Things were fairly calm at the premiere of Home till Rihanna and Jim Parsons walked the red carpet together. Then the screams began.
Most of them were for Rihanna, the R&B singer who does one of the voices for the animated movie, but Big Bang Theory star Parsons got his fair share, too, especially when the crowd started chanting “Sheldon!” — the character he plays on the CBS sitcom.
But the premiere wasn’t about them, or the movie, so much as it was about Cheryl “Action” Jackson, who founded Plano’s Minnie’s Food Pantry in 2008, using food from her own kitchen. Jackson, who is known for having a red carpet for her food-pantry clients, won the premiere screening in a “Bring Home to Your Hometown” contest on ABC’s Good Morning America. She also walked the red carpet, accompanied by family members — inlcuding her mother, Minnie, the food pantry’s namesake — at the screening at the Cinemark West in Plano.
“Today has been like a Hollywood movie,” Jackson said. “It’s been amazing. They star-styled me from the top of the day to the end of the day.”
Parsons and Rihanna served at the food pantry, and DreamWorks animation doubled an earlier promised donation that could feed 25,000 people at the pantry. The stars also provided donations.
Rihanna and Parsons spent a good deal of time talking with Good Morning America correspodent Rachel Smith, who had a stage separate from the red carpet, before walking a gantlet of TV, radio and online reporters, including cast members of the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show (which airs on KHKS/106.1 FM “KISS-FM”) and KKDA/104.5 FM’s DeDe in the Morning show led by Arlington’s DeDe McGuire.
As the stars walked the carpet, it turned more into a mob scene, and that didn’t count the fans outside the red carpet taking smartphone photos and yelling the star’s names. But although Rihanna and Parsons talked some for the TV cameras, their handlers swept them by a large line of reporters without stopping for questions as the movie’s start drew closer. But Jackson had good words for them.
“They were so down to Earth,” she said. “They’re not what you would expect from Hollywood people.”
Home director Tim Johnson, whose filmography also includes Over the Hedge and Antz, was able to talk to most of the reporters on the crowded red-carpet line.
“I tell you, getting out of Los Angeles for a red carpet — back there, it’s [feigns yawn] ‘another film premiere?’” Johnson said. “Here, this is really exciting. And it’s really exciting to have this contest that Good Morning America had to celebrate who brings the sense of home to their hometown. You can’t be with a more powerful personality than Cheryl.”
Home is about a lovable misfit from another planet named Oh (Parsons) who lands on Earth and forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip (Rihanna) who is on a quest of her own. Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez, who weren’t at the premiere, are among the other voices in the movie.
The film is scheduled for wide release March 27.
Look for further coverage of the premiere on Thursday’s Good Morning America, which airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on WFAA/Channel 8.