Myriam Meets with the Man
by Myriam | 28 May 2012
Now it all seems like waking from a dream, a really good one, but I have to look at the pictures to realize it was real. The month of May was incredibly long, waiting for that dreamed 28th May not only highly anticipated by the fact of attending the incredible Misterman, but also to know that we were going to meet the actor who captivated us when we first discovered him on screen.
Although we knew that the encounter would take place that day, it hadn't been agreed where and when Cillian would receive us, and hoping for that longed confirmation, I was compulsively checking the mobile in search of the expected message. At the hotel, all was excitement as the rest of the girls were arriving little by little ... We had exchanged thousands of emails preparing for our trip to London through our friendship in Cillian, as We Called It. But what has become into something much more deep than just a virtual friendship over a forum dedicated to our favourite actor.
Finally, at 4 pm, I got Richard's message: Cillian would receive us at 21:40 after the Misterman performance, so being finished by 21:00, he had time to shower and shave. Shave?! When we read that we were giggling and rolling all over the floor, since we wanted his lovely cheekbones not to be hidden by such a heavy beard, that of a prophet as we could see on stage.
So then, we went all glamorous and expectants, toward the theatre to see a very special performance since it was the last one, but also for what was about to happen afterwards. What we all witness on that stage is something that will be forever unforgettable. I had never seen such powerful acting covering all ranges of a real acting masterclass: Cillian becomes BIG on stage, a real lion on action: he roared, jumped all over the huge set, cried, laughed hard, spoke as a child, muttered, yelled ... he acted as the crazy one Thomas McGill is supposed to be. That character is very difficult to play for someone who hadn't the intelligence nor the skills to ensoul it. He did it magnificently. It was such a physical and exhausting performance, that we could see him clearly sweeting, gasping and getting wrecked all over our bewildered eyes.
After the very last scene, there was an standing ovation (including that of Benedict Cumberbacht and Jude Law that were seated next to us!) My hands ached after such an intense clapping and got hoarse after saying I don't know how many bravo's?
Well, time to leave. Time to have a quick cigarette and recover ourselves after that acting demonstration and put some more of lip gloss to look wonderful for him. We had agreed to meet at 9:40 ... I swear you that those 40 minutes were unbearable, we all nervous checking that our gifts were in perfect state and wondering if we could be able to speak further to some incoherent words ?
There were some people there, around 30 people, mostly women, with all their playbills or pics ready to be signed. We headed there, and exactly at 9:40 (ah, that British punctuality!) Richard appeared looking for me saying my name in out loud voice. I had still my cigarette lit in my hand, so he said: Welcome, Myriam. So very pleased to meet you! Oh, one thing before coming in, you should throw your cigarette. Ok, I said. Of course! I turned back to pick my bags (the book plus some other stuff to be given to Cillian) when suddenly Cillian appeared on the stage door. I kind of got surprised, since we were expected to come in, but probably he thought that if only for once, he should exit and greet the gathering of fans out there. Richard also seemed to be a little bit puzzled, but did not comment about it. I stepped back, but Richard took me by the arm as inviting me to introduce myself, so that's what I promptly did: Hi, Cillian, I'm Myriam, please to meet you. And planted him a couple of kisses on his freshly shaved face. It's the way we Spanish introduce ourselves: we don't shake hands, we just simply kiss in both cheeks. He appeared to be a little bit surprised by my greeting, but I didn't give him time to react, since I rapidly introduced the other girls in the group, only Valentina, the other Spanish girls and Leyla, the Italian one, dared to plant him 2 kisses on the cheek.
After the brief introduction, I turned to him and could not help but caressing his cheek by saying: Oh, you're shaved. Surely you were looking forward getting rid of the beard. He smiled and said: Oh, yeah, definitely. I then told him: We have brought something for you. Happy belated Birthday! And showed him the book, which had been tied on a silvered ribbon with a white rose around it. We both struggled trying to undo the ribbon, but it had been done so well that we should have need scissors to cut it and open the book. So, I say: Well, Cillian, maybe it's better that when you have a moment, you have a look at it. He put one of his famous pouts (you know, the lip a little bit down) and said: Ok, that's a good idea?
Oh, yes, I could have explained to him what was it about (he already knew by the way) but believe me that I was sooo embarrassed with many people watching around, that I could not say a word... I guess that he wasn't very comfortable either with all people around us looking with curiosity what was it about? So the rest of the girls started offering his different gifts: original drawings (phenomenal, I must say) an artsy and crafty journal about Misterman, a Photoshopped pic, and Leyla, the Italian girl, offered him a complete dossier about the performance of Misterman in Italy, where she made the translation and helped the production to be taken to Milano.
When we did finish, we should have wanted to chat with him, but then the people who also were waiting for their moment of glory, approached and handed to him their stuff to be signed and asking for pictures. I remember everything as a blur, and Cillian saluted so many people that at the end I think he had no idea of who was who. But we asked him to have a pic with our group together, and he agreed immediately so he placed himself in the middle and we were taking our places around him, as a proper harem!!!
He seemed tired, exhausted? Surely he had a feeling of "sweet and sour" sensation for his run to finish at the National Theatre, and the fact of facing his fans was not easy for him to endure? I must say that he is a LION ON STAGE, BIG, IRIDESCENT, but out of it, he seems the shy guy next door, oblivious of his magnetic presence and piercing eyes. It almost provokes a feeling of 'go running to nurture him', protecting him from any external aggression, he seems so fragile.
After more or less 15 minutes, everything was over. He said goodbye and entered the stage door. There were still some stuff that he did not sign and Richard realized it, and stepped in to get out shortly afterwards with our signed photos. I them gave him a bottle of wine, thanking him for all his efforts and patience with our exchange of emails. The next day, I thanked him again by email, and he replied immediately. This is his reply:
Yes — these things are always a little difficult, especially on the last night, when there's so many people for Cillian to see etc.. and also, even with nobody else about, it is difficult for him, simply because he is just shy and finds attention difficult, even in small amounts. Anyway, he's gone on holidays for 2 weeks, but I have no doubt that he will be back to say how much he enjoyed the gifts — He (and I) had a look through the big book and it looks incredibly detailed and thoughtful. There will be no problem with putting the pictures on the site.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A video montage of the birthday book can be seen here.