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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

I don’t even know how to get into this article properly. All I can say is ya girl freaking did it. I, Lauren Del Mar, went to the Challengers premiere. What an unreal sentence. An even more unreal sentence? I, Lauren Del Mar, went to the Challengers premiere and saw Mike Faist. If I can be so honest, I am having the most difficult time writing this article because how do you process something like this? How do I even begin to comprehend that I saw the love of my life in the flesh? 

First and foremost, I have to thank my dear friend and roommate, Miss Layla Ghalili, for being the reason I actually got into the event in the first place. A week prior to the premiere, UCLA Campus Events Commissions released an Instagram story stating that they had a limited number of tickets to the Challengers premiere on April 16th. When this event occurred, I was out of class and doing my daily mental health walk around the sculpture garden. Chai latte in hand too, of course. I was not checking my phone during this time because I wanted to enjoy the serenity of a bright sunny day, the sweetness of a spicy Chai latte, and the beauty of UCLA’s very own sculpture garden. Big mistake. I gave up my screenager ways for ten minutes only to miss UCLA CEC’s announcement about the Challengers premiere. I could’ve cried right then and there but I was on campus so I decided to hold it in like the big girl I am. I know, I know. I am so brave.

On April 11th, I was told to meet my roommates Layla and Jazlin on the Tongva Steps to decompress before our next class started. As I’m sitting on the Tongva Steps, I see Layla pull out her phone to record me. My immediate reaction was, “oh, she’s pretending to take a photo of me because there’s someone hot sitting behind me, of course.” She then asks me what my plans are for April 16th and I remind her that I wiped my schedule clean for that day as I wanted to try and get into the premiere. Layla proceeds to give me the cheekiest smile and says that she thinks I should go to the premiere because she got the tickets for us. As expected, I start running up and down Tongva steps. 

One thing about me is I absolutely hate long lines. If you know me, you know that I hate waiting and my patience threshold is incredibly low. However, if there is one thing that I will wait hours and hours for, it is Mike Faist. The things I do for the man that I love. Layla and I lined up at 3:35 P.M. in the hot Westwood sun and waited until past 6 P.M. to actually be let into the theater. One thing about me is I absolutely hate long lines but another thing about me is I absolutely love Mike Faist. So, you do what you have to do. 

After living in Los Angeles for about six months now, I have had my fair share of celebrity sightings. After all, when you live in Westwood, you’re going to have to get used to bumping into a random premiere after a quick Trader Joe’s grocery run. Whenever this happens, I really try to keep my cool and maintain my composure. As you guessed, all of that went down the drain when I got to the Challengers premiere. Layla and I bumped into the most interesting collection of celebrities. Some of these celebrities include James Morosini, Olivia Welch, Jack Dylan Grazer, Hunter Schaefer, Serena and Venus Williams, Xochitl Gomez, etc. But, it was one person that really made me lose my mind, and that person was Cynthia Freaking Erivo. That’s right. I met Elphaba from Wicked (2024) at the Challengers premiere. What the hell is my life? As you predicted, I absolutely lost it. I cried so hard I could barely get the words out of my mouth to tell Cynthia how much Wicked means to me. Tears streamed down my face as Cynthia rubbed my arm repeating “it’s okay, it’s okay” in her sweet British voice to calm me down. But, as expected, I was a lost cause. 

If you thought the crying was over after I met Cynthia, you are so wrong. It was just getting started. I trekked back to my seat in hysterics, thinking I was going to take some deep breaths and everything was going to be calm going forward. Right? Wrong. So effing wrong. As I am sitting down and collecting my thoughts, I turn around. Who do I see right next to my seat? Mike Faist….I don’t even think I can explain how I was feeling at that moment. All I can say is I was in a state of shock that I still don’t think I have managed to get out of. 

Mike, along with Zendaya and Josh O’Connor, joined Luca Guadagnino and the rest of the Challengers cast and crew at the front of the theater to introduce the film. I recorded in awe as my man stood right in front of me, looking stunningly handsome as ever, might I add. As Mike walked back to his seat, he passed by me and the words just left my mouth: “Hi Mike.” Then, it happened. Mike Faist looked at me and waved. 

It finally happened. I saw Mike Faist in the flesh and we interacted. What is my life? I can officially die happy now. With that being said, the final cut of Challengers is absolutely stunning. The chemistry between the trio is electric and the tennis matches ooze sexual tension. As expected, the genius of Luca Guadagnino strikes again. Zendaya is a powerhouse, Josh O’Connor is delectably mischievous, and Mike Faist’s vulnerability leaps off the screen. All I have to say is this is a movie that you must see in theaters. The Challengers trio may go down in history as not only one of the most iconic love triangles in cinema, but one of the sexiest love triangles in cinema. This is a movie that you do not want to miss. So, grab your popcorn and head down to your local movie theater because tennis has never been hotter. 

Lauren Del Mar is a third-year World Arts and Cultures major at UCLA! She is from San Diego, California and she is beyond excited to be a part of the Her Campus team! From writing to performing on stage, Lauren absolutely adores storytelling and is so happy to be able to tell stories through Her Campus!