An epic interview with the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer: From 'Cloud Atlas' to 'Jupiter Ascending'
Leading up to the secret screening, I had a pretty good idea that our cover had been blown, and I reached out to Judd Apatow to help me play some Twitter games to try to confuse the issue. It worked well enough that on the morning of the secret screening, someone walked by and told me, "Hey, man, you guys think you're being sneaky, but I saw Judd Apatow in the bathroom this morning. I know you're screening 'This Is 40.'" I did my best to look upset that they had figured me out, even as the Drafthouse was busy sneaking the Wachowskis up an outside staircase on the far side of the building.
When I announced the title onstage, the energy in the room surged, and both sold-out theaters seemed excited to hear they'd be seeing the movie. But when I introduced Lana and Andy and they walked out onstage, the theater went crazy, almost 2/3 of the crowd rising to their feet, giving them a standing ovation simply for showing up. Andy took the microphone first, saying, "I'm Andy Wachowski, and this is my sister Lana. You may know that Lana used to be Larry, and we used to be the Wachowski Brothers. Now? We are the Wachowski Starship." Huge response from the crowd, and then Lana took a moment to thank everyone for coming out and to introduce the movie.
Afterwards, pretty much every single seat was still occupied when we took the stage to start the Q&A. I was still emotional from seeing the finished film for the first time, and I think the full standing ovation the Wachowskis got this time, this one for the film and what they accomplished with it, made them emotional as well.
There's a short highlights reel from the Q&A that Fantastic Fest put together, and you can check it out here:
When everything finished and we were chased out of the theater because we were running late, the publicists for Fantastic Fest invited them to join everyone at the Highball for drinks and conversation. I seriously don't think a single person at the festival would have been shocked or offended if they'd chosen instead to go back to their hotel or out to a private post-screening dinner. The Q&A was such a love-fest from the crowd that I think everyone would have been happy to have had that be the full encounter.