Posts tagged Hollywood Stories

Jennifer Aniston’s Gift

Jennifer Aniston

How many times have you received a beautifully wrapped gift only to be disappointed by it’s contents? In Hollywood most of the stars I interview are always perfectly wrapped with their hair, makeup and outfits, but what was underneath did not always match the surface. The first time I interviewed Jennifer Aniston I expected little more than a beautiful woman with flat answers, that’s what I thought I would get. I was on a press junket,  55 journalists asking questions about the same movie.  I met Jennifer Aniston in 1997 for the film Picture Perfect. I had been doing press junket interviews for 5 years and usually I got interesting answers but with little warmth behind them as most of the stars only wanted to “get it over with.” Along came Jennifer…she was breathtaking, a  beautiful woman who made me feel welcome when she said, “how nice to meet you,” (I usually got hello or nothing at all). I did not expect her to be so nice to me off camera. Her lack of pretension made me aware that I could ask her anything, even about her private life, which is a no-no on junket interviews as it could have been the end of my career if a star had complained to the studio. Her willingness to be an open book to me made me look good as an interviewer. She did that for me not only once, but every time we worked together. She was willing to talk about how she dealt with the tabloids and how she would not let the negative comments get her down, which did hurt her. She also told me that there seems to be a lot of people with free time and nothing to do but spread rumors because she was a great target. Her way to stay grounded was by staying close with her amazing friends. When it came to her career she was offered lots of romantic comedies, after all, she was Rachel Greene from Friends. But what she wanted was to play out of her comfort zone which she finally did in the film The Good Girl. Now she knew she could deliver even when she was scared.

The last time I interviewed her was for the film Derailed, 2005, where infidelity was the running theme in the movie and after the nicest welcome ever I waited till near the end of my timeslot to ask her about it. Her private life was all over the tabloids and the studio was afraid I would upset her. I asked her if this film could do a lot to make people aware of the dangers of infidelity. Watch the interview to see her brilliant and open response.

Jennifer Aniston and Reba Merrill

Last week I went to a party and screening for her latest film Cake, this role might give her an Oscar nomination so the mood was very upbeat, though her character is addicted to prescription medications. Surrounded by well-wishers I managed to get a chance to talk to her so I could thank her for making me look good in all the interviews we did together and let her know that her answer to infidelity was heard around the world. She asked if she could see the interview and of course I said yes and I asked for a picture and she said if she did one for me then everyone who had asked would be unhappy and, of course, I understood. At the end of the party she came up to me and said “let’s take a picture,” and we did.

Jennifer is having a truly amazing life and career. She has two films out this season, the wildly funny Horrible Bosses 2 (Now Playing) and the oscar-buzz drama Cake (January). Sometimes life gives you gifts. In my case, every time I got to sit down with Jennifer Aniston, she was a gift. I look forward to Oscar Nominations January 15th, and I hope to see Jennifer’s name as she is a supremely talented actress, a wonderful human being and…a GIFT!

The Changing Face Of Angelina

After watching the press interviews for Maleficent, it made me think about all the times I interviewed Angelina Jolie and how different the press interviews are today. She revealed much more about who she was like, that she performed plays around the house with her older brother James  Haven and knew she would be a performer at an early age. “I wanted to be an actor as I was curious about the different sides of life and wanted to explore it.” Her brother is the first one to see her films and tell her what he thinks. I wonder where Brad fits into that picture. When I asked her if her looks get in the way she replied “I don’t feel very confident about myself…I do have a lot of insecurities.” She volunteered that the reason she wears black: “I know people think it’s cool and mysterious. It’s just because I’m a big slob and spill a lot of shit.” For the first time she wore white in all the press interviews and black for the premiers. She likes to play women who are strong and passionate as it shows strength rather than weakness. I asked her what scares her and it wasn’t stunts.  She has worked with the same team for a long time and if they tell her she can do a stunt, she trusts them. It’s real life that scares her “what really scares me, anything happening to someone I love.” When I asked Angelina is this what she thought her movie career would be she said “In this business I can’t believe how critical everybody is of everything and how insecure people are and it’s terrible. I have been through a lot of different things and I think people have so many bad opinions about me, judged me and think I am a bad person. You fight and make bold choices and I keep charging at walls and do the best I can.”She has changed from successful insecure woman to a woman greatly admired for her work with refugees and her courage to reveal her breast cancer surgery.   

I interviewed Brad before he got involved with Angelina and he has changed too, from just another handsome actor to a caring humanitarian.  Together they have shown the the world what the power of celebrity can do, when used in a positive way. Change is scary and difficult and I know what it has done to me ….I want to hide ….I want to eat …..and I do not want to face it. What has it done to you?  

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