Last night I introduced "How To Be" at the New Orleans Film Festival. It is an odd little British comedy about a young British man who is, as I like to put it, an incredibly awkward loser. But he's played by Robert Pattinson, who will soon be playing the young vampire heartthrob in the film version of "Twilight," based on Stephanie Meyer's trilogy. He also appeared in the last couple of Harry Potters.
I arrived at the theater 45 minutes early and the teenage girls were already in line. Some had driven from Orlando; others from Oklahoma. Following the film, we were scheduled to be doing a Q and A with Rob, via telephone. In person, another young actor would appear, Mike Pearce. Before the audience was let in, we tested the phone hookup that would allow Rob to hear me speaking into a wireless mic, and allow us to hear him over the speakers of the theater. "How did you end up in this film?" A stand in for Rob offered that he had been out drinking and met a man who said he looked the part. "Do you get all your work while drinking in bars?" I asked. "Yes," the imposter offered.
The screening went well--even the older audience members enjoyed it--and then we went on to the interview session, with Mike and I at the front of the theater answering the first few questions while waiting for Rob to appear on the phone. Poor Mike seems like a nice guy, but he isn't really an actor apparently, and had only appeared in the film as a favor to the director. Eventually "Hello" boomed down from above us, and the girls all swooned, and I was running around the auditorium like a talk show host taking questions that always began with "I'm Tiffany" or some other lengthy introduction. But it was fun. Rob was calling from his car, trapped in traffic on a freeway in Los Angeles. Towards the end he said, "I don't even know where you all are." "New Orleans," I said, and he replied, "New Orleans! Why didn't I go to that one??"
The publicists shot each other a look at the back of the theater.
Afterwords, Mike went out into the lobby for a long autograph session and I went to get a glass of wine.