Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ferris, Bridget and NKOTB

Yesterday was supposed to be simple:
11am Check in at the Ritz Carlton for Bee Movie press interviews
11:20am Roundtable interview with Matthew Broderick
Noon Roundtable interview with Renee Zellweger
12:20pm Roundtable interview with Jerry Seinfeld
3:30pm Photo shoot with a band I'll just call New Kids On The Block
6:30pm Call it a day and head home

OK, let's just start out by saying that I nearly pissed my pants when I was asked to interview Ferris Bueller, Bridget Jones and Elaine's boy toy. Biggest. Stars. I've. Ever. Met.

After a hilarious encounter with The Simpsons Movie, I plan my outfit for my pretend day with Hollywood and Dan and I hit the hay. We awake at 5am to the pounding rain. Dan leaves at 7am, I fall back asleep. I awake at 8:30am to the sun shining. I get ready, do some last-minute research, kiss Sophie and head out. It is a beautiful day, I make pennies, but I have the best job in the world. I take the bus to the city, where I then attempt to hop on a subway to take me uptown to the Ritz. Eh. Everything is backed up. The R line is running where the B line should be, and I need the D train. This probably makes no sense, but basically, New York transit is a mess. I make it to the "hospitality suite" at 11:10am, where I'm offered a cup of lukewarm coffee. How hospitable. I'm ushered to a room with about four "teen press" reporters. Everyone's gossiping about how the subway system is backed up because of the flooding. Flooding? What flooding?! It rains for three hours and New York practically shuts down. A couple of more reporters trickle in. Around 11:45am Matthew Broderick walks in, sits down and spats, "OK, what is it?" A few reporters spout questions, then I open my mouth.
Me: So like, when I see a bee, I freak out. After making this movie, do you have more compassion for bees?
Ferris: Well, I never try to kill bees, never have. Just the other day we had a bee in the house, and I trapped it in a glass and let it go.
Where was SJP when the death wish with wings was buzzing around?
Me: Nice. Thank you.

Ferris leaves after about 20 minutes of bee talk, and Renee walks in dressed in designer jeans, a black sweater (it's 98 degrees outside!) and a chic new haircut I've never seen before. As much as I love her, her head is...a bit larger than her body. But I won't call her a bobble head. Questions fly. She is animated, adorable, sweet, gracious, quite possibly one of my top three stars to interview.

Moving on. The Jerry interview is pushed back until 3pm. It is 12:30. I must start heading down to SoHo for the shoot if NY transit is as crappy as everyone says. I hop on the 1 line. It was supposed to take me to Canal Street, about 2 blocks from my shoot, but the conductor insists on stopping at 14th St., and the train goes no further. I walk out of the 100-degree station into the 98-degree weather and attempt to hail a cab. No go. EVERYONE is trying to hail a cab. The subways are down, everyone has somewhere important to go. I walk up and down Sixth Ave. My feet are nearly bleeding, my bag is weighing me down. I'm sweating hand grenades. After 45 minutes, I approach a non-available cab at a stoplight and ask the man in the backseat if we can share. He says yes. Score!

The traffic is unbearable, I can walk faster than this. I get out at Houston and start walking. I feel faint. I haven't ingested more than a cup of lukewarm coffee all day, so I stop at a small cafe to scarf something down and look over my notes before the photo shoot. I order a salad. They bring me a small plate of leaves and oil. Literally, JUST leaves and oil. It is 3pm, I must go. I thank the waitress for the weeds and give her $12.

I get to the photo shoot (I'm still hungry, tired, and hot, mind you), and what do I see? New Kids On The Block and their 15-person entourage. When did they become 'N Sync? Agh. Despite the fact that the caterers brought Diet Pepsi, when NKOTB only drinks Diet Coke, the shoot goes fairly smoothly. Then NKOTB's manager pulls me aside. He is not happy.
(There are more details to this, but to be on the safe side, we'll keep those hush-hush.)
Guy: We saw the last issue. We're not happy with the photo you chose to put on the cover.
Me: I apologize. My editor really liked that photo. It won't happen again. We don't want to jeopardize our relationship with you.
Guy: Well, that's the way to do it. This had better not happen again. You have an upset artist and an angry staff.
Me: I'm sorry. We've been supporting you guys for years. I'll make sure this doesn't happen again.
Guy: We'll be watching.

At this point, tears are streaming down my face. I try to pull myself together, but when I'm upset, there's no holding back the waterworks. I'm 26. Unprofessional. Humiliated. I hope I don't get canned. I can't believe I'm crying in front of NKOTB's entourage. Somebody, please dig a hole in the floor that's roughly 5'6" deep so I can...sob in privacy.

Somehow, I make it through the photo shoot. Sometimes I don't think I'm quite cut out for all of this entertainment BS, diva demands, ass-kissing and whatnot. I'm from Missouri for pete's sakes! So I get home, rip off my tear-soaked clothes and zone out to Seinfeld. And the kicker? I didn't even get to meet Jerry.

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