A few of Hollywood’s biggest stars hustled to the ArcLight on April 24 for the AFI Night at the Movies celebration, where red carpet pandemonium and, as AFI topper Bob Gazzale said, a “firework show of American film” played out.
The grand unspooling gave moviegoers the chance to catch 13 pics — from “In the Heat of the Night” and “Moonstruck” to “Ghost” and “The Usual Suspects” — and at least one star from each.
On hand to present the classics were Harrison Ford, Peter Fonda, Demi Moore, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Bates, Cher, Sally Field, Samuel L. Jackson, Mike Myers, Shirley MacLaine, Kurt Russell and Kevin Spacey. The celebs’ introducers, including critic Leonard Maltin and helmers Patty Jenkins and Ed Zwick, among others, were also in tow.
“I’m like a lot of people who have enough trouble doing one thing for a living, and I despise Kevin for being able to do so many so well — so I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to dish him in front of a lot of his fans,” quipped Zwick before introducing Spacey.
But when it came time for Spacey to defend himself, he had nothing but a wave for most reporters. That’s how several stars handled the situation. Which didn’t stop a few rapid-fire questions from being hurled at them.
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“I’m not moving to London! I’ve lived there before, but I’m not doing it again,” shrieked Cher, about an overseas rumor.
“I dunno,” Russell said with a shrug when asked when he’d last seen “The Thing.” “Probably 20 or 30 years ago.”
A sunglasses-masked Fonda yelled “Snake Plissken” at Russell before running off. Bates wanted to hightail it into the theater, but she hugged a reporter who asked about marriage equality on the way. MacLaine received a strawberry cupcake, in honor of her hairdo, from one journo; it was her 79th birthday. Myers, Moore, Jackson and Field opted for short cuts, and Poitier didn’t walk the carpet at all.
Ford was one of the last to arrive, and said he couldn’t “wrap his head around questions” — especially any related to “Star Wars.” Before the screening of “Blade Runner,” however, the thesp opened up a little.
“‘Blade Runner’ was a remarkable experience: 50 nights on the back lot of Warner Bros. — all in the rain,” he said with disdain. “Everything was real, everything was built — everything was wet.”
Ford recalled a handful of anecdotes and trivia from the 31-year-old flick, including the two-time firing of helmer Ridley Scott and quibbles with the film’s various cuts and narration elements.
“I always took the narration to be an impediment to experiencing the events as they went along, rather than being told about them,” he quipped. “I didn’t think it was especially important — because I never figured out what was going on anyway.”
At evening’s end, despite all the stars, the most press-savvy celeb turned out to be Target’s dog Bullseye. He actually gave a one-on-one interview to Us Weekly.