With a cast of men, women and children as filled to the brim as “Men, Women & Children’s,” there was no shortage of star presence at the Tuesday premiere of Jason Reitman’s new flick, hosted at the Director’s Guild of America.
“You have kids who are new at this, big time movie stars and journeyman idiots like myself,” joked J.K. Simmons. “You have the whole gambit of kinds of people to work with, and Reitman gets the best out of everybody.”
“It sounded like we were at a Beatles concert,” she said. “I was giving an interview just now and I heard the same sound again. I turned around and it was actually a fire truck.”
On the other hand, Elgort felt like the more low-key feel night was his fault. “There are like no fans here, I don’t know why. Where are they?” asked Elgort. “I feel like I didn’t do a good enough job by Tweeting about it being here or Instagramming about it. I should have said where it was and we’d have plenty of screaming fans.”
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The carpet’s attendees wholly agreed with Elgort’s claim that social media is a powerful tool nowadays. Many could relate to their respective characters in the film through their own experience, though to a lesser extent.
Some have been trying to tone down their Internet use, which in Katherine Hughes’ case, meant giving her friend her phone for the evening. “I made a rule for myself a week ago, I said I’m only going to go on Instagram twice a day. It lasted two days. I’m trying to get back on it because Instagram is my guilty pleasure, it’s not good.”
Elena Kampouris, who plays the best friend of Hughes in the film, said that although she always tries to think before she posts to the web, she has her own guilty pleasures to deal with.
“Stay away from YouTube,” Kampouris warned. “I end up getting addicted and just watching a few thousand videos of dogs and cute puppies. But I never stay away, I’m still there for hours watching videos.”
Among the guests who tread more cautiously online are Kaitlyn Dever and author of the film’s source material Chad Kultgen. “I use my Twitter and Instagram only to post pictures of the squirrel that lives outside my living room window,” said Kultgen. “It’ll freak you out, I’m going to guarantee that.”
Dever has stayed away from Facebook recently, choosing to use more current services for her social media needs. “I felt like after Twitter came out, after Vine came out, after Instagram came out, it was all too much. I was like, ‘Woah, too many things.’ A lot of my friends still use Facebook, it’s not like it’s going out. I just felt like there were too many things to check.”
Jennifer Garner, who plays Dever’s overprotective mother in film, presented one key piece of advice to personalities like herself: “The one thing I know for sure, don’t read about yourself.”
Elgort fundamentally disagreed. “I think of it quite logically, and a lot of people say, ‘Don’t Google yourself, you’ll read something bad.’ But I’m aware that I will read something bad if I Google myself. Sometimes you want to read what people write about you, obviously.”
Everyone in attendance had wise words to share about their personal use of the Internet, or lack thereof, but it was Dennis Haysbert, who plays an anonymous Internet lover in the film, who summarized it most effectively.
“Stay away from the things that are way too provocative,” Haysbert said. “Well, no, you’re going to look at provocative things. But as far as your connection to it and how you use it and how you put yourself in it, you just got to be careful.”
The reception was held in the lobby of the Director’s Guild of America after the screening. Paramount’s “Men, Women & Children” bows in theaters Oct. 17.
(Pictured: Elena Kampouris, Ansel Elgort, Travis Tope and Kaitlyn Dever at the “Men, Women & Children” reception)