A geek's eye view of The X-Files movie premiere

News 31 Jul 2008 - 23:55
Chris Carter

Nicole rubbed shoulders with Mulder and Scully at the X-Files premiere this week...

The X-Files is my favourite TV show of all time; I watched it religiously back in the day. For me, going to the London premiere is what meeting the Pope must be like to Catholics. Mulder and Scully, in person, on the red carpet, in famous Leicester Square? Yeah, that’s a spiritual experience for me.

But being an everyday, average sort of person, I’ve never been to one of these things, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Elbowing my way through the touristy crowds in the nicest dress I’ve ever owned, I find the gap in the barrier and beginning of the red carpet. Unsurprisingly, it’s guarded by a very large man. He takes a passing glance at my ticket, and nods me in.

So there I’m standing, on the red carpet. It even has an ‘X’ slashing through the middle of it. Cool. And OMG that’s Gillian Anderson. She’s huge. (She’s pregnant.) And she looks like she hasn’t aged. I want to run over and hug her, but figure I’ll get shot so instead I just stand there in awe.

Then I realise I’m standing about three feet from Chris Carter, the man who came up with it all in his head. While that should drive me to back away slowly, I instead take a photo.

A bunch of squealing cuts through the general din and the constant shouts of “Gillian!” and “David!” Oh, look. David Duchovny.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’d still hit that as hard as the missile hit CSM way back when, but he’s aged less successfully than Gillian. Though, he’s still got that lovely sarcastic smile… I take aim with my camera, at which point a large man in a suit yells at me to KEEP MOVING.

So about two minutes after I stepped onto the famous red carpet, I’m scurrying off of it – not easy in heels – to go inside, lest the large man gets shouty again. I get that they can’t have all of us standing around on the rug ruining photographs, but damn – when else am I going to get to do this? It’d be nice if they’d calm down just a bit and let me enjoy myself for a whole three minutes.

Once inside the doors, I’m yelled at to go up the stairs, and then yelled at to get in my theatre. It’s not even 6:30pm. The film starts at 7:15. Yeah, I’m not going in yet.

But there’s not much else to do. So I go to the toilet, and that kills a few minutes. I come back out, and stand around watching the other unfamous people arriving. Some clearly have been through this all before, and showed up in jeans and t-shirts, but others are also clearly in the Nicest Frock They Own.

It’s a massive cinema. I walk in – past ice cream, ooh – and am happy to see my lone seat is pretty good and near the front. While we’re supplied with a free bottle of water and some pre-packaged popcorn – the sweet kind, which is gross – I have to pay £2.10 for a wee little ice cream.

It’s 6:45pm. On the screen is live footage of the same carpet from which they have just booted us. Thanks for letting us see what we’re missing by being keen and coming in early.

A presenter is wandering around asking the famous people questions, but he clearly knows nothing about the show. If you could ask Chris Carter – the creator of the show – anything in the world, it likely wouldn’t be: “The idea for the movie, is it from something real or is it all made up?”

This is dull. Why did I get all pretty – in my best dress, damn it – and all excited to watch a crap entertainment show alone in a cinema? I call one of my friends back in Canada (hi Mel!) who I used to watch the show with. That kills a bit of time.

Eventually, 7:15 rolls around. I crack open my bag of crappy popcorn, just for something to do. The screen-show ends, and the curtains close, and guards show up in the aisles, but it’s a while before anything happens.

The same presenter who was on the carpet appears on the stage in front of us. Chris Carter and writer Frank Spotnitz – who both look quite normal for clearly insane individuals – walk down to the stage. Chris says a few words introducing the film, but doesn’t seem too comfortable speaking in front of hundreds of people. He quickly segues to an introduction of David and Gillian (so hard not to type Mulder and Scully…) calling the pair the “heart of the show.”

They walk in; people cheer, applaud and take lots of flash-assisted photos. I did too; they didn’t work out. But David Duchovny walked down the aisle just ten seats away from me; there were just ten people between us! Okay, I’ll calm down now.

Again, the presenter asks some dumb questions, including one to Gillian about whether or not she enjoyed working with David again. Now, there’s a lot of back history, and rumours they don’t really like each other – despite the on-screan chemistry – but really, how did he expect her to answer? “Oh, yeah, it was horrible. I hate him.” Which is basically what she said, but clearly joking. On the upside, that meant David could do a funny fake-storm-off-stage thing.

But surely anyone with a passing knowledge of the show could have come up with a better question: “Why does Scully still not believe in all this stuff, given she’s seen it all and Mulder is always right? Is it difficult playing a smart woman who’s basically a bit dense?”

After about three minutes of question time, they walked back up the aisles to leave. Some woman shouted: “I love you David!” That got a few laughs. Then some guy with a deep, booming voice shouted: “Me too!” That got a few more laughs, which faded as the lights when down and the first few notes of the theme song float out, and the film finally started…

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Thank you in writing in the meantime

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