For those of you who aren't on Twitter, last night I was the luckiest girl in the world - I got to go to the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. And not only that, I went to the after party too. I have been the biggest Harry Potter fan ever since I read the first book about 12 years ago. I've followed the characters through all the books and now through all the movies, and I still can't quite believe it's all over. Although, as Daniel Radcliffe so wisely said at the premiere, the story will live on in every person that has read it.
Okay, enough of the wallowing, on with the show. You are probably wondering how I managed to secure such highly sought after tickets - basically one of my best friends works in the industry, and about two years ago I ask her (well, begged would probably be a more fitting description) to take me if she got tickets to the final ever premiere. And sure enough, she kept her word. We met at 5:30pm in Leicester Square which, despite the fact that there was nothing really going on there, was crammed full of people. Police officers were preventing any more people entering Leicester Square as they were worried about crushing. But the main premiere was in Trafalgar Square, so we made our way (very slowly) down Charing Cross Road to what can only be described as the craziest sight I ever did see. There were thousands of people (reports say as many as 18,000 of them!) just everywhere. It was pandemonium trying to get in, but eventually we made it onto the red carpet. It was totally surreal, I didn't feel like I was actually there. I've walked a fair few red carpets in my time, but this one was HUGE. I looked over to my right and saw Ginny Weasley (I'm going to call everyone by their character names as it's easier for people who don't know all the actors and actresses!) giving an interview looking gorgeous. Also, as an aside, I've never seen so many beautiful ginger-haired people in one place! We continued down the red carpet very slowly. It was the busiest red carpet I've been on, and people were stopping to take photos, something which normally would get you kicked off! Suddenly Zerrin grabbed my arm and whispered "it's him, he's right there" and I just knew who she was talking about! Standing about a metre on our right was Ron Weasley, aka love of my life! Naturally I hyperventilated at this point and had a coughing fit. Then, just a short distance down the red carpet we saw a group of guys signing autographs. Boy band we said, and dismissed them. It wasn't until one of them turned around that I realised it was McFly aka the band I was obsessed with (and still am slightly) as a teen. They were really close behind us as we walked down the red carpet, and I nearly lost it again.
Here we are, before the red carpet..... I wore a black one shoulder dress, with swallow print tights, Underground creepers, and a studded leather jacket. It was supposed to be kind of a rock chick with a hint of sophistication... (haha I love themed outfits!)
After we'd completed the main part of the red carpet (where most of the fans were and all the filming was taking place) we had to head back up towards Leicester Square to where the film was being shown. As proof of what a huge film it is, normally a premiere will show in one cinema, in the main screen, to about 700 people. Harry Potter was shown in every Leicester Square cinema to what I can only estimate was about 4,000 people. Anyway I digress. So the quieter section of the red carpet, from Trafalgar Square to Leicester Square, was decked out like part of the movie set! It was incredible. There was a section that looked like Diagon Alley, with an Ollivanders Wand Shop. And everywhere there were the house flags and emblems.
The next section was all wrought iron gates, covered in posters of the Death Eaters. My only criticism would be that the photos didn't move.....
There were even a small collection of owls with their handlers! This teeny little brown one was my favourite, although there was also a very camera shy white owl that was the spitting image of Hedwig!
Now for the scary part..... there were Death Eaters there! In masks and cloaks, posing for photos with everyone, and generally scaring me. They didn't speak at all, just loomed over you as you stood there. Also, what a job that must have been - to be a Death Eater for an evening! They all did such a great job, and some of the younger kids looked genuinely terrified and several wouldn't even go and pose for a photo with them!
Quick shot of my with one of the enormous signs along the red carpet, clutching my ticket for dear life!
And these were some of the mental fans who had somehow (literally no idea how) gotten behind the barriers along the red carpet and, their view being obscured by the enormous banners covering the metal barriers, were lying on the floor with just their heads and hands visible underneath! They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it made me feel like I was walking past a concentration camp or something! And at every building along the red carpet route the windows were filled with people watching. At one office window the workers had made wizard hats out of paper and were waving excitedly! When I was 16 me and my friend Becca bunked off school for a day to go and see the premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We got to Leicester Square at about 9am, and got wristbands to go in the seated area. There were people at this premiere who had flown from Australia, and camped there since Monday! Oh how times change....
Then it was off to the cinema to watch the film. In all the excitement of the premiere, and walking the red carpet, and what to wear, I'd actually completely forgotten I would be watching the film! We bought popcorn and a huge vat of soda, and browsed the souvenir movie guide we were all given. Before the movie started though we were able to watch the live stream of video from Trafalgar Square, including the final speeches by the main cast. That was one of the highlights for me - I love how much they all enjoyed working on the films, and how obviously close they'd become. It was so nice seeing people acknowledging the fans too. And the film..... I won't ruin it for those of you who want to watch it, but it was amazing. Absolutely incredible. The best one by far in terms of acting, the sets, and the sheer scale of the fight scenes.
Then we boarded private coaches and it was off to Old Billingsgate for the after party. I hardly took any photos there, I was just completely overwhelmed by it all! Sometimes though I worry that by focusing so much on taking photos of things, I don't take time to make actual memories of events. I wanted every detail of that evening to stick in my mind for the rest of my life, and although I'd like to have more photos to look back on and to show others, I know that it's all there in my head. Everything you could possibly want from an after party was right there. The bar was free, and seemingly bottomless. There was champagne everywhere, with waiters topping up your glass at every opportunity. Not being a huge champagne lover (although I will literally drink anything if it's free) I was very happy to find a cocktail bar serving mojitos, plus some passionfruit flavoured beverage (that was incredibly strong!)
note how the only two pictures I took were of the alcohol - I think that goes part of the way to explaining how I ended up rather drunk - I had probably six cocktails in the space of an hour and a bit.... In my mind a free bar is simply a challenge to see how much you can drink before a) you pass out or b) someone kindly asks you to leave.
There was also a hog roast on the terrace, a chocolate fountain (which I sampled, and managed to get all over my dress - note to self, when you have been drinking you turn into a giant toddler), a candyfloss machine (which I, again, had to have and which I, again, got all over myself), a sweet bar (luckily Zerrin reminded me that all the chewy sweets have animal gelatine in, so I contented myself with filling my handbag with chupa chups lollies!), plus waiters and waitresses were wandering serving small appetisers. I didn't eat anything (well except for the chocolate fountain and a mountain of neon blue cnadyfloss) but Zerrin had some asparagus risotto and a tomato, mozzarella, and avocado salad bowl which she said was amazing. Everywhere you looked there were celebs. We spotted someone Zerrin knew, and went over to say hello, before realising he was talking to Sam from Glee. In the toilets we bumped into Nymphadora Tonks, whose band also played at the party. She sings, plays accordion, and is generally a total babe. Whilst we were standing upstairs I noticed Alan Rickman himself was standing behind us. We spied Dougie from McFly drinking at the bar on his own, poor lad. Although I wanted to go and ask for autographs and take photos of everyone, I think part of the reason why there was such a good atmosphere was because people weren't pestering the stars. So I resisted, and played it cool. Or as cool as you can play it when you are clutching a mojito, covered in chocolate, wearing ripped tights (stupid sheer tights ripped in the toilets), and staring around you in what must have been a look of frantic excitement.
It was one of the best nights of my life, it's an experience I will never ever forget, and I feel so lucky to have had. Z-lady, you made one of my dreams literally come true. You are the best friend, and I love you to pieces. xoxo