My mission this week, which I chose for myself and had no problem accepting, was to Meet. Tom. Cruise.
After a little research, it looked like said mission was totally possible. The cast of "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" – Tom included – would be making the rounds at the "Today" show, "Late Show With David Letterman" and, of course, the New York City red carpet premiere.
When I arrived bright and early and freezing cold to "Today," Paula Patton was already there signing autographs and posing for pictures. It was a little more chaotic than usual but she handled it like a champ, though I didn't get anywhere near her to ask for a picture.
Simon Pegg arrived shortly after Patton was inside, and I managed to grab him for a picture on his way inside. I was off to a great start!
About 40 minutes later, Patton was leaving, so I opted to wait a little closer to her car and avoid some of the autograph collectors right outside the studio. Even though her team was whisking her away from the chaos when I asked for a picture, she made everyone stop and posed with me. It was so nice of her, especially since they were in such a rush to get her out after she had gotten swarmed at the entrance just a few seconds before!
Unfortunately Jeremy Renner and Cruise must have taken the garage because I didn't see them arrive. I waited for an hour after Pegg and Patton left and there was no sign of them.
Being a professional fan girl sometimes means tough choices. If I went to "Letterman" to see Tom, I ran the risk of getting a lousy spot for the premiere, so I had to skip it.
But it's a good thing I did! Even hours before anyone would walking the red carpet, the Zeigfeld Theater was a swarm of chaos. Fans and tourists stopped to take pictures on the carpet and were mesmerized by the gigantic screens showing the trailer and clips from the movie. Plus, bleachers had been set up for fans – I had never seen anything like it!
Thankfully, my friend managed to secure me a wristband that allowed me on the bleacher and … tickets to the screening. So not only were we going to have access to the entire cast, we were going to get to watch the movie with them!
Several hours later, the flashes started going off on the other end of the carpet and we knew it was starting. Then, without any warning, Katie Holmes walked passed us. KATIE HOLMES! After posing for some pictures with her husband, she skipped the press and let him take over the reins of the red carpet. She didn't stop for fans either, but I did get to wish her a happy birthday as she passed me.
"Thank you so much! You're so sweet," she replied. Katie Holmes thinks I'm sweet, no big deal.
Soon Patton and her husband Robin Thicke were on the carpet as well, followed by Robin's father and "Growing Pains" star Alan Thicke and his wife. Robin stopped to sign some autographs while Patton spoke with press, but she didn't come over to our section of fans.
A few "Ghost Protocol" stars came by, including "Warrior"'s Jennifer Morrison, "Entourage"'s Jerry Ferrera and actor Geoff Stults.
And then, we finally saw him. Tom Cruise. In the flesh. Coming towards me.
I can't remember the last time I was so excited to see a celebrity. When he came over to us, he signed autographs, took pictures and had short, individual conversations with each person. It was incredible! His team of red carpet professionals were going down the line and taking peoples' cameras so they could take pictures for them. Even though I was behind some people, I handed over my iPhone and crossed my fingers. The least I could do was try, right?
Finally I said, "Excuse me Tom, that lady has my camera, can we try to take a picture?"
"We can make this work," he smiled.
Thankfully, the ladies in front of me were very accommodating and ducked down so I could move in. Tom turned completely around to face the camera, checking to make sure I made it close enough to him for the shot.
I thanked Tom until I was blue in the face and he couldn't hear me anymore. I honestly still can't believe it even happened.
As he says in the movie, mission: accomplished!
Like many of you, Professional Fan Girl Lauren Cox has always had a fascination with movie stars. She's turned her hobby – hitting premieres and other events in New York City to meet them – into a blog, and now a NextMovie column. Keep up with her adventures meeting celebs by following her on Twitter.