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Friday, October 14, 2005

Meeting Glamorous Hollywood People
People are always interested to hear about interviewing movie people, but the experience depends entirely on the conditions. Over the past week, a virtual army of filmmakers and movie stars have descended upon my hometown to talk about their latest projects. It's exhausting; each interview takes hours to do. First you have to see the movie, then do research and come up with a list of questions -- enough to fill your time. It's good to have more, but it's a disaster to have too few (it has happened to me, many times). Then there are tapes to transcribe and stories to write, edit and shape.

Last Friday, I met with two film directors, Richard Shepard (The Matador) and Duncan Tucker (Transamerica), back to back in the same hotel, each sequestered in some windowless, anonymous room. I didn't know what either of them looked like and had been previously unfamiliar with their films, so I didn't know which was which. When I walked into the first room, I had to peek at a clipboard lying on the table to figure out whether I should start asking about Pierce Brosnan or about transsexuals.

Saturday, I spoke with Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) via phone. He called me from his cell while riding in his limo to the airport while on his way back to the Mission: Impossible III set. It was less than ideal and we only had a short time, but I can say that Phil is a true gentleman and a great interview.

Sunday I had to drive all the way out to Mill Valley (about 45 minutes each way, plus a $5 toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge) to speak with Felicity Huffman, the star of Transamerica. Her director, Duncan, was there, and we chatted some more, this time about movies we both liked. My interview with Felicity took place outside, in the fresh air and October sunshine. She had a cold, but she was warm and vibrant, and looked smashing in a black suit. I had about 20 minutes, but I was one of only three people granted an interview.

Monday, it was back to anonymous hotel rooms for Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman (Shopgirl). There was some kind of a flap over whether I could use the photographer the paper assigned me, and I had to wait as faxes and e-mails flew back and forth. They were apparently afraid that, unless the paper owned the photos outright, that the pictures would wind up in the Inquirer or something. Hollywood publicists are weird. Fortunately, I partook of a free sandwich. After all was said and done, I had to send the photographer home, and then I got a measly 15 minutes with both of them. Schwartzman is kind of a goofball, so it takes that long just to get warmed up. It was a letdown, but Claire -- with long, blonde ringlets -- looked far more amazing in real life than I've ever seen her in the movies. And she gave me a cookie.

Sometimes the suffering is worth it.
:: posted by Jeffrey M. Anderson, 10/14/2005 Comments (1)
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1 Comments:

At 5:46 PM, drew said...

Angela Chase gave you a cookie! You'd better bronze that puppy...

 

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Archives prior to April, 2005 are from Donald Melanson's personal film blog.

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