So drastic things happened in the span of the last 12 hours. There I was browsing tumblr before going to bed and suddenly someone says Tom Hiddleston will be here in the morning?! I. just. couldn’t. believe it! I checked the Good Morning America website, but they didn’t have him listed. I still got up at 5:30 and went there: best decision of this fall!
I got there at around 7 and people had been lining up since 6 (and maybe even a bit earlier). There were two groups of fans: one right at the intersection (in front of Loki on that picture of the poster) and another from where the picture was taken. Since I was coming from that side, I joined the line there. It was pretty short and right by the entrance to the studio. All the cars were stopping there. We saw Barbara Walters walk in and out. So I thought I was totally in the right spot. Didn’t even know there was another line somewhere else until one of the camera guys told us. They weren’t doing a very good job of keeping us informed on how and where things would happen. But eventually someone told us that he would do his interview at the other end! And only stop near our group if he felt like it.
After about an hour and a half he eventually showed up, walked past us to the interview spot, and after some 15 minutes came back to his car. But he stopped for the fans for a bit to sign things and take pictures.
Here’s the thing: I’d been telling the girls I was with even before he came how uncomfortable I felt about the whole situation where a celebrity was being pulled in all directions and constant smiles and favours were demanded of them. I personally only came to take a picture of him; I had nothing to sign and I wasn’t going to try for a photo with him (unless I happened to stand right in front of him and it were easy to do, I’d have caved, but that wasn’t my goal). I basically just wanted to see him. Since I don’t normally do these celeb meet-and-greets, I was unprepared for the way the crowd behaved. Everyone was very pushy and they kept rudely telling each other off, including cursing (“Stop fucking pushing me!”). It was very unpleasant, because Tom was standing right there and could hear everything. On top of that there was a group of guys with a stack of glossy posters who clearly weren’t real fans; they just wanted to get his autograph to sell it later. They were openly condescending, almost jeering at him. When his assistant said that he wouldn’t sign any of their stuff, they kept saying, with disgusting disrespectful smiles, “OK, OK, at the hotel then? We’ll see you at the hotel.” They were either going to stalk him at his hotel, or taunt him like that here. Either way it was repulsive and the whole situation was sad.
Celebrities are real people and they are usually (with some exceptions) put in a position of overexposure by the industry vultures. True artists just want to practice their craft, but all these extra duties are added to their contracts (just like professors have to teach, attend meetings and events, so that in the end they have very little time for actual research). And the adoring public rips them apart at the slightest chance. For example, the thing today was a completely mechanical process. It was early in the morning and I assume everyone had a busy day ahead. Everybody in Tom’s entourage, himself included, had tired and serious faces and were just going through the motions. Of course he smiled for pictures, but not between them. I don’t know, this is turning into an endless rant, but what I saw today made me really sad and I wish people took a bit more care of each other, and didn’t try to profit from every occasion, but instead to live and to enjoy it. And take care of Tom. I feel like flying around the world so much, attending a million events at all times of day will get him sick real soon.
Just be gentler.