On Thursday I went to see the press screening of the upcoming CITY OF EMBER film at the Fox headquarters. I thought it was a really fun movie and one many of you will likely enjoy. Definitely family friendly - with appeal for both adults and kids.
The premise is great - especially for post-apocalyptic fans like myself. The world is dying. A group of men have built a single city underground, a sort of Noah's Ark for the human race. The citizens of Ember will live for 200 years underground and then emerge to the surface once again, once it's again habitable. Unfortunately, over the years, the instructions for surfacing have been lost. Now the City of Ember is dying - the generators which provide life are failing, and the corrupt government is covering it all up. It's now up to two determine children to save the day.
The set is practically a character in and of itself - really elaborate and totally steampunk. All the technology is based on mechnical things like wheels and gears. There's even a brief scene with goggles - which, of course, are a steampunk mainstay.
On Friday I headed to the Waldorf Astoria to attend the press junket of City of Ember and interview its stars. First up, Tim Robbins and Saoirse Ronan. Tim Robbins has been a hero of mine for quite some time. Ever since I saw him in Robert Altman's "The Player", I think. I also admire him and wife Susan Sarandon's convictions and outspokeness about issues they care about. Saoirse Ronan is only fourteen, but has already been nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Atonement. The two of them were a fun interview - joking back and forth and teasing one another. Tim has a great voice in real life. And he's looking really good, too! His sister called just before they started rolling and he had to pause to answer his phone. Stars' siblings - they're just like us!
I asked him about the parallels between the film - where politicians are ignoring the crash and burn of their city - to our real life situation in America. You'll have to wait until my segment airs on Better TV to see his answer.
Next up, Bill Murray, who plays the mayor of Ember. I had no idea what to expect with him - some people had warned he might be a jerk. But that couldn't be further from the truth! He was charasmatic and funny and attentive and really engaging. I told him how Liz and I had gone to the New York Bar in Tokyo where Lost in Translation was filmed. He asked if we stayed up all night and I told him we couldn't because the trains stop running and we'd have gotten stuck. He said he loved Tokyo. He also said he liked my sweater! :) I know, I know, it's the little things.
And of course I had to ask him - even as they were cutting me off and telling me the next journalist was waiting - about Ghostbusters 3! But again, you'll have to wait for my report to hear his answer! :)
All in all, an incredible day of interviewing legends I've loved most of my life. It was truly awesome to meet them and know that they not only live up to their reputations, but are also just cool, normal everyday people.