Well, we've been in San Diego for 24 hours now. The weather, as always, is darned near perfect. Our hotel has a view of the bay and whatever battleship that is in dock across the water on Del Coronado Island. And Len says he may never come back again because how could he possibly top what's happened so far. It is truly lovely to be a special guest and actually treated as...special.
This morning was the Fox presentation of upcoming films. Unlike a number of people in the audience, we knew there was a special guest showing up for a few minutes after the panels on the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still and a game-based film called Max Payne. Len had a hot ticket to go back stage, but we both had Studio Guest seats in the front few rows. He had a signing at the DC booth that overlapped with the beginning of the program, which, as it turned out, wasn't a problem. The panel was delayed half an hour.
I got there first to save the seats and got tipped off about what was going to happen when the surprise guest arrived. When Len arrived, I told him to "de-Geek"--take off his cap and take the Bluetooth out of his ear. He grumbled a little and wanted to know what was up. I said "trust me."
To the screams of the audience, the special appearance of Hugh Jackman was announced and he came bounding out onto the stage. He had just flown in from Australia because they had finished principle photography for X-men Origins: Wolverine.
He started out by saying "I know what you are all thinking--he's just too tall to play Wolverine!" This has been a running joke because the 6'3" Jackman is playing a character who is only 5'3" or 5'5" tall, depending on which interview you happen to read. Len told Hugh the first time they met that he feels that Hugh does a great job of "playing short."
The audience went wild as Hugh thanked them for supporting the first 3 X-men movies and how he's grateful to have a career thanks to this character and the fans support of him and then he announced that there was someone in the audience without whom there would be no Wolverine and without whom he, Hugh, would not have a career (how generous is that?): Len Wein. He asked Len to stand up and before we knew it, Hugh was jumping off the stage to shake hands. OMG! Well, I'm proud as can be and can't stop tearing up. It was such a gracious thing to do. Entertainment Weekly Online and several other online news sources have done a good job covering the moment. As soon as I get ready, I'll have some pictures from back stage after the all too brief appearance. I should have brought the Mac with me, not the PC.
And yes, Hugh Jackman is even more beautiful in person than on screen.