As Veronica Roth once wrote “There are so many ways to be brave in this world.” I gained my bravery when I had the wonderful opportunity to attend The Divergent Series: Allegiant premiere in New York City on March 14, 2016.
I arrived at the AMC Theater at Lincoln Square around 5:15PM. I could see the crew setting up the red carpet and tents because it was raining. I made my way inside the AMC Theater to check in. The staff told us where we had to line up. It was fun to meet other press members and fan site bloggers. I met Lauren and one of her co moderator Michael who write the site TheYoungFolks.com. I also met Ronni who writes for the Theo James (aka Four) news site called TheTheologians.net. We all became fast friends after we bonded over our love for books and the series.
It was so cool to learn that Ronni was from Chicago and got to be in extra in the first Divergent movie. She was in the Choosing Ceremony scene. The first movie was filmed in Chicago. I thought it was funny when she told me that when she applied to be an extra they asked what Fraction you wanted to be in. She said she wanted to be Amity but they put her in Abnegation. Like the saying goes “Fractions over Blood”. Ronni told me it was an amazing experience to be in the same room as some of the main leads such as Kate Winslet (Jeanine).
Around 6:30PM is when the Lionsgate Staff came up to us and told us to follow them so we could check in. We got a yellow envelope and a blue wristband. Inside the envelope were our movie ticket and our pass to the After Party. After we got our wristbands all of us were escorted out to the red carpet and allowed inside the tent. We all got to walk the red carpet. Security was so nice they let us take photos by the posters before we were led to the fan zone.
The fan zone was really small, with only two sections and two rows. It was so nice because I got in the stand in the second row and had a great view of the carpet. Next to us were all of the media outlets and photographers. It was fun inside the tent waiting to see who would be the first to show up. They played music and some of the media outlets interviewed us. I was happy to see some fans had their books to be signed.
Jeff Daniels (David) was the first one to show up. After him was Keiynan Lonsdale, (Uriah), the director Robert Schwentke, and Bill Skarsgard (Matthew). Keiynan and Bill stopped by to take some photos with fans. However by this point the carpet was getting very crowded with all of the arrivals. Maggie Q (Tori) came over to take some photos and sign as well. Naomi Watts (Evelyn) stopped and waved as she was being rushed by security to get in photos and news media interviews. The same thing happened with Ray Stevenson (Marcus). Nadia Hilker (Nita), after she arrived, had a blast chatting with the fans and signing books.
By this point the tent was madness because Shailene Woodley (Tris) author Veronica Roth, Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Theo James (Four aka Tobias) and Miles Teller (Peter) had arrived. They all stopped by the fan zone and tried to get to as many fans as they could to pose for photos and sign before being rushed by security. Lauren had the best idea when Veronica Roth came our way we did a group photo to save time and we got so lucky we were able to get a photo with Veronica.
It was so sweet when Ansel stopped by our section some fans knew it was his Birthday ( March 14th) and wished him a Happy Birthday. He smiled and thanked the fan.
Shailene and Theo tried to pose for photos and sign as much as they could before security and their publicist told them they had to do more interviews.
Miles Teller (Peter) did not stop by the fan zone. He was chatting with industry and was busy with family. It was endearing that he brought his Grandma to the premiere.
The last cast member to show up was Zoë Kravits (Christina). She posed for a few photos. By this point it was 7:30PM and we were ushered back inside the AMC.
We headed up the escalators to the second floor. We then were divided into two lines. The AMC Theater is not that big so the cast was in one theater and we were down the hall in another. However we all shared the same lobby.
It was awesome when we arrived they had a table with free popcorn, soda, and water for us. Once inside the theater we found our assigned seating. I am glad I had a good spot. We listened to the soundtrack before the movie started at 8PM.
Allegiant was edge of your seat action. The stunts were bigger and the action was more intense then Insurgent. It was so exciting to go on the journey to discover what was beyond the wall. I think the movie did a great job explaining the two worlds of Chicago and the world beyond the Wall. Yes, it is very different from the book. However I thought the main themes and elements were there. I thought the movie did a better job explaining what was damaged and pure when it came to genetics. The one thing I really enjoyed was the character development. I am not going to give anything away but be ready for some big surprises and tender moments. The movie brought up a lot of ethical issues as well. I enjoy good science fiction that makes you think.
After the movie, I then headed over to the after party that was held at Cipriani at 42 Street. Our tickets were collected at the door by security. Once inside it was like being at a Dauntless party with a mix of Erudite sophistication. Everything was covered in blue light. The archway inside had the worlds Allegiant in lights and the music was blasting. I met up with Lauren, Michael, and Ronni and we started to walk around. We quickly discovered where the VIP section was because of the ropes and security near this corner section. They had seats and a bar to one side. In the VIP roped area there was also a second floor balcony area. It was a box with black curtains that was the main VIP area. The main cast like Theo and Shailene, were up there.
Outside VIP there were couches in the main area of the party that were reserved for Lionsgate people. Naomi Watts had a couch reserved on the other side. Along the hallways were food stations of seafood and pasta. Waiters were also coming around with free Champagne and appetizers.
After we got something to eat, we walked around. Ronni saw Jordan Rodrigues from the show Dance Academy and went over to talk to him. Next to him was Keiynan Lonsdale (Uriah). Keiynan and Jordan are co-stars on the show and Jordon flew in from Australia to support this friend. I got the chance to talk to Keiynan. I asked him if this was his first time in New York. He told me no. He said he had been in New York before and was in New York last year for Insurgent. He told me that Insurgent was his first big premiere. I congratulated him on Allegiant. I asked him what was the most challenging scene for him because the stunts and action were bigger in this movie. He laughed and told me he didn’t have to do a lot of stunts like the rest of the cast but he told me the most challenging thing for him was to get back into his character Uriah. He told me he has been working on Dance Academy in Australia, so to get back into the Divergent world was a challenge. Plus he had missed the cast so much. He told me after a few days on set and seeing the cast he felt at home again. It was great to talk to him. He is such a nice guy.
Ronni, Lauren and I then explored some more. I saw Josh Horwitz from MTV News. I remember when he used to do interviews for the Twilight premieres. I went up to Josh and told him that I met him at the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 premiere back in 2011 out in LA. We then chatted about Allegiant. He had read all of the books. We were wondering if part 2 Ascendant is going to hold true to how the book series ended or if they will change it. We then talked about the party. Josh was excited because Cipriani is his favorite place and he loves the food. I told him that I loved his interviews and that it was so nice to see him again. He said it was good to see me as well and to have a great night.
Ronni, Lauren, Michael, and I discovered they had a photo booth and took a few photos. It was a lot of fun. At that point Theo James walked by us but security was all over him. It still was cool to see him. We spied Ray Stevenson (Marcus) who was having dinner with friends on one of the couches. We also saw Veronica Roth by him. She was chatting with a few people, so Ronni went up to her and told her she was from Chicago, Veronica’s hometown. She was so excited. They talked about Chicago for a while and Ronni told her how she was an extra in Divergent when they filmed in Chicago. They also were excited that Book Con was going to be in Chicago this year.
I told Veronica that I saw her talk at the New York Book Con in 2014. She told me how that convention was crazy and so insane. It was her first big book convention and she was excited for Book Con in Chicago this year. I then asked her if there were any new books she was working on now that the Divergent series is coming to an end. She told me that her new book is still in the early stages. She has a few drafts written as of now and that it will be a Science Fiction Opera. I thanked her for writing the Divergent Series. Ronni, Lauren, and I congratulated her and told her to enjoy her night. She thanked us and told us that it was great to talk to us.
After wards we walked towards the VIP section and Lauren ran to Pouya Shahbazian who was one of the producers of all the Divergent movies. Lauren and Pouya had met before at an event. It was so awesome to talk to him. He asked us how we like the movie. We told him that we really liked it. He told us how it is always interesting to see the film when it is done. He said how this movie was on a larger scale. We then asked him out of the three movies, which was his favorite? He told us how hard it was to pick but he would always have a special spot for Divergent. He told us because it was the first one and it was the movie that created the world. He really enjoyed that they filmed in Chicago and that it was all new with the cast and everyone trying to get to know each other. He thanked us for coming and told us to have a great night.
Ronni, Lauren and I then went to get some dessert. They had a dessert table with any dessert you could possible imagine. It was fun. We got a table right by the VIP section and hung out. By that point Ansel (Caleb) was leaving the VIP section and he passed us. We all wished him a Happy Birthday he laughed smiled and thanked us. We saw Theo and Shailene coming in and out of the balcony area. We had fun trying to guess what cast member would come out of the curtains. At lot of people were leaving and the party was winding down.
By that point it was quarter to one in the morning. I said my goodbyes to Ronni, Michael, and Lauren and wished them a safe trip home. I got a cab and took my train home.
Overall it was a surreal night. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Veronica Roth was right, there are so many ways to be brave in this world. My bravery showed on March 14,2016 at the New York The Divergent Series Allegiant Premiere. It is a night and experience I will never forget!