What does Liam Neeson have to do with sign language? My blurry memory seems to vaguely remember Liam did some sign language in the movie “Nell” with Jodie Foster – but it has been a long time since I saw this movie, so don’t take me on it.
No, the reason I mention Liam Neeson and sign language is due to Liam stopped by Copenhagen September 10th to promote his new movie “Taken 2”, which officially will open in Denmark on October 4th. I had been lucky enough to get the last ticket to this evening and later learn a friend of mine were going to be there as well, so I met up with her and her friend at the cinema. While waiting in the lounge area inside the cinema, I couldn’t help but notice two young men doing sign language with just as much as excitement as I had with my friends. We were there in very good time, around 5pm and the movie was to start around 9:30pm, so plenty of time.
I usually arrive in good time if I am alone, I will ask the person in charge if I may take photos there. This time it was a little bit different, though thanks due to the other openings I have been lucky to attend, I knew part of how it went. Around 7pm where we knew there was another movie showing, I knew and told my friends that we at this time would see the staff speed up getting everything ready for the gala opening and sure enough, a staff member came over to us and asked us kindly to move away. I looked at the two deaf guys, who still were talking away in sign language and knew then they don’t speak that much. Turned out I was right and as my friends and I was just about walking past them, I offered the staff to tell the guys what was going on, though also telling them to stay. Cause I am pretty sure if the staff had told them to leave, they wouldn’t have known they could stay behind the lines further up at the ticket lounge and might just have missed a great opportunity to see Liam Neeson.
Here was my dilemma though, I wanted to help the guys but my sign language was not something to write home about, at all… Ok I know a few signs and I did manage in “just-want-to-help-you-I’m-just-not-that-good-at-sign-language” to tell them to follow us and what was going on. Again we were in for some waiting game behind the closed area, till time got closer to where Liam was to arrive. People were starting to fill up where we stood and again one of the staff members told everyone who had a ticket to leave the lobby and wait outside. Those who didn’t have a ticket were ok to stay inside. So we stayed (I did have a ticket, but I was not about to leave as I also had my camera with me – I should have a “Fanpress” sign so I can stay there …).
You could cut the air with the excitements that was there and I asked the two guys if they had ever been to this kind of opening, which I think they had not. Again I tried in my half bad sign language to explain, what might happen and that they should just stay put right until the press had left their area (they stood opposite us a bit further down).
Time got closer to when Liam would arrive and I had been asking one of the staff member, if he would do photos or sign autographs, to which at first the answer was no. But just about 15 minutes before he arrived we got news, that if we behaved and didn’t fall over Liam, he might just give both in the short time he had. With my hands full to get my camera ready, I let my camera hang around my neck, told the two deaf guys, what we had just been informed and when I saw the one guy had an DVD for autograph and his cell phone as well, I just couldn’t help but offer I would take the photo and mail it to him afterwards as I knew from previous experience the stars almost float by quickly, even when they do autographs and such. I just wanted them to have a good memory from this evening and he agreed with a smile.
Liam finally arrived somewhat 30 minutes delayed and started to do autographs outside the cinema to the few fans there – all the cinema guess had been let inside first before Liam arrived and then he came inside, where we were. Of cause we leaned over to see how he looked etc. etc. he was followed by a small sturdy and firm kind PR lady, who made sure Liam well moved in the right direction, towards the press area. The two deaf guys stood to my left and I quickly realized another error. They didn’t talk that well and Liam may not be that good at sign language and start talking there on the spot, so when the PR lady – who walked a few steps sideways ahead of Liam – I quickly asked the guy I had “talked” the most with, if it was ok for me to explain they were deaf and just wanted Liam’s autograph, which he was very happy for – I gently grabbed the PR lady’s arm and quickly explained they were deaf and just wanted his autograph, she said sure no problem. I on the other hand couldn’t hear if she ever gave the information further to Liam, but she did tell me he would not sign names, only his own name. Dah, Liam had arrived at the guys DVD and I quickly again had to tell him he was not to show what his name was as there wasn’t time for it and at the same time I was to get a photo of him with Liam.
Does the word: stress, speed, fast talking, out of the moment taking a chance, gets the autograph and photo at the same time come to mind?? Amazingly enough we managed it just fine and with no problems. I thanked both the PR lady and Liam for doing it – I was just taking photos, though I would have loved for one to get a photo with me and him, I was just too happy it had gone so well – and Liam moved down to the last 5 in the line to my right side and off he was in front of the press, which was not too hard to see by the flashes that came over him.
Meanwhile my friend I was there with was in 7th heaven, Liam was her favorite actor and she too was just there to meet him and maybe against all odds get an autograph, which she did as well a photo, which I luckily enough managed to get too…
The two deaf guys where so thrilled by the moment, they too were a bit star stunned by what just had happened and had the biggest grin on their faces. I can’t be sure, but I would vagger it almost beat Christmas Eve… shaking hands, smiling they asked I if I got the photo, which I already quickly had scanned through my camera card to see if I had gotten a good photo. I nodded yes, quickly wrote down my email address for the guy to get the photos later and I had to leave them in a hurry, as Liam were going on stage to talk shortly about the movie before it started. I made it in time.
Once again in a situation like this, I am reminded that it might not be a too bad idea to pick up sign language and learn it, who knows when the next movie star stops by and I am in the same situation again??
More photos can be seen on my blog: www.photofantasticdb.blogspot.com
The Quiet Photographer