Saturday, March 29, 2014

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Press Conference in Singapore - The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected

A special and international press conference was held right after "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" red carpet event at Marina Bay Sands on 27 March. As part of the special access given, those with the blue wristbands were allowed into the Mastercard Theatres upstairs to sit in the press conference.

The hall was decorated with a giant Spider-man logo on the stage and at the side was an interesting intricate web pattern. Sure gave the setting a nice Spidey feel.

@Sarahcoldheart and Red Dot Diva literally sank into the plush seats with a sigh of sweet relief. Their tired feet, sore from standing more than 4 hours before and during the red carpet event, needed rest. However, they did not manage to score seats in the front, but had a pretty OK view of what was going on onstage.

(For more details of the red carpet event, click here!)

Turned out local actor Adrian Pang was host for the event. He came up to the podium to say that there was going to a bit of a delay with the cast coming on stage. One can assume that there were probably some exclusive VIP meet and greets happening before the press con, and some much needed freshening up.

It wasn't too long though that the cast and crew were introduced and they entered through the side door. Everyone was so excited, they just stood up and snapped photos with their cameras. Being a petite dwarf, Red Dot Diva could do little more than peep through the raised arms.

When everyone settled back down again, Adrian Pang took some questions from folks sitting in the media section. About half of the questions were interesting and fun, and then there were the other half which Red Dot Diva thought were just bizarre.

First, Red Dot Diva gives a rundown of the good parts:

- Wai Yee from Straits Times Life, Singapore was the first press person to pose a question, and Adrian cheered "Singapore represent!", to which Jamie Foxx responded with a boom box, and a chant of "Wai Yee Wai Yee Wai Yee, Street (Straits) Life!" So cool.

"I didn't expect that," Wai Yee laughed. Incidentally, her question was for Jamie Foxx and he was asked if his young daughter was still rooting for Spider-man and not Electro, the character Jamie was playing.

"Well, she doesn't want to get kicked out of the house," Jamie quipped. He also said that when she was told he was playing the villain Electro, she told him, 'Spider-man is gonna kick your butt!'. He added that the lucky girl got to be on the movie set, and meet the rest of the cast and crew." She's smart enough to know that Spider-man is gonna win. But... she still loves her Daddy," Jamie said, beaming with pride. Everyone went awwwwwwwwww.

- A journalist from a Mexican press asked about Andrew Garfield's first Halloween Spider-man costume and how did it feel to don it as an adult for the movies. "It feels the same, I am still that 3-year-old boy. I am slightly bigger, and the suit is slightly tighter," Andrew said, as the audience chuckled. "But my mother made my first Spider-man costume when I was 3-years-old." And again, everyone went awwwwwwww.... "My first Halloween costume. She hand-made it. She's a genius, man."

Adrian - being bad as he usually is - then promptly warned the lead actor that his own mom is a big fan of Andrew Garfield and to be careful in case he sees her. Hahaha.

- About upping the ante for the second movie, Executive Producer Matt Tolbach said, "A lot of the last movie was about Peter Parker coming to terms about what it meant to be Spider-man. And this movie was being Spider-man. So there was a different emphasis to the movie. And part of it is Spider-man facing some really scary adversaries out there, also some personal ones."

Matt added, "You have this incredible range. Someone who is initially so sympathetic, and almost heartbreaking and vulnerable, and then at the end of the movie, he's somebody who could literally blow up the world. A really tall order for an actor, and Jamie Foxx *sooo* embodies that. And that was one of the first ways we wanted to turn up the heat for the audience."

- Reuters asked if Jamie Foxx was afraid of receiving flack from taking up the role of Electro, when recently there were criticisms about actor Michael B Jordan being chosen as the Human Torch in the "Fantastic Four" reboot.

This is what Jamie has to say:

Now, are you ready?

The following are what Red Dot Diva thought were the WTH moments during the press conference:

- Brian? Ryan? from a Malaysian press threw Emma Stone this douchey question, "In the comic books, Gwen Stacy majored in biochemistry. In biochemistry what is an activated complex?"

Here is the cringe-worthy moment, nicely captured on video by Geek Crusade:

Red Dot Diva is not sure whether Ryan was being a jerk, or a jerky show-off... but really???! Dear Malaysian press people, in light of the recent events concerning a particular missing plane, shouldn't you be a little more sensitive on how you should be showcasing yourself to the world? She has to applaud Emma Stone for being darn classy about it though.

- Then, there was the embarrassing local press lady who was fumbling through her question about whether the cast was "more comfortable in the same character, the second time, which is the first for both of them..." and Like WUT?! Granted, English may not be her first language but calling Emma, "Yima" (which sounds like 'Aunty' in Mandarin) is just wrong.

Still, the cast were very gracious and both Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield had this to say about the subject. (Red Dot Diva thought it was miraculous they understood the question in the first place!)

Emma Stone's singular answer was still priceless.

- Toward the end of the press conference, Andy Ridley, CEO of Earth Hour was invited on stage with the cast. He thanked the cast and crew for coming to Singapore and then proceeded to inform the audience what Earth Hour was all about, and what has been achieved so far.

Adrian then decided to take the last question, and selected a Pinoy lady who shamelessly said,

"Sorry not a question but a request. Since you have mentioned The Philippines, I have a four-year-old daughter who is a fan here, who would DIE To have a photo with a cast. And by doing so, guaranteed 25 million ticket sales from the Philippines. What would you say?"

To be honest, Red Dot Diva wanted to say BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
That was so unclassy. One would hope that she is not a legit media person from a Filipino press.

Andy looked a tad miffed but graciously spilled out details about Spider-man and the movie's cast members being at the festivities happening on 29 March at the Float, and invited people to come and be a part of Earth hour. He then ended his spiel with, "As for the photograph with the cast, I have no idea."

No one uttered a word after that but then, poof! the little four-year-old girl suddenly appeared on stage looking stoned-face and totally NOT excited about Spider-man *at all*. The kid robotically inserted herself between Emma and Andrew to pose for a photo, and proud mama strolled to the front of stage to take pics of her daughter (who is supposed to be a huge fan... ..yah, right.).

Emma and Andrew were super-nice to the poor kid, and Andrew even wanted to escort her off-stage but she had almost ran off by then.

*major face-palm*

Before the press conference wrapped up, there was a photo moment that everyone was requested to participate in. The cast huddled in front the audience and everyone was to whip out the cardboard Spider-man mask, put in front of their faces face and yell "Spider-man"! Which Red Dot Diva thought was very awkward. I mean, if the audience were all really fans or real press, it would just be nicer to have them wave those things and have their faces be seen. But then, that's just her personal opinion.

It was past 10 PM when the entire event ended, which meant it was time for Red Dot Diva to take a shamelessly but classy selfie of the Spidey stage.

The MBS staff was edgy and urgently shoo-ing everyone one of the theatre. Red Dot Diva scooted off to take the next train home, so that she could get ready for an early start for the next day's event at Commonwealth Secondary School - where Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx would appear as surprise VIP guests!


Do check back for Red Dot Diva's account of the excitement that went on at Commonwealth Secondary School the next morning.

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