Friday, 5 August 2016
Bourne Celebrity: Matt Damon in Seoul!
(My panini merienda before
heading to Times Square)
Summers are never complete without summer blockbusters. And this summer is more than complete because Matt Damon, the actor, brought Jason Bourne, the movie, to Seoul!
(Time Square's main hall full of fans)
(By the presumably newly vacuumed red carpet)
When I read the news that Matt Damon had arrived in Seoul to promote the latest installment of his Bourne series, I immediately asked around where he would show up for a public show-and-tell.
Luckily, I learned that he was meeting his fans at Times Square mall in the populous Yeondeungpo District in Seoul, together with Alicia Vikander, his co-star in the movie.
(A fan with a message for Matt)
So, on July 8, exactly four Fridays ago today, I headed down to the same mall where Angelina Jolie had her SALT premiere years back. Matt was scheduled to arrive at 7:30 PM. I had to get some merienda that afternoon to avert any starvation while waiting for the two Academy Award winners. Well, Jason Bourne could withstand hunger; I could not. Ha-ha-ha! So, I dropped by a cafe for some panini just in case.
When I got there, a lot of fans were already lining up outside and inside the hall. I decided to join those indoors enjoying the air conditioned red carpet and chatted with two Korean girls who came all the way from Suwon just to see Matt Damon. They actually arrived at 2PM and had been standing their ground since then. I told them, by the time Matt arrived, they would have been standing for five hours! What dedication!
(I wonder if Jason Bourne could
take down Matt's bodyguards in one go)
(Matt's assistant pointing to the fan with a message)
And around 7:30, the crowds outside started screaming, signalling the arrival of the Hollywood A-listers! There was a big screen inside the hall showing the scene outside, and we could see that, even with the scorching temperature, Matt and Alicia were gamely engaging their fans in selfies and autograph-signing! Alicia was wearing a strapless gown, in which she looked comfortable, but Matt was wearing a jacket! And once he got indoors, he was already sweating like he just ran a Jason-Bourne-under-four-minute-mile!
His assistants immediately scampered to find some tissue, but I noticed none of them thought of bringing! Ha-ha-ha! I think it was an executive of the local film distributor who took out from his pocket some tissue paper. I would have offered mine, but I would need something in return. A signed movie poster! Ha-ha-ha!
(The fan's message catches Matt's attention)
(Matt taking a photo of the fan's message)
As a typical meet-greet-and-invite, Matt and Alicia encouraged everyone to watch their latest film, and some lucky fans were able to go up the stage for winning some competition. While the Korean emcee, Matt and Alicia were in formal get-ups worthy of a red carpet, the lady interpreter was wearing sneakers and looked like she was on her to climb a mountain but was just interrupted by this Matt Damon meet-and-greet event. Ha-ha-ha!
(Alicia and Matt about to be joined onstage
by fans who won a competition for the film)
(Matt with some guys who are probably
from Universal Pictures, although I wondered
who was the guy in some military uniform)
Although it was memorable seeing one of my favorite Hollywood actors, this was even more fun for the fans around my spot as he took out his smartphone and took a photo of a fan's message for him. The fan was actually standing next to me and I already saw his placard earlier, telling him to make sure he raised it high up for Matt to see, especially with the huge crowd around. Matt definitely made the fan's day.
And speaking of fan, not the human fan, but the fanning fan, I got two Jason Bourne fans to bring home in case I needed to cool down as I walked to the Yeongdeungpo Station.
But before I left Times Square, I had to grab dinner as it was a long way home to the Yongsan District. And as I munched down my burger, I was thinking that it's not every day that you see a Hollywood actor. But then if you are a Hollywood fan, the human fan, and not the fanning fan, you should always find ways to see them in the flesh whenever they're in your neighborhood.
(Alicia and Matt joining me for a burger)
Next stop, Jason Bourne, the movie!