Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A WDW Adventure - Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman and WDW at the London Apple Store 23 September 2013

My name is WDW and I am a Gyllenhaalic. On Monday evening I had the most fabulous experience of seeing and meeting Jake Gyllenhaal. I thought, though, that I would give you here the full story of what it was like. All of the photos do embiggen when clicked. I took lots more so I'm sure I'll be posting them for years to come!

Over the years, since early 2007, I've been very fortunate to have seen Jake Gyllenhaal, and spoken to him, on quite a few occasions. And some of these occasions have been very starry indeed, taking me across Europe and North America. At other times, they've been on my doorstep. Jake loves London and the UK and so, luckily for me, he's a regular visitor. But I've learned a few things over the years and chief among those lessons is that while seeing Jake in real life is an absolute pleasure, it is rarely easy, often uncertain, regularly unconfirmed, and you need a bucket load of determination and luck. 

This was proved to me yet again, for the umpteenth time, when I heard at quite short notice that Jake and Hugh Jackman were to do a Q&A at the Regent Street Apple Store in London on Monday night. I had no idea they were even expected in the UK. This suggested that there wouldn't be a London premiere of Prisoners but instead fans could get something better. Premieres are difficult beasts. Red carpets are rarely fun places to be - I've caught severe flu, sun stroke and chicken pox on red carpets. I've dislocated a toe, I've had claustrophobic attacks. I've been hit on the head by a pap. I've stood crammed into one spot for 10 hours. I've laughed til I cried. The star doesn't always turn up and if they do they might be rushed straight by you.

I've also experienced the other extreme - the press conference. Populated by press, rather than fans, these are more stately affairs where interest in the event can be overshadowed by interest in the buffet and if you show even a hint of being 'fan-ish' you might get at least one death ray stare from a seasoned broadsheet journalist. Plus stars are not always in a good mood.

On the whole, I much prefer fan events but those where you don't run the risk of being crushed to death or have to shout til you're hoarse to get the attention of someone being steered in the opposite direction by their PR. The Apple event gave me such hope - it promised to be small, even intimate. It would be leisurely. It could be the best adventure yet.

As it happened, the Apple event proved to be all that I hoped and more but, again, so much of it was due to luck and determination. My good friend Ruby and I turned up with hours to spare and had a good spot in a very oddly-shaped, back-to-front queue. The Prisoners event was preceded by another Q&A about handbags and those with reservations for that were ushered in straight away and a few of us Prisoners ticket-holders were squeezed into peripheral seats to make up the numbers. We were assured that the fashion show viewers would leave their seats afterwards and the rest of us could move to better seats and the Prisoners audience would be allowed in. Not surprisingly, the fashion show crowd didn't want to budge, meaning that there were double and more the number of people than there were seats. The store people didn't make anyone leave and so most of the Jake and Hugh fans were left outside the seated area. Ruby and I managed to get front row seats after three people left from that row but this took a lot of persuasion.

The Apple people then told us that we would be able to have photos taken with the stars. This is the one thing I don't have and so, as you can imagine, everyone was excited by this. A few minutes later we were told that there would be no photos. We were then told that everyone would get an autograph and it would be strictly organised so that a row at a time would be led out to get a signature. As it happened barely one row got autographs. So, while this was an amazing event for me, it's all too obvious to me that it could have been completely different and for many people it was a huge disappointment. This is the way of fan events when you are there to see a star you're so keen to see. The rewards are potentially huge but they're not guaranteed. 

Finally, about twenty minutes late, Edith Bowman of Radio 1 appeared on stage, clearly impressed by the size of the crowd. 'Wow' she repeated. We watched the trailer of Prisoners and then Denis Villeneuve, Jake and Hugh walked on to the stage. Sitting on the front row as I was, the view was perfect and I was thrilled to see such a familiar face as Jake's. He looked different with the longer hair and more slender frame but he was so familiar. It was such a pleasure to see Hugh too. There were a lot of his fans in the audience.

Not surprisingly, much of the press conference conversation went by in a bit of a blur. I knew that it would be podcast by Apple and so I didn't have to worry too much about missing what they were saying. I just wanted to enjoy it and take all the photos I wanted. Amazingly for me, no earthquakes! Some topics did stand out - the admiration Hugh and Jake for Denis, not to mention the admiration of Hugh and Denis for Jake. There was plenty of teasing of both Jake and Denis. Jake's name was variously given as Joe and Jack and at one point he said he should be called Jackman Gyllenhaal. Denis' famous role as slavedriver was joked about again - Hugh said he could spend half an hour describing how good Denis is - Jake said he could spend a 'good ten minutes'. Jake also reflected on the success of Prisoners at the US box office last weekend - he was clearly very proud.

Edith wanted fast questions as time was short and she was not amused when the first question was 'Will you marry me, Jake?' Hugh found this hilarious, though. He would act as matchmaker but warned people that Jake isn't single any more (he did ask 'can I say that?' or words to that effect). Jake responded by telling Hugh how daft he looked with the stupid microphone attached to his face. It was very funny. Very funny.

After about 35 minutes, the event was rolled up because Jake and Hugh were to attend the Total Film special screening of Prisoners in the West End. As Ruby and I were sitting in the front row we were lucky enough to be guided out first to the very confined area where Hugh and Jake (no Denis) were standing for autographs. I had the magazine from The Guardian ready. The helpers tried to push me on to see Hugh and go past Jake. I said that I wanted to see both of them but I would see Jake first (I've noticed people argue with you less when you're older...) and before I knew it, there I was thrusting the magazine into Jake's hand while standing barely a foot in front of him.

As I've mentioned, I've been truly fortunate to have said hello to Jake before and shaken his hand. I have several autographs. I treasure them all. But this time it was different. As Jake had left the stage a few moments before he'd looked at Ruby and me and smiled at us. When I was shaking his hand, I said to him probably what I always say to him, that I'd been following his film career for years and that it was so good to see him again. 

This time Jake surprised me. He said 'I know, we've met before!' and then he said he'd seen me in the front row. I said I was still doing the blog and he asked me how it was going and what were we talking about. I said that we were all excited about Prisoners and Enemy and it had been too long. I mentioned that the last time I'd seen him was in Berlin. He was genuinely interested in what we were doing and spent far longer than was necessary making me feel on top of the world.

I asked Jake to sign 'to Kate' if he wouldn't mind (I haven't had a personalised autograph) and he asked if it was Kate with a K (must be used to film actress Cates, I suppose!). And this is what he said:

That meant more to me than if the magazine were made of gold. It might not seem like much but it meant a lot to me. I apologise to Hugh for cutting his much loved autograph out of the photograph... I should say that Hugh was wonderful - tall and handsome and so kind. He flicked through the magazine 'to see what Jake's been up to'.

Laughing and very happy, Ruby and I went to a nearby pub with Conojito Rob for a much deserved wine and gin and tonic before the long trek home. I did, though, remember to take the photo of Jake's footwear that I promised. Looked good to me!

I think if I had to rank events, this would be supreme. I loved Cannes, Toronto, Rome and Berlin and the other London events, but this one felt like the cream on the top. Jake clearly does remember his fans if he's able to meet them more than once and even though it's been two years since I last saw him he most certainly knew me and made me feel so special and for that I will never be able to thank him enough. This is why I'm a Gyllenhaalic.

The Q&A will be podcast and so I'll post a link when it's available. Thanks for listening and for sharing in what is both a very private and a very public joy.


Wet Dark and Wild said...

Hello! Thanks so much for your patience - I'm sorry it took a day to put this up. The event was so amazing that I've actually been a bit subdued and in shock by it all today. It feels like a culmination of events and years etc. I doubt I'll ever forget it. Thanks to Ruby for sharing the experience with me and making it even more perfect.


Anonymous said...

Annie Chawla ‏@AM_Chawla 23 Sep
Just walked into the Apple store, Hugh Jackman & Jake Gyllenhaal are doing are press release! #reasonstoliveinlondon

Julia Crouch ‏@LawsonJuliaa 22h
Met the amazing @realhughjackman and Jake Gyllenhaal tonight at the apple store regent street, cant wait to the podcasts up @itunespodcasts

Leire ‏@LeireZazpe 23h
An evening out with @RealHughJackman and #JakeGyllenhaal (pic taken by my husband) @skintlondon :) pic.twitter.com/AHn0WCzmUP

Moonfoxa ‏@Moonfoxa 2h
Фото: divergentwinchester: Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal at the Apple event for ‘Prisoners’ in Regent... http://tmblr.co/Z0-LHxvv51RV

Saul Tracey ‏@Sauliio 23 Sep
Popped in the Apple store to sort out my phone & bumped into Hugh Hackman & Jake Gyllenhaal :p (@ Apple Store) [pic]: http://4sq.com/16tT5Pk

StarSightings MAX ‏@ssbot 5h
Jake Gyllenhaal Sighting: London, United Kingdom/ London Apple Store http://bit.ly/14DdCEI

Wet Dark and Wild said...

yep, 22:28, they were definitely there.

Karen said...

Wow, sounds amazing Kate. What a lovely message Jake wrote to you, so happy for you x

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thank you, Karen! x

Sasha Hoyt said...

OMG! You were so lucky, Kate. And it's soooo deserved for all the hard work you put into this blog.

I love that he took the time to write a short note with the autograph. What a treasure!

Thanks for sharing this experience with us!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thank you so much, Sasha! The note is such a thrill, really is. I'm so chuffed by it. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I didn't want to rush it out.

Eureka said...

Wonderful account of events Kate. I'm so glad for you and at the same time for us following WDE.
Autograph in The Guardian magazine...ehem... is it the one...? ;o)
Very nice it was dedicated to you.
Great non shakey pics!

Dani said...

Wonderful story, Katie. I was breathless reading the whole thing. Even though this adventure turned out better than you could have ever imagined, just knowing that it can so easily not turn out good is nerve wracking, like for the poor fans that didn't get in despite having a ticket. I am glad the stars were aligned for you to get those front row seats.

All of your pictures are great, including the shoes. I didn't think they looked too bad in person either. And congratulations on Jake remembering you and taking so much time to make your encounter with him so personal. Maybe one day it will happen to me. :)

Carol said...

I'm so happy for you Kate and you so deserve it. I love the message. Jake and Hugh both look very handsome. Do you know when the podcast will be available.

Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us and for your dedication to Jake and us fans over the years.


Susan said...

Wow, Kate, that is the most bodacious fan story ever! I'm so happy it turned out so wonderfully for you - as the others are saying, you certainly deserve it. I will also add my thanks to you for keeping up this lovely and amazing blog that I enjoy on a regular basis. I hope you continue to have wonderful Jake encounters for many years to come.

By the way, I like the shoes. They look comfortable. ;-)

BBMISwear said...

(((KATE))) Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful story!! I am so happy for you and truly feel no one deserved this experience more than YOU! I am so glad everything went so well with getting in, getting good seats, meeting him after the Q&A - priceless! How exciting to get to talk to him and have him remember you and write you a personal note...oh yes, you will cherish this memory forever!!

A big hello to Ruby - I'm so glad you were able to be there with Kate, Ruby...I'm sure that made it all the more special.

Cheers!! P.S. I need to go back and take another look at those pictures as I was too enthralled with the words to take a good look - looking forward to the podcast too - whooowheee!!


Maria said...

What an amazing story! So good that you had a chance to talk to him. Lovely pictures too.

Anonymous said...

Kate - such a wonderful story and it couldn't be more well deserved for your years of dedication to this blog! I've had the pleasure of meeting Jake too last year after the play. What strikes you most besides his ridiculously handsome face and massive blue eyes is how kind and gracious he is. I remember my heart was beating so loud with excitement that I was sure everyone could hear it but jake had this incredible way of making me feel at ease and comfortable. And so engaged. It was an incredible experience, one I hope to have again. Unfortunately I live in dubai so it will have to be a very planned event!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thank you, Eureka! I know, no earthquake this time :)

Hello, Dani! It's such a relief it all worked out... It's so cool knowing you saw Jake - and his shoes - so recently too!

Thanks, carol! I love that message.He usually signs autographs so quickly. He took his time with this one :)

I'm so glad you liked it, Susan! And it's a pleasure, thank you :)

Oh Lisa, thank you! It was amazing. And it was so good to share it with Ruby. We did have a good time. I'll never forget it :-)

Thanks, Maria :)

Thank you, 8:05! I'm so pleased you were able to see Jake in NYC - that must have taken a lot of planning. But he is worth it :) Jake's a very nice chap.

Thanks so much everyone! I hope you're having a good day :)

Anonymous said...

I was also there so it was nice to read about it from another persons view. I was able to get front row seats,which was great as we had waited since half 3. I was also able to get an autograph from Jake which he asked if I would like it to be personalised so he did and added a 'x' to it which made my day.It was amazing to be so close to both Jake and Hugh especially as this was my first time meeting them both!

Ruby said...

Hey Lisa! ;-)

K, I always feel a bit awkward at these things; while you confidently chat to Jake and whoever else is around! :)

Jake was charming and Hugh was a gentleman (but uncomfortably tall to talk to in a confined space!).

My pictures are mostly out of focus, so I'm going to steal yours.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Ruby! You do a great job, C, and it wouldn't have been half as good without you there. I didn't feel confident though :) Hugh was very lovely indeed although talking to him did make my neck ache. Help yourself to the pics, I have lots more. I'll get them all to you x

Sonja said...

Hi Kate,

What a lovely post! Really loved reading it. Glad it all went so well! Lucky you!

Wet Dark and Wild said...

Thank you so much, Sonja! It was such a pleasure to write :)

Sonja said...

I just thought of it, for all we know, Jake might be lurking here - now that you've told him about your blog again! ;-)

Hi Jake! *waves*
:-) :-)

mermon said...

My name is mermon and I am a Gyllenhaalic! (LOL, sounds like we are on a AA meeting)
Your story proofs that it's not very easy to be Jake's fan. May be dangerous sometimes :)And for sure requires often a dedication/sacrifice. And luck for sure.
Thank you so much Kate for sharing with us your exciting story. Good that you had a seat in a first row, so close to Jake! The pictures are pretty. The meeting sounds so funny and nice according to your description, I can't wait to watch it, hopefully. I like bromance between our three guys. Despite a heavy plot of Prisoners their conversations are so entertaining.
Congratulation Kate on such a nice & long chat with Jake and on being recognized by him. You are simply unforgettable! :)
Thanks for the shoes, they look like black & brown on that photograph!

Anonymous said...

Wow :-) LOVE your account, that was an amazing experience n all the more deserved for all the work you do on the site keeping us all up to date :-) an amazing actor n even better to know how generous and lovely he is in person. N to see Hugh Jackman too, another proper gentleman and very down to earth. While I didnt make it to London(boo!) I did get to see an advance screening of Prisoners which almost made up for it! Film was amazing, had high hopes partic with cast involved and was not dissapointed. At one stage half of the cinema gasped!! I know I dont need to say it here but I will anyway..definitely go and see it asap!!
Vanessa (",)

paulh said...

The box office news for "Prisoners" was good. It topped the returns for last weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kate,
Thank you so much for this lovely post. I believe you will never forget this event. So good you had time to talk to Jake and even get the special autograph. Thank you for sharing it all with us.
Have a nice day everyone.

Silver said...

Congratulations Kate you absolutely deserve it after all your committed years. I haven't posted in a while, I was active around the PoP years but still read this wonderful blog all the time.
I was lucky enough to also get a reservation for the Apple event and I hate to sound ungrateful but everything seemed to go wrong for me. We arrived 3 hours early and a member of staff said I didn't need to start queuing yet and made me feel a bit silly for being so early. So I went away for an hour and came back and there was a big queue. So we joined the back. Then because of the fashion talk, we were no where near getting a seat. So we thought we would get a spot standing at the front. However, where we chose, two photographers turned up at the last minute and nearly completely blocked my view. Then the promise of pictures, autographs only got my hopes up. We could not get near when they signed the autographs as they opened the standing section to the public, no chance.
Nevermind, I mean, at least I was in the same room and I could hear the interview. Just a little bit more organisation from the Apple store and it could have been a much better experience for many disgruntled fans. After being lucky enough to see Jake on Graham Norton and have a personalised autograph (won through competition) I'm not going to be greedy. Although I am going to meet him one day, that's my goal. Reading your experience has cheered me up no end.

Keep up the good work Kate!

Tas said...

Wow Kate, what a fantastic adventure.
So richly deserved.


winterbird said...

That was an awesome encounter! So happy for both you and Ruby!

mermon said...

I saw Prisoners last night! And liked it a lot! One of the best Jake's performances and he looks great in it too. Much better live than on the stills. I like his character - Det. David Loki, Jake created him in very likable way. It rains almost constantly, but it was not depressing, not for me. Many close-ups, intriguing plot, time went so fast despite the slow pacing, which I liked.
All the actors played very well. It was not that heavy as I expected. I recommend it to everybody!
I was lucky to discover 1 week earlier prepremiere, an official one is October 4th.

Thordottir said...

Bravo Kate

mermon said...

Total Lifetime Grosses of Prisoners - Domestic + Foreign = Worldwide:$45,254,000, with budget - $46 million - it's not bad at all after 10 days of release.

Wet Dark and Wild said...

So good to see you, Winterbird, TD, Tas and Silver! Great to know such good, old friends are still out there - thank you!

The box office is great news, Mermon!