Sunday, January 14, 2018

Timothée Chalamet at Los Angeles Film Critics' Association Gala

LAFCA Best Actor Timothée & Best Director Luca Guadagnino
Just ten days after my Palm Springs Film Festival gala red carpet fan interaction quickie with Call Me By Your Name actor, Timothée Chalamet, I finally got his autograph and a selfie with him as he was attending the LAFCA gala to receive his Best Actor award at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. I have been aware of this event for over a month since this prestigious critic's group announced their winners in early December. But only until this past Thursday did I get the epiphany to just go to the hotel and see if I could capture his red carpet moment. After all, LAFCA awarded CMBYN with Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Director (tied with Del Toro), so this was a big CMBYN event. I prepared myself to leave empty handed or not being able to see anything, but the Type A planner than I am, I arrived at the hotel around 11:30 am to scope it out and see if I could gather some information about the event that will be held at the hotel.

The hotel kiosk directory had the day's schedule listed and it showed that the LAFCA event was going to start at 6pm with cocktails and the gala at 7pm. Perfect! This gave me more than enough time to do some shopping at Century City Westfield mall, catch the 12:30 pm showing of The Post at AMC (which was brilliant by the way), and eat lunch before heading back to the hotel around 4pm. As I arrived back at the hotel, the red carpet was just being set up, so I enjoyed free hotel wi-fi and sat in the cozy lounge area of this fancy hotel for the next two hours.

At this time, I was starting to feel positive about having a good view of the red carpet. I just sat in the lobby using the wi-fi and reading my current issue of Variety. There were no other obvious fans around, just the people setting up the event. However, as time got closer to the start of the cocktail time, the first red carpet arrivals arrived promptly. The first was Michael Stuhlbarg, and then I noticed producer Peter Spears. Shortly afterwards, I saw director Luca Guadagnino. They all spent a good amount of time on the red carpet talking to the press. I noticed the fan crowd was starting to swell a bit, but it was mostly hotel guests being looky loos and curious about what was going on. Michael went into the hotel lobby pretty quickly after he finished speaking with the press, but Luca and Peter were on the hunt for Timmy because he wasn't there yet. I over heard them saying, 'Where's Timmy it's getting late?' And so Luca went back to the front of the hotel driveway looking out for Timmy's sedan. Meanwhile, Peter was talking to a PR type person, and I gently tapped him on the arm and excused myself for interrupting, and I just told him how much I enjoyed Call Me By Your Name, and that I've seen it 3 times and that I wanted to wish him good luck with the Oscars. He said, Thank You, with a smile and did a hapchang (Buddhist like standing bow).

Soon after that, I kept my eye on the area that Luca was standing at and suddenly, there was Timothée coming out of a sedan, all full of smiles. Luca gave him a great big hug, and that's when Peter and Michael went over to them so they can take some red carpet photos. But first, the publicist wanted pictures of Timmy by himself, and the photographers went hog wild. He went up the red carpet twice to have the photographers get their pics of him. Then there was the group photos, and then Timmy briefly spoke with each reporter there. As he got closer to where I was standing, there were now at least 20 young girls. I don't know if a fairy just dropped them off, but, there they were, like on cue. Security told me that the guests weren't going to sign autographs, so that bummed me out, so I had to try to get a selfie. I've never taken a selfie with a celebrity and it's not something I want to do again, but it feels like the biggest high five when you get it. Just as the last word came out of Timmy's mouth with the last reporter at the end of the red carpet, me and another girl at the same time asked for a selfie and he said sure. So that's how I got mine. It's not the best quality but Timmy looked fine in my photo. Thankfully, later this evening on Twitter, one of the journalist covering the LAFCA event posted a picture of me and Timmy taking my selfie (see below). Apparently he was that last reporter at the end of the red carpet (@marcmalkin).

Security and the PR people tried to steer Timmy into the hotel, but that's when the cute swarm of tweens came to him asking for pictures. They were very nice kids and Timmy being Timmy was more than happy to take pictures with them. He was recorded giving a shout out to a prolific NY stan dude that was posted on twitter, and he met a couple girls he has seen before. Just as he signed one girl's CMBYN book, I pulled out my Gay Times November 2017 magazine that had that 15 page cover article on the film. I asked Timmy to sign the magazine and he did. That's what I wanted from him. A tangible piece of memorabilia from an actor that I really adore in just these amazingly short 7 weeks. I'm totally going to frame this bad boy!!

I am so happy that I followed through on this crazy spontaneous plan to just drive to the hotel and plot my logistics on how to hang out along the red carpet of this special event to celebrate Timothée Chalamet as the Best Actor of 2017 from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association. This is a tough group of critics and for any actor to be named the best actor by them, truly is the best actor of that year. I am completely satisfied with this experience and I don't need to get another selfie with him or get another autograph. If I'm lucky to be at an event he's at, I'll happily take pictures of him again, but I don't need to wash, rinse, repeat with him. I'm good. I'm so lucky to be living in Los Angeles now, none of this would have happened in Michigan. It's so much fun being able to celebrate a worthy actor's phenomenal success with him and with my readers.

Timmy and half my head taken by @marcmalkin

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Palm Springs Film Festival Gala with Timothée Chalamet

I had the pleasure to attend my second Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival Awards Gala last night, January 2nd. And the primary reason for my attending was to witness Timothée Chalamet receiving his Rising Star - Male award, an honor he definitely deserved due to his critically acclaimed performance in Call Me By Your Name. I have seen Timmy in a few performances in the past, namely in Interstellar, but he was just another cute young actor in supporting roles. However, all that changed on Monday, November 27th, when I attended a special LA Times screening of Call Me By Your Name in Sherman Oaks. CA. I not only had my mind blown by this beautiful film, but there was a Q&A with Luca, Armie, Michael and Timothée. I was so impressed with Timmy that I started to pay close attention to his social media and his established fans on the internet. Needless to say, I've learned a lot about him and the film in a short amount of time. And now just five weeks later, I'm mesmerized by this actor and I'm rooting for him all the way to win the Oscar. And speaking of that, since many of you are just now becoming familiar with my blog, I have been following the Oscars very closely since the early 90s, and this coming awards season, I will be writing specifically covering the Best Actor race. But more on this tenuous situation later.

A few days after my first viewing of CMBYN, I received an email from the PS Film Festival with an update about the honorees for this year's gala. When I saw that Timmy was going to be honored, I bought one of the last remaining tickets to attend. So fast forward to last night, I attended the gala and had a seat at a table near the back, but it was a prime spot in the back because nearly everyone passed by my table to go to the bar or restrooms/lobby. So I saw loads of celebrities and important industry people pass by me. And saw Armie Hammer and his wife Elizabeth pass by a few times. And only during their second trip past me, as Elizabeth was going back to her table, that's when I noticed where she was sitting, just 7 tables away from me. And there was Timothée sitting there, laughing and talking to others at the table. It would have been inappropriate to go to the table to bother him at that time, so I figured once the event ended, I would try to go over and get a picture. But alas, not 10 minutes later, their table got up and left to go to the Parker Hotel after party. But since I knew where he was sitting, I figured I could go there and see if I could take a picture of his name plate. However, as I got there, his table did not have name cards, but I knew the seat he sat at, and he left his program on the floor next to his chair, and the bottom edge of the program is dented a little due to him shifting his chair against the program while it was on the floor. Timmy also left his crystal Buddha that all guests got. So, I nabbed those two things and figured they would make a great giveaway contest gift to a rabid Chalamet Cheerleader. Here is what the program and Buddha figurine look like.

In good condition, Timmy's chair crinkled it.

The page featuring Timothée.

The Swarovski blue Buddha figurine Timmy left behind.

To enter this contest giveaway, respond to this tweet with a number between 1300 to 2000 (hint, it's the table number I sat at) through Sunday, Jan 7th at 9pm EST . It's like a digital raffle, it's the best way to find the winner who gets closest to the table number. The winner will be announced on Monday, Jan 8th. Contest is limited to US shipping address.

Lastly, here is a video of me on the red carpet. You won't see me, but you'll hear me. I hesitated to share this because I sound like an idiot. Everyone is positioning themselves to get Timmy's pic and I'm trying ask one of those ladies to get a picture of me giving Timmy that little bag of candy peaches. Mission accomplished (see first image at top of article).

In closing, keep an eye on this blog as I'll be analyzing the Best Actor Oscar race this season in support of Timothée. He's up against a so-called 'lock' and, it's my belief that although it's a tight race, and a lot of people want to be lazy and give the Oscar to the more seasoned Actor, I think with Timothée's beautiful work, and the great PR he's getting from winning prestigious critics awards, he can turn the long established tide of age discrimination and bias against actors under the age of 30.