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Photo Story: Star-struck in Kong's capital

Photo Story: Star-struck in Kong's capital

By Ethan Tucker

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Naomi Watts

Wellington turned on a blissful sunny evening for the New Zealand premiere of King Kong tonight, as the stars came downtown to mingle with we gleeful-but-sweaty masses. The Embassy, renamed 'The Alhambra' for the night, gleamed in the sunshine as Courtenay Place thronged with thousands of Wellingtonians and plenty of visitors from afar. The great and good (and Marc Ellis) filed past, dutifully submitting to be interviewed by carpet-stalking hosts Jacqui and Mark, signing autographs and posing for photos with excitable and sometimes frankly hormonal teenage fans.

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Colin 'Son of Tom' Hanks

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Mr Adrien Brody

From about 5m behind the radio crews there was an excellent vantage point to photograph almost all of the stars in attendance aside from the hyperactive Andy Serkis. Jack Black had commitments elsewhere, but the crowd was treated to the sight of Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Serkis, Jamie Bell and Colin Hanks.

Peter Jackson and his production team were particularly generous with their time as usual, spending a good half hour talking to fans and giving interviews to radio flacks and newspaper hacks. A Weta Digital stand, duly lubricated with champagne, gave the greatest hoots and cheers for their non-celebrity workmates as they paraded up to the cinema.

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Mr Adrien Brody again

Red carpet host Jacqui Brown, normally the epitome of good taste, got off on the wrong foot with Adrien Brody by drawing attention to the size of his nose (what, like no-one's ever told him before?) and by accidentally alluding to bedroom rudeness when interviewing undie salesman Dan Carter's girlfriend. Teenage girls squealed for Colin Hanks, although the one who called out 'Tom! Tom!' might've needed a bit of guidance. Naomi Watts faced up to the press and repeated the mantra that 'oh, Wellington was like a second home to me' - despite being reported to have missed Sydney something chronic during her stay here. But hey, once you've seen her amazing acting in the audition scene in Mulholland Drive, you can forgive Naomi anything.

As the sun slipped behind the buildings of Courtenay Place, the premiere screening began, and the stars slipped out of sight into Majoribanks Street to prepare for the official party later. Crowd control was never a problem The police almost had to restrain the crowds as they stampeded out of there, as if King Kong himself was grimacing menacingly over Kent Terrace.

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Jamie 'Billy Elliot' Bell

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Digital Magician 'Richard Taylor'

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The Embassy

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Mr Karl Urban

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Dan Carter – All Black Kicker

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Je Lan Brash [National leader Dr Don Brash's Wife]

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The Dobbster – Dave Dobbyn

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Kiwi Rock Star – Jon Toogood

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TV3's Carol Hirschfield

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Jacqui Brown – Off the Telly


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