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Yes, it really happened. Life goals were achieved last weekend by the T Hiddy Committee when we met Tom Hiddleston at Wizard World Philadelphia. Not only did we get to photograph and video tape him in his manspread as press, right up front (crouching on the floor while our feet fell asleep, mind you), we also got a photo with him and felt his hands on our waists. True to form, the T Hiddy Committee is gonna break this experience down for you in today’s Time for Tom…
We’ve included the introduction video we shot, right up front as press, so you can enjoy Tom’s sudden entrance and proximity the way we were able to…
And here is Tom responding to the question about the James Bond rumors… we added closed captioning since it’s hard to hear our amazing iphone audio 😉
Lorena: The moderator for the Captain America panel was much better at moderating than the one they used for Tom’s (who was like the main guy running the con, so you’d think he’d be amazing by now). But I wish people would ask better questions. Our audience Q&A at the Stanley Tucci panel was killer. Why can’t people be more like that around Tom?
Jamie: I think on the one hand, people tend to go to pieces a bit around people they have a crush on. They kind of idealize them and don’t behave the way they normally would, if that makes sense. I also think that some people just wanted to be up there, and genuinely didn’t have a question prepared when they went to get in line. I may be giving people too much credit, and they genuinely thought those were quality questions. Which would be a shame. The questions that Stanley Tucci were 1000% better, I agree.
Lorena: I was attempting to live tweet the Tom panel (I mean, Chris was there, but Tom was really why anyone was there), so you actually were more engaged with the moment than me. I did like that when someone asked about Shakespeare there was almost a collective “Here we go…” shift in their seats from the audience. What were your favorite moments?
Jamie: You crushed the live tweeting. Anyone who wasn’t following it live should go back through the feed and look at it. There were a few really nice moments, but one of my favorite ones was early on in the panel. Tom has talked about this before, so it wasn’t new information, but he went into how he’s been made an honorary Hemsworth brother. He said something about it being like Mowgli being accepted by the wolves. I think it’s very apparent that Tom has only sisters, so it’s always amusing to me when he gets excited to be around guys.
Lorena: I know we were both glad to have the panel before our photo ops since we had never seen Tom in the flesh before that moment at 1:03pm. He was so beautiful.
Jamie: I’ve been referring to it as our Tom amuse-bouche. And it absolutely helped. If the first time we had seen him in person had been the three seconds before we had taken our picture with him on Sunday, I don’t think we would have done nearly as well. I would have been too freaked out by him being that close to me to be able to pull it together.
Lorena: Seriously! It was weird, after the panel I felt sort of like Tom was larger than life. But after the photo op, he felt incredibly human again.
The panel was nice and everything, but it wasn’t the main event of our weekend. Have you seen the greatest picture ever taken? You’re about to. We decided that the best way to talk about the actual taking of the photo was for each of us to post the experience from our point of view. Granted, the entire experience from start to finish was about eight seconds, but it was one of those things that tends to happen a bit in slow motion.
After waiting in a line for 30 minutes, we got into a closed space. There’s a table to put your stuff on, and they have like 3-4 sets of people in there at a time, so it moves really fast but you also have some time to stare at Tom before you get to him and you get used to the room for a brief moment before you’re up to the very front. Seriously that’s helpful, because no matter how much someone tells you that “it goes by SO FAST” you don’t understand what that means until you do it. For any of you who are into Tom enough to know who Luke is: I immediately saw Luke sitting in the corner looking at his phone, ‘cuz they always have their publicists / managers in there with them just in case.
In my head I’d planned out a script of saying, “Hi, I’m Lorena, this is Jamie” maybe something about us, but there was actually only time to say “Hi” Literally I mean that. So before we went in I made the choice to go directly in for a hug with Tom, because yes. So we gave the guy our ticket, I beelined in for Tom with my arms open hug style and said, “Hi!” with a smile. He had his press photos smile plastered on and went “Oh, hi” back to me, sort of like Oh we are hugging, okay. Which, obviously wasn’t the IDEAL reaction, but he hugged me and that was ideal. As we are hugging the photographer screams “No hugging! No kissing!” As if I was about to lay one on the man (LOLZ NO). He did look at me in the eye, but it was a distracted look, like he was almost uncertain about if he could hug me or should just move me into photo position. I’ll assume that his Tom-ness took over and he had to hug me because it would be incredibly rude to leave someone in hug position hanging, especially when it would only take a moment. I think that they’re under instruction to move the line along as quickly as possible and to assist in ushering the fans through the process. The hug was casual. It was like when you’re meeting friends at a restaurant who you see like twice a month or so and you arrive after they did and you just approach with open arms and hug. It was that type of a hug.
So let me stop right here to let you guys know two things: 1. He smells fresh, fine. Nothing to write home about. 2. HE IS SKINNY. Like so skinny. Skinnier than I expected. He’s solid muscle, sure, but a total bean pole with as much muscle as humanly possible for him packed onto his string bean build. When he was standing there he seemed built enough, but when my arms were wrapped around his body, I was like “Holy shit this guy is so fucking skinny”. Like afterward I thought, “This man CANNOT be James Bond. He’s too skinny!” He is also quite tan, tanner than you expect, and he has a sort of glow to him… like he glistens or radiates. I can’t quite explain it. He just exudes an energy… he radiates a vibrancy. All of the pictures you see where he seems just so happy to be there, that’s how he legitimately is. Like he really does radiate that. His aura truly brightens a space.
So, after the hug, I think we just sort of left our arms around each other and turned for the photo (I really don’t remember). You’ll see his hand placement on my waist right under my boob, but I promise you that I couldn’t even feel him touching me. It was so light. Same with Jamie, she said to me after. He looks like he’s death gripping us, but legitimately he’s barely touching me. He does in press photos with actresses, too. I’ve always noticed and wondered this, so now I know. I have intimate knowledge of Press Mode Tom’s behavior.
Jamie and I had decided before going in that she’d be between Tom and Chris. We didn’t particularly want Chris in the photo (their duo was the only Tom option left), but we didn’t have any time to explain that to him. Apparently Jamie’s body language explained it well enough for him 😉
Anyway, I’ve taken 10,000% more time writing this than I did experiencing it. It all was about 8 seconds long. When we left, I forgot my stuff, Jamie had to yell at me to come back and get it. Then I just stared at Tom a little longer through the gap in the curtains while he took more photos. As we walked away, I said to Jamie, “I have no idea if I was even looking at the camera.” She was worried too about how she would look. Then we saw the photo and we both were like, “HOLY CRAP. WE NAILED IT.”
I’ll start by saying that I was incredibly nervous waiting in line. I’m a very shy person, so even Lorena telling me that everything was going to be fine was not helping, as anyone who is also shy knows. Lorena was chatty to deal with her nerves, while I went “full turtle.” Just tucked away into myself and didn’t say much of anything, just silently flipping out. When the line started moving, it was going way too quickly for me. I obviously knew we were going to do this, but I was really only thinking of it in theory and not focusing on the fact that we were actually going to have to do it.
They usher you into the little curtained off area, and it’s set up just like it was when you had picture day at school. You get to see the few people in front of you take their picture, so it’s nice that you get a few seconds to prepare yourself. I think I was also helped by the fact that we had seen Chris and Tom in person the day before at the panel. I guess I was more excited to see Chris Hemsworth than Lorena was, but even so, I decided to process him first so that I could spend the rest of the time focusing on Tom. I said “Hi,” and he said “Hi” back and gave me a polite little smile, and then while I was getting into position for the picture I looked up at Tom and said, “Hi” and he looked down at me and gave a more enthusiastic “Hi” and a friendly smile. I thought that 1) he looked very tan and 2) OMG that is what I always imagined him looking down at me would be like. And as Lorena and I discussed after, he is skinny, way skinnier than he looks. Like a string bean.
So many people have been teasing me because of my positioning in the picture. But here’s the thing. It was totally unintentional in the moment. I know we were both more excited to be near Tom, but I’m not going to lie and pretend like it was some huge hardship for me to be the one in the middle. Like, I had no problem being the filling in that Hiddlesworth sandwich. But Chris was not really as into it, and he wouldn’t scootch in! So in the split second that I had to decide where to put myself, a call needed to be made. If I split the difference, I wasn’t going to be nestled into either of them, and that was not happening. And Chris is great, but if I have to choose between him and Tom, I’m going Tom. As I obviously did.
In the picture it looks like Tom is gripping on to us pretty intently, but he really wasn’t. He’s scrunching my dress a bit at the waist, but it was really light. I may have been so nervous that I wasn’t really in my body at the moment. Plus, it really was all over so quickly. At that point it was just looking at the camera, having the picture taken, saying “thank you” to each of them and giving them each one last look, then we were done. I had to grab our stuff because Lorena was just walking out of there in a daze.
I’m not someone who likes having their picture taken, so I was nervous about how it was going to look. This was a one shot deal, so if you don’t like the way you look in the picture, it’s kinda too bad. But as soon as they handed it to us Lorena and I both were like “HOLY CRAP WE CRUSHED IT.” We look fantastic, if I do say so myself. A win for the T Hiddy Committee for sure.
Lorena: I have to say that the photo is so hilariously perfect. It looks like Tom is saying to Chris, “Two for me, none for you.”
Jamie: Right, or like Chris is my cousin who was forced to come to prom with me. He could have been all nestled in there with us, all it would have taken was a step to the right. It’s not like I didn’t try. I got my arm around him and everything.
Lorena: But you really just wanted to go with Tom.
Jamie: It wasn’t even a question. Like being next to Tom was happening for sure. Chris was more than welcome to come along for the ride, it’s not like I was going to shove him away from me. Perhaps he knew and decided to be polite and hang back a bit. He could feel our Tom energy.
Lorena: All around though, I definitely think this was worth it. Now we have a legitimate T Hiddy Committee profile photo.