Juxtaposition: George Clooney at the BFI premiere of The Ideas of March, Leicester Square, 7:38 p.m., 19 October, 2011, and Danny Boyle shooting Trance, On Location, near our home, SW7, 6:23, 19 October, 2011.
This has been a funny old week.
Not just for me: others have said the same. Everything has either broken, or gone kind of nuts. I even checked to see if Mercury was retrograde (it's not). But for us, this week we've been without, in no particular order: Internet. My laptop (no power). Running water.
Also, my favourite living British director, Danny Boyle, was shooting his latest film, Trance, on location on both sides of our home, and feeding the cast & crew in our garden square. As secretary for said square, there were arrangements to be made. There were cables, and electricity, and stuff, including fake smoke, or fog, and to this day we have no idea if this is connected to everything breaking.
Even so, I got to see two of my greatest grown girl crushes - James McAvoy, and Vincent Cassel - at work, being actors, shooting on the street where we live. And, in an added bit of surrealism, as I shot this On Location shot, I was running to the tube, to catch up with my good friend, a shoe designer who shall remain anonymous as she doesn't have a blog at the GORGEOUS newly re-opened Arts Club, on Dover Street, where she is a member.
We were meeting to go to see George Clooney at the premiere of his new film, The Ides of March. But to add to the Mercury/retrograde theme, said Anonymous Friend had flown to Bologna the previous night, for just one night, for a leather conference. She was at the airport in Italy, about to fly back to London, and was about to hit send, texting me to say 'meet me at the Arts Club at -' when her phone went dead. So she borrowed someone's phone, called her assistant in London - because she no longer had my contact details - and she was desperately trying to email me. But of course, with only a working phone, and no email sent to my phone (because I get too many, because of the blog, so I don't have it set up that way) - said assistant was unable to find me.
But - like in the movies - it all worked out just in the nick of time. We met, ran - literally ran - to Leicester Square, where - OF COURSE - there was construction in the middle of the square. Which meant we had to run - in heels - the long way. Which meant, in the ultimate act of surrealism, we ended up literally running, alone, just the two of us, down the red carpet, to get to the film in time.
Just as we were running, she said 'Isn't that George Clooney?'
Sure enough: he was the only one besides us on the red carpet. He was talking to fans, and - I swear, it's true, it's not a cliche - signing autographs. She ran to the loo, I ran to our seats - third row centre - and next thing I knew, there was George, being George. And introducing Beau Willimon, who wrote the play the film is based on (George also co-wrote the screenplay, along with Grant Heslov), and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Evan Rachel Wood, both of whom, along with Paul Giamatti and Ryan Gosling, were absolutely BRILLIANT.
It is a stunning film.
Because I hate reading reviews before I see a film, I will not tell you anything that will spoil it for you, except go see it. Then, we'll talk.
The rest of our night was pure magic. Shared heavenly Thai dishes at the communal table at BUSABA on Wardour street, then walked through the streets of Soho, remarking on how much we love London, back to the Arts Club, which Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the members, has done up so beautifully (is this the most name dropping post or WHAT?) The club is so exclusive, and filled with such beautiful, stylish people that I wish I could have photographed it, but it's the kind of magical setting that you just sink into, like a warm scented bubble bath, and don't emerge from til it's way past your bedtime.
And while I'm still writing my novel, it was a nice break to not be able to do anything computerised for a while. Weirdly, all this started for me - my MacBook Pro power adapter cord going wonky - right after Steve Jobs died. Yes, all this hoo hah for a bit of wire. But God Bless the 'geniuses' (that's what they're called, I swear) at the Regent Street Apple Store, because they sorted me out. All this time, all the calls and visits and experts, and it took a lovely girl at Apple named Jo Anita to realise it was all because of the lack of a Surge Protector. Three trips to the Apple Store, second Netgear router, God knows how many calls to our IT guys in Devon, not to mention BT, THIRD Power Adaptor, and man oh man have I learned my lesson.
One last thing. The experience of seeing George Clooney in the flesh, I must say, was oddly ordinary. He is charming beyond words. He is everything you'd expect him to be from his films, and from ER. More so. But - maybe it's because he reminds me so much of my dad - or maybe it's because he's just so wonderful - but when you see him in person, it's like, no big deal. Or that's how it felt to me. He just seems like someone I've known all my life.
Which leads me to something I had heard once, a quote from Cary Grant:
"Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant."
I wonder if George feels the same way. And does that guy know how to wear a suit, or what.