I have a friend that’s a muckety-muck at one of the big publications out of New York. He knows I’m an aspiring writer, so he threw me a bone –a paying gig to interview a celebrity while she was in town about six weeks ago. This was an unadulterated case of cronyism. And I must say, cronyism isn’t so bad when you’re the one benefiting.
The good news is I got paid. It was almost enough so it doesn’t feel strange to refer to myself as a writer. The bad news is the interview isn’t going to run. Not ever. The celebrity’s publicist put a serious kibosh on it. Attorneys got involved. Shit was slung. Some of it stuck.
I can’t post the entire interview here. It’s too long for a blog, and I’d risk exposing the identity of Starlet X. That can’t happen, or said shit will get slung my way. What I can do is share a couple of excerpts –one of which is likely the reason the thing will never see print publication.
The first thing I notice about Starlet X is she’s even prettier in person. It’s for reasons I never would have thought to guess. When she smiles, skin bunches up around her eyes and her ears perk up a little. It’s as if every piece of her is filling with some gossamer pleasure that pulls her heavenward, and it's enough to make you want to follow. She’s wearing a low-cut sundress. I notice a mole on her chest and try hard not to stare. It’s a tiny drop of espresso set off against the white swell of her left breast, a speckle of imperfection just above her heart. I didn’t recall seeing it in the magazine images. Maybe digitally excising it makes sense for advertisements, but in person that blemish makes her beauty accessible, and I imagine its roots marbling her insides with the pathos she’s so famous for in her films.
Me: Let’s talk about men.
SX: (Rolls her eyes.) Are there any left? Not in Hollywood. They have these big strong bodies, but their hands are all soft. A real man should have rough hands, hands that can build things.
Me: So you’re looking for a carpenter? What about a writer with a serious finger callous from holding a pen funny?
SX: I don’t think I could date a carpenter. It’s not so much that I’d be against it. The tabloids would have a field day. No, that would be impossible. I dated a writer once. He was very sensitive. He cried a lot, and I didn’t like that. Like I said, I want my man to be a real man. I don’t care how much of a pacifist a girl might be. All women want a man who could kick some ass if it came down to it.
Me: There’s a lot of tragedy in Hollywood. It seems like, and I don’t mean to sound insensitive; there is practically an overdose a week. Do you have any insights into what’s going on?
SX: I blame the doctors mostly. They have these people coming to them that are very weak-willed and broken. Like little birds with broken wings that are in pain. And the doctors just pump them full of meds. It makes the doctors lots of money and it’s disgusting.
Me: You don’t think there’s an onus of responsibility that falls to these individuals who are taking the drugs?
SX: I do. I think they’re making a mistake medicating themselves. But they couldn’t get the meds without these doctors.
Me: A lot of celebrities get behind some great causes, and I was wondering if there’s anything you’re passionate about?
SX: There is. This is going to sound a little crazy, but my hairstylist introduced me to his brother who is a famous cryptozoologist --
Me: (Interrupting) A what?
SX: A cryptozoologist. He’s a very smart man who studies mysterious and unknown creatures. He knows about all kinds of stuff, but he specializes in Sasquatch.
Me: He studies Bigfoot?
SX: Yeah. Nobody sees them anymore because they’re almost extinct. We’re encroaching on their territory and they’re all dying off. It’s a real tragedy.
Me: Shouldn’t we be finding the corpses or bones or something?
SX: They’re very smart, almost as smart as humans. They cremate their dead in sophisticated religious ceremonies.
Me: So how are you helping?
SX: Well, right now it’s mostly financial. But I’d like to shoot a PSA or something to help get the word out.
I’m pretty sure the Bigfoot thing was what set the publicist off. Starlet X did, however, point to recently discovered species, like the Bornean Clouded Leopard and the Raftus Swinhoei turtle of Vietnam as evidence of supposedly mythical creatures that were discovered. So who knows? She also had some strange things to say about her dealings with the Church of Scientology.
Thanks for reading the little bit I felt comfortable posting. I’ll probably just delete the rest of the interview off my hard drive.