Stars out for Lincoln premiere


There was a carpet of snow thrown over the other side of the Irish Sea, but it was red carpet that was running between the Gresham Hotel and the Savoy Cinema earlier today for the premiere of Lincoln.

As premieres go, this was as starry as the Milky Way. The charity event, plus dinner in the Burlington Hotel, which will be followed by an auction for the Wicklow Hospice, was Daniel Day-Lewis’ idea. The star of Lincoln, tipped to receive his third Oscar for the part, was inching along O’Connell Street in the sleet as he greeted fans, along with possibly the most famous director in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg.

The President, Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina, said that he’d had a chat with Spielberg earlier about the film industry. “He’s told me he’s recommended Ireland again and again as a location.”

Spielberg himself, when not good-naturedly signing DVDs of Jaws, or random pieces of paper thrust at him by starstruck reporters, said he needed “no persuasion” to come to Ireland for the premiere. As for filming in Ireland, “Well, it worked out for me,” he quipped, referring to his Oscar as director for Saving Private Ryan, part of which was shot in Co Wexford.

Actress Sally Field’s entrance into the Savoy was temporarily upstaged by Shane McGowan, who arrived after her, wearing sunglasses and doing interesting things with the fingers of his right hand to photographers. Wearing a black cocktail dress – the monochromatic hue of the afternoon - she wasn’t in the slightest disconcerted. “It’s not my first time in Ireland,” she said. “I wish I could stay longer this time.”

The man who made the whole event happen, Daniel Day-Lewis, was politely modest about his chances of winning a third Oscar. “It doesn’t seem important,” he insisted. His black shoes were very, very shiny.

Among the 900 members of the public who had paid €160 a ticket for the movie, a spin on a double-decker Dublin bus from the Savoy to the Burlington Hotel and dinner with Hollywood legends, were a number of well-known names. They included Bono and Ali Hewson, The Edge (beanie hat present), John McColgan, Norah Casey, Richard Corrigan, Noel Pearson, Paul McGuinness, Chris de Burgh, Rosanna Davison, and Neil Jordan.

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