Today the stars of the new film Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games trilogy, took to the red carpet as part of the world premiere. Shameless plugs for event sponsor Covergirl aside, the event provided plenty of entertainment to keep the fans gathered in the misty rain in Leicester Square happy for a few hours.
I arrived at 1:45pm and there was already a good size crowd gathered around the barriers set up in the square and there was a large screen promoting the premiere. Despite the fact that the event was not set to start until 5pm, some fans had been camped out since the early hours of this morning, and in some cases for more than 24 hours – far from comfortable with London weather. But that is what is so impressive about events involving such dedicated fandoms: not everyone would be so willing to camp out in rainy, chilly London just for a chance to catch a glimpse of some of their favorite actors, actresses and creators. But the event managers were aware of this dedication and rewarded it by playing a few exclusive clips from and about the film during the last 30 minutes before the stars arrived.
Most of the main actors and actresses were in attendance, including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland, among others. Notably absent were Woody Harrelson and Philip Seymour Hoffman, both of whom I would have loved to have seen. They were all in good spirits and enjoyed circling the square, meeting fans for autographs and photos for an hour or two before the screening of the film as well as taking part in interviews broadcast on the screen set up throughout the event.
And for the fans who weren’t able to make it to London for the event, there was a live stream of it online, as well as a twitter feed that scrolled along the bottom of the screen in Leicester Square with commentary from viewers at home.
All that would have made the event better (aside from some uncharacteristically nice weather for London), would be if the red carpet event was followed by a screening of the film for everyone who waited outside all day. But then maybe the anticipation of having to wait another week and a half to see it for ourselves will just make it that much better. At least, that’s what I’ll tell myself. All in all, it was well worth the six hours I spent standing in a crowd in the London drizzle.