bertie is rowing with a friend, James Cash across the Atlantic Ocean in December for charity ( their row is called Facing The Atlantic). Stephen has been helping them raise the money they need for the voyage and to help the charity Facing the World. We, at The Vault and AllStephenMoyer.com, are also working very hard with Stephen to help Bertie and James. You can read more about it here. I told him that we’ve been quite successful with our fundraiser so far and he acknowledged that he was aware of all the money raised and he joked that we should go into business! I’m ready anytime, Steve!
As he moved along the line of fans, he made it a point to try and speak to each person and make a funny comment or personalize their experience in some way. He is very good at it, and truly has a knack for making everyone feel at ease.
I hear one fan ask him,“Will we see any full frontal male nudity this year in Season 4?“ Stephen’s reply was quite typical for him. He said, “I’m so ready to get it out for you girls!” And, of course, everyone laughed. He is such a character, I just loved it! And, as you will see, he was also very gracious, helping fans with their cameras, being sure to hand back sharpies, especially “blue” ones. For those who haven’t met him yet, I can tell you that you are in for a treat when you do!
He spent a good deal of time going most of the way down the line of fans and only left when he was told it was time for him to go into the theater. Watch the video below of this experience.
Here are some screencaps from the video. And, lots of photos can be found in the Photo Gallery.
Once Stephen and the rest of the cast went into the theater, the fan experience was over for me. However, some of the fans decided to stay until the screening of Episode 1 ended in hopes of seeing the cast’s departure to the after party. I wasn’t up for that, so I went home. If you want to see some “departure and arrival videos”, we have them on the Vault that you can see by clicking here.
Thanks to Stephen and to all the cast for being so generous to their loyal and devoted fans!
My final thoughts about the event:
While it was an utter joy to see Steve, I have to say, that I’m not sure I will be doing this sort of event again. For me, it was an exhausting and somewhat humiliating experience. Since I know most of the cast, to be corraled behind a barricade and squashed like a sardine while waiting in the hot sun for over 8 hours, was embarrassing when they stopped by to say hello to me.
And, one final comment. While the True Blood people, (cast, crew, etc.) and most of the security people were very nice to the fans, there were two security men who were just the worst. They referred to us as “animals” and they told us that we were lucky that they even let us be there on the street. This is to a group of fans who were doing everything they were told and were behaving themselves. One thing I have never been made to feel by HBO or anyone associated with True Blood is that I was unimportant, but these two men managed to insult me and the whole throng of fans that were doing their best to show their devotion to their favorite show.
Thanks to Shadaliza for her help in producing the video.