NKOTB and Me
Sorry it’s taken so long. Haven’t had a couple of hours straight uninterrupted to sit down and pound it out.
Found out about the interview last Wednesday but didn’t want to jinx. Kept expecting something to go wrong – they’d cancel last minute, I’d break my other arm, my producer would change her mind and decide on a different story focus. Saturday seemed so far away.
Interview times with celebrities are fluid. This means that if you’re slotted into 9am, there’s a good chance you’ll be there until 6pm. Or longer. Which is why “glamour” couldn’t be a more inappropriate attribute to describe the process. The process is hurry up and wait. Occasionally though, it is totally worth it the wait.
The New Kids are totally worth it.
Jen B was my producer – only the most ardent New Kids superfan on the planet. Like she went to Jordan and Jon’s house and saved a handful of grass from their lawn.
Yes. She did.
And a piece of pizza.
Yes. She did.
This is what you do when you’re 10 years old. When I was 10 years old I pined for Michael Jackson and pretend kissed him on my pillow. Between NKOTB and Michael Jackson, I’m thinking in the long run, Jen B came out way ahead. She also had her hair blown out for the occasion. It looked amazing.
Needless to say, we were a ball of nerves.
At noon we were setting up a lounge on the 4th floor. One long couch with 2 stools behind it for the boys, one matching leather chair across for me. Lighting a set takes forever. Seriously… forever. NKOTB was scheduled to arrive in our suite at 1:45pm, more than enough time to review the questions, go over the research, whip ourselves into a nervous frenzy, and belt out every New Kids song to camera with Marie B.
Marie is our production manager who conveniently decided to show up that morning, design the room, and stay for five hours because she had nothing better to do on a Saturday. Marie and I were the losers who were reliving the dance moves to Step By Step and screeching at the top of our lungs when their publicist decided to pop in for a visit to make sure the room was up to standard.
Later on, during our very pitchy rendition of Please Don’t Go Girl, it was their manager (a piece of quivering ass) who came down the hall for a stroll and heard us mutilating his clients’ music. This is when Dylan pleaded with me to stop embarrassing myself. Apparently I was offending his sense of cool.
Whatever. We kept singing.
At one point, Marie had to dash into the artist green room area to steal a stool. She opened a curtain and there he was – Danny grinning back at her with a very suggestive… Hello. She hopped up with an “oh hi!” and ran away and spent the next hour trying to decide if he was about to ask her out for dinner. Marie and Danny have quite a story.
Before long it was time. I was wringing my hands, Jen B had changed her shoes, Marie had taken off her flats and put on a pair of black sexy pumps, and Dylan was annoyed.
We heard them walking down the hall, we heard their Boston accents, we did not fling our tits at them when they walked in the room. Jen B actually managed to hold it together and delivered her “producer” speech without sounding at all like someone who’s been stalking them for almost 20 years. I was impressed.
Donnie came in first. I told him I was a big fan… he pulled me in for a hug. Then it was Jordan (a handshake) and Joey (also a handshake and he smells so good) and Jonathan (hidden behind sunglasses the entire time) who greeted me warmly before throwing himself onto the couch.
Danny straggled in last wearing the best outfit: a blue t-shirt bedazzled here and there with sequins and (we think) rhinestones. My mother dressed Danny Wood!!!
Right off the get, the chemistry was electric. Jen B had spent months trying to confirm this interview. Months. And the best part is that it’s early. It’s at the very, very beginning of their comeback. So none of them are tired yet. In fact they’ve just been thrown right back into a tornado after a long, long hiatus. We were with them before the fatigue, before they start calling in their answers, before the cynicism kicks in… it was the best time to talk. And a half hour interview is a long, long time.
Maybe it was because we were completely blocked off from anyone else in a secluded part of the building, maybe it was the soft lighting that the guys had spent too long tinkering with, maybe it was Marie’s cosy set design…but from the beginning it felt less like an interview than me sitting in my living room talking to five dudes. They were ready to talk. They were ready to reveal.
So much so that my full interview with New Kids on the Block will be turned into a half hour special airing THIS FRIDAY on Star and again on CTV on Monday morning.
In several sombre moments, the boys were willing to address the internal turmoil that eventually led to their split, they had some fighting words for those who think they shouldn’t be reuniting, they teased each other incessantly about romance on the road, and yes… there was flirting. Of course there was flirting. Yeah. I flirted. They started and I flirted back and if you think I would pass up that kind of opportunity, you’re straight up Tom Cruise. Crazy.
Conversation was laden with innuendo. They’re boys, after all. And as they will be the first to tell you, they are thrilled that seemingly overnight but not really, their fans aren’t 12 anymore. No more jailbait. Total legal love on the tour bus. At one point Joe cheekily asked if I would go on tour with them.
He was wearing jeans and a white t shirt underneath a blue blazer with a polka dot hankerchief tucked into the breast pocket. The bluest blues, the nicest nose, and not a child anymore. Sasha says that there may have been some eyef&cking on his part at the MMVAs when he came into our lounge on Sunday, which is ironic because Sasha was the one who got eyef&cked by Colin Farrell while I was standing next to her last year at TIFF. Oh yeah Joey’s a charmer. But he’s also a father and a husband and speaks lovingly and often about his baby and wife.
Indeed. Joey McIntyre grew up so hot. He’s like my favourite now.
Actually…they’re all pretty sexy but curiously enough, not Jordan. Jordan who was the object of my 16 year old sex vow. Jordan was kinda bland. We were expecting Jordan to be the ringleader, very vocal, or at least as charismatic as some of the others.
In reality, both Knight brothers sort of fade away, leaving Joey, Donnie, and Danny out front. Donnie speaks the most. Donnie answers every question first. And elaborates. And he’s probably a little more forthcoming than he should be. So much so that he had to write a note to himself on his blackberry about giving too much information.
Of all of them, Donnie’s the guy who could be your friend. He’s probably the most fun. And accessible too. During sound check on Saturday afternoon, he was murmuring into the microphone that he needed a “groin stretch” over and over again. And the dancers love him. At rehearsal on Sunday, he rushed up to one of them and gave her a big platonic hug. It was cute – like they could party together without it being groupie weird.
Most surprising though was Danny. I was never a “Danny”. Aesthetically… well… he’s not David Beckham. Best story I’ve ever heard about Danny though is from this woman I know reminiscing about the New Kids days. She was a Danny. But she was a Danny because Danny wasn’t as cute as the others. As such, she reasoned that she would have the best chance.
Have you ever heard such a pragmatic approach to choosing a FANTASY lover???
But remember, Danny was the one who dated Halle Berry. I asked him straight up, he told me straight up. Then the other guys jumped in and talked about how that’s the one accomplishment that set him apart. That they will always be lesser to Danny no matter who was singing lead vocals.
Having met him now, I can totally see it. We all could totally see it. By the end of it Marie wanted Danny. There is something about Danny. Like an ugly sexy. He’s interesting, he’s really quick, and above all, Danny is cool. Even wearing a bedazzled tee.
And finally… about Jon. It’s no secret he’s painfully shy. We talked about that: he still has issues with attention, but he says he’s managing the best he can. In person Jon is much better looking. And that long face from before has filled out nicely now. Maybe a little too orange but the best looking, the most handsome one of the lot.
We talked about his thing with Tiffany – do you remember? Then Joey jumped in with a betrayal: Joey and Tiffany the random hookup. Apparently Joe keeps bringing it up, like he can’t let it go. And Jordan was like – dude, you need to stop telling this story. They vowed to never speak of it again.
Tiffany. I think we’re alone now.
At the end we played a lighting round. Speed questions where each had to choose this or that.
Like boxers or briefs…
One of them was wearing nothing. Hanging free.
Can you guess who?
It was a dream interview. We floated around for hours afterwards and decided to get drunk that night to commemorate the day, not so much because we interviewed the New Kids, not so much because we turned 30 minutes into 45, not because we actually did what we normally NEVER do and asked for a photo, but because something about the afternoon, all the prepping, the singing, the laughing, the giggling…it was like being 16 again. But only the good parts. Only the happy parts. Happy in the way only 16 year olds can feel. Like when a 16 year old is happy, no one else in the world could possibly be as happy. As if it was a 16 year old who invented happy in the first place… that’s how it was with Marie and Jen and me. Like whatever happens, we’ll always have NKOTB. Forever.
Photos are attached. The one where Marie has her head turned… it was because half a second before Dylan clicked, Danny leaned into her and said: Wow. You’re really attractive.
You can imagine what she was like the rest of the weekend.
PS. In case you’re wondering how the boys rank on the Boy Meter…even Dylan had to concede by the end that he would totally hang out with them. But this may be because Donnie shouted out Scarborough.
PPS. Almost forgot about the music. I still love the music. I will always love the music. It didn’t sound so great on tv but it sounded great to us in the crowd. And it will sound even better in concert this fall. I have my ticket. Do you have yours?
PPPS. They are all wee.