Report From Witch Mountain
Premiere report, that is. Not weather.
Dwayne "don't call me The Rock" Johnson plays put-upon cabbie who finds a pair of strange and otherworldly teens stowed in the back of his car, becoming embroiled in their wild chase to Witch Mountain so that they can get home.
Shy and retiring Ciaran Hinds, who plays government bad guy Henry Burke in the film, was a little reticent in the face of such a big do: "I don’t normally turn up at these things – it’s all new to me, people screaming! This is quite a big opening for Disney, so they’re trying to get all the troops out!”
But it seems that the lure of the blue carpet was just too hard to resist for the Belfast actor. We cut to the chase, as we hear that up next he is playing brother to a certain Aberforth Dumbledore for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I: "It could be, it’s not certain, but it could be…!"
Another delight to fantasy fans everywhere was the beautiful, and most lovely of all Watch(wo)men, Ms Carla Gugino, whose floaty pastel prom dress brought back memories of the opening night of the comic book movie earlier this year: "It’s funny because I was realizing that at Watchmen and this, the dresses are sort of sisters to each other!”
Playing kooky physicist Dr Alex Friedman, Gugino channeled her inner geek, securing her place as fanboy pin-up du jour: "It was really fun. I’m sort of a geek at heart! It’s a really good time for me creatively, because all these roles are so different and that is something I really love as an actress. I love Watchmen and I love Witch Mountain, for totally different reasons, and to be part of them both at the same time, is really, really great."
Up next as pregnant porn star in Elektra Luxx, Gugino relishes moving between very distinct projects: “I’m a bit of a workaholic is the truth. I am always the happiest when I am working, and the last couple of years has been pretty crazy. I haven’t had any down time. But it’s been really good; nothing to complain about!"
Although co-star and fellow geek in the film, Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall who plays Dr Donald Harlan wasn't able to make the premiere due to a bout of illness, director Andy Fickman was more than happy to chat at length with Empire: “I loved the Witch Mountain movies when I was growing up, and I’m from Roswell New Mexico, which is the birthplace of modern UFO mythology, so the idea of doing a big action adventure dealing with UFOs and that Witch Mountain mythology was a real kind of dream come true.”
Fickman also admitted a particular excitement for meeting previous star of the Witch Mountain movies: “I think my first crush really was Kim Richards. Her niece is Paris Hilton: there’s a fun fact! And Paris had introduced us. So there I was, a little bit sweaty palmed thinking, “Ooh Miss Richards!” She looks phenomenal!"
He also assured us that if people love the film, then there will be more trips to Witch Mountain in the future: “I know when we started making the movie, we had a story that we thought could continue. All of us would love the opportunity to come back and if the fans see the movie, then we’ll happily come back and carry on.”
Despite being as nice as pie about star Dwayne Johnson - who is fast becoming his favourite following their pairing here and for The Game Plan -the Rock hard actor was just a little ungentlemanly when it was his turn to talk, joking that: "Andy looks like he ate a couple of aliens!"
But jibes aside, Johnson was the consummate professional, signing copious autographs for the multitudinous fans and flashing his infectiously sparkling white grin (showing us exactly why he has been chosen to play the Tooth Fairy for his next project).
Johnson then went on to give Fickman a whole lotta lurve: "I love Andy Fickman; he’s a really wonderful guy and he really loves movies. All directors love movies, but Andy loves the idea of making movies that make people feel good and make them happy, which is why I love working with him."
He then gave us a little glimmer of hope that, as Fickman told us, both actor and director have read a script for potential Zac Efron starrer Jonny Quest: "I’m not quite too sure what is happening with Jonny Quest. Maybe, we’ll see!"
And with that, Dwayne, Carla, Andy and Ciaran had a race to find seats in the Odeon - and we hailed the famous yellow taxi, for a return to Empire Mountain.