A number of you asked whether or not I jumped in and did that interview with the potential for mild embarrassment that I talked about here.
I did do it. Everyone who said “what could go wrong?” please raise your hand.
Yeah. You people with your hands raised, this post is for you.
Many of you already know what happened. You can just skip this post (or skip to the end if you want to know the outcome) unless you want to relive the delight that was my life (as it so often is).
Back in June, I had an interview to promote the new X-Files movie. Against all my better instincts, I agreed to do this. Oddly enough, I wasn’t all that nervous leading up to it. I had a plan. I reviewed some episodes, thought about my answers, picked some high points that I wanted to hit, and I did some shopping. I even got my nails done because I tend to talk with my hands, and they needed some help.
The key here is, I had a plan. I even decided to think positively. This was going to be fun. It was going to be fine. I was going to be charming and witty. Chris Carter would see it, and invite me to the premiere (certain degree of irony in that thinking now since I actually did go to the premiere).
I’ll admit now that my first mistake was the plan. Had I stuck with my usual “this is going to suck, it will be a disaster, I will be a babbling idiot”, the universe may have tried to prove me wrong.
Instead, the universe laughed.
At the last minute, they decided not to have hair and make-up people at the shoot. There were going to be nine of us that day, and all girls, so they figured we could all do basic make-up and hair ourselves. Plus, they wanted us to look natural.
Yeah, the whole “natural” thing is not really a good idea for me. I can barely comb my hair and put on eyeliner. So, I decided to go to the MAC counter at the mall to have my make-up done before the shoot. The mall is in Century City. The interview was in Beverly Hills. They are maybe 2 inches apart. Ok, slight exaggeration, but still, not a far drive.
The plan was to get my make-up done at 11:00. My interview was at 12:30, so there was plenty of time to get the make-up finished and get to the interview.
I walked up to the MAC counter. Alas, there was only one woman working, and she was already doing a make-over. So, I waited for about 5 minutes thinking that she might finish up, but no such luck. So, I went over to the Clinique counter.
The Clinique girl agreed to do my make-up, and I thought I had scored and everything was going to plan. But for some unknown reason, the other girl at the counter decided to wander off to get some stock in the storeroom, leaving my girl there alone. So, naturally, she kept getting interrupted, as she was trying to do my make-up. Not just interrupted by someone wanting to check out. No! She kept getting interrupted by people with lists of products for her to fetch, and what about that special gift (I can’t tell you how many times I heard “What do you mean I can’t get the special gift that was only part of the promotion for 2 days last week, I’m here now!”). My favorite people were the people who came up to her and said “don’t worry, this will just take a second, I know exactly what I want” and then proceeded to not only have no idea what they wanted, but when she made a suggestion, they argued with her.
And yet, I was relatively serene. Ok, I was nervous as hell about the interview, but the plan was in place. This was just a small hiccup in an otherwise perfect plan.
What should have been a 20 minute make-up session took a little over 45 minutes. By the time I got out of there, and ran for the car, it was already 12:05. And since I was so late, I didn’t really have a lot of time to fix the make-up that maybe might not have suited me all that much—for instance, the lipstick that could have eaten Manhattan. Seriously, I’m pretty sure that it clashed with my hair in normal daylight—adding lights to that combination… yikes! I had no choice but to go with it.
But even though I was running (yes, literally running for the car), I was still feeling good at this point. Beverly Hills was just not that far away.
Screw that—on a Sunday, Beverly Hills might as well be on the other coast!
The street before Beverly (where the interview was) is Rodeo. Rodeo was blocked off entirely for a classic car show. Which means that even though I was on Santa Monica Blvd, every idiot who had any vague interest at all, was slowing down to look at the cars as they passed the street. And I mean every single car. At that point, I was starting to get a little panicky because I still had to find parking once I got to Beverly. So, I called the coordinator, and I told her that I might be 5 minutes late because of parking. She said no problem, and I started to relax.
HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! Sometimes I kill myself with the humor.
I turned onto Beverly, and I realized that the parking garage nearest to the studio was full and closed to further parking. Not to worry. Somehow, I managed to pull a u-turn, and got in line to park in Crate & Barrel’s parking lot. What I could not do, was actually get into the parking lot because cars were backed up on the road, and only one car could get through at a time. Finally, I got into the parking garage. I got all the way down to the 4th level because I just wanted to park, and run.
Too bad the elevator wasn’t working.
So, I ran up 4 flights of stairs. Yeah, that was a good look for camera. At that point, I was frazzled, sweating, my make-up was melted, and it was 12:30. Out of breath, I ran to the building to press the buzzer to let me into their studio.
Only to notice that I was on North Beverly.
The interview was on SOUTH Beverly.
I think it was a miracle that I didn’t start to cry.
I gritted my teeth and ran back across traffic and down 4 flights of stairs to the car. I got into my car to call the coordinator back, and of course, could not get a signal. In fact, I could not get a signal for another 5 minutes because I couldn’t get out of the parking garage because no one would let the cars out of the garage and back onto Beverly.
I finally got her on the phone, and she asked me if I knew where I was going—and the answer at this point was “of course not”. So, she told me to go east on SM, and then turn south past Olympic. The only problem was, I was already east of the street… and didn’t realize it. By the time we both realized that I am way too far east, I’d already driven out to Doheny.
The only good thing was that even she was laughing at that stage of the game.
I finally arrived at the studio. I was 25 minutes late. I was sweating. I was beyond frazzled. The only coherent words out of my mouth for the last 45 minutes had been curses (LE, you would have been so proud).
I got up to the right floor (miracle!), and they were all waiting for me to go in, and because I was so late, we went straight to the interview. I told the coordinator that I just wanted to brush my hair for a second. She looked away to talk to someone while I was doing this. She looked back at me and said “ok, do you want to brush your hair?”
I didn’t have a mirror, my hair was a disaster, and all of a sudden I was sitting on a stool in front of a camera. Luckily, she was giving me powder for shine, and brushing my hair back into place.
Unluckily, the shot was a medium close-up, which meant pretty much breast level up. I was wearing a tank top underneath a v-neck, short-sleeved cardigan. Normally, you wouldn’t think twice about it. But when the camera starts at the boob, and the tank top is white, suddenly the entire bottom of the frame is filled with breast. This may be why no one who has seen the final product has ever mentioned the lipstick.
The interviewer started telling me the rules—nearly all of which I immediately forgot. Things like “they wont be able to hear me, so try to incorporate my question into your answer”—I don’t think I did that once. Things like “don’t use pronouns, use Mulder or Scully instead”—doubt I remembered that one. Then he made me memorize opening lines that involved spelling. People, I can’t spell on good days. I was still sweating from my trip through hell, and I had to spell????? Shit.
I was supposed to look at the camera and say my name and “I’m an X-Phile. That’s P H I L E”. Yeah, I know. To which I responded, “you actually want me to say that?” And then I laughed and warned him that the slate is going to be the hardest part. It was the only part I was supposed to look into the camera for, and even that was hard for me because after I said my intro, I was supposed to hold the look, to give the editors room to cut. But I started to break out into a tremulous smile because I feel like an idiot.
And then suddenly the nerves that had gotten beaten out of me during the frantic flight to the interview were actually worse than before because the adrenaline was still racing through me. My plan was completely blown to hell. I remembered none of the points I wanted to make. All of my analysis was gone. At the beginning, my voice was shaking. And my concentration was so bad that I actually forgot what his question was, and wandered off mid-tangent.
Rather than giving expert commentary about how the intellectual tension fueled the sexual tension, or that the dichotomy of beliefs within each character was vital to their development, inanity ruled the day. Instead of all of that, you know what came out of my mouth? I’m a shipper. What???? I have a job. I’m an adult. I have an MA in Economic Development. I even have a background in English Lit. What came out of my mouth? I’m a shipper. It’s not that I’m denying that I am one, I’m just floored that this was all I can remember saying.
Also, I committed the cardinal sin—I looked directly into the camera a couple of times. The camera guy stood up and did a light test, and it caught my eye, so I flicked my eye up, and caught the camera. It happened at least twice, which means even if they liked my answers at that point, they couldn’t use them. Luckily, I was still babbling, so I really wasn’t providing them with anything useful anyway.
Did I mention that leaning forward into the camera means you’ve either moved out of frame, or your cleavage is even more obvious? I started praying that none of my pink parts strayed.
Did I mention that my hair kept getting caught in my lipgloss, so that in the midst of talking, I had to pull it out?
Did I mention that my mouth was so dry that I had to keep running my tongue over my teeth to help with the dryness? I hope to God none of that ever sees the light of day.
I prayed for great editing.
I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter because it was just going to be part of the electronic press kit, or maybe an online thing. So, I asked the interviewer when we were done what this was going to be used for.
It was an international television special airing overseas the week of the US premiere.
Then I thought, well, at least the people involved with the show wont see it. Let’s face it, the only one I’m really concerned about is David because I’d rather not have his first real impression of me be “Well, she has boobs, but can’t string a sentence together to save her life.”
David’s publicist is across the street. They drop by on occasion. Sweet.
Well, at least…
It was shown in the theater at the London premiere.
Now that a couple of months have passed, I can tell you that the product put together is actually fantastic. I’ve only seen the dubbed German version, but I sound quite intelligent dubbed in another language, and my appearances are mercifully brief. I do owe my first born (ha! Good luck with that) to the editor. The vast majority of the piece includes behind the scenes material, interviews with the principals and other fans sounding far, far, far more rational than I did. The frame was tighter than I thought so the breasts did not get any extra special screen time. Most of what they used of me was voiceover—and it was voiceover for what Duchovny was doing on screen. I’ll admit to loving that.
And the lipstick…well, it’s growing on me.