The Beautiful Grove Park Inn
Hey There Actionites -
While I had an amazing experience at ActionFest 2012, it was a little different than most peoples’. Rather than checking out a dozen or so great action films while consuming massive quantities of Zaxby’s fried chicken, I was tasked with shuttling the special guests to and from the airport, as well as to and from the lovely Grove Park Inn and The Carolina Cinema.
We’ll make sure to get a lot of film coverage up here, but I thought some of the highlights of my experience might be fun for all of you Actionites.
Yvonne and Mickey Gilbert at Asheville’s Amazing 12 Bones Smokehouse
I had the pleasure of spending a whole bunch of time with Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mickey Gilbert and his lovely wife Yvonne. This year marks their 50th wedding anniversary and they are the kind of couple that inspire you. They feel like people who are young and in love, but with the wisdom and maturity that comes from having 3 sons of your own and a few decades of successful career under your belt.
The Gilberts were kind enough to treat me to lunch at 12 Bones BBQ one afternoon, and I was also treated to a host of amazing stories from Mickey.
I won’t go into all the details, but Mickey had tales from The Fall Guy, incredible moments of wise negotiation skills, and a few choice words for a certain pony-tailed action star.
Tom Berenger and Johnny Strong, Stars of Sinners and Saints. At the post-film Q and A
I actually picked up Tom Berenger about 1 hour after my own flight had landed, and was a little intimidated to be giving a ride to an Academy Award Nominee when I was totally unfamiliar with the city of Asheville. But Mr. Berenger was a sport, and we got to and from the Grove Park without a hitch. He is a bit of a history buff and knew lots of wild stories about The Grove Park Inn. Tom Berenger was a featured guest for the screening of Sinners and Saints and was a big hit with the audience during the post-film Q and A!
Cung Le, Gina Carano, and JJ Perry at The Grove Park Inn
This is a crew of good friends and working partners who mostly travelled together throughout the weekend. It was a pleasure to hear these rising stars of the action world encourage each other, bust each others’ chops, and generally soak in their moments!
Gina received the “Chick Norris” Award for the Best Female Action Star of the Year. She was moved by Chuck Norris’ special introduction to her Award Reel and mentioned that Chuck’s words were so special to her that she forgot all the words she had planned to say!
Cung Le had a big ActionFest! Not only did his starring vehicle, Dragon Eyes, premiere at ActionFest, but he also took home the Rising Action Star Award. AND Dragon Eyes won the Best Street Fight Award from the ActionFest 2012 Jury Panel.
And JJ Perry absolutely wowed ActionFest 2012 as he accepted the Fight Choreographer of the Year Award. I had gotten to interview JJ before the festival, so I already knew he was a talented, humble guy who is doing amazing things in the action world. But to see his impressive stunt reel, and to watch him graciously and humbly accept his award and give thanks to the many stunt legends who came before him was really something special.
There are your front line moments from the official ActionFest Chauffeur!
And I’m Out.