Posted at 5:00 AM Jan 27, 2009
By Kathleen Willcox
In general, unless I'm confident that I will be infotained, I avoid celebrity interviews like I do vomit on city sidewalks.
However, some interviews I'm drawn to again and again. On the one hand I relish the fact that a star's barefaced childishness has been successfully unmasked by a crafty interviewer, but on the other, I feel (momentarily) saddened by the pathos and psychic terror of their trainwreckery ... until, that is, I inevitably hit play again.
10. Jessica Alba
Sometimes it is better to be seen and not heard -- or at least have a script on hand. Jessica "reported" on President Obama's victory and while interviewing an actual reporter, she not only chided him for not revealing his own political leanings, she attempted to initiate him into her own special world of international diplomacy. Her retrospective advice to the departing president on the whole war thing: "Be neutral ... Be Sweden about it." I think you meant Switzerland, honey.
9. Holly Hunter
One of the most eye-curdling interviews out there was not the fault of a ditzy, distracted or in-need-of-psychiatric attention star. This time, it was the interviewer who was out to lunch. Granted, it got off to a bad start when surly Holly barely snarled out a greeting to NBC's hapless Merry Miller, but it went downhill as Merry struggled to come up with any questions whatsoever. Instead, she repeatedly informed the Academy Award-winner that she loves her and thinks she's fantastic. Finally, kindly, Miller stutters to a hectic halt while struggling to read the teleprompter and tripping over her words like a shy, knock-kneed seventh-grader who wants to get her big speech in front of the class over with so she can run to the bathroom and cry. Bye Merry! Nice knowing you.
8. Paula Abdul
When asked what the sixth season of American Idol will hold for fans, American treasure Paula responds, "Well ... Is zat what it is? I was wondering what is zat?" Satisfied with her eloquent address, she then smugly settles back into her chair to titter and grin quite charmingly. The fun continues as she explains how American Idol has saved the record industry, informs her interviewers on Fox that Seattle has "the best delusional people" and swings back and forth in her chair like a PTSD patient who's just been given a touch too much Klonopin. You bet, Paula! You bet.
7. Lauren Conrad
The Hills star shows up for The Late Show, apparently with what appears to have become far too many a starlet's m.o.: show up for interviews; wear something passably cute and definitely low-cut; and, stare vacantly at interviewer; deliver high-pitched monosyllabic (ummmm, like, wooool, uh, I don't know) responses when asked questions. After all, if an interview concludes without the guest vomiting on herself, flashing anyone or offending an ethnic or religious group, it is deemed a resounding success. David Letterman, for one, has had enough: in response to her bland inanity he entertains himself by informing Lauren in not soo many words that she's an idiot, tacky, a drama queen and that she and her equally imbecilic Hills cohorts have essentially waded into a giant vat of free money. On Brody Jenner: "If there was no television, this guy would be living in a tree."
6. Axl Rose and Slash
Watching this MTV interview is like happening upon one of your third-grade diary entries, the ones with the heart-dotted i's and embarrassingly earnest, bewitchingly unself-conscious writing. Clearly convinced of their irreproachable coolness and street cred, Axl and Slash ramble incoherently and painfully on about their Appetites for Destruction -- throwing TVs out windows, driving cars off roofs, as one does when one is a totally no-rules rebel, take that Sebastian Bach! -- all while chain-smoking and launching assiduous earwax digs. While I can't imagine this exchange was upsetting to watch in 1988, hindsight's 20/20. Just like your worn-out Strawberry Shortcake journal, for your mental health you should probably shut the book on this too-cool-for-school chapter of your past. But you know ya wanna take a peek ...