Saturday 17 March 2018

Angela Scanlon: Big thumbs up to my night at the Baftas

Angela Scanlon on the red carpet at the Baftas
Angela Scanlon on the red carpet at the Baftas

Angela Scanlon

Last weekend I went to the BAFTAs. I'm not even sure how I got there (something to do with my being the digital host for The Voice in the UK) but let's not question it.

The night before I went to the nominees' party at Kensington Palace. I wore a pink tuxedo while looking at the Royal art collection and taking pictures of the loo despite warnings against flash photography. (I'm sure it's not the actual throne she uses but I did feel regal passing her line of dresses en route for a nose powdering.)

I have it from a reliable source that one girl got so drunk on champagne that she had to be literally carried out. Of the palace. Just imagine the morning-after fear.

I felt some elements of fear - the type of fear that makes me walk like a new-born foal. The type of fear that makes me unsure of the acceptable etiquette. I may have put on my phone voice, and there was a Julia Roberts moment when I grappled with the cutlery…

The fear stemmed from the extreme formality. I had to bring my passport to get in, which turned this into quite the predicament not least because my clutch bag was very small. I have lost a total of seven passports in almost as many years so choosing to take it with me to a place with free and delicious champagne was perhaps an obvious risk. A risk work taking when just a few hours later Cuba Gooding Junior told me he "always had a thing for redheads" - which would have been fabulously affecting had I not been within touching distance of Jullianne Moore who I would turn for myself on a jolly night.

It took all the willpower I had not to shout "show me the money". I am pleased with the self restraint shown. The big day arrived and it was time to get togged out. I had my face done, my hair pulled and I stepped into my dres. I sat on the bed to force my feet into my ridiculously uncomfortable-but-so-worth-it shoes and the waist popped! IDEAL.

Thankfully my sister came to the rescue with a needle and thread and all was right in the world until I entered the red carpet.

This is a beast. It feels half-a-mile long, which in heels is like walking over hot coals for an unbearable distance. There's a relatively relaxed atmosphere except for people screaming "Cumberbatch" and "STEVESTEVESTEVE" (Carell) with an urgency that suggests they may drop dead without some form of interaction or at least a bit of eye contact. When Tom Cruise arrived things got really interesting.

Once I passed the screaming film fans, it was into the pit where there were hundreds of photographers. Shouting and screaming and telling me to turn right and left and look this way and smile and move here and get out of the way. Of course I attempted to pretend it's normal but they can smell the fear, they can sense the sweat beads running down my back... So I smiled, an awkward half smile, and at one point found myself giving them the thumbs up. I am mortified. And mortifying.

Stephen Hawking brought the auditorium to tears and the great and good stood for five minutes clapping for this extraordinary human whose extraordinary generosity and talent has led to an extraordinary, BAFTA-winning movie.

The room was filled with extraordinary people - it's not a word I use often.

People, many young people, who possess an extreme clarity and focus, who have become obsessed with this world as kids and teenagers when most were figuring out what moisturiser would prevent acne and how they could get cans from the local off-licence. They are blessed with faces chiselled by angels and the good grace to not give the thumbs up on the red carpet.

Kimye? go away!

Meanwhile at the Grammys, Kanye West was being his normal subtle self, storming the stage and full-on shifting Kim Kardashian on the red carpet. I am actually lost for words. Madonna was deemed embarrassing for having her bum hanging out but at least she's got some discernible, definable talent. Let's attempt to collectively reward people who are creative and brave and brilliant rather than, well, Kidiots.


Irish Independent

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