Taylor Glenn went to The Martian film premiere. Yeah, you heard.
I recently attended the European premiere of The Martian. My verdict? It’s a visually stunning, visceral and engaging film with the balance of sci-fi spectacle and raw human emotion you’d expect from Ridley Scott, driven by a stellar adapted screenplay by Drew Goddard. I haven’t read the book so… hang on there, I went to the fucking premiere.
I walked the red carpet side by side with the actual gods of the movie. I met Kristen Wiig, stood four feet from Matt Damon and literally ran into Ridley Scott. Screw the movie review.
I have always made a point of playing it cool about celebrity. Back in New York they’d walk among us and I’d show my complete lack of interest by being blatantly rude to Cynthia Nixon when she’d order a coffee near me, or smacking Clive Owen right across the face for no reason when he’d walk past. I hope one day I’ll be granted the same courtesy. Hell, I’ve even got famous distant cousins and I’m so unfazed I won’t even spill who they are (oh my God they are so famous and I wish they were my friends).
“There was security everywhere, ushering the common people along so we wouldn’t linger. But I was on a mission on this bizarre red planet: a Martian fuelled by celebrity fever.”
I always thought that if I attended a proper red-carpet affair I’d spend the week lingering over fashion options, eating rations of sashimi and penning my acceptance speech *cough*. In reality I’d spent it cleaning up my toddler’s vomit and vomiting myself as we swapped autumn viruses. On the day of the premiere I napped, then bought a dress, tights, shoes, and underwear in 45 minutes. I did shower. Briefly.
As I dashed home with my bargain dress, which could fit three Kate Maras inside, I had no expectations. If there’s one thing I know about myself, I have zero balls when it comes to actually playing it cool when it counts. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t feel like a complete tool (and that includes my own birthday parties and wedding).
But a funny thing happened when I hit that red carpet. When I looked around at the cameras and screaming fans lining the walk and caught sight of Jessica Chastain’s stunning red locks, I went into a weird mode. I was suddenly an alien adapting to its environment. There was security everywhere, ushering the common people along so we wouldn’t linger. But I was on a mission on this bizarre red planet: a Martian fuelled by celebrity fever.
I grabbed my phone, threw on my shades, put on a bored face like I was jaded and tired of these events (basically I copied Jeff Daniels), and started snapping covert photos and texting frantic messages to quell my internal state. “ON THE MOTHERFUCKING RED CARPET AND MATT IS NEXT TO ME HOLY FUCK” I’d tap and send, pretending to chew gum and adjusting my Ray-Bans while Chris O’Dowd signed autographs.
Kristen Wiig breezed by and shouted something in her high-pitched voice and my heart soared, for she is my hero. She stood close by me with Chiwetel Ejiofor and I fantasised about approaching them and perfectly pronouncing “Chiwetel Ejiofor”.
Matt Damon kept swooping my way to sign autographs and I pretended to be checking emails as I took creepy close pics of his face and remembered his Good Will Hunting cargo pants. At one point, Alexa Chung walked past and I nodded, recalling that just a week earlier I’d told the hairstylist to “make me look like Alexa Chung HA HA HA.”
I felt both manic and at home. I was wearing a cape coat. I would say it served as an invisibility cloak except it makes me five feet wide and like I’m hiding Ignorance and Want under it, Christmas Carol style.
I began to feel a real need to actually meet Kristen Wiig and tell her what I think about her (my superhero alter ego is The Caped Stalker). She was standing alone with her giant Scottish bodyguard, and I decided illogically that if I slowly reached for her and touched her arm, silently, it would be less creepy. I can’t tell you how long my hand lingered on her Valentino-clad arm but it was way longer than normal.
But then, a moment of magic. We talked. I told her I think she’s amazing and thanked her for being my comedy hero and she was gracious and genuine and charming. I said it was nice to shake her hand even though I never did. Her bodyguard grunted at me but his badass bald head was no match for my Martian needs.
Elated, I wandered uninvited into the press area where the entire cast assembled for final photos. I stared at someone beautiful and tripped sideways, bashing into some guy who turned out to be Ridley Scott. In my nervousness, I nearly whispered “Alien” to him. Not sure if that would have been a reference to his old film, the current one, or myself.
As for the movie, I couldn’t concentrate on the first 10 minutes because I was so exhilarated by my own stargazing. Before I knew it I was home, back to Earth again, hoping that one day I will get to visit that strange planet again.
So. My verdict on The Martian? Best. Film. Ever.2031 Views
Taylor is an American comedian, writer, and former psychotherapist based in London. She has a two-year-old and a dead basil plant.