Most junket interviews go well. After all, the stars are there to publicize their film and know what’s expected of them. But some actors are painfully shy and others don’t like to talk about their personal lives and end up turning every question into a quote about their movie.

One of the best examples of how different actors can be when it comes to interviews occurred during a trip to New York for the political satire, “Wag The Dog.” On one hand, you had Dustin Hoffman. You can ask Dustin a question and he’ll go on and on. One story will lead to another and before you know it, fifteen minutes will have gone by (and very enjoyably, I should add).

Dustin was followed by another actor’s actor, Robert DeNiro. Very pleasant, but a man of few words, which meant we had to keep coming up with questions… over fifty of them in fifteen minutes!

Ask one bad question and an interview can easily go off the rails. I once reminded Stockard Channing how casting directors used to cast her as lower middle class types ( like Rizzo in “Grease”) and now she often gets asked to play classy well off socialite types (as in “Six Degrees Of Separation” and “The West Wing”). She really let me have it, believing she’s never been typecast and has played different roles all through her career.

But it could have been worse. I could have been the journalist who asked Delroy Lindo at the interviews for 2003’s “The Core” about his thoughts on Black History Month, which she said had started that very week. Delroy insisted that it wasn’t Black History Month, and they proceeded to argue about it, both insisting they were right (and if you’ve seen Delroy play a villainous role, you know he can seem like a man you don’t want to argue with). It turned out the interviewer meant to ask about Black Music Month and had gotten confused!

That same day, they brought in a scientist to tell us about the scientific basis for the film. At one point, the expert started telling us about what scientists thought about conditions on Uranus and what flying into Uranus would be like. For some of the male journalists (and I include myself), it became hard to keep a straight face. We could see the scientist getting a bit miffed, but we couldn’t help ourselves. Laughter spread around the room. The fact that we knew we weren’t supposed to laugh made it all the harder not to.

Another tough interview featured Courtney Love. The first time I interviewed her, she really appreciated my question, “As an actress, how do you prepare to do a scene? Is it similar to the way you prepare to go on stage at a concert?” She liked the question so much that when another interviewer asked her something, she said, “I like him (pointing at me). I don’t like you.”

So I was definitely looking forward to my second roundtable with Courtney, at least until she came in the room and asked us what radio outlets and networks we worked for. She had some of us thrown out (not me) when she discovered that they were from radio companies that weren’t playing her new record, as if journalists covering movie junkets have anything to do with those kinds of decisions.

Next up, we’ll look at this week’s junkets for “Rambo” and “Over Her Dead Body.” Hopefully they’ll go better than the interviews I just told you about!



  1. Flash Says:

    This is SO much fun!!! More, More!

  2. Trudy Says:

    I heard Stockard Channing can be a bit tricky… How funny about the Black Music Month story! Keep up the great industry insider info!! Love it!!

  3. Sophie Says:

    This is great insider information. Easy to read. Very entertaining.

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