RECAP: Cocktails with Team Rosie Event

On Saturday, April 16, we hosted Cocktails with Team Rosie, a Water for Elephants fan gathering event at Bridges Bar inside Hilton New York. The huge windows inside the bar provided the ultimate backdrop to our event due to being located directly across the street and facing the entrance to the Ziegfeld Theater. Originally, we had set up this gathering for 18 friends to meet up and celebrate the premiere. After posting the event on our Facebook page, interest began to grow, and so did our RSVP list – to a final list of 184 confirmed and scores of readers promising to bring their friends.

The party started at 6pm, and fans were already milling about and getting a head start to the evening’s festivities. The first to introduce himself to us was Bruce from Circus Fans Association of America, who in turn introduced us to Gary Payne, Vice President of the Association and personal friend of author Sara Gruen.

Table tent custom menus!

The Hilton went all out. They set up a table for our VIPs to sign autographs and had a Water for Elephants movie poster mounted and standing on the table. They even borrowed our special cocktail menu to create custom table tent menus for every table in the bar and all along the bar! They also marked down all our movie-themed specialty drinks to a reasonable $10 each – very inexpensive for New York City!

Table set up for VIPs

Shortly after the event began, actor Mark Povinelli, who plays Kinko/Walter in the movie, arrived and a line grew to about 150 fans and snaked through the entire bar. Though Mark’s publicist had only agreed to a 30 minute appearance, Mark was very generous with his time and stayed a full hour so that every fan would receive an autograph and pose for a photo with him.

Mark Povinelli

Sea of WFE Fans

Mark Povinelli and fans

It was a joy for us to see so many of our readers join us for this event, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting each person. We were, however, extremely bummed when we spotted a line growing outside the theater IN THE POURING RAIN where fans planned to camp out for wristbands to view the red carpet arrivals. Many fans chose to leave our event and assume their position across the street. (Special thanks to the sweetheart that tried to trump our event by starting the line. ;))

Team Rosie and Mark Povinelli

Sara Gruen and a stack of movie posters to sign

As Mark was about to leave, the social media representative from 20th Century Fox arrived with Water for Elephants movie producer Andrew Tennenbaum, actress Donna Scott (plays Barbara in the movie), and author Sara Gruen! It was unbelievable! Fox even brought 125 movie posters for Sara to autograph for the fans. Again, a long line grew and Sara signed books and posters, and posed for pictures with anyone that asked her.

One thing we learned that night is that Sara is really funny about “posing” for photos. She likes to have a natural look on her face in pictures she poses for. Every photo included a countdown, with Sara’s back to the camera, and a “1-2-3-BETTY!” then she would whip around and FLASH the picture was taken. When Team Rosie got an opportunity to pose with her, we all played along with the countdown and here is the result:

Team Rosie and Sara Gruen

Actress Donna Scottgave Kinkers Tink and Deb an impromptu interview. (We will be doing

Donna Scott and the Kinkers

a special post on that later this week.) Donna was an absolute sweetheart, taking the time to get to know each of the girls that make up Team Rosie. She is drop dead gorgeous, in the film and in real life! Teaser: she told us what it was like kissing on Robert Pattinson! Check it out later this week.

Kinker Deb, Andrew Tennenbaum and Kinker Tink

Producer Andrew Tennenbaum expressed his lack of surprise for fans standing in the freezing, pouring rain for a chance to be sideline for the red carpet arrivals. He told me, “one thing that I have learned over the years, that in this business you never underestimate the fans.” I told him how I had read box office gross estimates for Water for Elephants and that I thought the figures were low. I told him it was my opinion that Water for Elephants would be an instant classic; a timeless movie like Titanic or Forrest Gump that you can pop in to the DVD player or watch on TBS and it never gets old. He told me that his girlfriend had told him something similar after previewing the film three times. I then asked him what was the producer’s estimate for box office receipts, but he only gave me a poignant answer, “you know, we have an incredible cast and we made a great movie. We’re expecting great word of mouth with this film and we’re confident in the picture we made.”

Toward the end of our event, producer Gil Netter arrived and I grabbed a quick picture of him chatting with Sara.

Gil Netter and Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen autographing items for fans

Sara impressed us all by staying TWO HOURS to sign and photograph with every single fan in attendance. We had been told she was stopping in for 15 minutes, so you can imagine our surprise that she stayed so long! She refused to accept our multiple thank yous and told us it was her pleasure to be there. We were later told by Fox that it was Sara’s idea to come to our event, and that she specially requested for Fox to reach out to us to set it up. (We’re not worthy!)

Sara also noted that she had seen all the fans starting to “camp standing up” in the freezing rain outside, and she proclaimed to us, “anyone that waits in THIS rain will meet me.” And that is what she did! We wrapped up the event and followed Sara over to the line outside Ziegfeld Theater, with Kinker Deb playing personal assistant. Deb held an umbrella over Sara’s head as she made her way down the line of fans and autographed items and posed for pictures. It was adorable watching her attempt the 1-2-3-BETTY while trying to remain under the umbrella. Sara was soaked to the bone, even her leather purse was ruined. I grabbed video as proof!

All in all, we estimate that some 250-300 fans joined us, at some point, during our cocktail “hour” that lasted 3 hours. We owe a HUGE thank you to Mark Povinelli, Sara Gruen, Donna Scott, Andrew Tennenbaum, Gil Netter and Megan from Fox. Thank you, SO MUCH. Additional thanks to Hilton New York for helping us pull off a successful event. Thanks again to all our readers that joined us – we hope you had a great time meeting the VIPs and fellow fans.

- Team Rosie

PS: For those reading this that were at the party, please upload your photos to our Facebook Fan Page. We can’t wait to see them!

More photos, taken by our friends at Pattinson Post! Thanks Jen, Sabrina and Greg! Our own photos in the gallery as well.

Follow @h2oforelephants on Twitter and Facebook!

This entry was posted in Andrew Tennenbaum, Donna Scott, Fan Event, Gil Netter, Mark Povinelli, Red Carpet Premieres, Sara Gruen, The Kinkers, The Site, Water for Elephants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • DeansHoneyBear

    This was a great time, had by all! It was such an honor to meet all the kinkers, and I truly “fan-girled out” on you guys! I even did the Waynes World “we’re not worthy”, and tried to explain how they are not only a huge driving force in the fandom, but actual ROYALTY….to which Tink tried to reply “no, no, no, we’re just fans exactly like you”…I was one of the people that got to meet Sara in line out in the rain- (wristband #148 I wound up with -I am actually in the group directly in front of the ones in the video…I was on a Bio break-Camelpolitans will do that to a girl!) and was told Sara was there and was looking to to sign autographs) ..this was such an honor for me because I was a fan of her writing LONG before WFE…I used to be a competitive showjumper, and her first two books (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes) spoke to me in ways only a fellow equestrian can…She was in great spirits, thanked us multiple times for all the support, and made NO mention of the very serious headcold she seemed to have in her red carpet interviews..and might I add, the cutest, hippest, most petite woman I could have mistaken for a teenager..she is GORGEOUS! Thanks again kinkers..I will be posting my pics…do you only want pics of the cocktail party? I have some pics and video of how bad the weather actually got throughout the night…as well as VIP fan videos and pics..what a great experience, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to meet such great people from all walks of life..xoxo

  • Debi

    Wow! What a great experience, sounds like you guys had an amazing night. I wish I could have been there too. Team Rosie!
    I think it is so nice that the producers were there to acknowledge all the work you have put into the website for the past year+, you guys deserve it.
    Can’t wait to hear more about the weekend!

    P.S. don’t make us wait too long, we’re all living vicariously here. LOL

  • DebbieCDC

    I was so sorry I didn’t get to stay longer at the party. I just had the chance to meet Walter and get my copy of WFE signed by him and ordered one drink when that line started to form outside. Unfortunately it was time for a quick make and break decision about whether to stay or go. My friends and I chose to opt for the line, which turned out to be a disastrous decision. It was wonderfully gracious of Sara to come outside in that horrible weather and say hi to everyone & pose for pix.

    The event at the Bridges Bar was lovely, even the little bit I was able to enjoy. I appreciate that Fox put on a very nice party for everyone and seemed to have done a lot to make it a lovely evening. I wish I could say the same for their PR/security people who handled the coveted 200 wristband line, which was unfortunately a fiasco. And Kinkers, I agree with you 100% that the line should have NEVER been allowed to start while the party was going on. That was hideous timing and there should have been better coordination between the Ziegfeld and Fox on that point.

    In spite of all that, it was still wonderful to meet everyone and share a lot of laughs and swap stories and find out how much we all have in common, even though probably 95% of us had never met in person before. Can’t wait for this weekend to FINALLY see the movie!

  • Bettybmusing

    It is just simply a absolute joy reading about the wonderful time everyone had in meeting each other, the cast and Sara G. I must admit my most delightful joy was reading about 1-2-3 BETTY …. LOL

  • rob’s smile

    Rob’s fans are beyond amazing. Everything about WFE is amazing. My heart is simply full of happiness for everyone :)

  • Lydia

    When I was watching this video I was trying to figure out the angle in which it was taken because the women featured were right behind me in line. Then, I realized that I’m actually in the background. At :11 I am the one on the far right in the dark coat with the umbrella covering my head and my back against the baracade. Moments before this was taken, Sara Gruen had graciously posed for a photo for me. In the photo, which I have posted on your facebook page, you can clearly see that the entire left sleeve of her sweater is completely soaked. She is really lovely.

  • SmittenByaBrit

    So happy for you guys! You all looked fab! :) Wish I could have been there!

    Can you believe that this has all happened since we first started talking about WFE over at RAoR?!?!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RobCatCdn RobCatCdn

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience! Didn’t realize all the “behind the scene” work it involved and that it was such a big gathering. Sounds like it was Amazing … with lots of bonus points … getting to meet so many people involved with WFE. So happy that you all got to experience that and together! :-) <3s

  • Dangrdafne

    It was a spectacular night. Thank you so much for all you did to make the event so much fun. Sara was amazing and I still can’t believe I met her.

    I do have a question. Is there any way to get a Team Rosie pin still??