Scenes From the Night at the Museum Premiere, featuring Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais

Around the Mall bloggers ask Battle of the Smithsonian stars about their favorite museums

Robin Williams plays Teddy Roosevelt. (Molly Roberts)

Thursday night marked the North American premiere of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and all the stars were out at the Air and Space Museum to celebrate the event. Naturally, several intrepid Around the Mall bloggers were there as well to cover this rare red carpet gala. (Never mind the fact that Air and Space's carpeting is actually blue.) Braving the maddening crowd of media representatives, we managed to ask a few questions of Night at the Museum's who's who. Turns out everyone has a special relationship to the Smithsonian after working on the film.

Thomas Lennon, who I know and love as Lt. Dangle from "Reno 911," can recommend the Smithsonian's gift shop cuisine: "How could you not come to the Air and Space Museum and not have the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream. It literally was one of the highlights of my entire childhood. Now that you mentioned it, I want to go down to the gift shop and get some right now."

Robin Williams was the madcap self we love him to be—and he was more than happy to share the frantic relationship he shares with the Smithsonian. "It's pretty impressive to be in this museum. Even now, a security guard said, 'Please step away from the exhibit...oh, sorry Mr. Williams.' They're really worried you are going to touch things. 'Please get out of Ms. Earhart's plane!' The minute you walk in here there's such tradition, and the moment you land here there's such tradition and power and intrigue."

Christine Taylor, wife, and Ben Stiller who plays Larry Daley. (Molly Roberts)
Hank Azaria plays Kah Mun Rah. (Molly Roberts)
Owen Wilson plays Jedediah Smith. (Molly Roberts)
Robin Williams plays Teddy Roosevelt. (Molly Roberts)
Amy Adams plays Amelia Earhart. (Molly Roberts)
Ricky Gervais plays Dr. McPhee. (Molly Roberts)
Mizuo Peck plays Sacagawea. (Molly Roberts)
Screenwriters Robert Ben Garant (left) and Thomas Lennon (right). They also play the Wright brothers. (Molly Roberts)
Rami Malek plays Ahkmenrah. (Molly Roberts)
Jon Bernthal plays Al Capone. (Molly Roberts)
Patrick Gallagher plays Attila the Hun. (Molly Roberts)
Alain Chabat plays Napoleon Bonaparte. (Molly Roberts)

However Mizuo Peck, who plays Sacagawea, is a first-time visitor to DC. "It's a very glamorous city," she said. "Yesterday I came early so I could do the whole National Mall thing which I've never done. Saw the Vietnam Veterans' memorial, the Lincoln, and the Monument." And what would she bring back to life if she had the chance? "I would most definitely bring one of these planes back to life so I could fly preference, whatever flies."

And of course, with the British Ricky Gervais in attendance, how could you not ask him to compare the Smithsonian with The British Museum. His take? "The British Museums are good in the sense that we stole everything from Egypt. They left it lying around. We found it in these pyramid things and there was no lock on the door, just a curse, and that didnt stop us."

And we won't stop there! Enjoy our exclusive photo gallery of shots from the red carpet above—and count down the days until May 22, which is when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian will hit theaters nationwide.

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is a former Smithsonian magazine staffer. Jesse was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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