However, the real fun started afterwards at the after party. Held in The Regent Theatre's ballroom, it certainly looked lavish. I introduced myself to cute-as-a-button Morgana Davies, shook her hand and told her how much I loved her film and her performance in it. Her mother was suitably in love with me. I momentarily spoke to Joel Edgerton who is just as lively and, yes, incredibly sexy in person as you would expect.
Myself and Tara Judah of Liminal Vision, my partner in crime for the evening, had a wonderful chat with Best Adapted Screenplay winner Stuart Beattie who we somehow ended up at the same booth with (all by ourselves, too!) I basically spent a lot of time yammering on to him about how much I love Collateral, how I was a fan of Australia and probing him for information about his film. He had told us earlier in the press room that Paramount have just asked him to write the Tomorrow sequel, which I hope we get to see sooner rather than later.
When he got up to go to the bar we, naturally, took photos with his statue.
Tara and I also waxed lyrical with Michael Spierig, AFI Award-winner for Daybreakers (it won Best Visual Effects at the Industry Awards).
However, by far the greatest moment was when I got the chance to say something to the one and only Claudia Karvan. Australian acting royalty (15 AFI acting nominations, 4 AFI producing nominations) and she had nobody standing around her, making it perfect timing for me to turn into a puddle of superlatives about how incredible she is. I'm sure people like she and Edgerton are far too used to such things, especially at events like this, that it really doesn't matter all that much (although I think Edgerton liked that I said he was snubbed for The Waiting City), however, Karvan then turned to me and shared a joke! She pointed out a group of uniformed police officers and asked me "Do you think they're here for a Rush promotion?"
Someone involved with her show Spirited came over at that stage and I figured it was my cue to leave and unfortunately didn't get a photo with her, but this is a picture from her on the red carpet so just imagine me standing next to her and doing my darnedest to not make a fool of myself. I think I succeeded on the not-looking-like-a-fool part, but if she somehow reads this then I will have actually failed. "What a weirdo!" I can imagine her saying in that oh-so-fabulous i-can't-quite-disguise-how-much-contempt-i-have-for-even-though-i'm-trying-to-sound-like-i-give-a-damn-about-what-you're-saying way she has.
I was there on behalf of Encore Magazine and you can read my roundup of the evening by clicking here and here. Unfortunately the awards are moving to Sydney next year so I won't be able to go, but I'll always have Claudia Karvan sharing a joke with me. Bless.