So, there is so much to tell I don’t know where to begin? How did everyone spend last weekend? In the sun, at the beach, bbqing with family, watching baseball – just the typical summer fun?
Well folks, I spent 24 hours in Washington, D.C. this past Friday and Saturday covering the film opening this Friday WHITE HOUSE DOWN. My excitement could hardly be contained first with a long flight into Dulles International Airport where I stood looking around thinking, “Yipee-ki-yay! I love you John McClain!” I mean isn’t that what everyone does who lands at Dulles? Oh maybe it’s just me.
After a long ride into Washington, D.C. I was like a kid in a candy store trying to take everything in. From amazing colonial houses to buildings of importance and statues of historical figures my eyes couldn’t keep up. Arriving at the Sofitel it was time to relax and catch my breath before…wait for it…the screening of WHITE HOUSE DOWN at the AMC in Georgetown. Why do I so love the word ‘Georgetown’?
Getting ready I look out my hotel room window and see the hustle and bustle of Washington with cars and their special plates and it all looks so beautiful. Out the door my fellow journalists are whisked to the theatre where get grab our goodies and find seats quizzing each other on the movie we haven’t seen yet!
Just before the film screens the audience loses its mind slightly as Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Roland Emmerich and finally – Channing Tatum take the stage to welcome us all to the show. Of course the women were crazy and the guys were cheering, it’s a nice way to start a show.
Now of course I could tell you about the film but – I am saving my review for later. After the show we all return to our hotel and settle in for the night. Of course I can’t sleep because I’m too excited! Checking my schedule I’m debating how I am going to get everything done and still see the city I’ve only seen pictures of.
At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday my eyes pop open. Going right to the huge window I look out and see nothing – literally NOTHING! There are no cars on the street, no people, not even a bag floating in the wind. At first I think maybe something’s happening that I don’t know about but after a call to the desk I am told that most people sleep in on Saturdays after working hard in D.C. – makes sense to me.
So I grab my camera, put on comfortable shoes and walk less than half a block to Lafayette Square and spend some time by myself – literally. There is no one around as the squirrels introduce themselves by following me around the park. Admiring the statues all around the park I am finally face to face with – THE WHITE HOUSE!
What a magnificent building to be seen for the first time. The fountain is working and there are two guards near the fence but that’s all. I begin taking pictures from all angles I can while staring like a little kid at something so massively historic. Once I get to the gate I truly am in awe of what I am seeing.
After a few minutes another couple join me at the fence with the same look on their face. We smile at one another and stare more at the grandeur of the building in front of us. I can start to hear people moving around and cars honking which has broken the spell I was under and knew it was time to go. After exchanging picture taking with the couple I walk back to the hotel to rest.
For what you might ask? Because in a few hours I would be talking with the cast of WHITE HOUSE DOWN. Yep, that’s right! Talking with disaster director Roland Emmerich who I had a great conversation with in 2012 when the film of the same name was released.
Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal whose movie THE SECRETARY is one of the most amazing pieces I’ve seen would be in front of me answering questions. Finally, the dynamic duo and organizers of the song going crazy on iTunes “Channing all over My Tatum” Mr. Jamie Foxx and new dad Channing Tatum!
No stress right? So here are the transcripts of the interviews I had and the video I did for Military Press (www.militarypress.com) to see me for yourself! We begin with an introduction outside the Hay Adams Hotel across from Lafayette Square where the Presidential limousine THE BEAST was parked as a great introduction to the day.
Hi everybody, Jeri Jacquin for Military Press here in beautiful Washington, D.C. on a warm and sunny day next to “The Beast”. For anyone who recognizes this car it’s the limousine that takes bullets and anything else thrown at it and behind us here is the White House. We are here today because of the movie coming out this Friday WHITE HOUSE DOWN starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, and Maggie Gyllenhaal done by director Roland Emmerich. You all know who that is right? The man of disaster who is responsible for bringing us 2012 and INDEPENDENCE DAY. We have some interviews coming up for you so stay with us.
Its nice to talk to you again and a few years ago I asked you if you were done destroying the world and you were very cryptic. Have you just now whittled it down to sections of the world?
No, it’s like this. It’s very rare that you read a script that is good in this business. I just read the script and it was so good that I overcame my hesitation to do something with the White House again. I loved the essential character of this movie so much. It’s really that he’s a man who is a father who wants his daughter to love him again after he’s disappointed her. He escapes from a marriage and goes on tours to Afghanistan all made sense to me.
When you read the script did you know right away who you wanted for each role?
We had a list and at the top of the list was Channing and he was the first actor I met. After wards I said to everybody I said guys we are in trouble because I love this guy so much for this part. I would have been ready to say okay lets not do this movie if he didn’t say yes. Luckily he said yes.
You felt that strongly?
Jamie Foxx as the President?
He’s been one of my favorite actors. He’s so multi talented and I thought he could pull this off. I thought it was so cool that he played a slave in his last movie and now he’s the President. He’s in both parts convincingly and that’s an actor. Everybody sees him as a comedian but I think he’s also an amazing actor.
He got the chance to have a sense of humor.
Oh yes, I like that. I tend to cast more comedic actors in dramatic parts.
Giving them the opportunity to show their chops.
I love humor, I love movies be not too earnest and have a lighter touch. I think as a comedic actor you can turn the humor on like that. If not you’d have a tough time of it.
Was this film a hard sell to get made?
No, it was like the studio wanted it to get made and they came to me first luckily.
You did an amazing job and watching the actors interact is well done. Working with Maggie?
I’ve wanted to work with her for a long time now, ever since I saw her in THE SECRETARY.
One of my favorites.
When I saw her in that movie I said wow, she’s someone I want to work with. She’s an incredible actress.
What else do you have coming up for us?
The sequel to INDEPENDENCE DAY.
I’m sure your excited about that.
I appreciate your time talking to us!
It’s so nice to meet you. We were curious after the movie and talking about your character you’re the strong female character in this film, is that what attracted you to the script?
I like that she’s a smart and capable woman. I was more interested in the rest of her. It’s clear in the script that she’s powerful and confident but then there’s all this other stuff. The scene with James Woods when he says ‘you look so unhappy and you need to get laid’ and connect and I think that what I was into about her is that she’s a woman like the rest of us. We are professional women, like the two of us, we have professional responsibilities and are capable and all of that. But also there are times when I’m meek, confused and emotional and I wanted her to be all those things too, hot for Channing’s character, exhausted – all of that as well as capable. I think the way that she feels about democracy and about the government, I think she loves democracy in her heart, body and brain and what our country should be. I think there comes a point where it isn’t working for her to follow the rules that way so she goes around them. I think that’s all very feminine and why she’s a woman as opposed to a man.
You’re in the middle of these men who are finding reason after reason to stop you from doing what you know to do.
Especially that General, I mean what was his deal? That’s what I keep thinking when we were shooting I kept saying, “What is your problem!” I don’t know except that maybe she was challenging her power somehow.
To me it was such a strong female presence in the middle of the men arguing. You were the one saying ‘whoa, take a deep breath and listen to what I’m saying’ but that’s hard to do when everyone else has their own agenda.
It’s true. For women I think you have to think about fifteen other things also in a way that men don’t. It isn’t so much that there isn’t equality in the workplace in an old fashioned way but its more that if I’m going to disagree with someone in charge at my work I need to do it in a way that’s graceful, gentle enough that it doesn’t take me back three steps instead of forward two.
It’s a hard thing to do.
I think men don’t ‘think of all that stuff the same way as we do.
Absolutely. Working with the cast did you have a good time?
It was a great time totally.
When you all came in the theatre last night there seemed to be a camaraderie.
There absolutely was, we had fun.
Well it was great to see you all and we so appreciate your time.
CHANNING TATUM and JAMIE FOXX
I have to ask Channing, when you looked at the script did you get excited about the action sequences you were going to be doing?
Channing: When you read a script you say ‘that’s going to be sick, that’s going to be so much fun to do’…then you end up doing it all day long and think I have to hit the ground in this scene for six hours straight! Oh and I get punched in the face seven times and get kicked in the stomach so when I read that again in the script I’m going to remind myself about this.
And then you’ll do it again.
Channing: Absolutely, I mean I guess I don’t learn all that well.
And you Jamie, your favorite scene?
Jamie: I guess it would be (then he gestures using a machine gun)
Channing: Getting to hose the dude down.
We had a bet that’s what you were going to say.
Jamie: We like playing with the guns, it was a good time…blerraaatttatataaaat!!
Channing, Roland sang your praises a few moments go saying he wouldn’t have done the film without you.
Channing: Oh I really appreciate that. There are only three directors that make the size of movies that Roland does. I think he does these movies almost better than anyone. He just cares and a lot of movies don’t have heart and Roland I think has so much heart. I think movies are a reflection of the directors. I think this movie is just really him. He wants people to enjoy the movie, he cares about issues as well and he likes to have fun doing it.
He does have a great sense of humor. And you sir, Mr. Foxx, working with Roland?
Jamie: We’ve grown up watching his movies like INDEPENDENCE DAY with Will Smith and directing Channing and myself its great to see that he knows what his movies are about. I always think about a director and watch him deal with the epic and scope of the film.
He makes it look easy doesn’t he?
Channing: Yes, actually he does. Doing these movies aren’t easy especially movies of this size where some of this stuff isn’t even made. Using the CGI and keeping everything together is pretty impressive.
Are you both excited for the opening this Friday?
Jamie: Is it this Friday?
Channing: Yep! We are excited about the movie opening because we want it to do well. Everyone worked so hard on the movie and you want people to go and really enjoy it.
I’m sure all the military guys and gals will be thrilled with what you’ve put up on the screen. We appreciate your time!
And with the job done I still had time to walk casually through the Square again on my way back to the hotel. Getting a chance to drive by the other monuments on the way back to Dulles was swifter than I wanted but now there is a pull to come back to Washington, D.C.
Thanks Washington, D.C., thanks for providing the amazing backdrop to the film opening this Friday with the action, and more action film WHITE HOUSE DOWN.