The Avengers Screening and Press Junket

April 11th  and 12th were quite eventful as I was invited to attend the screening and press junket for The Avengers which will be coming out May 4, 2012.    A star studded red carpet was lined up in front of Grauman’s Chinese as I walked to the premier of the long awaited “The Avengers” film.  Waiting in line, I was excited to have got a glimpse of Mark Ruffalo looking very dapper in his tuxedo.  Just as I was about to turn the corner to walk to the theater, I spotted Robert Downey Jr. who was pulling up in Tony Stark’s prototype Acura NSX. This was a very hot little car that made for a dramatic entrance for Robert Downey Jr.  

As I entered the theater I was provided a pair of “Hulk” 3D glasses.  Many of the other guests had “Iron Man” and “Captain America” glasses.  As I waited for the movie to start, a long time movie reviewer who was sitting next me mentioned that you should always wait until the end credits have stopped rolling.  Many surprises may pop-up at the end credits, especially with those movies made by Marvel.  Which in this case, was the middle of the movie’s credits and not the end.  Regardless, waiting in you seat to watch the credits can turn out to be rewarding.  You may find a little teaser to get you revved up for the next movie.

 After watching the movie, I was excited to get to see all these actors in person at the Press Junket which happened the next day.  

 I arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and after I valet parked my car, I headed up to the Hospitality Suite to check in.  Complimentary beverages were served and a cool looking Avengers bracelet was being raffled away as I filled out a form about thoughts on the film.  I was then told I needed to go down to the ballroom where lunch was being served.  I decided to try the lemon chicken sandwiches and a side salad out of the many options that were available.  I also had to try the red velvet cupcakes and fruit tart.

After my delicious lunch, I found my seat and eagerly awaited the cast of The Avengers.  The cast included;

  •       Robert Downey Jr (“Tony Stark” / “Iron Man”)
  • ·         Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”)
  • ·         Chris Evans (“Steve Rogers” / “Captain America”)
  • ·         Mark Ruffalo (“Bruce Banner” / “The Hulk”)
  • ·         Jeremy Renner (“Clint Barton” / “Hawkeye”)
  • ·         Tom Hiddleston (“Loki”)
  • ·         Cobie Smulders (“S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill”)
  • ·         Clark Gregg (“S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil 
  •             Joss Whedon (Director) 

Here were some of my favorite moments from the Press Junket:

Q : To Chris (Evans), in your Details magazine interview, you joked that Captain America had to take the stairs when all the rest of them were fighting…

CE : Yeah, it’s so– I give all these– I’m like, you know, if Hulk, you do this impossible thing. Thor, you bottleneck a
portal. And Iron Man, fly over here. And I’ll take the stairs. [LAUGHS] You know.

Q : For Mr. Feige – How long actually have you been trying to make an Avengers film? And what sorts of things did you have to do in the build-up with the others movies to make sure that it all dovetailed into this?
KF : Well, one answer is my whole life just ’cause I’ve been a nerd my whole life and wanted to see this movie made for my whole life. The real answer though is– is sort of towards the end of production of– of Iron Man One when Sam was gracious enough to spend three hours on a Saturday to come and break into Tony Stark’s house wearing an eye patch and tell him and the world that, uh, you’re part of bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet. And when that movie succeeded is when we realized, wait a minute, we actually have the opportunity to do it. And the only challenge was to try to make all the movies live on their own, even if we weren’t leading towards an Avengers movie ’cause that– that– if they’re all just interconnected puzzle pieces, that’s not as fun. They need to be movies beginning to end. So, I would say that was the biggest challenge.

Q : My question is for Mark – You are the first one at the table to be here for the first time; everybody else has suited up before. Can you talk about the challenges of integrating into this world – coming into it fresh…

MR : Um, it was, uh, terrifying, and I, uh, I knew what my responsibility was– or I felt it just by making the mistake of going online and reading some of the fan boy responses to the announcement that I was playing the next version of Bruce Banner. That was a mistake. I will never do that again. Um, but I’ve never had a role be more scrutinized and criticized even before I shot a single frame.

And, uh, but, uh, you know, coming onto the set with all of these guys was– was pretty daunting. Um, many of my heroes, uh, in life are– are in this cast. And, um, and so, uh, I knew that I had– had, uh, big shoes to fill, so to speak. And, um, I– this is becoming a long run-on sentence.

RDJ : [CELL PHONE IN AUDIENCE RING] Take it. It could be work.

MR : Yeah, it was tough, and I wish that I had a cool

SLJ: But, um, we were in that moment where– we all know each other. And we– we all laughed together. And, once we saw each other in that particular setting it was like, okay, we’re actually gonna do this. This is gonna be a lot of fun. And it’s almost like an “our gang” movie.

You know, hey, I’ve got some costumes. I’ve got some film. My dad’s got a studio. Let’s get together. And we just decided, you know, it was like we’re gonna have fun. 

Q : Joss, what was the biggest challenge for you personally to wrap your head around? You were gonna be the guy who finally did the Avengers film and bring all these people from the other films together.

[00:00:47] JW : Um, I think the exciting thing kind of speaks for itself. Ah, that bunch of characters, that bunch of actors playing them, um, that much money. It was kind of a no brainer. Um, the, and the hardest part is–is and always will be structure. Um, how do you put that together? How do you make everybody shine? How do you let the audience’s identification drift from person to person without making them feel like they’re not involved. It’s a very complex structure. It’s not necessarily particularly ornate or original, but, um, but it had to be right, it had to be earned from moment-to-moment, and
that’s exhausting. That was still going on in the editing room after we’d shot.

Q : What was your most memorable moment making Marvel’s The Avengers?

[00:03:42] CG : Oh, okay, okay. Um, okay, not just because Joss is here, and not just because I want to be impressive for the purveyor of Hollywood Hot Moms website over there. Um, I’m gonna say it was the, the day I got the script, just because I felt
like this was not an achievable task as someone who, who writes sometimes and, and loves movies and watches a lot of them. I just didn’t think it was really feasible to have this many characters and have them all get to kind of move forward and to have the story of them kind of coming together really work. [00:04:15] Um, and if it did work with that many amazing superheroes and movie stars, I felt it unlikely that Agent Coulson would do anything but bring some super coffee to somebody. Um, so when I, when I read it and kind of saw that it was my fan boy wet dream of an Avengers script and that Coulson was a big part of it, that was, that was the great day for me. I just kind of drove around the streets with the script in the other seat, just kind of giggling.

TH : I, um, for me, I, ah, there are so many things that are memorable about it because it was such a long, um, shoot, it was the whole summer for all of us and, and we had so many different experiences together and it was an amazing time for me, ah, to work with all of these, you know, some of the greatest actors in the world, sitting at this table, um, and, ah, Clark, um, but I
think probably the thing, if you said how was the Avengers shoot?
[00:05:13] There’s an image in my mind, um, which was the first day on set that everybody was there together, um, and it was sort of, it was insane. The picture of everybody in costume, of all of these actors and all of these characters in their chain mail and their capes and their armor and, except for Mark Ruffalo in his, um, grey and white pajamas in the back. Um, but to see everybody finally assembled, it was an extraordinary moment, um, just the picture of, of the Avengers. It was amazing. [00:05:51] 

JW : I don’t remember any of it. [LAUGHTER] Um, I, you know, mine is super boring, but, um, people kept asking me are you excited that you’re directing this movie? And I kept saying, I will be. You know, I, I, just, I don’t, I don’t, eh, I don’t feel things necessarily in the moment. It’ll happen. And, um, we were in the lab where, ah, all of the Avengers, ah, almost all of the Avengers get together for the first time and, and, ah, I was giving ah, Chris Evans a piece of direction and, ah, I walked into the hall and I stopped and I just said to, um, the
producers, it happened. I’ll tell you later.
[00:06:33] And that was the moment, just, you know, it just sort of flooded over me and I was like oh, that’s nice – excitement.[LAUGHTER] That was it. I told you it was dull.

I received this fun swag bag at the end of the Press Junket. It was filled with all kinds of Avengers memorabilia.

Marvel’s Avengers will be released to the public May 4th 2012.  I can’t wait to see this movie again!

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