Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CTU EXCLUSIVE: Channing Tatum Unwrapped at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra'

Even I have to admit that my little CTU excursions from behind my computer aren't so little any more. When I go on these trips, I can't help but think back to the humble beginnings of this site, and I also can't help but smile when I think about where we are today. I say "we", because many of you have come along with me through much of this journey by reading about my adventures through the Hollywood dream that is Channing Tatum.

From meeting Chan for the first time on the set of 'Fighting' in 2007 to the 2008 Teen Choice Awards to the 'Fighting' press junket and premiere this year, Chan and his family have allowed me to experience more than I ever imagined and the Los Angeles 'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' premiere that capped off the G.I. Joe press tour last week was no different...

I arrived in sunny Los Angeles last Thursday morning, picked up some goodies for fans from Chan's management office, and checked into my hotel. My first assignment was to get some photos of the venue while they were setting up for the big event.

The premiere was held at Los Angeles' famous Grauman's Chinese Theater, right next to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I started taking photos way before noon and was surprised to see that fans were already staking claim to their spots on the sidewalk so they would have a good view of the premiere, which was scheduled to start around 7pm. I took a few pics of the black carpet and Chan's huge poster outside the theater and made my way back to the hotel so I could get ready for my very first summer blockbuster premiere.

A few hours later, I exited my hotel and found that the entire block in front of Grauman's had pretty much been taken over. It was a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam of excited fans that were determined to not lose their spot on the sidewalk, and I had to fight my way through the crowd and a traffic-stopping Jimmy Kimmel stunt with Chan's co-star Sienna Miller in a basket hanging three stories above the crowd.

Once the stunt was over, I was finally able to slowly move my way across the street, get to the will call table to pickup my golden ticket and wait for the festivities to begin. As I waited inside the building for Chan, Jenna, and their families to arrive, it was pretty surreal to see the celebs walk in a foot away from me.

From Chris Brown to Ciara to Heidi and Spencer from "The Hills" to every Wayans brother you can imagine to all of the stars of the movie, and an endless list of directors, producers, and studio executives, it was quite obvious that the 'G.I. Joe' premiere was the place to be that night.

In a town where I don't know many people, it's always nice to see familiar faces. While Chan and Jenna were taking photos and getting interviewed, I finally spotted Chan's parents, Kay and Glenn, on the carpet and hung out with them until they went into the theater.

Before they went inside, they introduced me to Chan's sister Paige, who I had not met yet in all of my Tatum adventures, and I took a photo of them standing in front of the theater on the huge Cobra symbol in the middle of Grauman's large courtyard.

The plan was that Jenna was going to tweet from the premiere, but her IPhone battery died on her right when she got to the premiere. When she finished her interviews, we chatted for a bit, I took a photo of her in her gorgeous Blumarine dress, Jimmy Choos shoes and Loree Rodkin jewelry (so I could tweet it out for her later for her), and then I made my way onto the front lines to start taking photos of Chan during his interviews.

It was pretty amazing to see all of the excited fans lining the streets for the premiere. Every once and a while, they would band together and scream out Chan's name so he would look in their direction and wave (and they would scream even more).

After Chan finished up all of his interviews, which took quite a while, he starting signing autographs for some of the fans who had been waiting for hours in many cases.

My favorite part of the night was when Chan surprised everyone (including security) by busting through the event gates, running across a busy street, and high-fiving screaming fans all up and down the block.

He made a complete circle around the perimeter, signed a few more autographs, took a quick photo with me, and we all walked into the theater together so we could grab some popcorn and a drink and watch the rest of the movie.

In my last article, I posted new paparazzi photos of Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna Dewan at the 'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' Los Angeles premiere. Below you can check out all of my personal video straight from the black carpet...

I want to thank the event staff and Paramount for giving me special black carpet access to take photos and video of Chan as he was getting interviewed. It's something I've always wanted to do.

As I tweeted that day, the movie was awesome and kept me on the edge of my seat with it's non-stop action. After practically every big action sequence and once the credits started to roll, the theater erupted into applause. With all of the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into a production like this, it was really exciting to see how much everyone enjoyed the film.

'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' is now the #1 movie in the world (making over $100 million in four days) and has done so well that the word on the street is that Paramount has already greenlit the sequel. Today, the studio's vice chairman, Rob Moore, confirmed that a sequel, with Chan and the rest of the lead actors, will soon go into development.

I had an amazing time at the premiere and want to thank Chan, his mom, his publicist, and Paramount for letting me tag along!!!

'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' has premiered in tons of countries around the world. Fans can CLICK HERE to get your tickets TODAY!

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