"Snow White and the Huntsman" opens June 1. What follows is an account of my travels to the U.K. to catch up with the cast — Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and more — in the English countryside and at the movie's world premiere in Leicester Square in London.
Thursday, May 10 It's late and I'm tired. But that's a good thing because the goal is to sleep for a decent portion of the redeye from New York City to London. That said, I'm not great at falling asleep on planes. I tend to overcompensate by loading up with every magazine known to man and paperbacks I'll never read. Tonight I've got some soft-core porn in my carry-on in the form of "50 Shades of Grey." I swear it's for a good cause (an upcoming bit we're working on), but it doesn't make me feel any less embarrassed.
Friday, May 11 I'm in Sussex and if you pointed a gun to my head asking me where that appears on a map, I'd be a goner. High on the list of enviable things about my job are trips like this. But I'm excellent at squandering culturally edifying opportunities. So yes, I'm kinda sorta only casually noticing the random sheep and gorgeous greenery that lines the English countryside today. Also, remember the sleep-on-the-plane strategy? That didn't work out. Three-hour afternoon naps are cool, right?
Saturday, May 12 It's the big day. A gaggle of industry colleagues and I journey to Arundel Castle near where the studio folks have decided to set up shop for the interviews. It's a gorgeous day and the cast couldn't be cooler. Everyone remarks that Kristen is in great form today, and having interviewed her frequently in the past, I agree. Maybe it's the movie (she's deservedly proud of it), maybe it's maturity or her mood. Whatever the reason, she's easy to laugh and kick back during our time together. And yes, "50 Shades of Grey" came up. In fact Kristen mentioned how creeped out she is by seeing people reading it on planes.
... I choose not to mention my choice of reading material on the flight over.
The rest of the interviews are truly fun. I learn a couple hours after chatting with Chris Hemsworth that he'd become a dad just the day before. Charlize takes a break from her interviews to watch nearby goats frolicking. Or was it something dirtier? Not sure. Later that day, the journalists grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant. We spot a peacock, Kristen herself ... and maybe even a high-profile friend of hers. But that would be gossiping.
Sunday, May 13 It's another travel day as I head back to London for the big world premiere on Monday night (May 14). As a born and bred New Yorker, London is familiar to me in all its hustle and bustle and, unfortunately, its maddening traffic. But at least there's time to wander about a bit. No complaints.
Monday, May 14 Leicester Square ain't what it used to be: Universal has transformed it into a pretty awesome forest straight out of the film. But the real attention-grabber is probably Charlize's barely-there dress. I'm a journalist. It is my duty to look closely at these things. As for Snow herself, Kristen is all smiles in a beautiful dress. And yes, sneakers, of course, though she insisted it was only because of her recent "Breaking Dawn" re-shoots injury.
Meanwhile, just as the red carpet is wrapping, I discover a new man-crush in Ray Winstone (one of the dwarves in the film) — all swagger and style and yeah, he's smoking (OK, that part's not to be admired) but. ... Back in my hotel room now and it's all over but the late-night room service. Tomorrow I fly home. And this time by the way, I'm packing "50 Shades of Grey" deep in the luggage.