Though Beyonce arrived after the royals — breaking royal protocol — Billy Eichner, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen and more told ET they were “excited” to see Meghan and Harry’s upcoming arrival, to see them face-to-face.
As Eichner revealed, he and Markle actually go way back. “Actually Meghan Markle and I went to the same college. We both went to Northwestern. We were both theatre majors at Northwestern, and I think she was a freshman when I was a senior, so I’m going to see which acting teacher she had and if we can compare notes,” he said, joking they’d be “out all night” at the after-party together.
“I’m very excited [to meet her and Harry]. I never even thought about meeting them, or thought I would have an opportunity to, and they seem very cool, so I’m excited,” he shared.
Director Jon Favreau told ET that the biggest thing to get used to at Sunday’s event was the wardrobe. “I’ve never been part of a royal premiere, so just dressing up like this isn’t what we normally do in Los Angeles. But it’s great to be able to use this as an opportunity to share this story with the world, and to come back to London, where the visual effects house is based,” he noted.
Rogen, meanwhile, was a stickler for protocol. “I guess I’m excited to meet the royals. There’s a lot of protocol. It makes me think I don’t have enough protocol. I don’t know what it takes to create protocol, but I’m going to look into creating more protocol,” he joked, explaining that the protocol concerned him more than possibly meeting Meghan and Harry. “I get much more nervous when comedians I look up to are in the crowd and things like that.”
Key confessed to practicing for the event ahead of time. “I feel like I should be more nervous, but I’ve been practicing. I’ve been practicing my protocol. I’ve been practicing. I’m ready to go. They’re going to feel like I’ve been doing this for a million years,” he cracked.
“I’m actually excited for her to see it, and I’m really honoured that out of their schedules, this is something that they’d attend. And I’m looking forward to seeing Meghan, to seeing the American royal, if you will,” he added.
Like Eichner, Key was looking forward to partying it up with Meghan after the screening — but had planned out his introduction.
“I feel like what you gotta do is you gotta dance a little bit around the periphery. Then you kind of move in. You gotta let them make eye contact. Then you can maybe start to initiate a conversation. But you gotta start with the peripheral dance, and then you just move in — much like a hyena, coming after a lion,” he advised.
Overall, the cast was ready to hear Meghan and Harry’s review. “I just went to the L.A. premiere. That was the most intimidating, because I hadn’t seen the final movie yet, and no one really had, and so now that I’ve seen it and love it and know that Timon and Pumbaa have come off well, I’m a little relieved,” Eichner shared. “So, I’m mainly just excited.”
“We were in really good hands with Jon Favreau,” he continued.
“The Lion King” hits theatres on Friday. See more on the film in the video below.
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