We were spoiled earlier this year with one of the best celebrity interviews of 2018 – it was Quincy Jones with Vulture and as I wrote at the time, it couldn’t have happened if writer David Marchese, contributing editor at Vulture and New York Magazine, wasn’t so f-cking good at his job. Duana and I had an entire discussion about David’s work on the Show Your Work podcast back in February. You can listen to that episode here.
David showed his work once again this week in his new interview with the indomitable Kathleen Turner and if you haven’t already, prepare to be delighted. Here’s a teaser: at one point, when discussing Elizabeth Taylor, Kathleen drags Liz for her weak voice and then concludes the critique with “Enough Taylor sh-t”. She goes on to talk about what it was like hanging out with Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, who were apparently in a competition to f-ck her, back in the day, an anecdote that should surprise no one and one that probably tortures Leonardo DiCaprio who’s been wistfully trying to live that life well past its time.
And then there’s a blind riddle about an actress:
“Certainly in terms of film, there is intense pressure to repeat successful characters. I’ll give you an example, but you mustn’t include her name. [Very famous Hollywood actress] has played the same role for 20 years. She even looks pretty much the same. She’s probably one of the richest women out there, but I would shoot myself if I were like that, only giving people what they expect.”
My guess? Julia Roberts.
But again, an interview this good only happens when the interviewer is that good. David Marchese is one of the best. So if you’re curious about his work process and the work that goes into producing an interview that goes viral, that people will be remembering for a long time, check out David on the other side of an interview, when it’s his turn to answer the questions. I’ve come back to this a few times over the last few months because interviewing is part of my job too. There are a lot of great tips here and not just for anyone who interviews for a living but for anyone who tells a story – which is all of us, really. That’s the job of the interviewer: to tell the story of a conversation between themselves and their subject.
And then, as previewed in What Else? yesterday, there’s the new GQ interview with Ethan Hawke. I finally got to it last night before bed and, well, for me anyway, it’s exactly what I expected. He’d probably dispute this but Ethan Hawke is still cosplaying Troy Dyer. Like OF COURSE he namechecked Holden Caulfield. The worst part of the discussion, particularly as it relates to today’s open, is what he has to say about the work, and how he categorises the work. Somehow Ethan manages to disparage the idea of being a “professional”:
“My best movies are not the ones that paid me: the Before trilogy, Boyhood, First Reformed, Dead Poets Society. But I'm 47 years old. I pay my alimony with my acting. I pay my kids' health insurance with my acting. I pay everybody's tuition with my acting. I'm helping various charities with my acting. I've become a professional, and I never wanted to be a professional. I kind of hate professionals. And so when I get left alone in a room for a second and I get to be creative again, I'm like, Okay, Ethan, you get to make a movie.”
Does it seem like he’s turned “professional” into a dirty word? That somehow the profession of acting is less pure than the organic-ness of being a “creative”? Troy Dyer, right there. Remember what Vickie said about him in Reality Bites? “He's weird, he's strange, he's sloppy, he's a total nightmare for women... I can't believe I haven't slept with him yet.” Same. He’s so annoying, I want to f-ck it out of him.
Yours in gossip,