My affection for the Egyptian Theater runs deep as Lindsay Lohan’s coke spoon, but forgive me if I feel that the old girl waxes a bit threadbare in the presence of such glittery grandness as Anthony Hopkins. Just last Monday, for instance, the Egyptian’s projector exploded or melted or something during the first fifteen minutes of The Life and Times of Yva Las Vegas, which was actually rather awesome, since Yva was in the audience, and she stormed the stage with her guitar ablaze and dazzled us all with an impromptu concert. But still. Perhaps as the venue for the Lifetime Achievement Award thing the SIFFsters threw for Anthony Hopkins last night, The Egyptian should have been carefully reconsidered. Just a thought.
Anyway. Let’s start at the beginning.
When it comes to stalking celebrities professionally, as I have often been rumored to do, (say it to my face and I’ll slap you), I have developed this policy: meet the famous upfront, face-to-face. Always have someone introduce you properly. Whenever appropriate, get shitty drunk with them. Also, never, but never, herd in amongst (ugh) the paparazzi, and don’t ever bring a camera, never ask for an autograph or picture, and, good lord, avoid “interviewing” at all costs. Nothing sucks ass like interviewing the famous. Nothing. It’s completely degrading. Any fucking schmuck can dress up like a desperate hairdresser in a tragic suit and square-toed Aldo's, paste an insipid smile on, and beg celebrities to answer the same old stupid questions that they’ve been asked a zillion times before by insipid assholes in square-toed Aldo's. The celebrity, of course, (baring some notable exceptions), will answer as patiently as possible while secretly yearning to rip your head off, shit down your neck, and get back to groupie sex and their billion dollar prescription habits. Perish. The fucking. Thought.
Also, careful anonymity cannot be overrated. Through simple lurking and spying, I have personally allegedly witnessed huge stars pick loose women up off the street for sex, and seen a budding big-budget starlet snort coke in the men’s room of a certain Pine St. bar. Roseanne once spit her gum at me (I still have it), and I once also supposedly witnessed a very famous director snag an entire cadre of nubile boyflesh from a hotel lounge, scamper them off to his suite for, you guessed it, an entire night of nubile boysexing. But I don’t want to say too much about that here. You understand.
It’s also possibly worth noting that unless you are a well-practiced and consummate sort of eavesdropper (as am I) that it might be impossible for you to avoid detection. In this case, your stalking might be best served from the safe embrace of a large crowd. When it comes to spying, I have ears like an obsessive bat, the focus of ten Zen monks, and the strange ability to witness a person’s every move, even if I seem to be looking exactly the opposite direction, and have nails in my eyes. It's almost supernatural.
But the fans! The tittering crowd of fans! Those quixotic souls who care enough to emerge blinking from their holes to haunt such strange events as last night’s award ceremony, just to get a glimpse of their icon….that’s where the real fun is. The real meat. I love lurking all stealthy and anonymous amongst the fans, seeing how they react and overreact---and I adore eavesdropping on what they say. That’s my favorite sport. That’s where I decided to be last night when old Tony Hopkins made the grand entrance for his SIFF awards event---in the herd of fans. There was a fairly reasonable mob hovering outside the theater to watch Sir Anthony red-carpet his way inside, eager for a glimpse of the biggest star SIFF has snagged since Jeff Goldblum back in 2000-whatever, so I tucked my press pass into my jacket and joined them. Many people clutched Hopkins-related memorabilia and Sharpies in the hopes of an autograph. One extremely freaky dude wore a homemade Hannibal Lecter mask, but I'd rather not dwell on it.
When Anthony finally arrived, he was already somehow mobbed by a mobile cache of admirers, and when he came into sight, an over-excited woman in her fifties began screaming, “I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!” like a thirteen-year-old girl in the presence of Justin Timberlake’s underwear. Many of the autograph seekers held their various objects out with, “Sir Hopkins, please! Sir Hopkins, please!” Sir Hopkins only favored one hopeful with an autograph, then posed briefly with his wife for pictures, before scampering off into the theater.
Once the star was safely inside, the young guy whose poster of some sort Anthony signed held it triumphantly over his head and trumpeted, “EBAY!” Everyone laughed. Then an older woman remarked to no one in particular, “He looks just like my father!” and was answered, “He looks like everyone’s father.” Everyone laughed again. Then the dust settled, the buzz died down, and the entire crowd scattered, smiling, a little happier, and little star struck. Inside, Sir Anthony was given a big chunk of one-eyed glass and copious ass kissing. He was very, very grateful, and that was that.
(Thanks to Jose Trujillo/The PI, for the pic, which is from Tuesday's screening of Hopkin's film "Slipstream", and not from the event described above. To which I did not bring a camera. Because I never carry a camera. As I explained earlier. Word.)