Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Loved you in Harry Potter...

San Diego ComicCon 2009 was a great show for me. I got to know some fellow hounds that made me feel amateurish in comparison but they still embraced me and helped me pull down some great autographs.  One of those accomplishments was Denzel Washington.  I don’t get a lot of Hollywood A listers but this was a big one.
Denzel was promoting the movie, Book of Eli.  He, along with Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman, and the Hughes Brothers, were going to sign some mini posters for the movie. This signing was in a back room of the convention center and you were sternly told that no cameras or cell phones or bags are allowed into the signing. You do not interact with the actors and if you violate the procedures you will be thrown out of ComicCon and your badge removed. Pretty harsh but everyone obeys these rules as they want the signatures.
You line up outside of the room and they bring in 10 to 15 people at a time. The stars are already seated behind a series of tables and have Sharpies are in hand. The stars sign the posters in an assembly line; when one finishes they then hand it over to the next star to sign.  You move with the poster and when they finish you pick up the item and leave the room. There are lots of handlers and security milling around to ensure things go smoothly.
I was very near the front of the line. Until you enter the small room, you can only guess who will be there and what will be signed.  We're all surprised to see Denzel.  I was also very excited to see Gary Oldman.  I loved him in The Professional, Dracula, and The Fifth Element. His characters are captivating and memorable.
When my turn arrived, I walked over to the table. Denzel greeted me and asked how I was doing.  Since we aren’t supposed to interact with the stars I gave him a casual response of: I’m doing fine.
That was not the response he was looking for nor wanted. He actually put down the pen and looked up at me.  He said, "With all of the people signing here today, you’re just doing fine?”
I will admit I was in panic mode. I reeled mentally and briefly envisioned myself being escorted out of ComicCon because I had disappointed Denzel. Trying to think while he looked at me, I fell on an old turn of phrase I use a lot and said, “Sorry, I’m doing great. I’m just trying to stay out of trouble.”
He still looked at me and finally picked up the pen and said something like, “Staying out of trouble is good. We all should do that.” 
Feeling emboldened, I finished the other half of the statement, "Yeah, there’s a lot less to explain to the wife that way.”
Now he laughed. In that Denzel way of laughing; that deep happy boom of his. While I was relieved I was no longer in trouble with Denzel, I wondered if I was still in trouble with ComicCon. It was very obvious I was interacting with the stars.  Through a big grin he said he needed to remember that line. He wanted to use it.
He finished signing and pushed the poster to Mila so she could add her signature.  I took a small step to the right and Mila looked at Denzel and then me. She wanted to know what I said to make him laugh. You can tell she was replaying the conversation over in her head. Then she laughed out loud.  I think she said I was funny and slid my poster to Gary. 
Now Gary is very exciting to me. He’s one of those guys you might not recognize by name but you would recognize the face. You have seen him somewhere.  I always stop flipping channels and watch parts of the Fifth Element and The Professional when I see it.
He looked at me expectantly. I just made Denzel and Mila laugh and he wanted to be entertained also.  I have nothing to give him. Being a one trick pony, my bag of tricks was empty.  Now flop sweat started down my neck and back.  He was patient. He waited. A few seconds passed and I started to open my mouth and I could see him lean back slightly in his chair. He knew he was now getting his turn. And I said, “I loved you in Harry Potter…”
I took my poster and left.
I’m in the hallway kicking myself. “I loved you in Harry Potter?  That was the best I could say?  Harry Potter?”    I have no idea why his character, Sirius Black, popped into my head just then. While I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, it’s not a favorite of mine.  I’m still embarrassed I brought that up.
But I have my poster and memories and I made a few people laugh.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great story!! I doubt if I would have been as eloquent in the presence of those two. Did you see the movie, The Book of Eli? I saw it on an airplane and thought it was pretty interesting, but then, how could you go wrong with Denzel and Oldman??

    Good start on the blog!