Childhood nostalgia and admissions of pyromania abounded at the L.A. preem of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” on March 28.
“This franchise raised me — no offense to my mother,” ribbed thesp D.J. Cotrona, who recalled playing with — and blowing up — the Hasbro action figures as a kid.
The main cast of Par’s tentpole actioner, which features the G.I. Joe team combating a nuclear disaster, walked a snaking black carpet before entering the Chinese. Everybody seemed to be very aware of the classic Hasbro toys — as well as the new action figures.
“I gotta say mine’s the best,” Cotrona added. “What was the action figure you loved? The one with the parachute, right? Well, I got the parachute.”
Pic’s Adrianne Palicki admitted to owning not just hers but everybody else’s as well. For her, it’s kind of a big deal.
“My dream was always to be an action figure,” she said. “Most actors say, ‘Oh, I want an Oscar,’ but I’m like, ‘No, I want an action figure!’ So I don’t know where I go from here, because now I have one.”
Even helmer Jon M. Chu got a special-edition Joe made in his likeness — although he won’t be showing it to anybody anytime soon.
“It was part of my contract when I first came on — no, actually, I heard that they had done one for Stephen Sommers, and I was like if Stephen Sommers got one, then please, please, help a brother out! Of course they made me a ninja,” he said. “It’s weird, I try to hide it. It’s the ugliest G.I. Joe I’ve ever seen.”
Bruce Willis’ action figure was the night’s bone of contention, as some posited it was badass, whereas others noted the distinct cross-eyed look the new General Joe Colton has. Willis, however, avoided the topic and instead took the public opportunity to show off some new facial hair: a light gray beard.
“My wife owes me $200,” Willis bragged. “She said, ‘You’re not gonna do it. You’re not gonna grow that beard out. I dare you.’ So we made a bet. I’m gonna win $200, and now you all have to endure this beard.”
Cotrona overheard and commented, “I actually suggested that. I told him, ‘You know, you went through puberty, you worked hard to get here. Let’s see the man in there.’”
After the preem, guests crossed the boulevard to the Roosevelt for the afterparty.