Wednesday 11 December, 2013

The Hobbit European Premiere in Berlin


Berlin has gone crazy – THE HOBBIT – The Desolation Of Smaug, European premiere on 9 December 2013.

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The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug
The European premiere of the second part in Berlin

09/12/2013. Berlin has gone crazy due to the premiere of THE HOBBIT – The Desolation of Smaug which was celebrated at the Sony Center. And there couldn’t be more celebrities: above all Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, James Nesbitt (with family, his two daughters are playing their first roles!), Peter Jackson, Ed Sheeran (movie theme song) and almost all of Bilbo’s dwarf companions. What a line-up on the red carpet!

We joined the event as member of the press which allowed us to watch the movie in advance and had the chance to talk to Martin, Richard and Peter.
Here we go!

When we arrived at the Sony Center at 9.30am in the morning it seemed as we reached Middle-earth finally: A lot of fans already camped for hours, some started queuing already on Sunday, to see their stars as close as possible, many of them as elbs and wizards, orcs and dwarves – amazing costumes, designed pretty lovely and beautiful, some done like a one to one copy of the original film costume, in every detail.
In the middle of the Sony Center a huge mountain of gold coins. Inbetween the arising Smaug, with an illuminated eye, spitting smoke at times.
The longest red carpet in Europe with 160m, a huge stage, a gigantic HOBBIT lettering from above – the scenery was breathtaking.
The fans were in anticipation despite the cold and rain, the atmosphere crackled – tense.

welcome premiere2

The Movie
As accredited journalists we could watch the movie in advance in the morning – an opportunity we of course did not miss.
But no spoilers from our side, just a few words: Part 2 of the Hobbit trilogy offers something for every fan: developing friendship and love, humor and nerve-racking suspense, life-or-death struggles, fearsome fantasy creatures, beautiful shots and a terrific technology.
Bilbo’s character develops more and more, he is no longer the Little Hobbit, which we know from the first part.
And Smaug … Benedict has done a great job! The motion capture is incredibly impressive, the voice will give you shivers down the spine, and somehow it reminded us of ….. well, have a look by yourself!
Without spoiling: a wonderful fantasy adventure, fast and beautiful, absolutely worth seeing!

The Premiere
16:45 International press (and there were journalists from all countries present, the premiere was broadcast worldwide) was allowed to enter the press area that was directly opposite the gigantic mountain of Gold up to the cinema’s  entrance.
Under the eye of Smaug then began one of the best premiere with international stars.

smaugs eye
But until we got to see the stars, it took quite a while. To keep us warm, lovely stewardesses and stewards of Air New Zealand handed out hot coffee and hot chocolate, plus there was a small warm snack. We loved the details on their branded coffee mug: “Smauging hot … ” and “Middle-earth is closer than you think” (how awesome is this?).

smauging hot
Furthermore, the nice crew distributed an official autograph card, so fans had the right photo in hand for the Star signatures.

official autograph card

Then finally, the long-awaited Stars! We could follow the arrival of each celebrity on the big screen, because we were placed right at the cinema entrance.

And then it started – within the Press “Print / Radio” area we were trying our best to get as many stars as possible for a statement.

First we had the chance to chat with Richard Armitage, who was visibly excited about the premiere party and especially the thousands of fans. We got to see a non militant, wild dwarf king but a charming modest and accommodating (and very handsome) Richard, who convinces as Thorin in Part 2, and shows first sings of trust. He already won ours with his first smile and his cheerful openness.

As we saw Martin Freeman doing the interview round with the TV channels, we all hoped that he would come over for a short statement.
And in fact – suddenly Martin stood in front of us, with a charming “Hello!” and ready for our mics. He took the time to answer questions, gave interesting and humorous information about what he and Bilbo have in common, what Bilbo would do at the sight of this extraordinary premiere, well , etc.  A relaxed and ravishing Martin, we were particularly excited to meet him.

martin textbild

Then, Benedict was ready to have his photos taken on the big stage, elegant in black velvet jacket and bow tie, and completely different from Smaug, but as always, almost surprised by the cheer of fans he triggered with his arrival. After the photo shoot he slipped quickly into the cinema, then came back  and approached us for giving interviews, but unfortunately was summoned back within the last moment. Starting a second try for a statement, he again was stopped by his agent to sign pictures. So finally he wasn’t available for an interview, but at least welcomed us with a personal “Hello” and waving.
Anyway, for the fans the long waiting did pay out: Benedict signed countless autographs and posed for pictures with fans. He took an exceptionally long time, especially the fans behind the stage, whose view was completely restricted, were rewarded – Benedict walked along the entire length of the barrier to make as many fans as possible happy with an autograph or photo.

ben textbild

Even surprise guest Orlando Bloom, who was not announced in advance, joined the premiere,  first flitting into the cinema while the fans clapped enthusiastically. He hinted to come back and even though it looked as if he would not return anymore, he also came back to sign autographs and take pictures. As Benedict, he also walked along the whole length behind the dragon to meet the cheering fans.

Luke Evans was apparently delighted about his popularity, he gave autographs and took pictures, always with a very nice smile on his lips.

The beautiful Evangeline Lilly – with an elegant up-do and a gorgeous black lace dress enchanted the fans with a particularly charming smile and a stunning eyelashes – gave autographs and fans could also take pictures with the actress.

James Nesbitt joined the event with his family, as mentioned before, his two lovely daughters can be seen in the movie (convincing despite no acting experience!). The likeable Britain welcomed the fans with a particularly hearty laugh and took the time for the enthusiastic crowd .

Finally the entire film companions arrived at the red carpet, signed autographs, gave interviews, and all of them seemed to be very  impressed by the amazing welcome and the large fan base .

The final highlight was meeting Peter Jackson himself – as called by a journalist “The Godfather of Middle-earth”.  He obviously liked to talk to us and needed to be pushed inside the cinema by his agent after a few minutes – if  it would have been up to him we could had probably go on for hours.

Before the premiere screening started for the invited guests and about 70 fans, who were awarded with tickets for the performance, the stars gave a final winking down from the balcony and could enjoy a last view down at thousands of cheering and applauding people. Luke and Benedict enjoyed themselves by taking pics 0f themselves with Luke’s mobile phone.

ben luke fotografing

And a very charming Benedict shared this pretty special moment up on the balcony with somebody on the phone (we heard it was his Dad!): when getting the call, he pointed to the fans and held his phone from the balcony towards them.  The crowd broke out into thrilling cheers  – Benedict enjoyed the moment very much, the person on the other end of the line definitely knows about Benedict’s popularity by now (if it was his Dad, he surely knows already.)  ;)

Luke Evans also filmed the impressing scenery with his phone, the crowd gave him a special applauding and cheering.

luke textbild

With a gold coin from the golden mountain Smaug guarded, numerous photos and great interviews in the bag this awesome night came to end and for us, too.

Find our photo Gallery below, the transcripts of the interviews will be online soonest.
And now – welcome to Middle-earth and join the biggest adventure of the smallest companions.
Have fun!

Our photos from the premiere: The Hobbit in Berlin
The interviews in full can be read here: The Hobbit – DoS Interview Transcription.

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