|The stars were out in force for the Stardust premiere tonight.|
Contractually obliged punning first line over, it was good to see so many of the cast of Matthew Vaughan’s epic adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess's fairytale in Odeon Leicester Square last night, including perennial boy band Take That, who managed to elicit as many ear-tearing screams from the crowd as 15 years ago.
The film follows Tristan Thorne (Casanova’s Charlie Cox)chasing down a fallen star in the mysterious kingdom of Stormhold which is hidden through a portal next door to his village. What he doesn’t bargain for is the star being a very pissed off Clare Danes, who’s being hunted down for her heart by a witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) in order to get eternal youth, and the kingdom’s homicidal princes, who want the stone that knocked her out of the sky. With the help of a roguish sky captain (a show stealing Robert De Niro) and his crew, Tristan and the star try to get back to his village.
The ridiculously beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer started off looking like she was going to go straight inside and ignore the shivering lines of press, but ended up being utterly charming and chatting to everyone.
“I’ve always wanted to work with her,” Vaughan said later, “ever since she was in Grease 2. I think she was a bit surprised by that actually, but she stole every scene.”
Sadly Pfeiffer ignored our silent prayers for an impromptu rendition of ‘Cool Rider’, when talking about her role as evil Lamia.
“It’s nice to do a film that’s age appropriate at last so I can share it with my kids,” she laughed. “And it’s quite important theme. We wanted to comment on the idea of sexual youth and the terrifying lengths that women will go for it. Society’s so obsessed with beauty these days. ”
Stardust lines up a glut of British comedic talent in cameo roles, from Julian Rhind-Tutt, Mark Heap and David Walliams to Ricky Gervais, who plays a new character called Ferdy the Fence. Ricky was unsurprisingy delighted with the film: he managed to poach co-star Robert De Niro for a season 2 cameo on Extras during the shoot.
“Well how could you turn it down?” he asked. “It was Rob and Michelle, I could ad lib and wear a silly hat and it wasn’t very far from my house.”
Stardust's author and all-round comics legend Neil Gaiman, who went into typically amusing detail about his dislike of being recognised during a talk for the Hay Festival the night before, was very happy with not being recognised tonight. "They just shout at the famous people," he said. "They shout at Rupert Everett, David Walliams and Gary Barlow and every now and then you get someone with a book going “Neil!” but hopefully I’m just one of the people walking the red carpet."
Matthew Vaughan, who, as well as directing, co-wrote the script and produced, looked relaxed rather than shattered, probably due in no small part to the glowing presence of wife Claudia Schiffer. “I’m looking forward to next week when it’s all over,” he said. “It’s weird tonight because you’re nervous about what the public will think, but then it's goodbye and move on to the next thing.”
The next thing being of course an adaptation of Thor for Marvel, which he’s also directing. With the script and budget still being finalised it’s a little early for casting, but it doesn’t look he’s going to be done with comics any time soon.
“I love comic books and I think comic books haven’t even peaked in the world of cinema or in the world of books generally,” he said temptingly. “I just think it’s going to get bigger and bigger.”
Like Stardust's box office, fingers crossed.