“I love doing physical comedy,” comments aging heart-throb Dennis Quaid as we discuss his new film, Yours, Mine and Ours. “My dad turned my brother [Randy Quaid] and I on to the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy at a young age.” I nod appreciatively, and we both take a sip of our Perriers.
“I love your dress,” I can’t help exclaiming to America’s current sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon, as she enters the interview room. I’m there with six other reporters who are intent on horning in on the quality time Reese and I are supposed to be sharing. “I know, isn’t it great!” she gushes in return, “It’s vintage.”
From there, I stroll down Rodeo Drive, taking in the stream of thin, sullen-looking young things passing by, wondering if it’s the fact that they’re so hungry that makes them all look so angry. And why, I ponder, don’t they buy $2975 handbags instead of $3000 handbags and spend the extra 25 bucks on lunch? Maybe then they would gaze on their shopping bags bearing names like “Gucci Jewelry Boutique” and “Versace” with love, instead of apparently thinking, “I hate you, new pink diamond cocktail ring, I hate you!”
But these thoughts drift out of my head in the balmy California air when I reach the imposing, unmarked glass doors of my hotel, The Regent Beverly Wilshire (you know the one--where Julia Roberts seduced Richard Gere in Pretty Woman). The doorman clears my path, and I stroll in as though I have lived in the lap of luxury my entire life.
Later that evening, indulging in a chocolate soufflé in my ultra-cozy bed made up with linens that probably cost more than my car, I mentally begin constructing the reviews and reports that make these junkets--all-expenses paid trips film studios provide critics, so that we can watch their movies, interview their stars, and, hopefully, recommend their product--necessary. When it’s all over, I am sent home with a commemorative t-shirt, a pre-release soundtrack, and an evening’s worth of stories with which to dazzle my friends.
And while this all sounds terribly glamorous (and it should, because I, of course, am very, very glamorous), believe it or not, like every profession, it has its downsides.
First, there is the issue of knowing when and when not to follow studio directions.
For example, as one might expect on a business related trip, studios advise journalists to attend interviews with actors and filmmakers in business-casual attire.
When I hear business casual, I think nice tailored blouse paired with pinstripe pants and a pair of low-heeled sling-back shoes. Or something along those lines. So, naturally, this is what I wear.
Megan Basham is the author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide To Having It All
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