Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Universal Security and Why I Love Kristen Wiig

Donna at he DM2 premiere yellow carpet, under close scrutiny from security.  
I have worked for Illumination Entertainment from the get-go. When the first Despicable Me had its studio premiere, my wife, Donna, was in the throes of chemotherapy and we couldn't go.  On The Lorax, my Dad was ill and we couldn't go.  But on DM2, we made it.

Donna has heard my stories of Hollywood life, and was keen on experiencing a big time Hollywood movie premiere, walking the red carpet, meeting movie stars and being on the list to an exclusive event.  She was thrilled to get the official invitation in the mail.  

A month before the event, Donna said, "Do you think we'll meet Steve Carell?"

A week before the event, Donna said, "I hope we meet Steve Carell,"

The day before the event, Donna said, "We're going to meet Steve Carell!"

The Big Event took place at the Universal City Walk in Studio City.  Instead of a red carpet, there was a yellow one.  Minion Yellow.  A large crowd had gathered around to see the parade of stars - and the Moore family.  There was Steve Carell!  Posing for the press between two people in minion costumes! The yellow carpet passed right behind him!  But as we traversed the glamorous yellow carpet, we were constantly harangued by security people barking at us. "KEEP MOVING!  KEEP MOVING!! YOU MUST KEEP MOVING!"

I stopped to take a photo of Donna and my kids on the carpet.  "KEEP MOVING!  KEEP MOVING!!"  someone shouted.  Now....I worked on the movie for two years.  We travelled 2800 miles to be there, this is our day.  I'm taking photos.  Thanks for  understanding, and drop dead.  

The screening....awesome.  Huge theater, massive crowd.   Go see the movie.

The after party was huge.  We got something to eat, then wandered around, meeting some of my fellow crew members.  I saw Steve Carell seated at a table with his family.  Donna wanted to go over to him, but I nixed it, thinking it would be rude.  About fifteen minutes later, we saw him standing and meeting with people.  Oh boy!  Let's go!  We made out way over and got within ten feet of the man, when security stepped in.  

"Sorry, we can't let any more see him."  the security guy said.

"Wha???  I worked on the movie."  I pleaded, "I just wanted my wife to meet him."

"I know, I'm sorry."  he said.  "I've gotta be the bad guy, though."  

We turned back and studied the situation.  A steady parade of people was meeting and chatting with Big Steve.  We tried again.  

"No.  No.  Sorry folks.  No."  A different guard said.  "His meal is coming."  

Later we tried yet again.  A half dozen guards rushed to Steve, talking in their sleeves - they really do that.  They ushered him out of the party like a head of state in a protest area.  There would be no Steve Carell photo with Donna and the kids.  
My kids at Steve Carell's table after he left.  This is as close as we got. 
Donna was very disappointed as we walked away.  We had come all that way, got within a few yards of Steve Carell, but were not permitted to meet him.  I felt really bad for Donna, she was so looking forward to it.  Should I have been pushier?  More I Love Lucy about it, crawling under his table?  

Just then I saw Kristen Wiig, the voice of Lucy, walking right toward us with security escort.  She came close enough that I didn't have to raise my voice to say, "Kristen, you were great."  She turned to me.  I shook her hand and said "I'm one of the storyboard artists on the film."  

She got a big, adorable smile on her face and said, "Thank you for making me look so tall and thin!"

"Thank you for sounding so tall and thin."  I said.  "Can I take a picture of you with my wife?"

Her security guy said, "Sorry, no.  No time."

Kristen said, "Sure!"

Donna rushed over beside her with an even bigger, more adorable smile and I took a picture.  Kristen was so gracious, it really made our day.  We thanked her and I said, "We like you much better than Steve Carell."

"Don't say that!"  she gasped. 

So despite the best efforts of Universal security, Donna got to meet a movie star.  And that's why I love Kristen Wiig.
Donna and the Greatest Movie Star EVER!!!

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