Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Jesse Eisenberg: The Worst Press Junket Interview Ever?
By now, many of you have seen the above interview with Now You See Me star Jesse Eisenberg and Univision reporter Romina Puga. If you haven't seen it, watch the awkward interview before you read some of my thoughts.
I've talked a lot about press junkets in the past. It is seriously speed dating for reporters since we get a timed 4-10 minutes (about 15 minutes if you are a big outlet like E!) to ask every question about the movie while trying to navigate asking a personal question which is often forbidden. On average, you are in the room with the celebrity for 4-5 minutes.
The stars are often tired and cranky if your interview time is in the afternoon. The junkets can often be two to three days of reporters marching in and out of your room. Some interviews can be fun, but I know they hear the same questions over and over again. It's tedious...however, they are paid very well to act in the film, so part of the job is to promote the film. It comes with the territory of being an actor.
Some celebrities are masters at make each interview seem fresh and interesting. My recent interview with Gwyneth Paltrow is one example. On the other hand, I struggled through an interview with Reese Witherspoon even with her America's Sweetheart image. (Although that reputation took a hit recently.)
In some ways, I watch this video and think Eisenberg is being a big old jerk in answering some of these questions. He possibly had a very long day of interviews, but he's an actor. He can fake it even if he doesn't like the questions.
On the other hand, I know I am watching a young, inexperienced reporter just by her questions. She went in with a gimmick and it didn't work. A more experienced journalist might have been able to save the interview and gone back to more basic junket questions just to get the footage they needed. I'm not sure if Puga reviews her questions with an editor or a producer beforehand, but it is always good to have another person review your junket questions before you go in the room. It's just a good reminder for entertainment journalists to always be prepared with a Plan B if your original set of questions is bombing. Remember, you need to make those 4-5 minutes count!
While I think this video is a great learning tool for all of us in the industry--entertainment reporters and actors, I don't think it did either Eisenberg nor Puga any favors. It makes him look obnoxious and it makes her look incompetent at her job. I don't think I would have released the video, but Puga and her outlet did. She also wrote a blog about it as well....and it makes me sad to hear how awful she felt in that room. No one deserves that--ever.
Watch the video and give me your thoughts in the comments below!