I’ll tell you one thing: If ever you start suffering from lack of self esteem, head to the Castro and it will immediately be restored. You see, Tuesday night I covered the world premiere of Milk, which has been quite the controversy, particularly with the premiere falling just a week before millions of people vote on Prop 8. I only had red carpet access, meaning there was really no need to dress up whatsover, but 1) I was determined to get on the inside (success; I haven’t found a screening I couldn’t weasel my way into) and 2) I have no plans to get all gussied up for Halloween so last night was as good a night as ever.
I bought these fabulous go-go boots during my trip to Texas last month and have been dying to break them out, so keeping in spirit with the time period of the movie, I paired them with this awesome dress my very stylish Mom picked out for me earlier this year and opted for a very mod-inspired outfit. (I felt so Edie!) And it worked: I got stopped at every street corner from Dolores Park to the Castro Theatre by throngs of gay men raving about my look. One group even asked to have their picture taken with me; another cluster asked if I was a movie star (um, I wish). This is precisely why every woman should have (at least) one gay bestie by her side at all time: an ongoing confidence booster. In case you’re wondering, here’s what I wore:
(Excuse the frizz; some days the locks are simply untameable.) When I was walking back to my car post-event, one man even chased me down, shook my hand and sincerely thanked me for supporting his community by getting into the Milk spirit. I never knew a mere outfit could cause such a political statement. But that’s beside the point. After glorious mid-80′s days for most of October, which I missed while in Central America (posts still to come; it’s been a crazy week), and perfect balmy afternoons, it turned brisk and windy on Tuesday night and I immediately regretted my lack of outerwear, as I was made to stand on a carpet–in those heels–for two hours straight. My hands were so numb, I couldn’t even take notes. I had to dictate all my observations to my recorder instead. A nice guy from SF Weekly offered me his coat, but I couldn’t be meeting Emile Hirsch wearing satin Michael Kors and a hideous tweed coat, now could I? Oh the sacrifices we make for fashion.
It was the first serious red carpet event I’ve covered since moving to SF–the others have just been a handful of reporters here and there. And it still was relatively tame, compared to NYC premieres. I mean, I had a good five feet of space on each side of me; in NYC, you’re shoulder-to-shoulder and three reporters deep (they usually rank your spot based on your caliber of your magazine, so at least I always got on the front row ahead of Us Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style, etc.). I didn’t even have to scream and kick and cause a scene in order to get Emile and James Franco to come over and chat; they were escorted directly to me. I’d interviewed James before, in 2007 at the Spidey 3 premiere in Queens, and he was just as friendly and smiley and gracious as ever (nice guy, that James; I think we could totally be friends), but when prepping with my editor earlier that day, she told me that Emile’s usually pretty standoffish and not good with press. I’m happy to report this was not the case. We had a nice long talk, one in which ended with a huge WINK at me. Swoon. I’d never really seen his appeal, despite having lived with Lindy, who thinks his poo is made of gold, but now I do. He was a little furrier than is my preference, thanks to recently wrapping next year’s hippy-dippy-trippy Taking Woodstock, but I’ll give him that because he was just so freakin’ nice.
Shortly after I finished up with both of them, Diego Luna was escorted over to me, and boy do I have another celeb crush after that encounter (and hey, if we ever got hitched, I wouldn’t even have to change my name!). I think I’ll finally have to send Y Tu Mama Tambien to the express line in my Netflix queue, as it’s been hovering at the bottom for the last two years. Then Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn arrived and did their quick sprint down the carpet, in which they don’t so much as look in the direction of the press. I know they’re private people and all, but hello, he was the titular character in such an important movie, you’d think he’d have a little to say on the life of Harvey Milk. Guess not.
Next, I caught a glimpse of an absolutely stunning Diane Lane, who also neglected to do press. I’ll cut her some slack, as it wasn’t her movie and she was just there supporting hubby Josh Brolin, who plays the bad guy in the movie and did do the carpet. I cannot tell you how much I adore Diane Lane and how she is easily one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood (I even paid hard-earned money to see her bust of a film Untraceable earlier this year, though I do draw the line at Nights in Rodanthe). I was bummed I didn’t get to chat with her, but then when my the cold prompted my bladder to action, I had to make a pee stop in the Theatre’s tiny two-stall bathroom. And lo and behold who comes in after me but Diane Lane. I couldn’t resist.
Me: “Your dress is absolutely stunning. You should wear purple more often.”
Diane: “Oh thank you! You’re so sweet. I love yours, too. Isn’t it so nice to be able to wear a little color for once? I get so sick of always dressing in black!”
And then we resumed our stalls like two normal gals, and I PEED NEXT TO DIANE LANE. Hey, celebrities are just like us!
I did make in into the movie–of course, I did (the after party, I skipped out on, as I was wiped and had to type up my transcript anyway; my friend Laurel went and got the scoop for me). I’m not one to take no for an answer (I mean, clearly, it did take a full year and change to convince SVV to actually date me!). And it was excellent. Poignant, riveting, heartbreaking, inspiring. It’s one of those films that everyone should see because it sends such a powerful message. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, this reporter included (and my Benefit Bad Girl eyeliner was not made for such snuffly conditions). Emile Hirsch was HILARIOUS, and my love for him swelled to unmanageable heights. And there’s a lot of Sean and James one-on-one action, so if you’re into all that bidness, by all means, get your hiney to Milk when it comes out next month.
And funny enough, my seat happened to me right smack next to Sean freakin’ Penn, who seemed extremely nervous and didn’t flinch throughout the entire two hours. I, being the diligent reporter that I am, was sneaking looks his way all night to observe any unusual activity. Yes, that, folks, is my life. And if you ever think that the humor of the fact that I mingle with celebrities on a regular basis is lost on this small-town Tennessee gal, you would be very, very wrong.