The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander


Royal Première London

The Royal London Première in London

And here comes Littleboot's (Lechatel's) report of our unforgettable Première night :

(scroll for a picture of us rising gallantly to the occasion)


It was quite mizzly and grey...with the promise of we didn't wear long dresses. Christine....who has that natural French chic and elegance...{{{{bone structure}}}} wore a cocktail dress in a gypsy style in a deep rich burgundy silk with a toning velvet jacket. I wore black velvet trousers and black top with silver shimmers with a red silk jacket. (We did take some photos in the hotel room before we left)
I decided to play a bit and put on some decorated false nails which looked very glam but meant I couldn't unfurl my umbrella without assistance.

We walked from Piccadilly (our hotel) to Leicester Square where the cinema was. At this point the rain was only light but I had a huge umbrella with me just in case. We only were allowed to take in small evening bags for security reasons so I had one of those little Prada evening bags that a so elegant and so utterly useless. All I could fit in were a couple of tissues and a two twenty quid notes. (which ultimately proved to be a blessing in disguise.) Actually the bag wasn't a genuine one...but a knock-off that hubby got me from China Town NYC!
It was only a short walk to the Square and before we entered it we could see the searchlights raking the sky with blue-white beams. And then the crowds started to gather and although we were some of the earliest arrivals one could sense the energy and tension in the air thickening as we got closer. The entire square was closed to traffic..well apart for VIP vehicles which dropped passengers at the end of the walkway.

We were greeted by two Constables and directed to have our bags searched. then we were let through the corden into the reserved area and red carpet area of the square. Cameras were not we couldn't take any pics.

Once we rounded the corner into the red carpet approach proper we were amazed at the crowded barriers. (The barriers were decorated with M and C posters (on card of course)...hundreds of them both sides. There was no red carpet...I suspect the Bafta experience when the rain then caused it to go all sudsy had resulted in the decision to not have it. Even so it was a quite unforgetable experience to walk between barriers like this instead of stand behind them.

(In fact...before I embarked upon this I must admit I asked a friendly bobby if I was actually allowed down there! To my amazement yep...That is where I was heading.

There were people calling out and yelling and screaming things. It was really quite an ordeal in some ways. There were a group of young girls with a banner..obviously Billy fans....and they shrieked out...'Ooh...who are you?' (We got that several times...people waving and probably scratching their heads and thinking...'I must have seen those women in something' As we were quite early we probably attracted more attention than when people were coming down it thick and fast.

Suddenly there was a huge 'boom'! The Great big hoarding /poster accross the theatre roof was of the surprise in the heavy waves. And the boom was the canons firing! Powerful fireworks I suppose. Lots of flame effect and sparks and smoke in the searchlight. The Surprise let off four 'broadsides' like this in the course of the build up to the movie.

One woman and her friends called 'Enjoy it! You lucky buggers while we are stuck behind here!' It wasn't said in a nasty way but it did make me realize how I was living the dream of lots of fans...for One Night Only of course...but all the same I never imagined I'd be in this position.

We entered the foyer...and got our bearings for a moment. I was shaking a bit I must admit and suddenly I was inside. The middle of the foyer had banks of TV/satellite/Mikes /cameras for all sorts of stations to record the important arrivals.

We hovered for a while...looking out at the rows of fans outside...then we were shown to our seats.

The Odeon is a big Deco styled Cinema of the grand type...with a big curving screen. We were in aisle seats about six rows we didn't strain our neck but there was a tiny touch of picture distortion at times. But nothing too drastic. Later on it did have compensations.

We sat down and there on the screen was a closed circuit broadcast with commentary just for guests. (We giggled to realize we had been on the big screen...the very same one Russell would grace later.)

What really really struck me forcibly was the huge ESTEEM that the other actors/industry people had for Russell. It has been said before of course. But to sit in that Cinema with the great and the good and see actors and industry people one after the other talk in AWE about Russell Crowe surely put it into fresh perspectives. He truly was the Star of the stars.

Timothy Dalton (ex-Bond of course) Richard E grant, Ridley Scott, ....who is really fine actor himself and a huge fan of Russell....not to mention all the people I recognised form TV and the World of Sport.

Russell could be seen in the square as he arrived. He spent longer than anyone on the Red Carpet...talking to the media but also taking time to visit each and every barrier and say a word to the fans. (By this time it was peeing down.) At first Danielle was with him and then she went inside whlie he carried on his 'rounds'.
(It annoyed us no end on BBC Breakfast TV this morning when the snarky presenter bemoaned that their man had had to scramble with other media people to get an interview...the BBC thinks it is entitled to be front of the queue at these things....and that Russell only had a few minutes/words with their reporter who had 'had to stand out in the rain'. Nit wit...clearly it was raining on Russell too...and he had to get inside in time to greet the Prince of Wales and attend to other responsibility. I thought he was endlessly patient and yet this man on TV said..'Russell Crowe being his usual charming self...')

Another thing that made me and Christine laugh was when we saw the cast meet Prince Charles. (this was taking place in a recpetion room but we saw it on the Screen). He stood with his hands behind his back...VERY much in 'Captain' mode. He went round each of the Surprise's Crew (about twenty of them in all) before 'rehearsing' and giving a pep talk to his men and thanking them it seemed personally. He was kind of taking responsibility for making sure things went smoothly. Looking after things as usual.


 Prince  Charles meets Russell Crowe
He saw the camera whatching him when he turned around and made a delightfully self-effacing grin like a small boy caught play acting in the mirror.

When the Prince came in and went down the line (Harvey Weinstein and a couple of people to do with the Charity etc first and then Russell)....Russell gave a small nod of a bow....a bit like a more sincere version of the one Max gives to Senator Gracchus in the Cell in Gladiator. They chatted for some time and they seemed to be a tease with one another. Then Russell introduced each cast member in turn. Very much the Captain as I say. Legs slightly apart and hands clasped behind his back. Very military.
Anyway...he had done good and I thought he carried it off with aplomb.

 Prince  Charles meets Russell Crowe

The Prince entered the auditorium and we all stood...he was sat close to Russell at the front of the Circle. Then a row of Royal Navy trumpeters came onto the stage and blasted a fanfare. Then the anthem.

After we retook our seats Peter Weir came on stage and introduced the film.

Then we realized that right beside us standing waiting in 'our' aisle were the cast...waiting to be introduced on stage!! Christine was right in the aisle seat and she nudged me and said 'There is Russell'!! just behind us...waiting at the end of the line to be introduced. (Christine was kind of slightly jumping in her seat...)

I turned my head and there he was.
I don't know what I'd expected. But we talked abbout it long into the night that moment when he was right beside us...then striding away onto the stage. I suppose its been said before ...but we both said it again....It was like suddenly having no breath in your body and yet, oddly, not feeling breathless.Like being hit in the chest and yet feeling no pain. Weird.

And he wasn't Big. Not tall. But a really nice average height like my husband....and at first I suppose that is a surprise because I've only ever seen him either on a small TV screen or on a Huge cinema screen. I've never seen him life size!

And of course it was a bit odd to realize he was a Man. A human being. (Obvious of course when its written down...but I can't explain any better other than it was a shock to find myself confronted with this fact!)
Oh but I wasn't disappointed.
Oh no.
I have asked others what Russell Crowe looks like in-the-flesh and now I know. I don't suppose one truly believes anything unless you've seen it for yourself.

I had often wondered if its just that roles he has played that made him 'seem' attractive...that he may be just a man I wouldn't have really noticed....a good looking guy but not really a stand-out wham kinda attractive.
I was wrong ladies.
I would have noticed this guy in a football crowd, on a rush hour tube train, in a busy street.

What is more, EVERYONE was pulled towards him. He does have that Charisma and indefineable X factor that just makes people not able todrag their eyes away. I took in the rest of the audience and sensed that they were all watching Russell.

He wasn't exactly shy...thats not the word...but understated. Not pushy...not pushing his stardom or acting the Star. He simply didn't have to.All he had to do was step onto the very end of the stage and all eyes scooted over to where he was.

Ah well. I may never get to see Russell again...but at least I saw him in full Movie Giant mode and with megawatt charisma at such an event as this.

Then of course the lights dimmed for the film....a very appreciative audience....I will write my little review and thoughts of the film itself seperately later on.

On the way out of the theatre we literally rubbed shoulders with the celebrities. Greg Rusedski, Sir Steven Redgrave and others ambled by....And I overheard what people had to say...well I suppose I was ear-wigging but I couldn't help it.

I'd been waiting to get out by a group of men...I'd momentarily been seperated from Christine as the jam headed for the exit. It was very interesting hearing Men (in their thirties I guess ...some even older)talk about Russell when they thought no women were privvy to it. They were talking in awed, - really I'd have to say reverential - tones about him. 'God he can act...and do all that stuff too...not many men would have the bottle...blah blah' Yes they'd definitely follow Russell as their Captain...even if they would most likely never admit as much to their wives!

So to sum up.

I no longer worry about what the so-called media think of Russell over here. The people who matter in the industry respect him enormously....both for his talent and also his warmth. Sting's wife said he had this reputation in the media but she had seen that he was a truly Warm person. I forget the exact words but she obviously liked Russell the man so much. That sort of sincere regard can't be faked like that....and I heard it time and again.

Russell is more magnetic in the flesh that I could have ever ever imagined. I had half been 'afraid' that seeing him would reduce him in stature in my eyes...was afraid of a let-down. It was quite the reverse.

This man is a Star. He actually embodies the word. He makes me understand why the word ever came to be used in the context.
Its about energy, burning pulsating potential energy that simply draws the eye and really really DOES shine.
It is, of course a dreadfully overused word today.
But he's the Real Deal. And everyone in that theatre knew it.

At the Royal Première in London

79 ko


At the Royal Première in London

223 ko

Thank you Littleboot for this report. I'd like to add just this;

Russell Crowe was at the same time smaller and bigger than I had imagined.

Smaller in a physical sense, because I was used to seeing him on a big screen. I discovered he is a human being after all ( What do you know?!)) .

Bigger in another sense: he is far more magnetic than on a simple flat movie screen.

And I could not believe my luck when I was sitting beside the aisle and when all the stars were standing there waiting to be introduced on the stage. I could have stretched out my arm and touched Russell Crowe, famous actor ( God and my dignity forbid!!!!). I know I should have looked politely at Peter Weir when he talked about his film, but I have to admit that my dignity did not go that far!


Anyway, it was fun!


Backgrund Information about the
Napoleonic Wars and the Movie
Master and commander 5: huge photos
Cast and Crew The ships of those times
The crew of the Surprise (from the Premiere documents) The Royal Film Premiere
The Ships and Sets (from the Premiere documents) Creating the most realistic sea storm ever filmed (from the Premiere documents)
Historical and Character Research (from the Premiere documents) A dictionary of nautical terms for Landlubbers
The Captain's Log Musical Evenings with the Captain 



And here we are we
Lechatel (Littleboot)

Littleboot aka Lechatel