In the Public Eye

New York Premiere of Love Actually
November 6, 2003

Not a pond or park fountain in sight, but these two stars of Love Actually appear ready to grapple for the cameras’ benefit in New York at the world premiere of Love Actually. firth.com was there to experience first hand the heady atmosphere of a film premiere that could not be dampened by something as insignificant as the weather. Nearly all the film’s ensemble cast attended, but it was clear that the fans crowding into the tent were there to see and cheer on Colin. Even though the US infotainment shows provided a distorted view of the Red Carpet activities, PEOPLE magazine appears to have taken notice, with its article, “Who’s the Sexier Brit?”:
Hugh Grant might be Hollywood's most popular British hunk, but the female fans who gathered outside the red carpet at the Love Actually premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City begged to differ. The ladies saved their biggest swoons for another British actor: Grant's costar Colin Firth.

The roar was deafening as Firth emerged on the red carpet in a black Richard James suit and a white button-down shirt with the top couple of buttons undone. When PEOPLE asked Firth if he expected all the adoration, he said, "Not at all. It's pretty stunning actually. I actually want to get a tape of this and prove it to a few people back home."

Grant, meanwhile, seemed to take his position as second fiddle in stride. Asked by PEOPLE whether he felt he received the appropriate reaction from the crowd, he joked, "Well, I could do with a little more noise."

 Accurate, but the suit was blue actually.

Running the gauntlet from the loud and boisterous bullpen of freelance photographers at the entrance, who demanded poses from each and every celebrity, to the broadcast journalists, who held court with raised platforms and blindingly bright lights to record the sound bites broadcast the next day, Colin—nearly the last to arrive—cut short his interviews in order to cross the carpet and satisfy his fans. As in the past, Colin ensured that every fan who wanted an autograph got one before he was hurried into the theater. Though he carefully danced around (a precipitous raindance, ladies?) answering any questions about future projects, there were numerous opportunities to take photographs and speak with him if desired.

Pretend rival, Hugh Grant, followed in Colin’s wake with the fans. He met with some very good- natured kidding, while he was signing, and rose to the occasion by responding “in character,” proving himself to be a good sport. Asked by a fan, “Hugh, so what was it like working with Colin Firth?" he responded, “Bloody Colin,” then he smirked, grabbed a copy of the book Girl With a Pearl Earring to autograph, and told the fan, "So glad that you could make it here tonight."
With Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson (below left) and Bill Nighy (below right).
Entering the Metropolitan Club for the post-premiere party (left) and asking Salman Rushdie (below) if he knows the location of the loos.

More photos here

Girl With a Pearl Earring Screening and Q&A
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY, November 11, 2003

The stars of Girl With a Pearl Earring participated in a Q&A session, moderated by former NY Times film critic Janet Maslin at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York, on Tuesday, November 11, 2003. Several Drool ladies were in attendance and reported on the event and supplied photographs exclusively to firth.com.

"He spoke eloquently, gave examples, told an hilarious anecdote, mugged, covered his face while peeking out between his fingers. And all this time looking me straight in the eye. The people around us were commenting on how funny and warm he was. I was having a "near death experience." (Pauline)

"I opened the door to the lobby and HE was standing there smiling and posing for pictures and signing autographs for the theater staff! And I think I went into shock. It seemed so unreal like it couldn't possibly be him right there and I didn't want to stare and gawk and act all uncool, so I just went past him and went to the restroom..." (Joann)

"He said the only painting that comes close to being a self-portrait is one in which a woman is sitting with her back to us, her face reflected in a mirror...A smidgen of easel and what he said was Vermeer’s toe, was the extent of his self-portrait. So that was the extent of his inspiration for Vermeer. A toe. It was rather amusing the way he discussed it. I can’t capture that." (Dorine)

Burns photo on this page courtesy of Dorine

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