Leicester Square turned blue last night for the world premiere of Going the Distance, a rom-com that sees wannabe journalist Drew Barrymore and record company desk-monkey Justin Long hook up in New York and then keep the relationship going from opposite sides of the States.
Travelling all the way to London to show off their likeable movie, Justin and Drew strutted their stuff on the blue carpet (sexy photos are over here in our gallery). Joining the two leads were co-star Oliver Jackson-Cohen, director Nanette Burstein and the movie's unsigned band The Boxer Rebellion. And we were there to shout questions at all of them. Especially Justin Long - whose favourite movie soundtracks apparently include The Princess Bride and Back to the Future.
First came Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who tempts Drew's characters away from Justin by being very hot and good looking. Did he ever imagine doing it with Drew before getting involved with the film?
"No, never! It was so surreal. Drew Barrymore is like an institution! But more than that - she's this freak of nature, like the nicest person ever."
He dazzles us with a smile, before we get onto the serious stuff: working with Dwayne Johnson on Faster. How's that project looking? Did he imagine doing it with Dwayne?
"Yeah, that's out at Thanksgiving. I saw some footage of it and it looks incredible. I'm really critical of stuff I see, but I think it's going to amazing."
Then came The Boxer Rebellion, an unsigned group who got approached to make up a large part of the movie's soundtrack. The bearded, suited musicians look slightly dazed by it all. How did it happen?
"We did a gig in LA, then we got invited down to a meeting with the director and producer - they asked us to write a couple of songs, and we read the script and really liked it."
So quite a different process from writing their usual album material then?
"Yeah, it's a consultation process - we had a couple of versions of songs that they gave feedback on. It's normally just four people in a room, us going "yes" or "no", but suddenly there were people all over the place offering comments. It made it harder, but much more rewarding."
The crowds then parted naturally for Justin Long to walk past. In the film, he describes the perfect relationship as being "disease free and light". Is that what his ideal relationship is?
"It's about when you find those moments of absolute bliss with another person."
We bite our lips, making sure we don't mention his past relationship with Drew - someone got their wrist slapped for that earlier. We keep it light, casual, just a quick question about what it was like working with Drew:
"She's beautiful, insanely funny, and I got to see a side of her that I didn't normally see. I got to see the way she treated people she was working with - she treated everyone with so much gratitude and grace."
So it's easier working with (ahem) close friends?
"It's always easier working with people you know, you can build more of a rapport. Most of the time you're not working - it's just down time, so it's good to be around people you can have fun with."
Music's a massive part of the film - especially The Boxer Rebellion. Does he have a similar taste to his character?
"I listen to music a lot, and I love Boxer Rebellion! If I managed a band, it would be them. Drew has a similar taste, but she knows all the current bands. I'm stuck back in the 60s and 70s with Bob Dylan... There was one ad-lib, when we were doing shoots with a guerilla crew around Coney Island, and we were doing stuff on music, like punk rock and Sex Pistols. And she knew everything. She would've been better playing my character than me!"
As the screams got louder and Justin's smile got bigger, along came the star of the evening: Drew Barrymore. Naturally, she was pleased to be there:
"I love bringing a film to London - people are so lovely, stylish and sexy and fun! I always feel fortunate to have people embrace my films here."
She was so pleased to be there that she only gave one answer - then she ran off into the darkness of Leicester Square's Vue Cinema. Maybe she wanted popcorn. Or maybe she needed the toilet (all that excitement, you know). Or maybe she liked the film so much, she just couldn't wait to see it again.
You can see Going the Distance when it hits UK cinemas on Friday 10th September. Until then, you can check out the trailer over here.
Want more of the glamour from Going the Distance's blue carpet? Check out our gallery of photos over here.
- boxer rebellion
- brief encounters
- drew barrymore
- dwayne johnson
- going the distance
- justin long
- nanette burstein
- oliver jackso-cohen