I just came back from the We Are Marshall press day. I got there a little early, which usually means sitting around for a while, but they were ready for me and got me from the "press holding pen" within a few minutes. First us was Kate Mara and Ian McShane.
Ian McShane and Kate Mara:
Going in I had a pretty big crush on Kate Mara. She is sooo cute in this movie, and she wears a chearleader uniform for a lot of it. I've never seen Deadwood before, but I've heard good things, especially that Ian McShane is awesome. When I walk into a junket, I try to take a conversational approach, but sometimes the actors or directors are so into their "junket mode," that they have a hard time following. By "junket mode," I mean the compulsion to only talk in soundbytes perfect for your typical four minute packaged segment about the movie. Unfortunately, this was one of those cases. I would say something like, "You filmed in Huntington, where the actual events took place. What kind of interactions did you have with the residents and people who were involved with the story?" And then Kate Mara would say, "Well, I play a cheerleader named Annie, whose boyfriend dies in the plane crash, and she is really crushed by it. Then, Ian plays my boyfriend's father, and..." Then, Ian would chime in with something that had a little more to with my actual question. Sp it was sort of a stilted conversation. Then at the end, as I was walking out, I stopped in front of her and said, "I sorta had a big crush on you in this movie." She looks up at me kind of embarressed, as Ian and all the camera crew start laughing. "Well, I guess this is kind of awkward, which is why I decided to tell you after the interview." She smiled at me, and said something like, "Awww- that's sweet." I wouldn't have minded a hug or something, although I later learned that she was going out with someone at the junket. Whoops...
McG (The Director):
As soon as I walked in the room with McG, I had a confession to make. "I have to come clean," I said, "whenever I used to see you in the credits of movies, I was always sort of sort of confused by your name. I mean, who is this? But then after I did some research, I realized that this has been your nickname since you were a kid. So now I feel bad, and I wanted to apologize for secretly scorning you for all these years." He was happy to accept my apology, and he agreed that it did sound sort of weird if you didn't know the whole story, (see last post for more info). I suggested working together on a documentary that would inform the world of the actual origin of McG's name, to finally put to rest the too-accepted theory that he's simply going the route of Cher and Madonna. He was very interested- so much so that he even had me talk to his producing partner later and we exchanged information. I'll let you know how that goes... McG spoke very passionately about the film which clearly meant a lot to him. He was friendly, willing to goof around, and pleasant to spend a few minutes with.
As a big fan on Lost, I was super excited to talk to Matthew Fox, (aka Jack), but I wanted to try to get on his good side before I tried to get any plot secrets out. I talked to his publicist in the hallway, and tried to get some information out of her. She just said not to ask him about the Golden Gloves- apparently a lot of people had been doing that. So then it was my turn. I walked in excitedly and shook his hand. He was nice and all, he just seemd sort of tired. It's definitely understandable. He had probably been in that room for about five hours, answering many of the same questions again and again, but it was still a little disheartening. He looked off into the distance, and didn't make much eye contact. I asked whether there were ever any issues with having two lead actors named "Matthew," and he said that McG actually called them by their character names. Towards the end of the interview, I started joking around a little more, and he got with it a little more. We talked about Lost briefly, and then it my slot was up. I won't hold it against him though. The problem with these tiresome interviews is that I keep replaying them in my mind, trying to think of ways I could have rescued the interview. I talked to a few other journalists after I got out though, and they had similars interactions as well, so I guess it wasn't all my fault.
Up until this point, I had been running ahead of schedule, and there was only one more interview that stood between me and the subway home. I walked down the hall to wait outside Matthew's room. There were only two people ahead of me, but then I started hearing talk about a phone interview Matthew had to give. Sure enough, in about ten minutes, Matthew walked down the hall to meet up with McG and do a phoner. They said it would take ten minutes, but it was closer to twenty-five minutes. By the time he got back, there were about twelve journalists waiting to interview him. Luckily, I was one of the firsts. Matthew's junket room had been set up a little different. Instead of two chairs facing each other, there was only one chair for me to sit in. Then Matthew did the interview while standing and pacing in front of a locker room backdrop as he tossed a football from hand to hand. I guess it was supposed to be reminiscent of a coach lecturing to his athletes, although he didn't do the interview as a charactor. It was conducted like a normal junket interview, except I had to crane my neck up to look at him. A stool might have helped, or maybe if I could have stood up. There was a jib, (a small camera crane), that moved back and forth filming him, then there was a camera filming a wide shot my back as Matthew paced in front of me, and then there was the third camera behind Matthew which filmed his butt and my face. I've definitely never seen a junket like this before, and neither had the crew members who I talked to afterwards. We'll see how the piece comes out after I edit it...
Did I leave anything out? Do you have a follow-up question? If so, shoot me an email or post a comment and I'll fill you in. And check back tomorrow, for another exciting post titled, "Celebrity Elevators." Is your interest piqued? It should be...