Friday, October 19, 2007

Exclusive! Dr. Ruehl on his London premiere

As promised, Tabloid Baby pal and contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl checks in with this exclusive account of his trip to London earlier this week for the premiere of the Nike skateboarding movie, Nothing But The Truth, in which he has a featured role:


Here are some behind-the-scenes revelations regarding my participa-tion as an actor portraying a producer in the Nike skateboarding film, "Nothing But The Truth," as follows:
I had submitted for this role when it was posted on an acting website, Actors Access, last October. I also e-mailed my submission directly to the casting director, James Levine, who had cast me in the USA Networks "Characters" campaign (2005), where I was flown to Dallas, TX to discuss ETs at a UFO-shaped museum.

On a Friday, about a week later, I sent out my weekly schedule of the airing of my cable TV program, "Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion." Levine, who is on my mailing list, replied a few minutes later, asking if I was coming to the afternoon's audition, which I did not know was scheduled. I immediately changed into the suit I wore in the film and went down to the audition. Amazingly, I was selected. I'd play a movie producer!

I was highly honored to be 1 of 10 participants in the film invited to attend the Hollywood premiere at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday, October 2. However, this did not turn out to be any sort of media event, as the press did not show up and we did little more than shake a few hands and pose for some photographs. Then, a week later, I was invited to the London premiere along with Dave Vescio, the actor portraying my producing partner. But since I was without a passport, I did not think that there was even the remotest possibility of attending.

The best beef I've ever eaten!

However, they agreed to underwrite the cost of an expedited passport ($352). I applied for it on Wednesday, received it on Friday, and flew into London on Monday afternoon. On the flight, I had a beef dinner that was absolutely tender and delicious, ranking up there with the best I have ever eaten!

We had no trouble whatsoever finding the driver waiting to drive us to the hotel.

Some time later, we were comfortably ensconced in the Cumberland Marble Arch Hotel at $280 a night.

While the hotel room was beautiful, including a plasma screen TV, neither the microwave nor the iron worked, and my electric shaver was inoperative, even with an adapter the concierge gave me.

The pulse of London

I had hoped to take in a tour that would include the Tower of London, but because it was late in the day, the tour facilitator indicated that it too late in the day. I spoke to an underground ticket clerk, but she said I would have to take two or three connections to reach the Tower from there and I was concerned about getting lost on my 1st day in London.

However, I did take an extensive walking tour down to Bond Street. What impressed me most was the pulse of the city, where everyone was moving along speedily, even an old woman with a cane. I enjoy walking at a fast pace and I love the fact that the pedestrians barrel right through red lights and stop signs, very much like New York.

You feel this energy of the city, which is stimulating and motivates you to work harder to succeed, totally different from laid-back towns like L.A. and Chicago where folks are just moseying along, dutifully obeying the traffic signals.

Indeed, one cabbie summarized it perfectly, saying that the pedestrian is king in London!

What impressed me most about London was the pulse of the city, where everyone was moving along speedily, even an old woman with a cane. I enjoy walking at a fast pace and I love the fact that the pedestrians barrel right through red lights and stop signs, very much like New York.

While the hotel business center closed at 8PM, I found an internet cafe nearby and went online at $3 per hour (I had converted some American money into English currency at the outrageous rate of 1 pound for $2.10.

Although I had been up since 9 AM (L.A. time) on Sunday, I was not the least bit sleepy, but forced myself to retire at 2 AM (London Time), some 33 hours later. However, apparently due to some degree of jet lag as I awoke around 6 AM, could not get back to sleep, and got up and turned on TV.

The big event: "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

A light rain fell until about noon, at which time I took another walking tour around Hyde Park and points beyond. We had been slated for rehearsal at 4 PM, but that was scotched at the last minute. If I had known, I definitely would have taken the Tower of London tour. But I did take another walking tour and spent a lot of time browsing in Sainsbury's.

Around 6:30 PM, we arrived at the Royal Festival Hall where we were positioned along the red carpet with a TV crew, where we were interviewing attendees. Dave held a mike while I was covered by the camera microphone... they liked my energy and felt a mike might limit me.

Basically, we kept in character as movie producers, asking individuals what their hobby or area of expertise was in, offering to make a film about with the condition that they post $50,000 upfront as a show of good faith which would be returned with a healthy profit once the production was completed. We had a wide spectrum of reactions, from skepticism to belief, and it made for good television.

We then got on stage and made a few introductory comments. I stressed that this film proves that skateboarders are as athletic as anyone who plays soccer, American football, baseball or tennis, that they are indeed genuine athletes!

I ended by delivering my signature parting remark, "Now... May the Power of the Cosmos be with You! Yes! Yes! Yes!" I then proceeded to jump off the stage, shouting, "Who needs a skateboard?"

Apparently, this went over well with the audience as I received a solid round of applause at my first appearance in the film.

Starving to death!

After the film, we went to another venue around 10:30 PM for the post-premiere party where we were interviewed by various reporters from publications and TV stations, such as from Denmark and Spain in addition to the UK. And we shook hands and posed for photos with many of the guests.

One frustration involved food. I was literally starving to death! Although we were the first to arrive, we were told food would be available in a few minutes. But in that interim, the site was suddenly packed with guests and I was not able to get anywhere near the food line. However, a beautiful blonde, Suzanne, heard my complaint and stood in line to secure some scrumptious fried chicken for me!

Taxi trouble

Around 12:30 AM, the interviews had concluded and I decided to leave, not really being a party animal. Dave wished to stay, so the project coordinator gave me English money for a cab. But there were no cabs outside and a staffer told me to go around the corner and up the street to find one. Along the way, I even rapped on a hotel door, shouting to the security guard inside to call me a cab, but he adamantly refused. I did spot a few cabs as I walked, and ran toward them, trying to hail them. But one after another zoomed by, perhaps having passengers already.

This continued for several blocks as I walked along the Thames, shouting and waving my arms in anger. Suddenly, a police car pulled up alongside of me and an officer asked what my problem was. When I requested a ride, back to the hotel, one cop instead suggested that I wait at a nearby corner for a passing taxi (at least, I wasn't arrested). But ultimately, after about an hour, when none materialized, I walked back to the party and fortunately, at 2 AM, caught a shuttle back to the hotel.

Even then, I was concerned that the driver might quit midstream, as there were several inebriates aboard who were getting pretty wild-- even yelling at him.

The produce-sniffing dog

The flight home, taking off around 11 AM, was basically uneventful except for the fact that the plane was freezing. It made London feel like it was the Sahara! Indeed, the gal beside me asked for the blanket I was not using.

Finally arriving at LAX about 2 PM, I was waiting in the customs processing line when a female officer arrived with a Bassett hound who was sniffing everyone's luggage. But instead of drugs, he hunted for produce. He detected food in a few piece of luggage including one man who had a beef jerky wrapper in his suitcase! But the pooch passed right by my case, which contained a candy bar.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience thoroughly and am ready for my next premiere!
--Longtime Tabloid Baby contributor and TV legend Dr. Franklin Ruehl holds a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics, writes the weekly Weird Science column in the Sun supermarket tabloid, has published some 1,786 technical papers and popular articles, appeared on Tom Green's Internet show and is famed for, among other things, his 'straw in the potato' experiment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good times. Welcome back from the red carpet.