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The Most Awkward Interview Moments of 2009

Watching some of unctuous, boorish, inebriated and otherwise (James Cameron gets his own category) embarrassing behavior on last night's Golden Globe broadcast, I remembered that I forgot to post my "Five Most Awkward Interview Moments from 2009." Partly that was because there weren't that many: I could only come up three. Am I getting better at it or just losing my edge?

Here are the three winners, in chronological order:

 1. In a freewheeling four way interview with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, the stars of "I Love You, Man," and the director John Hamburg when the film's underlying homoerotic subtext came a little too close to the surface:

PK: So this is the bromance genre.  Do you buy that? 

John Hamburg:  I think, I have no problem with it, but I don't really--we never approached the movie with it as a bromance genre.  In the original story for this movie was written by a writer named Larry Levin, like six or seven years ago before there was any talk of this.  I think, there's always just been movies about buddies, you know, Hope and Crosby even.

Paul Rudd:  Laurel and Hardy,

JH:  Laurel and Hardy.  Abbott and Costello.  I mean, there's always been comedy duos.  It just seems that maybe in the last six months or something, the term has been created, but we never thought about that term while we were making the movie.  We just said, this'll be great to explore male friendship and really make that the theme of the movie as opposed to a subtext.

PK: So when does a bromance movie become gay?  Is there a dividing line between...

Paul Rudd: [uncomfortable pause] Well, I think we all know maybe, technically, what the answer might be. 

PK: I mean, is it like, kissing but not on the lips?  Or... I guess, we'll leave it at that. (nervous laughter).


2. I would have to say that the entire interview with Sasha Grey for Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience" was an awkward moment. In part because the high-powered 20-ish porn actress, star of such films as "Anal Cavity Search VI" and "We Suck!: POV Tag Team Suck-Off" was conducting the interview with her boyfriend, Ian Cinnamon, across the table from me. But also because she didn't laugh at any of my jokes. Perhaps for good reason; here's a sample:

PK: If somebody had any interest in getting into your  business, would you suggest it or...or what advice would you give them?

Sasha Grey: I would say, don't just do it for the money. It has to be something you actually want to do for yourself. And, you know, I think, for a good reason, not just for fun, because the novelty of it will soon fade away. Because a lot of people, I think, get in the business thinking it's just fun and forget it is business. You know what I mean? You're not just there for yourself, you're there for an audience and a consumer that, you know, they're either going to buy your product or they're not. You know, "Why should we buy Girl A's movie when we could get Girl B's movie for free on the Internet. But they look exactly the same and they sound exactly the same."

I enjoyed it when I first started in the business because it was something fresh and unique to me. But once you do that enough times, what separates that from just filming your neighbors having sex?

PK:...I've tried that. You end up getting arrested.

SG: [icy silence] For lack of a better way to describe it, it's like, I don't want to see ugly sex.

3. Unsurprisingly, all of these awkward moments had to do with sex. But it's not just me, I swear. This sudden revelation by Lars Von Trier in our discussion of "Antichrist" was totally unprovoked:


PK: William Dafoe, and I think you've mentioned this in another interview, is probably the worst therapist in the history of movies. How would you advise him to treat the Charlotte Gainsbourgh character, and what does he do wrong?

Lars Von Trier: Yeah, first of all, I have been undergoing this cognitive therapy for three years, and it's I think it's quite typical for me to be sarcastic.  You can say that one of the main ideas behind any treatment of this also is that a fear is a thought, and, you know, it doesn't change reality.  You can say in the film it's changed reality.  All that was kind of what you could read up about the film.  I wouldn't let him treat her in any other way than with his dick, he has an enormous dick, but that maybe I took also...he's extremely well-equipped.  And we had to kind of take the scenes out of the film, we had a stand-in for him, we had to take the scenes out with his own dick.

PK: Hold on ---You had a stand-in dick?  You had to have a stand in dick for Dafoe?

LV: Yes, yes, we had to have, because Will's own was too big.

PK: Too big to fit in the screen?

LV: (laughs) No, too big because everybody got very confused when they saw it.


PK: People would get intimidated.  Especially when he starts-

LV: Especially when he-

PK: When he ejaculates blood, that was uh-

LV: Oh yeah, yeah.  That was the double.

PK: It's quite a trick.

LV: Uh, yes.

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