Someone can do an official count, but I feel like I’ve written about Armie Hammer tens of thousands of times for That’s Normal. Today I’m doing it once again and this post is more important than all the rest, because last week I went to see Armie in his show Straight White Men on Broadway and gazed upon him in real, actual life. I brought my friend Chelsea with me, who took pictures and tried to not make fun of me for flipping out. She succeeded on both counts.
IT’S ARMIE HAMMER TIME pic.twitter.com/0Z3EM26lcq
— Jamie Whitebread (@jamiewhitebread) September 5, 2018
I wish I had gone earlier on in the run, so I could tell those of you close enough to New York to go see it, but the play closed on Sunday so you’re all out of luck. The basic premise was this: It’s Christmas, and brothers Jake and Drew (Josh Charles and Armie Hammer) have come home to celebrate with their father and oldest brother. Matt (Paul Schneider), crushed under student debt and not sure what he wants to do with his life, has moved back in with his dad and has a temp job making copies. Figuring out “what’s wrong with Matt” becomes the central issue of the play. Jake admires him for not taking the typical route of privileged straight white men, Drew is convinced that he’s depressed, and Matt can’t quite articulate what’s going on with him. Tensions escalate and the holiday is effectively ruined, but most of the play is actually quite funny. I wasn’t expecting to see a family dance battle to Icona Pop’s “I Love It” when I walked in the door, but the audience went nuts for it.
I’m no dummy, so I got aisle seats so my friend and I could slip out of the theater quickly to go wait at the stage door. Because Chelsea is a champion and wasn’t as invested as I was in seeing Armie, she took care of the picture taking, which she killed, and I wiggled into a spot right behind the barrier.
Paul Schneider came out first, and the Parks and Rec fan in me squealed a bit at Mark Brendanawicz in the flesh (he even said “Hi there” exactly the way he did on the show). As he was going down the line signing things he asked us all if we could hear they guy in the audience who kept letting out this creepy, distracting chuckle during quiet moments. The Helen Hayes theater isn’t that big, so everyone did, including the actors apparently. “So yeah, that guy was great.”
Josh Charles was incredibly friendly, excitedly asked me “How are you?!” and chatted with the girls next to me about being from Ireland. Eat your hearts out The Good Wife fans.
But as lovely as they were, we all know why I was really there. OUT COMES ARMIE HAMMER. He really is as tall in real life as he looks on screen. He was also very nice and gracious to everyone waiting, thanking us for coming and answering questions.
Have you ever felt like you were floating, but also like all of your limbs weighed a ton at the same time? I’d like to call the “Hammer Haze” if it doesn’t already have a name. Well I was in full blown Hammer Haze mode as he got closer to me.
He signed my Playbill and looked up at me, and all I could muster was a warbled “Thank you.” He looked at me, smiled, said “Thank you” back, and moved on to the girls next to me, at which point I stood there dazed until I heard Chelsea telling me to turn around.
— Jamie Whitebread (@jamiewhitebread) September 6, 2018
Look at that thinly veiled hysterical glee. Major props to the people who were actually able to have a little bit of a back and forth with him. I’m not a smooth person, okay? Armie Hammer had just looked directly into my eyes. Is that kind of embarrassing? Absolutely. But all things considered I think I did alright.
I’m still not over it, friends. First there was the Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth picture, and now this. I’m really checking all of life’s most important boxes. If you ever have the chance to go somewhere—a show, a con, what have you—to see someone that you’re a fan of, by all means, do it. But if you, like me, will dissolve into a shaky mess, just make sure someone else is taking the pictures.
All photos are mine (but really my friend Chelsea’s)