Film fans battled snow and ice to attend an “intimate and personal” Q&A with Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman on Friday evening.
Bad weather forced the veteran actor to cancel a similar event at the Odeon in Leicester Square earlier that evening but he made sure fans at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley were not left disappointed.
The Rain Man star, 75, was promoting his directorial debut Quartet and treated fans to a one-hour Q&A after the screening.
The Academy Award winner discussed his life and career, including his first stint as a director, and became emotional at several points as he talked about his personal and professional life.
Tickets for the rare event sold out in less than two hours but Andrew Evans and his wife Julie, from North Finchley, were among the lucky few that managed to secure their seats.
Assistant psychologist Julie, 24, said: “It was fantastic – I couldn’t believe it when Andrew told me he was actually going to be there.
“It was such a small room it almost felt like it was one-on-one. He was so personable and frank about what he was discussing. You never think you’ll see anyone so famous.
“It was a real honour – it is not often the big stars make the effort to go to somewhere so small and intimate. He said it was such an amazing atmosphere because it was such an old and beautiful cinema.”
Hoffman praised the 250-strong audience for making it out in the bad weather and even hung around by the exit to sign signatures and continue chatting to fans after the event.
Professional musician and film fan Andrew, 30, said: “It was great – it was a real last minute announcement – I just saw it on Facebook and Twitter and went for it.
“He was just very charming and seemed to really appreciate the fact the audience enjoyed the film – that was when he got a bit emotional.
“The film was great – it has been marketed for an older audience but I think anyone would enjoy it.
“It is about older people trying to carry on with what they have done their whole lives and I suppose to a point he is doing the same thing, which is perhaps why he got a bit tearful.
“It felt like a privilege because it sold out so quickly and was so unusual. It was something we’ll always remember.”