From the red carpet: Quentin Tarantino, Zoe Bell for The Hateful Eight
When Quentin Tarantino comes to town, it's lights, about a thousand cameras and plenty of action.
The Hollywood director made an appearance at the Auckland premiere for his film The Hateful Eight today, with his Kiwi pal Zoe Bell.
Tarantino and Bell have worked closely together ever since the Kiwi stunt performer was first cast in Kill Bill as a double to Uma Thurman.
She went from stuntwoman to having parts specially written for her by Tarantino. In his latest offering, she appears in a small part as Six-Horse Judy.
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"I've been wanting to come to NZ ever since I heard there was a NZ" - Tarantino. pic.twitter.com/f2SNrWIXre— Siena Yates (@siena_y) January 20, 2016
Guests included Madeleine Sami, Stacey and Scotty Morrison, Dick Frizzel, Manu Bennett, Bachelor Art Green and his partner Matilda Rice, and even our own Hollywood starlet Keisha Castle-Hughes.
The Game of Thrones actress is home at the moment and stopped by the premiere as both a huge fan of Tarantino and friend of Zoe Bell, as the Kiwi film community in LA tends to keep tight knit, she says.
Likewise, Bell has been home for a couple of days already "just walking around" enjoying the clean air.
Tarantino only arrived last night, but she has plans to show the director her home on Waiheke Island, before taking him to explore the West Coast, where she's spent a lot of time filming in NZ in the past.
She's only here for a short while before jetting off again to work on some secret projects, but for now, she's excited to bring her work home.
Tarantino was humble and gracious on the carpet, even ignoring the carefully-crafted plan of his managers to make sure he got a chance to talk to everyone.
He said he was "so excited to be here" and was looking forward to exploring New Zealand in his first time visiting, taking on board suggestions to try hangi and wine.
Commenting on Bell's role in Kill Bill, Tarantino was all praise, saying: "Zoe is an amazing physical specimen."
"I worked from the assumption Zoe could do anything. It's been going on 12 years now and she hasn't proved me wrong yet."
The director took his time taking photos with fans and signing everything from DVD slips to pop vinyl figurines, before heading in to introduce his latest film to three cinemas full of waiting fans.
Hundreds of fans packed into the "fan zone" to catch a glimpse of the film icon, before invited guests were invited in to watch Tarantino's latest offering.
The Hateful Eight – starring Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Jason Leigh and more – is set soon after the Civil War, and follows bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh) in a race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, "The Hangman", will bring Domergue to justice.
Along the road, they run into Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier-turned-bounty hunter, and southern renegade Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins).
A storm leads the group to hide out at Minnie's Haberdashery, where they encounter the rest of the Hateful Eight and the action ensues.
While critics are both applauding and criticising the film for straying from Tarantino's usual style, some are calling it his "meanest" yet.
The Hateful Eight officially hits New Zealand cinemas on Thursday, January 21, 2016.