The Big Empty - Los Angeles AFI Premiere

Last Update: 16 November 2003
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  Sean is pictured with The Big Empty director Steve Anderson and co star Joey Lauren Adams.  




Report by "Mariel" - 9 November 2003

So I was really good at keeping my expectations low in terms of seeing famous people at the Big Empty premiere...which made it *way* more fantastic when Sean's shaggy blondness actually did turn up!

Cheryl and I were hanging around the red carpet area before the movie (just in case--I had heard some guy say something about John Favreau being there so I thought there might be chance...) and there wasn't anything going on for a long time. Then we saw some flash bulbs so we went over to see if it was an exciting person. If you think Sean Bean is exciting, then I *guess* it was an exciting person. :)

Sean Bean


Sean Bean. Joey Lauren Adams
and Jon Gries

Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams, Andy Spaulding and Jon Gries

Sean Bean and Jon Gries

He was wearing a leather jacket and a white shirt and a huge smile. His hair looks gorgeous, pretty much exactly as it looked in Sharpe. He stood and smiled for lots and lots and lots of press pictures.

There weren't a whole lot of people standing around so Cheryl and I had a pretty good view. I took about 15 pictures but my camera is extra crappy so I don't know if any of them will turn out...







Cheryl discovered that they were planning a Q&A after the movie so I busied myself trying to think of questions. We sat in the second row and the set
of reserved seats were just behind us. Sean came in carrying a box of popcorn and looking impossibly adorable munching it. (There's something just really pretty damn cute about eating popcorn at your own movie).

The film was very good, very funny, really great performances all around. Fans will particularly enjoy the way Sean's character is built up constantly by the other characters long before he actually appears. One scene involves a prostitute giving what I can only assume to be an extremely accurate description of an area of his anatomy that she had become especially familiar with. The term "rocket ship" may have been mentioned.

During the Q&A the questions were mostly for the director, but a few people asked Sean questions, or of all 4 of the actors who were present. So we got to hear him talk :) Here's what I can remember:

Q: Where did the English Cowboy come from?
A: Both the director and Sean basically said that it just fit with the weirdness of the movie. They discussed Sean doing an American accent but they decided his normal speaking voice worked with the inexplicability of the character.







Q: What did Sean think of Baker, the truck-stop town where the film was set.
A: Various quiet ramblings from Sean :) No, seriously, he said it was "interesting" [insert cute little laugh] and that he was glad most of his scenes were at night so it wasnt too hot. Because he was only on the set for a few days he said it was like a dream, that he didn't really remember being there (adding, "I know I *was* there...[cute laugh]").

Q: What was everyone's favorite scene, either to film or to watch?
A: When it was Sean's turn he passed the microphone to John Favreau which prompted a laugh from the audience. Sean gave an apologetic murmur that I couldn't hear because of the laughing but I think he was saying he had to think. When the mic came back to him he was hesitating so John stepped in and shared a funny story about filming with Sean.

Q: What are everyone's upcoming projects?
A: Sean said a few words about Troy, that it was coming out next year, and that he plays "a character called Odysseus."

Sean and the other famous people were standing in the aisle as people were filing out of the theater. Some very composed, intelligent fans came up to Sean and shook his hand and spoke briefly with him. I marveled at them. We followed him out as they made their way to another press picture-taking area. He posed for a few pictures with fans and with the cast for the press and then left.

I'm still in utter disbelief that I actually got to see Sean Bean in person. It was extremely amazing. I've never done anything like that before. How nice of him to premiere his movie ten minutes from my house :)

Thanks Sean.

Steve Anderson, Joey Lauren Adams and Sean Bean


Steve Anderson, Joey Lauren Adams and Sean Bean

Joey Lauren Adams
and Sean Bean

Joey Lauren Adams
and Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Sean Bean, Brian Tyler
and Joey Lauren Adams

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to see larger images)

Sean Bean and
Joey Lauren Adams

Sean Bean and
Joey Lauren Adams

Sean Bean and
Joey Lauren Adams

Sean Bean and Jon Gries

Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams and Jon Gries

Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams and Jon Gries

Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams, Andy Spaulding, Jon Gries and Christian Gaines

Steve Kaplan, Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams and Jon Favreau

Report by Karen - 9 November 2003

11:00 am Sunday morning, 9 Nov

I'm walking around the house in my nightgown lamenting over the fact that I don't have tickets to the movie - as a matter of fact it's now sold out. I decide to call the AFI Fest one more time to see if maybe 2 tickets have become available. No such luck - they are still sold out. I'm just about to say thank you to the man and hang up when he says, "But, we have a waitlist line where you can probably obtain tickets about 15 minutes before the movie". Hmmmm, I
think. Then I say, "This is the premiere isn't it?" He says yes. I then say, "Are the movie stars supposed to be there?" He says, "Oh yes, the actors will be there as it's going to be quite a big event with a red carpet". RED CARPET and WAITLIST tickets, I think to myself. I calmly thank the man and hang up. I run into the kitchen where my husband is watching a football game and tell him, "Dan, get showered and dressed; we leave for Hollywood in 2 hours."




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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My husband says, "Oh, you've got tickets then?" I say, "No, ummmm we're kinda winging it" He rolls his eyes. I quickly say they are having a red carpet and its going to be quite a big deal and Sean will probably be there. He finally agrees to go with me.




All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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We leave the house about 1:30 pm and arrive at Sunset and Vine at 4:30 with thankfully no traffic or rain. As we approach the Arc Light Theater my husband spots clear plastic tents set up. He declares that must be the "red carpet" area. It was supposed to rain this weekend in LA but it was just overcast. We park the car and hurry down to the red carpet. Not much happening - as a matter of
fact they are vacuuming the red carpet. One end of the carpet is set up for arrivals, as they have a lane blocked off on Sunset for the limos. There is also a small press area at this end. At the other end of the carpet and across a walkway into the theater there is a little area set up for fans. There are already
two youngish males there.




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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My husband and I decide to have dinner and just mull about till 6:00 pm. At 6 we decide to split up. Dan would man the waitlist line and I would man the red carpet. (What a husband, huh?) No one arrived at the red carpet till 6:45. I was starting to get a little worried. First to show up were 3 producers of the Big
Empty. Then a few minutes later they announced that Sean Bean was on his way. My heart leapt into my throat. I had decided to stand behind the press area as I had a clear shot of the large white AFI Fest Board they had set up as a backdrop for photos and interviews. Sean arrived and at first all I could see was his head and then finally he moved in front of the board and I could see him
from the waist up. He had long blonde tousled hair, clean shaven, white shirt, and a beautiful brown leather jacket, no tie. He stood there a while for photos and interviews then moved down the carpet for more interviews. He moved out of my sight so I ran out into the imo lane (note, the street) and ran down to the other end of the carpet. I kept running back and forth as sometimes I could see Sean better from the press area and sometimes better from the fan area. The security guards were having a field day with me.

"Ma'am you must get out of the street, Ma'am you must get behind the barriers, Ma'am you're going to get hit by a limo, Ma'am don't make me say this one more time".




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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I didn't care - I was seeing Sean! I'm going to say he was on the red carpet for 10-15 minutes. He seemed to be really enjoying himself, laughing, running his
fingers through his hair, blowing his hair up, tugging at his nose, all his little mannerisms. They finally ushered him into the theater a little after 7 pm.




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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By this time I was breathless, had to go to the bathroom, dying of thirst, and no tickets and it's after 7. I ran back into the theater and my husband is still in the waitlist line however he is first and he's holding one ticket and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts. I say, "They only gave us one ticket?" He says, "Well, it was free and they gave us free peanuts and they're doing a head count and we should get another ticket soon". I think oh great! Then a few minutes later here comes a woman with a fist full of tickets and says, "Ok, where are the Big Empty waitlist people?" I practically grab the tickets out of her hand but I calmly say, "Oh, I still need a ticket". So she hands us another free ticket and
off we run to the bathrooms first then upstairs to the theater. It is now almost 7:15. They held the movie 15 minutes because they told my husband they had trouble getting the stars down the red carpet. Yeah, it was Sean spending 15 minutes on it.




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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I decide to stop at the snack counter and get a Diet Coke and mints before going in. As we go in the theater it is dark and the movie has just started. It is stadium seating and you can see that the upper portion is packed full. There are two rows on the ground floor that look half full. We wait till there is enough light from the screen to hurry to our seats in the second row. Little do I know that Sean is seated in the third row (there is an aisle between us). He is about 10 seats over from us. I didn't know this till the lights came up after the movie and I turned around to look for Sean and there he was right behind me slouched down in his seat looking cute and comfy. Oh, and he has brown baggy slacks




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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The movie was wonderful with some very funny lines. Sean isn't in it till the very end and only for about ten minutes. He wears a black hat, long black duster, big silver belt buckle. He never takes the hat off. He's very good though. I thought his accent sounded American with a hint of British but he said he did it in his normal Yorkshire. So I don't know. I think after ten Macbeths I've gotten so use to his voice.  




 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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Immediately following the movie they had the director/writer and actors come up in the front for a Q&A session. I would say it lasted about 1/2 hour. Anybody could ask a question. Sean had taken off his jacket. After the Q&A session he
walked up the aisle right near us and that's when everyone was just mulling about asking him questions and telling him how much they liked the movie. Then he started to walk out to the lobby.



 All pix by Karen Kline and Mr. Kline.
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I ditched my husband at this point and just followed Sean out into the lobby. One woman asked him if the outfit he wore was heavy. He said it wasn't too bad and that the coat was made of wool. Oh, someone had retrieved his jacket and he put it back on. (So much happened; I'm trying to remember everything.) I'm just inches from Sean and everyone was walking up to him asking him questions and telling him how good the movie was so I decided to also:

Me: "Sean, the movie was wonderful."
Sean : "Oh, did you like it?"
Me: "It was great"
Sean: "Thank you."

Looking so gorgeous in his tousled long blonde hair. We mulled around in the lobby for awhile and some of the fans got autographs and photos. I tried to get another photo with him but he was called over to another one of those AFI Fest white boards to have his picture taken with the cast. This is when I saw three women and asked them if they were fans and Mariel said, "I'm a Buff!" Hi, Mariel. I wish we could have met earlier.

After the lobby, Sean was escorted over to a Bar/Cafe area (it was a private party where you needed a ticket to get in). Sean went in and immediately went outside to the veranda to smoke. You could still see him from a distance and we watched for a little bit then left at 9:20 as we had another 3 hour drive ahead of us.




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More impressions from the Q&A...(by "Anonymous")

There was an audience laugh / teasing in the general direction where the cast was sitting when a character started discussing 'Cowboy's' uh endowments.

Then the credits, then the director, Jon Favreau, Sean Bean, Joey Lauren Adams, and Jon Gries come up front for Q & A. Sean was dressed casually: white shirt, caramel pants, brown shoes. He dodged several questions, allowing the Director to answer for the most part.

Best moments: Vince Vaughn (in the audience) asked if the constant reference to masturbation (for Jon's character) was in the original script or was it something Jon brought to the role. Jon went on this speech about how he got that aspect of his character from living with Vaughn, and that he often found used tissues and magazines stuck together in his (Vince's) appt. The cast cracks up, and someone (I think Sean) said something along the lines of "Don't pick a fight with a man with a microphone."

When asked about their favorite scene to film, Sean once again passed the mike, but Jon, unwilling to let him off the hook, told this story of arriving on location in the desert for the 'UFO-y' scene they were using this giant suspended china light suspended in the sky to light the desert. Sean apparently looked up and (Jon imitates a horrified tone) asked, "That's not the space ship, right?"

The cast then got the giggles, including Mr. Bean and they just could not stop. The Director was still talking but the three of them were slightly behind him and to the side like the naughty kids in the back of the class, turning various shades of red trying to stop laughing. Every time they got close one of them would mutter something and it would continue.

Something I thought was funny was when the Director called everyone up, he thanked them and said he'd have to buy them all drinks for doing this. Sean gave an emphatic nod, said something like "sounds good" or "oh yeah" and got this big goofy looking happy grin.    





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A few more impressions from the AFI Film Festival premiere of The Big Empty by Sheila Murphy-Nelson

Several weeks ago, I realized the premiere of The Big Empty was coming soon to a theater near me. I had a feeling the show might sell out, so I ordered tickets as soon as I thought about it. I wondered if Sean Bean would be able to attend, or even be interested in attending the premiere. An actor who works as much as he does might not have time for the very small, completely accessible AFI Film Festival. Still, the film was one of only ten American entries the festival accepted. That might be an incentive to go.

My husband, a friend of mine and I got to the theater early enough to get seats a row or two behind the reserved, VIP seats. A few minutes before the film started, my friend poked me and asked if the guy in the front row was Sean Bean. The part of his profile I could see looked right, and I was pretty sure it was him. I tried to get a better look without making a complete idiot of myself. Then the lights went out and the movie started.

The Big Empty is one of the quirkiest, funniest, smartest movies I've seen in a long time. Hollywood could take some hints from this one. I love character driven films, and this one is pretty much all character. Sean Bean doesn't show up until nearly the end of the film, but you hear about his character, The Cowboy, right from the beginning of the film. All the characters who talk about him paint him as a psychotic serial killer. Oh yes. And extremely well endowed.

When he turns up in his black leather pants and very well tailored black duster, he doesn't seem crazy at all. Or perhaps I was just distracted by the black leather pants and very well tailored duster. He seems dangerous and intent on what he's doing....whatever that is, but very level headed. The movie leaves you guessing about who he is and whether he's good or evil, even after it ends.

As great as the movie was, I still hadn't forgotten that Sean Bean might be sitting a couple of rows in front of me, and there was going to be a Q&A. That profile really did belong to him, and he walked up to the front of the theater with the writer and three other cast members. He dressed comfortably, if not flatteringly. His hair is back at Sharpe length for an upcoming film, and it looks like the part called for him to have it streaked with a lighter shade of blond.

During the Q&A the writer did most of the talking. Jon Favreau had a lot to say as well. I was a little afraid that Sean wouldn't get a chance to say anything, but he ended up answering a few questions and even found something nice to say about Baker California, home of the world's tallest thermometer.

The film will be in more general distribution soon. It's an independent film, so it might not make it to the big theaters. It might be a little hard to find, but even without any expectation of seeing Sean Bean in person, The Big Empty is well worth finding and seeing.        


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see larger images)




Big Empty report by Joan

So, okay. True story. My friend Sheila and I are big Sean Bean fans. Those of you who now us well knows that we know way too much about that man. So, like, a month ago, we saw an update on Winona's SB site that his new movie, The Big Empty, would have its premiere at the AFI Film fest. It's an Indy festival so all the films are sort of, out there. And honestly, we think nothing of this. Sheila buys tickets online, emails me and we set up the date. I didn't think about it till yesterday. I remembered that we were getting together and seeing a show. And I'm standing in my room, looking at my clothes and thinking 'Hey, I'm just hangin out with W&S and seeing a show' so I wear, and I'm not kidding, green BDU's, my Wo Hop t-shirt, clunky brown shoes and this huge green cotton sweater that I'm pretty sure Gordon gave to Scott like years ago. My hair is raggedy short and very blonde and I think, hey, I look Indy, don't I? Sure.

So. I go to Sheila's yadda yadda. We get in our separate cars to go to the movie because, hey, it's LA and driving one car would be stupid. (not) And hey presto, we both get lost and I arrive first, twenty minutes before the show. The Theater is the ArcLight in Hollywood. It's nice, but not "big time" nice. So I was suprised when the place was surrounded with limos. I'm thinking 'O-kay. I'm just here to see a show. No. Big. Deal.' 

I call W&S on the phone and, funny LA moment, catch sight of them when they get off the elevator but we both kept talking. I laughed.

The theater was filled with lots of women with 2% body fat, guys with too much hair gel and fake lips (men and women) We get our tickets, no big deal. Go in the theater and find amazingly good seats, two rows from the VIP reserved seating and a little to the left. W goes to forage and S and I generally shoot the shit. NO ONE of any importance is there that I can see.

W comes back and people around us, most of whom haven't eaten a decent meal in a decade, slaver over our chicken and pesto hotdogs. Very funny. Pretty soon, it's five after seven, show should have started at seven and I'm starting to get cranky. Hurry up already.

So it's about this time that John Favreau shows up. He mills around, surrounded by "people" and I'm using that term loosely, then finds a seat along with the stepford assistants. And in all the fluster, I look down the line of seats in front and see this blond hair, and honest to god (hand over heart) I think, Nawwww, can't be. Then a hand comes up and I can see, wait for it, his thumb. Now, I have watched Sharpe's Company so many times that I know most of it by heart, and right then my heart goes, thump. I know that thumb. That thumb is the one that pulled back the pin on the Baker rifle. That thumb is the one that brushed gently over Theresa's lips. That is THE thumb. I am NOT, making this up.

I turn to S and say, look over my shoulder, two rows down and look at that blond hair. Who is that? Just then I look back and Boromir's profile comes into view, but I'm pretty much floating down that river in Egypt at this point. Not here. Not at an INDY festival. Surely not. He's like, sooooo, famous.

Cliffhanger. The lights go out, movie starts and I'm thinking, shit, now I have to sit through this whole f**ng film before I get to know who that is. Crap. Luckily for us, the film was great. It was a total Joan film. Offcenter, eliptical, funny and smart. Okay, go see it.

End of credits. Lights go up and I have to PEE. But no way am I leaving my seat, no f**ng way. This other guy gets up, says stuff, yadda yadda, the thing whatever and he says, would the actors like to join me for Q&A? And OH, MY, GOD. It is HIM. And my first thought was 'did you LOOK in the mirror before you left the house? Did your stylist let you go out like that? And where did you get those horrible pants?'.

Well, all that faded, (disappeared actually) when he took the mic to answer questions. He was funny, self effacing and stunning (despite the awful pants) And he was TWENTY feet away. Also, his voice, in person is like honey in sunshine. Golden and raspy and ymmmmmmm.

And I will have you know, I did not turn into a pile of goo. I crossed the rubicon, passed a watershed, came of age. I enjoyed it, listened with pleasure and only drooled a little when we passed him in the hall (ten feet away, hnnnng.)

So we had coffee in the shop. Talked about inconsequential things. Ate creme brulee.

Generally did Hollywood stuff. And now I'm writing you.

Tomorrow I'll wake up and this will all seem like a dream.






(no big versions available)




Report by Moonrose

Sean sat two rows in front of us and just to my right. I didn't actually plan that, as I didn't know where the cast would be sitting, but it was fabulous. He giggled his arse off when the prostitute was talking about his large penis in the movie. :evillaugh :rock




All pix by Moonrose. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pix.

The movie itself was very good, I thought. Sean had the best role ... all leather costume (head to toe), all black, excellent entrance, leather, tough guy, spurs ... leather. Have I mentioned leather? :faint It were lovely, that.




All pix by Moonrose. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pix.

I was not on the red carpet due to a misunderstanding. I thought I was supposed to take group pictures upstairs before they went into the theatre and it turned out that they got there kind of late and by the time they all got down the red carpet there wasn't time. So I basically stood upstairs by myself for about an hour and then decided I wasn't getting a shot anyway (plus I was told they'd gotten plenty of red carpet pics, so no biggie), so I went into the theatre where my roommates had saved me a seat. I hadn't seen Sean up until that point. Right after I got settled he came in and sat down to our right, two rows in front of us. My friends later swore that he and I were up to no good because I looked rumpled and his pants were (in their words) "ill-fitting, and possibly not his own". And he came in right after I did.. *waggles eyebrows*




All pix by Moonrose. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pix.

All I can say is I wish.. rofl!

I thought that he seemed a little uncomfortable standing up and speaking during the Q & A, and he passed the mike down to everyone else when a question was asked of the entire cast (favorite or most hated scene in the movie) ... and then when he was the last one, he sorta didn't say much .. hemmed and hawed a little ... and then Jon Favreau told a funny story about Sean.




All pix by Moonrose. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pix.

There is a scene at the end where Cowboy (Sean) and John (Jon F) are looking up at the sky because Cowboy had shot off this flare gun... so it's a shot of the flare that they are supposed to be reacting to. Of course it's all digital so they are reacting to nothing and Jon said that Sean was looking up at it and going, "Is that the spaceship??"



All pix by Moonrose. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pix.

It was probably more funny when he told the story ... *shrug* :b They were collapsed on one another laughing. I missed that shot because I was laughing, but I got one of Jon with his hand way up in the air (telling the story --".... there was this flare, supposedly...") and Sean standing next to him grinning. I took several good ones.

The after party was short, lol. I went in to take some pictures of the party and I found Sean outside on the balcony with some other cast members and there were lots of pictures being taken. I took the ones I needed for AFI and that was basically it. He left about 15 minutes after I got up there, so I didn't have a chance to chat. He didn't get much of a chance to chat with anyone. :D Busy, busy, busy ...

Vince Vaughn was there at the screening and after party .. he was the one who asked Jon F about all of the masturbation in the movie .. Jon said something to the effect of "I based all my research/characterization on Vince Vaughn." LOL!

I forgot to mention that the director and Sean both mentioned that last night was the first time that Sean had seen the movie. :)       

Also there was a LOT of build up before Sean's character comes on screen ... all of these people are quaking in their boots when he's mentioned, he's a crazy mofo, he has a large schlong, that sort of thing ... so by the time he comes on about 3/4 of the way in, you're thinking who IS this Cowboy? *shrug* He's scary, that's all *I* know.. Well anyway, Sean more than lives up to the build up. If he hadn't it would have been a major let down, because he was so anticipated. He was (s)excellent in that role! I don't know if you know anything about the story, but basically Jon F's character has gone to deliver this blue suitcase to Cowboy and he keeps missing him.   


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