It is absolutely mind numbing (and finger and toe numbing, for that matter) how far some people will go to get a glimpse of celebrity -- including clinging to frozen barricades lining a stiff red carpet outside Southdale Mall for hours on end in 10-degree weather. But if you're going to accept a frostbitten fate in the name of any silver-screen star, Will Smith is about as good as it gets.
Such was the scene outside the entire west end of the Southdale parking lot outside the AMC Theater on Friday, fans anticipating Smth's arrival via a black SUV sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. to attend a charity screening of his new movie, 7 Pounds, to benefit Second Harvest.
The lot looked like a merging of a driving school lot arranged by a 4th grader (and a red carpet event arranged by a saddist). Barricades made a maze around the space and police dotted every makeshift entrance they formed. A long red tapestry lined the asphalt -- at one end, a special entrance to the theater, and at the other, a small stage topped with MC for the icy evening. KDWB's Dave Ryan.
"This character is very different," Smith told CP. "I had a hard time even understanding the mindset. He's coming out of depression and I've never really understood (that) idea -- my mind blocks that depressed space. I fight really hard to stay up and keep my energy up so it was hard for me to get a grip on what made him tick."
And with that, the most exciting thing to ever happen to Southdale Mall walked off to greet more fans and ultimately retreat inside AMC to unfreeze his grin, leaving most feeling blissfully blitzed by their brush with the Fresh Prince of chill air.
Check the video here (Sorry it's slightly chaotic in the middle -- my hands were not in fact trembling from nervousness, I swear ):