A piece of advice for fledgling entertainment journalists who’d like to make a living interviewing movie stars: See the actual film before conducting said interview on live television. Or else, you might suffer the fate bestowed on Denver television personality Chris Parente, who had Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader on the line to talk about a movie he basically didn’t watch. Enjoy the awkwardness:
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader were doing satellite interviews on behalf of their Sundance Film Festival hit The Skeleton Twins, where they play estranged siblings who reunite after Hader’s character attempts suicide. Even though Parente calls this "a very different and fantastic film," you get the impression that he’s heading down the wrong track when he consistently says that The Skeleton Twins was "the talk of the festival" at the Toronto International Film Festival. Except The Skeleton Twins didn’t play Toronto. Simple mistake, and if Parente stopped there, he might have avoided viral video-dom. But he didn’t.
During the interview (via Uproxx), Parente thinks it’s a great idea to ask Kristin Wiig for advice about going full-frontal nude on screen. The actress, normally willing to go along with any joke, appears confused, so Parente tries to save the interview by telling Wiig, "You do it in the film!"
Oof. Nope. She doesn’t. And Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are very quick to point out Parente’s error. It’s only when he begins to ramble out plot points about Wiig’s character winning the lottery that I suddenly realized he was referring to the actress’s turn in Welcome to Me -- which WAS in Toronto and did generate some buzz. But it doesn’t co-star Bill Hader, and it isn’t titled The Skeleton Twins.
"This was great," Wiig surmises as the interview sputters to a close. And she’s right, if you enjoy watching someone insert their own foot into their mouth on live television. Listen, these meltdowns happen. Our brains become confused. Interviewing celebrities brings its own unique brand of pressure. However, this reporter had one job, with multiple facets. Know the content of the movie on which you are asking questions of your interview subject. Do your research. Watch the actual film before you interview a movie’s stars. Prepare.
As someone who fears making a mistake on live television, Bill Hader’s question gives me spinal chills: "Did you see this film? Chris?!"
The Skeleton Twins, which I’ve seen, is a terrific little offbeat drama that soars on the chemistry of Wiig and Hader as dysfunctional siblings who have drifted apart and realize they are still woefully broken when they try to reunite. It isn’t as funny as the above video, but it has a killer lip-synch karaoke version of Jefferson Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us. And for that alone, you need to see it if it reaches a theater near you.
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