"He didn't want to take away from the movie."
The US premiere of Blinded By The Light took place on August 7, 2019, in Asbury Park, New Jersey, with Bruce Springsteen walking the red carpet in his hometown.
He attended the film’s premiere with his wife Patti Scialfa. They posed for pictures alongside the director Gurinder Chadha, co-writer Sarfraz Manzoor, actors Viveik Kalra and Aaron Phagura.
British Asian actress Jameela Jamil was close to attendance.
The premiere took place on New Jersey’s boardwalk at the Paramount Theatre.
Blinded By The Light is a British comedy-drama which is set in 1987, during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain.
The film follows the story of 16-year-old Javed (Viveik Kalra). He navigates best friends, first kisses and strict Pakistani parents.
When he is introduced to Bruce Springsteen’s music, Javed identifies parallels to his life in the musician’s lyrics.
He clings to the music to help him get through the struggles of teenage life. Springsteen’s music and lyrics artistically guide the film’s plot.
The film is inspired by British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir, titled Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll (2008). Manzoor also co-wrote the film’s script.
Springsteen was invited by Gurinder Chadha to attend the film’s European premiere, however, he chose not to.
She had said: “He didn’t want to take away from the movie.”
Chadha added that she held a personal screening for the singer-songwriter in 2018. Afterwards, Springsteen told her:
“Thank you for looking after me so beautifully. Don’t change a thing; it’s perfect.”
Following the film’s US screening, Springsteen, nicknamed ‘The Boss’, performed four songs at the official afterparty, which was held at Asbury’s Convention Hall.
He performed alongside Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.
One of the songs in the film’s soundtrack is a previously unreleased song. ‘I’ll Stand by You’ was originally written for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) but it was not included in the final production.
Chadha pointed out that Manzoor has seen Springsteen “150 times, so much so that Bruce recognises him at concerts, because he’s probably the only Pakistani in the audience, and he’s got a big afro”.
Blinded By The Light also include music from Oscar-winning music producer AR Rahman.
The film celebrated its UK Gala Screening on July 29, 2019, at the Curzon, Mayfair in London.
The feel-good film has already had positive reviews from critics.
It releases in the UK on August 9, 2019. It will be released by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema in the United States on August 16, 2019.