Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Red Carpet Was White (Photos Added)

The phone in my hotel room rings just as my friend Beverly was trying to adjust my bra strap to keep it hidden under my dress.  Like a bridesmaid assists a bride, my friend of well-over twenty years had spent a little too much time arranging my coif and time got away from us.
Meanwhile, The Actor has instructed his limo driver to swing by the hotel to collect his manager and his mother and the phone call, which we failed to answer in time, was followed by a knock at the door from a bellhop sent to announce “my ride.”

We were finally headed to the much-anticipated premiere of Moneyball.  No one prepared me for what would happen next.  The limo stopped at the designated “star drop-off point,” and a Sony operative opened the back door.  The Actor asked for a minute to put his jacket on, while his manager Margie and I exited the limo on the street side.  There, on the opposite side of the street, was a block-long crowd of fans constrained behind the typical barricades used at premieres.  As soon as The Actor exited the curbside door, a chorus of girlish screams and boisterous cheering erupted from the fans across the street.  The Actor trotted to the other side and signed autographs for ten minutes while I took video of the scene with his Flip camera.

Next came the press gauntlet. The Actor grabs my hand and we walk to the first “station” –a mob of credentialed paparazzi, each in turn yelling “Stephen, look this way. Stephen, over here.”  That’s how this happened:

This is the dress.  Mine is midnight blue.

You can see from the background that this premiere had an authentic ball-field d├ęcor.  The carpet we walked was not red at all, but the color of the baselines surrounding an astro-turf infield.  It was extremely well done.

It took us about an hour to run the gauntlet.  The broadcast media were next to the photogs.  Several of the on-camera reporters turned the microphone on me.  Although I haven’t yet seen it myself, my aforementioned lady-in-waiting Bev tells me I showed up on the San Francisco evening news –  close up, IN HIGH DEF!!!!!  Now I’m not sure I even want to see it.

The rest of the surreal evening unfolded as follows:

- I shook hands on the red carpet with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, the airline pilot who landed that jetliner on the Hudson River. He and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

- One of the young ballplayers who appeared in the film rushed over to tell me that The Actor was a real leader on the set whom he regards as a mentor.

- The great Aaron Sorkin walked up behind Stephen calling his name.  He introduced himself in order to compliment The Actor on his “compelling” performance and to say “ I am a fan.” 

- Philip Seymour Hoffman shook my hand while telling me that my son was the hardest worker on the set of Moneyball and that the hard work showed up on the screen -- big time.  Moneyball Director Bennett Miller, who was standing next to Hoffman, shook his head in agreement and told me what a pleasure it was to work with my boy

- David Justice and Mrs. Justice greeted me with warm hugs.

- The American Legion coach who convinced Steve as a teen that he had the goods, but had to believe in himself was outside the theater entrance waiting to congratulate The Actor.  And he bought a number of the limited $100 tickets that were sold to the general public for this charity benefit.

- Brad Pitt touched me!  For the first time in ages and ages I was giddy in the presence of a celebrity.  As he held court at the lavish after-party for the cast and their friends, he greeted me warmly and said, “Your son has serious skills.”  Guess what?  Brad is right!  I can honestly tell you that this is one handsome man, people.  In person, he is even better looking than he is on screen.  And he is totally unaffected.  He acts like one of the guys – normal, everyday guys.

Oh, and when I emerged from the elevator at the hotel my son was standing in the lobby bar sipping a drink. His eyes lit up and he said “Damn, Mom, you look hot!”  Mission accomplished.

I am not aware of any pictures taken of me with any of these celebrities.  I will be getting additional photos, however, which I will post on my Facebook page as they come in. See newer ones below:
The party's over but we are still beaming

Stephen with Mike Isola, his best friend since 1983


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