MI6 reports from the red carpet at the World
Premiere of Quantum of Solace,
which debuted in Leicester Square last night...
Quantum of Solace Royal World Premiere
30th October 2008
Although the Royal World premiere for
the 22nd James Bond film "Quantum
of Solace" used two theatres, down from three for
the previous outing "Casino Royale", Leicester
Square in London was packed to capacity once again on Wednesday
29th October 2008.
Crowds started lining up before noon
just as the railings and
scaffolding for the temporary stage was popping up. Within
minutes the queues were hundreds deep, all prepared to
wait up to six hours before being granted access to the
audience pens within the red carpet layout. Those who
came late were left to peer over the 6 foot railings and
up the atmosphere from a distance.
Construction crews completed laying the final pieces of
the red carpet just minutes before the first guests cleared
security. A central ring of red carpet allowed the fans
to grab autographs and pick out their favourite celebrities
from the precession.
The Odeon hosted the Royal half of the
premiere, with the adjacent Empire cinema used as overflow
- but both were linked
with a simulcast live video presentation during the build-up.
Above: Gemma Arterton arrives at the world premiere in a
stunning purple dress.
caught the special guests arriving and frequently cut to interviews
on the red carpet. Craig graciously thanked the fans for the
best crowd at a premiere, and made a couple of jokes with the
red carpet interviewer. Asked to name his favourite Bond Girl,
Craig motioned over his one good shoulder: "The one on my
arm, of course," he said, referring to longtime girlfriend
Ukranian actress Olga Kurylenko, in a red Valentino
gown, said she is proud to play the only Bond girl who does not
end up in
bed with Bond. "Bond and the Bond girls are becoming deeper,
and they have more interesting stories. I prefer to watch that.
Other women do, too. Women don't want to be portrayed as (sex
objects). Women have evolved," she said.
Actress Gemma Arterton's character in Quantum,
Agent Fields, wasn't so modest, jumping into bed with Bond after
what may be the strangest pickup line in Bond history. "It
worked! Guys all over the world will be using it from now on," Arterton
said. "He is a fantastic kisser. I kept messing up deliberately," she
Jeffrey Wright, who plays CIA agent Felix Leiter,
arrived at the premiere with a Barack Obama lapel pin. "I
will be back to the States in time to vote," he said.
Quantum director Marc Foster said he was asked
to direct the next Bond film. "I was very honoured to be
asked, but I passed on it (because) I'm working on another project."
Dame Judi Dench said playing Bond boss M is
a nice change of pace from the heavy drama she usually tackles.
M "is strong and bossy. I like getting a bit of action.
I don't like just being in an office all the time," Dench
Also at the special event were Samantha Bond, Elle Macpherson,
Katherine Jenkins, Robbie Coltrane, Rick Yune, Karen Elson, Meredith
Ostrom, Paul Simonon and Peter Gabriel. In addition, other notable
people also spotted strolling down the red carpet included Boris
Johnson, Chris Hoy, Alexander Hanson, Jenni Falconer, Michael
Grade, Mohammed Al Fayed and Tamara Beckwith.
Although there were strict instructions to have everyone seated
by 7pm, guests had to wait 90 minutes before the premiere actually
began. A little after the official start time, the Royal guests
Prince William and Prince Harry arrived in a motorcade and strolled
down the red carpet flanked by security detail. 200 heroes from
a wide range of British military units formed a long welcoming
line for the Royal party. Both Princes spent significant time
speaking personally to each of the specially selected heroes,
sharing stories and posing for photographs. The proceeds from
the premiere were shared between the Prince's two charities,
the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.
An hour later, the Princes were introduced by producers Michael
G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to studio executives, crew and
principal cast members. Taking time for conversation with each
person in the line, it was another 30 minutes before they reached
the cast: Anatole Taubman, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini,
Gemma Arterton, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Olga Kurylenko and
After the meet and greet was over, Wilson and
Broccoli came on stage at The Odeon to announce that the event
had raised a
stunning amount for charity - £505,138 at that moment.
Sales of £10 charity premiere brochures would boost that
number. The producers then welcomed on stage director Marc Forster
and the principal cast members. Both Forster and Craig spoke
By the time the curtain came up on the film it was 8:30pm and
the London Film Festival screening that was originally intended
to follow the Royal premiere, also in Leicester Square, ultimately
After the screening, the bash was brought to Battersea Power
Station for a no-expense spared one million pound after party
that ran in to the early hours of the morning.