The Chrises and the Junket Game
Derek Storm/Splash, INF
Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth were on Good Morning America today to promote The Avengers. Does it still need promoting at this point? The overseas box office for the film is already almost at $200 million. Can you stand the next 4 days? I’m telling you - if you go to the movies to have fun, The Avengers will deliver.
Evans has been largely absent for most of The Avengers international press tour as he’s been shooting in New York. I did however interview him together with Hemsworth in LA a few weeks ago at the junket. They were great together - super relaxed, funny, friendly...but at the end, as I was leaving the room, I heard Evans say to Hemsworth, “I got that one”, and Hemsworth in response: “F-ck you”.
What was that all about?
I’ve no idea as I’m not a junket regular but I did learn later from other junket regulars that many celebrities play the Junket Game and I think it may have had to do with theirs. Celebrities, as you know, have a hard time staying focused on junket weekends. It’s boring having to answer the same questions over and over again. It’s a hard life being paid thousands of dollars, sometimes more, to promote a project that people want to see and others want to talk to you about. In order to break up the day and give them something to keep their minds on, their handlers, who sit in the adjoining room and can hear and observe everything, will “assign” them a word. Like a totally random word or a phrase that they’ll have to use at least once, bonus points if more, during the 3-5 minute interview. “Boondoggle” for example. Or “crustacean”. Or “hypothalamus”. You get the idea.
I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand ...whatever, right? Whatever they need to get them through, and it actually sounds kind of fun (who doesn’t like word games!?), and I don’t care as long as it’s not rude. But... maybe it is? Some of my veteran colleagues think it’s very rude. Why do I want to bring an interview back to my show when half of it is spent editing out the word “barnacle”? I’m there to do my job; I’m not there to play “Use This In A Sentence”. Are they really paying attention to my questions and telling me about their characters, the story, if they’re too busy thinking about how to work “isosceles triangle” into the conversation?
The best though is when they get called on it. A friend of mine did it recently. She picked up on the “word” and when it happened more than once, she busted them:
“Oh are you playing the Junket Game? Yeah, I know that game.”
They were embarrassed. And why would they be embarrassed if they didn’t know it was kind of insulting?
Me, as noted above, I don’t really have strong feelings about it either way except to say, you know, the way they allow themselves to be treated, celebrities really are like children.
Also attached - Hemsworth out in New York after throwing around a football yesterday.