Water for Elephants Sydney premier, by Eva Rinaldi - 6th May 2011
Water for Elephants enjoyed its Sydney premier tonight, with the 300m red carpet running down Pitt St Mall.
Reese Witherspoon and her co-star Robert Pattinson (Twilight) were mobbed by thousands of fans and hundreds of media types.
Earlier in the day they did Sydney's famous Luna Park, running with the circus theme.
"I think all I can do is stand back and sort of watch it happen because I'm not used to seeing somebody have so many fans," Witherspoon told the press.
"But he's so gracious about it and he's really understanding that people really take the time to stand and wait for him, so he signs every picture and talks to everybody."
Water for Elephants is based on the bestselling novel by Sara Gruen and directed by Francis Lawrence.
The beautiful love story centres around veterinary student Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), who joins a circus after his parents are killed in a car accident.
He's soon enough in charge of an elephant named Rosie, which helps bring him closer to the circus's star performer Marlena (Witherspoon).
The film's stars got up close with another elephant at a presser today in Sydney. Siam especially was brought in from Terri Irwin's Australia Zoo for the happening.
Witherspoon said she was delighted to have been given the opportunity to visit Australia again.
"I've been here before but I haven't been for some time," she said.
"It's meant a lot to me that Australian fans have come out and seen my movie so I'm excited to actually come out and meet them and be there."
She said Sydney's famous Bondi Beach was at the top of her list of places to visit.
"Last time I was here I got to go to a koala sanctuary and I got to go to the Gold Coast and Melbourne - it was really fun," she said.
"I've never been to Bondi Beach, so I think that'd be fun to check that out.
"I just heard it's fun. I want to go have a beer at the beach."
Insiders tip the movie will likely net over $50 million and is in line to pick up a number of awards.
A special thank you to the good people at 20th Century Fox for helping make tonight possible for my life and media skills students and our team. Also a big thanks for security who helped us get some great photos with the films posters at the conclusion of the evening. My students had a great experience with all the excitement, and they are not likely to forget tonight in a hurry. The popcorn that some of the circus performers handed out to media and the fans was appreciated also.
Legendary showman and circus promoter, Phineas Taylor Barnum, would have been proud of the show that Fox put on in Sydney tonight.
This film sufficiently demonstrates that life is the most spectacular show on earth, as they say in the film's tag line.
Stay tuned for our great Francis Lawrence video interview and range of great photos with Witherspoon, Pattinson and dozens more celebrities.
Reese: Witherspoon Marlena
Robert Pattinson: Jacob
Christoph Waltz: August
Paul Schneider: Charlie