Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on talking with celebrities.
During my newspaper career, I had the opportunity to speak with some celebrities. Many of these conversations took place over the telephone and usually lasted about 20 minutes or so.
Often, I felt sorry for the celebrities, who were promoting a play or a concert tour, as I realized they had probably been conducting interview after interview and answering the same questions over and over again. Sometimes I would ask how many interviews they had had that day. During the interview, I would be proud of myself if the celebrity said: “That’s a good question.”
Celebrities who have passed away recently include Sidney Poitier, Betty White, Bob Saget and director Peter Bogdanovich. When a famous person dies, I am saddened that the world has lost that celebrity and the special talent or talents he or she possessed. Of course, we are grateful that most celebrities have left a recorded legacy of their work in movies, television or music.
Sometimes, when a celebrity passes away, I think about the questions I would have liked to ask. Most likely, the famous person would have already been asked and offered answers to those questions many times before.
Have you ever had a conversation with a stranger in a hospital waiting room or in line at the grocery store? Sometimes you just make small talk, but every now and then you really make a connection with that stranger. You think that this person could be a friend if your paths would cross on a regular basis.
Sometimes an interview with a celebrity can go very well. Usually, I found it was much easier to establish a rapport in person than over the telephone. However, every now and then, one of those telephone interviews is so successful you think back years later to how kind the celebrity being interviewed was or how they made a funny joke to get the interview started.
As fans, we put celebrities on pedestals in a lot of ways, but it is important to remember that they are people with hopes and dreams and loved ones who miss them when they pass away.
John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.
Original posted at www.herald-dispatch.com