Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Trip to L.A.: The Debriefening

Am back from L.A., and feel jet-lagged as all hell. The flights home were delayed because of rainy weather and almost everything I bought was expensive. But in the end, it was worth it.

It's all so funny - George Clooney shot his movie in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, including one scene which he filmed at the high school across the street from my house. Clooney couldn't speak with the press at the time because, understandably, he was extremely busy directing and starring in it. So I hooked up with the publicity reps at Universal hoping I could score a 7-10 minute phoner with George before the movie came out. After much hemming and hawing regarding how I would be able to see the movie before the interview, the studio decided it would be best if they just simply put me on a plane, let me stay in the Four Seasons near Beverly Hills, drive me to see the film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and then interview not only Clooney, but his co-stars John Krasinski and Renée Zellweger as well...

In person.

Talk about asking for a piggy back ride only to get the keys to a Ferrarri instead. It was almost obscene in a way.

Krasinski was very cool, a rapid fire dude who came up with hilarious replies even before some people had finished asking their questions.

Clooney was, well, Clooney. By that, I mean that he's the biggest American movie star today, and when you sit in a room with him, it's easy to see why. If he were a D&D character, he would have at least a 20-level charisma rating, which he effortlessly used to turn the press into a room of prom dates on Rohypnol.

But for my money, the real star of the whole junket was Zellweger. It was just an amazing and intense interview. She didn't joke around, but she wasn't angry either. She sat there, concentrating on every question she received and gave real responses regarding her craft as an artist. The most interesting thing she said is that she loves it when people are having a bad enough day to forget who she is and be mean to her. Zellweger believes those rare moments of reality are vital to her craft, because if her last 'real experiences' in life happened before she was famous, she would be useless as an actress as she continues to get older and has nothing relevant to draw upon in future roles.

And when a reporter from Detroit tried to bait her for some details regarding her years-old break up with Jack White, she ever so casually blew him off by telling him to say hi to the employees of her favorite Starbucks in the downtown area.

Just way cool.

Non-celebrity wise, I got to meet up with an old high school buddy of mine named Ben. He lives in L.A. where he works as an actor. Ben and I hung out for a few hours. He gave me sort of a crash course on L.A. living, and drove me to see David Gordon Green's Snow Angels. It's nice to see that he's out there in Hollywood, trying to kick some ass (at acting and Rock Band on XBox 360) while still being Ben for the most part.

I also met Ben's friend, Racheal, who was his girlfriend at one time. She was supposed to videotape George Clooney, but got held up in all the hellish traffic that they never show in movies about L.A. Kind of a blessing in disguise though, since apparently any photography during the press events was verboten. I gave her a Leatherheads t-shirt, and she got to see Zellweger, so I hope she doesn't think she wasted her time. She invited me to a midnight screening of Jurassic Park, which was nice. However, by the time the movie was going to end, it would have been past 6 A.M. Greensboro time, and as an early bird, I don't do late nights regardless of how many DTS-enhanced lizards roar into my ears.


Blogger CB Scott said...

Glad you had a great time. I enjoy reading your stuff. You put things together in a way that provokes thought along with enough of a hint of comic relief to make it always fun.


3:25 PM  

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