HollywoodChicago.com’s Top 7 Interviews of 2009

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – The celebrities do come to Chicago, sometimes to sit through the grinding interrogation of HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald. The Lucky Seven of 2009 comprise the best of last year, interview-wise.

There were many venues and circumstances of interview locations, from the stifling heat of a July Red Carpet Event (Gen Arts Fest) to the rat-infested alley behind the Vic Theater (photo tent, Just for Laughs, 2009).

The following are the Lucky Seven of 2009, the seven best or most memorable interviews, with notable quotes from the stars and the behind-the-scenes tales of the undaunted HC film reporter and in most cases, photographer Joe Arce.

Star7. Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show

Background: For the nostalgia admirer, the twice-a-year Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show is a boon for meeting old time TV and movie stars. HC was there, scoring sit downs with Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, The Brady Bunch Kids, Elliot Gould, Tippi Hedren, Ernest Borgnine and Mickey Rooney, among many others.

Fantastic!: Tony Curtis in Chicago, December 3rd, 2009.
Fantastic!: Tony Curtis in Chicago, December 3rd, 2009.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “So I asked Stanley why is everyone jumping on me and my speech? And no one comes and asks you about it. He said to me, don’t worry about it. He was talking to me like he wasn’t a part of the production company. That’s the way he talked to me, like don’t worry about it. Just do it, he said, it will pass by me. I knew then that I was covered by Stanley Kubrick. He was a fabulous man.” ~ Tony Curtis on his role in “Spartacus”

Behind the Scenes: Right before the second interview with Tony Curtis, the star conducted an impromtu casual conversation underneath the Christmas tree at Trump Towers with Patrick McDonald and Joe Arce.

Star6. Director John Woo

Background:This occurred during the Chicago International Film Festival in October, and in many ways it was like interviewing Orson Welles. John Woo is a legend, both in his native China and in reputation here in the USA. The elegantly dressed Woo was cordial and humble in his accomplishments as he spoke about his latest epic, “Red Cliff.”

West Humbly Meets East: Patrick McDonald and John Woo in Chicago, October 9, 2009.
West Humbly Meets East: Patrick McDonald and John Woo in Chicago, October 9, 2009.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “I’ve never like violence. People need to be protected, not to be killed. I try to protect also the people behind the gun. Even though I’ve made a lot of action movies, I try to make it anti-violence and in the case of ‘Red Cliff,’ anti-war.” ~ John Woo, on violence in films.

Behind the Scenes: Given Mr. Woo’s more limited background in English, many of questions had to be adjusted on the fly. He was the one who was reassuring, despite the embarrassment caused by the barrier.

Star5. Debbie Reynolds

Background: The long-time star Debbie Reynolds still has the vital spark that has defined her career for over 60 years. This Academy Award nominated actress, collector of Hollywood memorabilia and mother of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) still packs an opinionated wallop in an interview.

She is Our Lucky Star: Debbie Reynolds in Chicago, November 6th, 2009
She is Our Lucky Star: Debbie Reynolds in Chicago, November 6th, 2009
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “Well, you don’t tell Carrie a secret, because it will be in a script or a book. So if you have a secret, keep it to yourself.” ~ Debbie Reynolds on “Wishful Drinking,” Carrie Fishers’ one-woman show.

Behind the Scenes: Ms. Reynolds was willing to give the scoop of the century (regarding Marilyn Monroe), but with so many years and possible hearsay, it never came to fruition.

Star4. Richard Dreyfuss

Background: Richard Dreyfuss had just received a delivery of ice cream, and that’s how the interview started. The irascible and opinionated Mr. D didn’t disappoint, as he pontificated on modern education, politics, the afterlife and how the cast of “Always” couldn’t overcome their status as a remake.

Richard Dreyfuss in a Candid ‘Close Encounter’ in Naperville, Illinois, September 19th, 2009
Richard Dreyfuss in a Candid ‘Close Encounter’ in Naperville, Illinois, September 19th, 2009
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “First of all, it’s not over. Second of all, we’ve already decided that the early 1970s were the golden age. And I don’t know that it was, but certainly the directors and writers were allowed more freedom of choice. And when their films became successful the studios then said, now that you’re successful we’ll decide these things and everything changed.” ~ Richard Dreyfuss regarding the first 100 years of film.

Behind the Scenes: The publicists warned before the interview that Dreyfuss might not want to answer any questions, but he couldn’t have been nicer. Must have been the ice cream.

Star3. Terry Jones of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’

Background: An actual member of the legendary Python comedy troupe, with several unforgettable characters to his credit, Terry Jones is also an amateur scholar of medieval history. He was promoting an appearance in Chicago with “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which meant carte blanche for geeky Python questions.


Wink Wink Nudge Nudge: Eric Idle & Terry Jones
Photo credit: © Monty Python, Ltd

Memorable Quote: “Essentially you have to make each other laugh. That’s the key thing. Mike and I started writing together, but eventually we gave that up. I’d write at my place and he’d write at his and then we’d meet and read out what we had. It was really like tag team writing.” ~ Terry Jones on his writing partnership with fellow Pythoner Michael Palin.

Behind the Scenes: The interview was conducted via phone from a hotel room in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is the site of an annual academic medieval conference that Jones attends every year.

Star2. Lee Daniels and Gabby Sibide of ‘Precious’

Background: With the awards season in full swing, the nominations and trophies are plenty so far for the film “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.” At the Chicago International Film Festival, Director Lee Daniels and lead actress Gabby Sidibe first promoted their film.


Lee Daniels, Gabby Sidibe & Patrick McDonald, Oct. 14, ‘09
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “We are all Precious, but it just so happened to be that I stuck to the book’s story. It is important to hit home that the ‘Precious-es” of society are not forgotten. It is important to note that today, unlike the 1987 that the story is told in, that people don’t fall through the cracks like they used to. It is a different world, but there are those that still get away with abuse.” ~ Lee Daniels on the universal themes of Precious.

Behind the Scenes: Lee Daniels warned that besides interviewing him, he would push back on the interviewer if he didn’t like a question. He never pushed back during the Q&A.

Star1. Lisa Lampanelli

Background: Easily the most insane interview of the year, a group of wary reporters were led in to comedian Lisa Lampanelli’s dressing room to be lambasted by the “Queen of Mean.” It was actually quite refreshing.

Lisa Lampanelli in Chicago, June 20, 2009
Lisa Lampanelli in Chicago, June 20, 2009
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Memorable Quote: “ I just want to murder you in your f**king sleep, lucky you missed out on the death penalty because that is what I would give you for that friggin’ question.” ~ Lisa Lampanelli answering a query.

Behind the Scenes: Asked to give an answer which would be later connected to a question, the Queen replied, “eat my box.”

Click on the star name headline to read the full interview. The next Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show is scheduled for March 13th-14th, 2010. Click here for more information.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2010 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker