The director – Edgar Wright – and the leading man and lady of Baby Driver – Ansel Elgort and Lily James – dropped by Malaysia for the film’s Southeast Asia premiere on 17th July 2017.
A press conference was held in the morning at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. This was followed by the red carpet and premiere at Pavilion Shopping Centre as organized by GSC Cinemas and Sony Pictures. The premiere and red carpet was a fan affair with the center courtyard transformed into a limited access area for the event. Lucky fans and press members were allowed into the area where free popcorn and cotton candy were given out to guests.
These lucky fans were allowed entry around 5 p.m. and were entertained by fellow radio DJs, Hafiz and Guibo from the local radio, Fly FM who were emcees for the night until the trio turned up around 7 p.m. at the red carpet. Film merch such as sunglasses and t-shirts were randomly given to fans at the event.
Upon the arrival, the trio were greeted with screaming fans of all ages who were excited to meet not only the stars but also the director of the film. It took them about an hour to move through the fans and press line before they were asked a few questions on stage.
After which, the lucky fans who were also given tickets to the screening of the film were surprised by the trio prior to the screening of the film who came into the cinema hall to answer a few questions and thanked the Malaysian fans for the warm welcome.
From my own experience of the red carpet and premiere screening, upon finding out that the trio were coming to Malaysia for the Southeast Asia premiere, I was beyond psyched and knew that if I was able to obtain the passes, I would be attending the event as none other than Shaun from Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead film. The energy in the mall cranked up to a hundred the moment Ansel Elgort arrived at the entrance of the mall alongside Lily James and Edgar Wright. The trio tried their best to oblige all fans with either an autograph or a selfie. So, after failing to garner Ansel’s attention for my younger sister, I was relieved when Lily James made a quick stop and autographed for my sister.
When it came time for Edgar’s arrival, I was both nervous that he would be escorted straight to the press line who had been waiting for him and the rest of the cast who spent quite a fair amount of time with the fans from outside the mall, all the way through the stairs leading up to the center courtyard. Furthermore, fans behind me turned rather excited when Edgar was approaching and those of us who were at the front line of the railing were further pushed against the railing which prompted the security and event crew members to advise them, ‘Safety First.’ I was surprised when Edgar’s publicist noticed my Shaun getup and quickly pointed out to Edgar who was about to walk towards another group of fans, “Look, there’s a Shaun.” The reaction from Edgar at my getup was one of delight and surprise. He quickly proceeded to autograph my Shaun of the Dead DVD and was more than happy to pose for a photo with myself and my sister. Once again, I needed to express my gratitude to Mr. Greg Longstreet, the publicist who helped stopped the fans from behind from blocking our camera during the selfie, thus allowing the rare opportunity to take place.