Late-night host Stephen Colbert is a mega “Star Wars” fan.
He’s already had the chance to interview George Lucas earlier this year, and Saturday evening he’ll be hosting a conversation with “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams at an event for New Jersey’s Montclair Film Festival (MFF).
Described as a “nerd-off,” Colbert will grill Abrams on everything from “Lost” to “Star Trek,” and hopefully try to get a nugget or two from the director about the upcoming “Star Wars” movies.
I’ll be heading to the event for coverage, but how did Colbert end up snagging one of the most wanted men in the galaxy right now and convince him to come to Newark, New Jersey?
“The Late Show” host is from Montclair and he and his wife Evelyn are big supporters of the the non-profit, which brings awareness to both local and global filmmakers and provides education about cinema through year-round events.
Heading into its fifth year, MFF executive director Tom Hall tells Tech Insider Colbert has held conversations in the past for the festival with stars ranging from Jimmy Fallon to his old Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart.
When it came time to pick someone for this year’s festival Colbert — a huge, self-proclaimed “Star Wars” fan — wanted to go big.
Colbert suggested Abrams they thought that would be great, but they weren’t sure if they were going to be able to get him. They figured it may be a long shot with the movie being such a huge event this year.
It also helped that online fundraiser Omaze, who is also partnering with the Montclair Film Festival on the event, has worked with both men in the past.
“We’ve had two really successful experiences with Stephen Colbert and his team. He’s extremely charitable and always goes above and beyond on these campaigns.”Omaze co-founder Ryan Cummings tells Tech Insider. “He also knew that we’ve done a number of campaigns with J.J. Abrams. We’ve launched a chance to be in ‘Star War: The Force Awakens’ … and a chance to be in ‘Star Trek.'”
Combined the two have raised over $US6 million with the fundraiser.
Cummings makes it clear the two knew each other outside of Omaze and have connected previously, but it helped that the two have supported each other’s campaigns in the past.
“Once they’d seen that they have both done a couple campaigns with [us], it just made it really easy to connect up on this one.”
After Colbert has a conversation with Abrams Saturday, a pre-selected fan, picked from a contest through Omaze, will go on stage to interview the duo.
“[He] only donated $US25,” says Cummings. “He’s been a lifelong fan of Colbert. He also has gone to numerous ‘Star Wars’ marathons. For $US25, be able to meet not just one, but two of his heroes and be able to ask them some questions during a nerd-off on a topic that he’s such a fan of is what we get most excited about … the opportunity to be able to deliver that experience.”
Colbert’s big nerd-off with Abrams will be taking place Saturday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ.
There are still some tickets available for purchase, which you can check out here.
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