I will never get over tonight.
Tom was excited when he noticed that the photo I wanted him to sign was from The Hollow Crown. There’s a lot I wanted to say to him, and usually when I meet people I truly admire, I’m so nervous that I don’t manage to get it out. But despite being nervous, I launched into a (perhaps slightly incoherent) speech about how much his performance in THC had meant to me personally, as well as how phenomenal it was generally. He had arrived late and so was being rushed, but he ignored the people trying to rush him, stopped where he was, and kept my eye contact the whole time I was talking. That in itself meant a great deal; he knew how important it was for me to thank him.
Talullah then said to him, ‘She’s been trying to work out how to say that all day!’ and I apologised if it hadn’t made any sense. He then turned back to me with his hand on his heart and said, ‘No, I heard you. Thank you so much.’ in the most sincere way imaginable. He knew exactly what I was trying to say, and I think it actually meant something to him. And that honestly made my life.
He went on to say that it was this time last year that they had been filming it, and that he had never worked so hard on anything in his life. I told him you can tell by his performance, and he smiled before having to move on (to Shanice, who asked him for a hug and then I, who didn’t think my evening could get any more perfect, also got one!).
I don’t know if any of what I’ve written even makes sense. I’ve read or seen countless accounts of people meeting him, all of which have made him out to be impossibly lovely. But he was even more than that. He cared enough to stop and really listen to me - not just to me talking, but to what I was actually saying - and respond in a way which meant that I knew I’d manage to convey what I desperately needed to (even though I froze up and spoke too quickly and all of my words jumbled together). And that means more to me than I will ever be able to convey.