Tuesday’s world preem of “Valkyrie” in Gotham wasn’t director Bryan Singer‘s most nerve-wracking chance to gauge reactions to the Tom Cruise topliner.
No, that would have been a few weeks ago in Henderson, Nev., during final test screenings. “It was just Tom and I in a stairwell, sneaking into the theater with our hoods up,” Singer recalled.
Star and director ditched the cloak-and-dagger approach for the official unveiling at the Rose Theater. The preem blended popcorn elements befitting a wide-release Cruise pic with the tonier, quasi-museum feel of the venue, which is Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home turf.
The anxiety-ridden question “What did you think?” passed many lips, including those of MGM’s chairperson of the worldwide motion picture group Mary Parent, who saluted the pic’s combo of “a big story in terms of themes but an intense and personal experience.”
Bill Nighy, part of the film’s ensemble, along with Terence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Wilkinson, relished the WWII suspenser after f/x-driven tentpoles like “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“I was just glad to play a normal man instead of a squid,” he said.
— Dade Hayes