Across the Board Culture film movie Stories

I Went To A Red Carpet As The Press, And Here’s How It Went

Of all the different genres within the wide spectrum of journalism, none are quite as salacious and juicy as the world of celebrity and entertainment. Recently, I got to experience both, by attending the red carpet for Woody Harrelson’s movie premiere Champions.

The Champions premiere was my first movie premiere, red carpet, and overall journalistic experience (though, as of writing this piece, I’ve since gone to the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s 11th Annual Blossom Ball and New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala). I spent the week before the premiere frantically researching and writing down questions for the cast and crew. It was one of the most nerve-wracking and stressful times of my life.

Laura (right) and I on the basketball themed red carpet

The Champions premiere took place on February 27, 2023 at the AMC in Lincoln Square. In order to start building my reel, I took my suitemate Laura with me as my cameraperson.

Once we arrived at the AMC, we could see a giant tent where the sidewalk and entrance was supposed to be. Confused, I asked the security guard in front of the tent where the entrance to the premiere was, and he pointed me to a door on the side of the building. I realized he’d assumed I was a fan, not the press.

My interview with Joshua Felder, who played “Darius” in Champions

Talking with the cast was an amazing experience. All of them were incredibly friendly, and their publicists were understanding of my desire to talk to each and every person that walked the carpet. During an interview with TikToker Isaiah Garza, his companion, Mr. Goode, suddenly began crying. I witnessed him explain, through tears, how incredible of an experience this event was for him.

Sadly, I did not get to talk to Woody Harrelson or Kaitlin Olson. Kaitlin stayed for two or three press interviews before moving inside the theater to talk to ExtraTV. I assumed that Woody wasn’t allowed to talk to us since he was in hot water with the press for his SNL monologue.

The Champions screening at the AMC Lincoln Square

Once the red carpet was over, we went to the movie screening. Champions is still playing in theaters, and has a 124 minute run time.

The real excitement (other than the red carpet) came when the afterparty began. We hopped on a bus provided by the event and were escorted to the Ascent Lounge in Columbus Circle. The venue/restaurant was one of the fanciest places I’ve ever seen, and Laura and I were easily the youngest people in the room.

At this point, we were starving, and helped ourselves to the fancy food and drinks offered. The venue did have an open bar, and the amount of wait staff who asked me if I wanted champagne or wine was hilariously astounding. When Woody arrived, people immediately flocked to him to congratulate him on the film or grab the chance to start a conversation.

The Ascent Lounge, the afterparty venue

My night ended after about an hour into the party. I kept wanting to talk to Woody, especially since he didn’t talk to us on the red carpet, but every time I got close, I chickened out. While this may be something I regret in hindsight, I hope that in my career I’ll be able to talk to people even more intimidating than Woody Harrelson one day.

In the aftermath of the Champions premiere, I realized that I was so nervous, and in the end, it wasn’t that big of a deal. My interview responses seemed dry in hindsight and my voice was trembling. However, I’ve learned that in journalism, you learn from experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. I’ve grown more confident in myself as a reporter, and I can only hope that things will go uphill from there. You can read the article I wrote about it here.


The Ascent Lounge, the afterparty venue

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