Last week, for the first time ever in L.A., I brought a guest to a junket. My friend Eddie is a big fan of Sylvester Stallone and always wanted to see him in person, possibly because he wanted to judge for himself how tall Stallone is (I’ve never been a reliable witness when it comes to celeb height because I’m always sitting when a star comes into the room).

So last Wednesday Ed and I headed down to the Four Seasons for the “Rambo” junket. We got to interview Sly first. Ed’s close-up investigation reveals that he’s not really that short despite what you might have heard. Ed was also impressed by how good Stallone looks and hopes he looks half that good at Sly’s age (sadly, its already too late for me…).

In addition to talking about the movie (which I had a great time at and you will too if you like to see platoons of bad guys mowed down by machine gun fire…),  Stallone spoke about his love as a boy for the Steve Reeves’ film “Hercules,” which inspired him to want to make movies.

Saturday brought a trip down to sunny Santa Monica for the interviews for “Over Her Dead Body” starring Eva Longoria Parker. The hotel was surrounded by paparazzi, but they weren’t there to photograph Eva. No, it turned out Katie Holmes was also in the hotel, promoting her movie, “Mad Money.”

After being charmed by the lovely Lake Bell and laughing at the very funny Jason Biggs, the main attraction walked in. Eva was feeling a little under the weather but still looking good, even if she had wrapped a pink baby blanket around her shoulders (which she insisted didn’t mean she was pregnant, just cold).

Of course, all the guys wanted to know all about her life with the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, with one journalist asking how she feels when she sees her hubby hit with a hard foul on the court. Although she knows that sometime he stays on the ground just to try and draw some sympathy and a foul from the refs, Eva still wishes that he would quit the faking and get right up.

She also told us about her goals while growing up, and they’re just the opposite of dream big. She started out wanting to be in a soap opera, which she finally did after working as a background extra. Then while on the soap, she hoped that someday she would land on a primetime TV show, which happened when she got a part on “L.A. Dragnet.” After that, she dreamed about a leading role on TV and you know how that turned out. Now she’s just happy to be in “Desperate Housewives” and getting to do a movie now and then (in fact, Eva was very disappointed when the Golden Globes were cancelled because she missed out on a chance to hang with her “Desperate Housewives” co-stars, who she misses terribly).

On Tuesday, I got to visit with a trio of big stars for a small but excellent movie called “The Air I Breathe.” Imagine this cast: Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emile Hirsch and Forrest Whitaker! I especially liked Brendan’s portrayal. For a guy who usually plays happy-go-lucky adventurers, he does a great emotionless underworld legbreaker.

Andy, Brendan and Sarah (as well as director Jieho Lee) all showed up for the interviews. I haven’t interviewed Sarah since the first “Scooby Doo” movie, and of course, thanks to her work on “Buffy,” I’m a big fan. She was quite happy to acknowledge her pride in the show, and said she had only recently heard that they were showing “Once More With Feeling,” the show’s musical episode, in theaters and at conventions. Unfortunately Fox recently pulled the permission to show the episode on the big screen and Sarah never got to attend one of the performances.

It turns out the reason you see Sarah appearing in a lot of small indie movies these days is because it’s something she could never do while on “Buffy.” While she could slot in a small part in a major movie during her hiatus, indie movies often have to change shooting dates while waiting until the money comes through. Now that she’s not tied down to a series, Sarah has the freedom to be in anything she wants to.

Sarah does miss TV though… that is, watching it. She’s heartbroken that she won’t be able to watch one of her favorites this season, “24,” due to the writer’s strike. And although she doesn’t have to stay in shape to beat up all those vampires on “Buffy,” she still works out hard at the gym, feeling especially sore during our interviews. That’s because she had taken advantage of the sunny California weather by adding some outdoor athletic activities to her indoor workouts while she’s here in L.A. from her home base in New York.

That’s it for the junkets for this week. Next time I’ll be writing about another TV icon, one who I owe my career to…


One Response to “JUNKET ROUNDUP”

  1. Elea Says:

    Hey Brian,
    Cool blog.
    I would love to hear your interviews from the Air I Breathe junket. Could you please let me know where I’ll be able to find them?

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