EM EXCLUSIVE: The World Premiere of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Hollywood on the Potomac

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian World Premiere

In 2006, moviegoers around the world followed a newly recruited night security guard as he experience the American Museum of Natural History in NYC for just one night. He discovers an ancient curse that causes the museum’s exhibits to come to life and giving the guard a night he’ll never forget. Based on a 1993 children’s book by Milan Trenc, Night at the Museum raked in over $250 million at the box office and increased the visitors of the Museum of Natural History by nearly 20%.

Nearly three years later, we are once again following the adventures of Larry Daley for another night at the museum. This time, we head down to the mother of all museums: the Smithsonian in our Nation’s Capital. What better way to celebrate Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian then to have the World Premiere of the film at the National Air & Space Museum. Fans and unexpected museum patrons gathered around the entrance on Jefferson Avenue of the National Air & Space Museum to get their taste of Hollywood in DC. Among the cast in attendance are Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, and more. This was the first film to be actually shot at the Smithsonian Institution. I have a feeling that the after moviegoers watch the sequel, the Smithsonian’s attendace will go up. I had the pleasure to meet the cast and crew on Thursday to ask about their experiences making this film.

NATM - Ben Stiller

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EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

BS: I would like to meet Abraham Lincoln because he was one of my heroes. Just cause what an incredible president he was. The time he was president and just to see what he has done. That’s why he is one of my heroes because of what he did for our country.

RICKY GERVAIS (Dr. McPhee)

NATM - Ricky Gervais

EM: How does it feel to play Dr McPhee again?

RG: It was an absolute pleasure. I love working with Ben Stiller and I like putting him off mainly.

EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

RG: Winston Churchill because he was always sitting down, always drunk and he had a cigar.

JAKE CHERRY (Nick Daley)
EM: What has been the most worthwhile experience for you in this movie?

JC: Hanging out with Dexter because he’s just like the cutest monkey ever and he was on my shoulder hanging out.

EM: Have you been to the Smithsonian before?

JC: I have not but I have been to Museum of National History before though. It was great!

EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

JC: J. Edgar Hoover, he is just so interesting. He created the FBI and I think its pretty cool for one guy to do that.

EM: Are you planning to be an FBI agent in the future?

JC: I might.

JON BERTHAL (Al Capone) & RAMI MALEK (Ahkmenrah)

NATM - Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon
EM: How did you prepare yourselves for your roles in the film?

JB: I watched a lot of old movies. I try to practice my mean looks there like how of what I am giving you right there, my mean look. It was lots of fun, great actors to work with and work along side of. A lot of it is to sort of try to be in the moment and try to play off of people & be funny.

RM: I built a makeshift tomb in my backyard. I would just go sleep out there and then I was the King of Egypt.

EM: Have you been to the Smithsonian before?

JB: Now, I grew up here. So I used to come take school field trips here all the time. It’s really cool to be back here in my hometown. I been coming here since I was a little kid.

RM: First time! These museums are free and I like that its totally free.

ALAIN CHABAT (Napoleon)

EM: How did you prepare yourself for your role in the film?

AC: It’s super fun because actually he is a wax figure. He thinks he is Napoleon, but there is a lot of freedom to play this character. It’s not like the heavy historical figure. I could be predaceous, crazy, super-fun, ego, short guy.

EM: Have you been to the Smithsonian before?

AC: This is my first time. This morning, I visited the Natural History museum and the American History museum. I love it, it’s amazing!

EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

AC: I would like to meet the artists like Da Vinci because he is an artist, a scientist, an inventor, and a philosopher. He is like a lot of people in one.

NATM - Owen Wilson

PATRICK GALLAGHER (Attilla the Hun)

EM: Tell us about your role and how fun was it?

PG: To me, it was very fun. I got to make up the language. We got to improv most of the stuff for both movies. For me as an actor, it was thrilling and a great experience. I used to be so big that I came out of theatre and used that big to go for it everyday. I got to fight this time which I was very happy about. So that’s me fighting.

EM: Who did you get to fight in the film?

PG: A bunch of bad, bad people like Ivan the Terrible and Kahmunrah.

EM: Have you been to the Smithsonian before?
PG: I came here in 1995 to do a play at the Kennedy Center with a Theatre company from Toronto. A play called “Whale.” I did pop in here once. I was one of those who thought you could do this in a day. I couldn’t believe how overwhelming it was.

EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

PG: I would probably meet Abraham Lincoln or Shakespeare because they both helped shaped me as a person. Shakespeare was amazing at writing theatre and gave me the experience. Abraham Lincoln being the person he was as well. I wanted to meet Jesus just to ask if he was who he really was.

SHAWN LEVY (Director)

EM: How does it feel to work on a film with the support of the Smithsonian?

SL: It’s a privilege. It was one I took really seriously and it was really, really inspiring.

EM: Any great stories from the set?

SL: Everyday was like an improvisation clinic on set. Everyday. Some incredible talented comic would try to Ben Stiller up and that made for great scenes.

THOMAS LENNON and ROBERT BEN GARANT (Screenwriters and the Wright Brothers)

EM: Tell us your experiences on writing the sequel?

RBG: It was incredibly fun experience. Coming off of the first one which people loved and it was successful. People trust us. We got to bring back a lot of old characters people like but expand the world and get the funniest actors in the world to come into that world. You couldn’t ask for a better job.

TL: We got to write a movie that has both Christopher Guest who played Nigel Tufnel, lead guitar of Spinal Tap and Darth Vader. So I challenge to come up with better casting that that in any movie.

EM: If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?

TL: That guy who was flying around with Amelia Earhart.

RBG: The navigator.

With such an amazing cast, I have a great feeling that Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian will be one of the great adventures moviegoers can look forward to this Memorial Day. Reporting from the Blue Carpet at the National Air & Space Museum.

EM Premierie Coverage
By Dean Rogers
Posted 5.19.09

One thought on “EM EXCLUSIVE: The World Premiere of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Hollywood on the Potomac”

  1. i watched Ben Stiller on tv last nite and today. he is so funny. can't wait to see the movie.

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