Ladies and Gentlemen, Queen of the Desert has finally arrived!
Queen of the Desert, the highly anticipated biopic about Gertrude Bell, a historian, novelist and member of the British Secret Service, directed by Werner Herzog, and starring Nicole Kidman, Damian Lewis, James Franco and Robert Pattinson has arrived at Berlinale 2015 complete with a photo shoot, press screening followed by a press conference with some FUN moments and, of course, the Red Carpet. We were extremely lucky to be able to see both the Press Conference and the Red Carpet LIVE on the festival website. That’s what I call public service 🙂 You can now watch the Press Conference and the Red Carpet here. Thank you, Berlinale!
So, after long hours of LIVE tweeting, which I have actually found to be quite exciting and fun, I am in my apartment in New York writing this piece… And those lucky ones among us are watching the World Premiere of Queen of the Desert in Berlinale Palast. We will be looking forward to the first reviews of the movie after the first screening. The movie is also in the competition line-up in the festival, so… BREAK A LEG, guys! BEST OF LUCK!
Let’s start with the official plot of the movie from Berlinale and then talk about “Damian Moments” of the day!
“The film tells the story of Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) who, as historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, played a decisive role around 1920 in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East. As an educated young woman, for whom no suitable husband can be found in England, she journeys to Tehran.
After a tragic love affair with diplomat and inveterate gambler Henry Cadogan, she decides to give up on her private life and discover the region as an explorer. Before the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire she learns languages, translates literature, meets with Muslim dignitaries in Cairo, Basra and Baghdad and earns their trust through her pluck and respect. Predestined to be a mediator between the Orient and the British Empire, she contributes to defining the new borders in the region after the First World War.
And then love enters her life once again.
[Side note: And this LOVE is the one we’re most interested in. And, lucky us, the first clip that came out is a romantic one from this very love. Enjoy!]
Werner Herzog uses the vast desert landscapes to depict the architecture of his characters’ souls. A panoramic epic about the woman who has gone down in history as ‘the female Lawrence of Arabia’.”
In the press conference, Damian Lewis talked about the research he did about his character Charles Doughty-Wylie and his relationship with Gertrude Bell at Newcastle University. In case you missed it, you can see a piece, that I wrote earlier here, on Damian’s character in the movie, Charles Doughty-Wylie, and on Damian’s research at Newcastle University.
Damian said of the relationship between Doughty-Wylie and Bell: “They sent beautiful and erotic letters to each other… but of its time… there is nothing explicit or sexual… there were suggestions of love, of missing each other… And, Doughty-Wylie was married, so… he was, I suppose, in some ways, being a naughty boy… I’m not sure if he would have ever left his wife or not… I think he was caught, he was caught, but he was certainly taken by Gertrude Bell.”
Hearing Damian Lewis talking about his research and all is great, BUT… the funniest and the loveliest moment of the Press Conference was when Damian said: “I had a looong kissing scene with Nicole, but got CUT… I don’t know if that was because I am not a very good kisser or not , but I enjoyed filming it…”
Who could get cuter than that?
And… on to the Red Carpet moments. Damian Lewis arrived with his lovely wife Helen McCrory.
And, he kept busy talking to reporters on the red carpet.
And, there was this FUN moment when he shared a laugh with his co-star Nicole Kidman.
Honestly, I like this kind of photo, the natural moments if you wish, much more than the staged photos at photo shoots or on red carpets. That’s probably why I did not have a professional photo shoot even for my wedding 🙂 Maybe it’s just me, but yeah, it’s me 🙂
AND… the TOP moment for me was Damian Lewis signing his photo at Berlin Palast with a “Damian Lewis <3 x” LOVELY.
And, he’s so funny, he first signs, and then he pretends to sign as Helen takes a picture 🙂
Lots of <3 and x’s for you, Damian, and hope you are having a BLAST at Berlinale!