‘Alexander’ Premiere: Screaming Fans And Butt-Pinching

Actors recall exhausting, peril-filled shoot.

The stars of “Alexander” conquered the red carpet Tuesday night at the film’s premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The cast was all smiles as they celebrated their new film: Colin Farrell lit a cigarette, Angelina Jolie signed autographs and Jared Leto got a surprise pinch on his behind from an unknown admirer. “Someone just grabbed my buttocks,” he said. “I guess at the ‘Alexander’ premiere, with Greek love abounding, that is an acceptable thing to do.”

The entire cast agreed that portraying the life and times of the legendary Macedonian warrior was no easy task. Making the film was a long and tiring process involving lavish sets, intricate costumes and epic battle scenes. Director Oliver Stone shot the entire film in about 90 days on sets in Thailand, Morocco and Asia. “There was no day where you would come to work and just shut off and go, ‘Today is an easy day,’ ” Farrell said. “The situations were always high drama. There was no dull moment.” Leto echoed the sentiment, saying the many stunts made the set a dangerous place. “At one point, I went to the producers and I said, ‘You know, I am concerned that someone could die,’ ” he said. “After every take, there were people with broken legs, ribs, wrists — and these are stunt guys! It is lucky that someone didn’t get seriously injured.”

In order to prepare for their role, the actors portraying soldiers, like Farrell and Leto, took part in an intense three-week boot camp in the Moroccan desert where they underwent extensive training in ancient battle strategies. “They really put us through the ringer,” said Farrell.

Jolie, who portrays Alexander’s mother, Olympias, had a different kind of challenge with her role, due to the fact that her character was constantly surrounded by snakes. “In the first few days, when a truckload of them showed up, it was a bit overwhelming,” she said. But by the end of the film, Jolie says the snakes actually helped her get into character. “When you can have a conversation with someone with a snake wrapped around your leg and one around your neck — and you are not afraid anymore even when they are hissing in your ear — it does something. It inspires strength.”

Jolie said that playing Farrell’s mother, despite the fact that she is only one year older then the actor, was another challenge she was able to easily overcome. “When Colin and I first talked about it, we both thought it might be a bit strange,” she said. “But we both take our jobs very seriously, and I came on set as Olympias and he came in as Alexander. Somehow, in that room, during the scenes, it wasn’t an issue.”

Many other famous faces in the crowd were excited to see the film including Robert Downey Jr., Kobe Bryant (with wife Vanessa), Michelle Rodriguez, rock band the Killers and rapper Bow Wow.

Before entering the theater, Farrell waved to the hundreds of fans who lined the streets chanting his name. When asked how it felt to have all those people screaming for him, Farrell smiled and said, “It feels wonderful.”

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