PLANNING THE D-DAY INVASION OF NORMANDY : IN OTHER WORDS , THE CEREMONY FOR RUSSELL CROWE”S STAR , ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
You might ask yourself why part of the title might be so strange. It is easy to explain this.
Once it became evident the star ceremony was going to finally happen; groups of fans began planning to attend. This began a series of e-mails, phone calls, tweets, and so forth.
Gayle-Lynne actually went over to NBC to check about changes which had occurred since Jay Leno had moved to stage 11. The results of this recon mission were reported to many fans. This was to allow fans to attend Both the ceremony and “The Tonight Show.
Timing was discussed for arrivals to the site of the ceremony. Some would arrive at 6:00 am, others at 6:30am , and others thereafter. Do keep in mind the press call was at 11:00 am and the event was scheduled for 11:30am. All in all it was like planning for the D-day invasion.
When the first fan contingent arrived at 6am — they sought cover at the entrance of the Jimmy Kimmel building across the street. It was uncertain where the fans would actually be standing. Some of early arrivals included Darrin and her husband. Gayle-Lynne arrived just after 6:30am.
Approximately 7:00am or so—a truck parked at the curb adjacent to the site.
By this point it was decided we would stay near the star and wait until we had instructions where we would stand.
There were more fans who began gathering They included: Catherine from Canada, Isis, Bea, Tamara, Marcy and others.
Some went off to get coffee—while others waited and chatted. We were also trying to avoid cold rain drops.
Around 8:30 am bigger trucks arrived. The tents were being raised to protect the site and the press. Ana Martinez , the walk of fame publicist, was directing the workmen. We were asked to move away—she had a lot to get accomplished. She told us—she would make sure her security got us and take us to our places.
Meanwhile the dais was being erected. The star had its bordering red carpet placed and the ceremonial cover was placed. Barriers were being erected around the site and on the street. The raised platforms for the electronic media were in place.
Gayle-Lynne had brought a card for the fans to sign for Russell. Many signatures and special messages were written on this card.
Allison arrived around 9:00am to join the fan contingent. More and more fans gathered. Some tourists and other people came by—and stopped. Some stayed.
Eventually we were placed on the South side of the star—just off the curb in a (enclosed by the protective barriers) area. The fans who had gotten there fairly early were up against the barriers facing the star.
When Ana had a moment she returned to the fans. She told us she was glad we found our places. She apologized for sounding a little gruff earlier—but there was no need for an apology – it was understood she had a deadline and much to do. Gayle-Lynne being unsure if Russell would have a chance to talk to any of the fans, gave the sealed card to Ana, who in turn gave it to Russell’s publicist.
As it got closer to 11:00am – many press outlets were waiting for entry. One electronic press team from Belgium had not had gotten their press credentials in time stood behind some of the fans including Gayle-Lynne. By the time the event got underway there were even more people in the small observation area.
The press began to pour in to take their places. Some of their places had been carefully marked by Ana. There were print and electronic journalists and film crews from all over the world.
On the opposite side of the star, tourists and some fans also gathered. One man was wearing a Rabbitohs shirt and hat.
The excitement was growing. More people were gathering within the secured area near the star itself.
After a sound check, one of the speakers from the Chamber came on the dais and presented an award to a Los Angels police office. This policeman had helped with security at many a star ceremony and was retiring.
Things got even more exciting as people like Brian Grazer, Jay Leno, Kevin Durand, Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans), Scott Grimes, and others arrived. Some like Jay Leno actually went over to the fans to sign autographs and take photos. The buildup to the honoree’s arrival could be felt as well as heard. Russell arrived with the family. He looked fabulous.
The family was escorted to an area with chairs off to the side near us.
The first speaker gave a brief speech which noted Russell’s accomplishments as a actor and some charities he has supported. (It should be noted community service is one of the requirements for a nomination for a star).
There were speeches by Jay Leno, Ron Howard. At one point Brian Grazer also gave comments. Russell gave his acceptance speech. He spoke of being honored in the presence of people who he has worked with, friends, and his family. I am trying to recall if he spoke of the fans—it is a blur. He specifically mentioned his “beautiful wife and his sons Charlie and Tennyson. "
As I said before the family was sitting in an area not far from us. Tenny had the cutest Teddy bear. He was sucking on a sucker.
Eventually he came over to the area were we located. He came over straight to me. He held my hand in a shake for awhile. We said hello—and I told him about the card—he told me that it was nice we had done this —and I told him I had given it to Ana. I told him we were going to Jay Leno and I asked him if we could see him afterwards. He was pleasant about it and did not say no. He signed items for fans and posed for pictures with some. Eventually he left with the family.
It took awhile to regather the troops and start heading for Jay Leno (this will be a separate report).
I was so happy this had taken place. I have never made this public until this report. But years ago after he won the Oscar – we approached the Chamber for a first request for the star—I actually had the applications and was starting the process for us—but he was not ready for it.
Good job Russell.