Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sundance: The Blog That Wasn't

I know, I know, after all that hype, not a single blog from Park City. Oh la la la la. Well here it is in all its glory. A blog about the (mostly) highlights experienced at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Weds, Jan. 16

Arrived. I think somebody actually said "it's not as cold as last year." That person would eat their words when it dipped down to -7 later that night. Condos were in the same complex as last year, and just as nice. By the end of the week it would look very much like a Real World house.

Thurs, Jan. 17

The festival kickoff presser with Robert Redford. Hubba hubba. He made me laugh. I let Gerrad interview him. I think this is the night that I asked the kid working the Burger King drive-thru if he knew there were other, warmer places he could live. I was wearing two layers of long underwear under a flurry of other layers. It took me 5 mins to redress after going to the bathroom. (I would eventually get accustomed to the layers and get faster at post-potty redressing.)

Fri, Jan. 18

First interview of Sundance 08: a SlamDance movie called "Fix." Olivia Wilde of The OC is the most recognizable face. But her husband directs it, and you might also recognize their friend Shawn Andrews as the kid in "Dazed and Confused" who has the kegger. The interviews went well and Olivia was super nice. Very friendly. I saw them a couple more times during the week and we always exchanged hellos.

Other highlights include the Yellow Handkerchief premiere where I interviewed Oscar Receiver William Hurt as well as Maria Bello and Kristen Stewart. Enjoyed from a safe distance an awkward kiss-a-thon between Maria and an elderly producer.

I then got hit on by the married star of my next movie. My crew describe him as a poor man's Tom Arnold. Exactly. He gave me his card if any of you are interested.

Then it was off to Salt Lake City for The Great Buck Howard premiere. Forrest and I learned that life is a lot like the Amazing Race when we got lost in downtown SLC. I was like "Ask a local! Ask a local!" And then we wanted the guy we asked (who, btw, was using an 80s-era cell phone) to get in our car and take us there. We finally found the place and I got to meet and interview the nicest celebrity I believe I've met to date: Tom Hanks. Seriously. He's JUST what you would expect. They (the publicists) kept trying to bunch us together for interviews and he insisted on doing everyone separately. I then got front row seats to the Tom Hanks - Sam Rubin show which was pretty awesome.

Sam is an iconic (am I trying to say old?) entertainment reporter here in LA who also works for Reelz. I've never stood next to him on a carpet or done interviews in front of him, so I was kinda nervous. He helped by whispering krass things in my ear right before I interviewed John Malkovich and telling Colin Hanks that I had a crush on him (Colin) right in front of me. Awesome and hilarious.

We got to see the movie. I wish I could say I loved it. All I'll say is that John Malkovich is great in it.

Headed back to Park City. Went to an underground bar on Main Street for a beer. Drinking first beer as the entire city suffered a power outage. Everyone just kinda stayed where they were and kept drinking by the glow of the emergency lights. This was the only night I would go out, but I wouldn't know it yet. If I had known it, I would have had more than 2 Heinekens.

Sat, Jan. 19

Today's highlight was an interview with Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson. She was hungover and, well, he was Woody Harrelson. Together hilarity ensued. We had such a good time that the publicist took a while to wrap me up. The next outlet got something like 3 minutes. Awesome. Also had a good interview with Dir. George Romero, Jay Baruchel (despite his costar Randy Quaid's being a total beeyotch about our location), Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci. I would run into Stanley a few more times in the next couple days. I also caught a glimpse of Robert DeNiro as they rushed him to the premiere of his movie. That I was supposed to cover, but couldn't get in. Ahh the bureaucracies...

We dropped by Pizza Hut for a quick bite between premieres and realized that despite none of us having been inside a Pizza Hut for like 20 years, they still look the same. We shared the joke with another outlet as we all longed for our Book It! pins. Then while we were waiting for our order a guy at a nearby table slumped over in an "omg I think that guy just died while we were waiting for our pizza" sort of way. Ilana and I decided we don't want to ever go back to Pizza Hut again. The guy apparently didn't die for reelz, but I'm not one for crisis and it was definitely unsettling.

This is the night G covered the U2 premiere and Brad Pitt showed up to the afterparty. I was at neither. Wunh wunh.

I instead walked Main Street in search of Sara Bareilles who was supposed to be playing. I didn't find her. I did see another guy from work and paid a brief visit to Brooke's family cabin before spending an hour trying to find a cab who would take me back to the condo in kimball junction.

Sun, Jan. 20

Kicked off the morning with a few of the members of the Young @ Heart chorus. It's a group of octogenarians who sing classic rock. And yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. The movie hits theaters in April, and you should totally check it out. I also had a good interview with Nick Cannon and Melonie Diaz, and got to meet Kristin Wiig. Sure I also got to meet Billy Crudup and Paul Giamatti, but Kristin "I was born a red carpet" Wiig was a super highlight.

Mon, Jan. 21

Sometimes Jason Ritter wants to be my friend. Today was one of those days. He was super nice and I did well, never mentioning that I still enjoy watching his dad in Three's Company. I made everything about him and his career.

I also interviewed the Godmother of Punk Patti Smith. Thanks to Ilana's bf Wayne I sounded like I knew what I was talking about. Throw in a nervous stutter off the top of the interview and end with Patti taking a couple of pins off her blazer and giving them to me assuming I'm a super fan.

Next stop Nick Stahl, who enjoyed my conversational method of interviewing. "Wait, have we started yet?" I basically just start talking to people and then the photog (Forrest or Jeff as it were this trip) just starts rolling without making a deal of it and nobody changes their mannerisms for camera. When it works it works well.

Had a fun Sarah Jessica Parker moment at the same location. She came walking toward me and in total Carrie Bradshaw form said "Dear Diary" while air writing it. Super cute.

I'm also thinking this is the day we went to the gifting suite. We played that I was the onair and Brooks was my field producer. We walked out with coats, gloves, tees made by Bono's wife, True Religion jeans, some driving shoes, ski goggles, and a wishbone necklace. Great success.

Tues, Jan. 22

Began my day with Alan Alda and Virginia Madsen. Virginia and I ended up having a lot in common. Mostly in the movies we enjoy. Our top two are Once and Juno. And we both loved Lars. She's from Chicago. We should probably hang out.

Next stop was the Raisin in the Sun interviews where I got to interview Phylicia Rashad and John Stamos together. I have met John before and he remembered me so that was fun, but to be able to sit across from Mrs. Huxtable and Uncle Jesse was really crazy. I told them it was an honor, and it was.

Then, as were preparing to and miking up Sean (don't call him Diddy anymore) Combs, the Heath Ledger news came in. Being in a room full of publicists and celebrities when something that happens is an experience in itself. Everyone on their blackberries gasping in disbelief then whispering to everyone else whilst trying to get the day's activities complete. Sean was visibly upset and was like, "whoa, I did a movie with that guy (Monster's Ball)." So after talking about Raisin, I was like, "I know we all just found out, I know we're in shock, but you worked with him, is there anything you would like to say?" Now Reelz is not about gossip, but I didn't think this was a gossipy topic, Heath was dead and now I was talking to his former costar. Sean gave a nice anecdote and that was that.

Well that anecdote he gave me would be virtually the only thing anyone got, so Reelz decided to give it away and my interview with Sean breathed air on KTLA here in LA, as well as Extra, Access, ET and The Insider. Everyone had to courtesy Reelz and I was pretty excited about it.

Excited about the publicity I got the network I work for. Not excited about capitalizing on the death of Heath Ledger or the death itself. I was sad about that.

It's one of those events that I'll remember. Similar to how I remember where I was when Aaliyah died.

The day also included an interview with Michael Stahl David of Cloverfield fame, as well as the cuteness that is William H Macy and Felicity Huffman, and a glimpse of Meg Ryan. Plus another fun interaction with Jason Ritter in which he proudly displayed the "are they birth control pills or mints" swag Reelz was handing out.

Weds, Jan. 23

Good convos with the peeps behind Half Nelson (their new movie is called Sugar) and Alan Ball. But the hump day highlight would be a pair of Lucas/Lukas - es.

First Josh Lucas. He was a little under the weather but looked none the worse for the wear. We had a fun talk about sex and how he's 36 and single and we're both one of four children. I wanted to tell him he's the best part of Sweet Home Alabama but I didn't. I silently lamented that he lived in NYC instead of LA (silently in front of him, out loud to my coworkers). I mean you guys, he brought his parents to Sundance. How cute is that???

Next. Lukas Haas. I had met him the night before at the premiere so we were old friends by now. And before the interview was over he was inviting me to his upcoming show at the Roxy. Yep. Lukas Haas sings now. Singer songwriter ish. He plays the Hotel Cafe. I love the Hotel Cafe. I think he said he uses Jet's drummer. Somebody else too. I'll check him out and let you know what I think.

Jacqueline Bisset was a diva and we couldn't make her happy with our light set up. I had interviewed her the night before on the carpet and was over her anyway.

Oh another fun-worthy mention: we were waiting for interviews at the Village at the Lift when someone told Emily and I that Luke Wilson and Woody Harrelson were walking around downstairs. It was at that moment that we decided we were in desperate need of water from the craft services table Luke was standing at. We headed downstairs and I wrestled with the plastic packaging as Luke stood nearby (Woody had headed for the stairs). All the sudden Woody walks back over and is like "we gotta get out of here." To which Luke replies "did you just get us kicked out??" then on the way out Woody turns around and is like "where my goggles, bra?" They were on his head. Gotta love it.

This was the last night in town for half our group so we went out to a big fancy dinner. That ended up costing more than my rent...actually I could combine the rent of the apt I currently live in and the total rent of the apt I shared with Melanie in StL, and this meal would be about that number. If you know me you know I'm not a foodie, and the thought of spending this much on one evening of food is RIDICULOUS. I said of our benefactor: "he just paid that much money for us all to take a shit." I am a lady.

Having said that, I did enjoy the meal (but I wouldn't say it was the best I ever had). It was three courses. I chose baked shrimp ravioli, followed by a yummy pumpkin-apple bisque, and cranberry duck dish. We also of course had wine (a total of 5 bottles for the group of 10) and some people had dessert and/or $150 apertifs. I also tried Grappa and almost gagged up all that expensive food.

Like I said, fancy.

Dear Santa Margherita Pinot Grig,
Mama loves you.

Thurs, Jan. 24

Put Dennis Hopper, Michael Madsen and Eric Balfour in a 15 minute period and you're talking about a lot of T & A. I tried to talk to Michael about how neat it was that I just talked to Virginia the day before and here I was with him but he was all broody.

I did another intv with people nobody has seen yet. Except Richard Jenkins, and then ran around all afternoon like a pa because the first half of our team had left.

We got a good snow storm this day. It had snowed on and off a few of the days, but this was definitely the heaviest.

Then we went to Wild Oats for dinner and I fell in love with a baby named River and her mom must have read my mind because I didn't have to say anything before she said "you can't have her."

Fri, Jan. 25

What? You mean we can leave?

We ran around all morning on main street shooting stand-ups for the Sundance special. We tried to get on the ski lift, but that never panned out.

When leaving a situation like this, it's weird because we've all been around each other in such a concentrated form for so many days that it's weird once you don't live with each other. We had this experience together, and nobody knows what it was like except for us.

We deemed that we were the most excited/happiest people at the SLC airport.

Sat, Jan. 26

I literally slept the entire day and almost overslept for my 5h45p junket with Robert Downey Jr and Anton Yelchin ("Charlie Bartlett" is in theaters end of Feb, go see it). On my way up to them, I ran into Ellen Page. We exchanged "hi"s and that basically made my day. I had fun with RDjr and Anton (who remembered me as it seems I interview him for every movie he does).


So it's back to work tomorrow. I have the screening of "The Hottie and the Nottie" tomorrow night. It's Paris Hilton's new movie. I interview the heiress next Sat. I'm not expecting big things.

The list of celebs spotted at Sundance 08 to follow. Emily also blogged so you can check that out too. Oh, and I'll eventually post pix.


Lyndsay said...

Real quick--

I'm SO jealous that you got to meet Emily Mortimar.

I'm so jealous that you got to see Luke Wilson in real life.

Oh, and I was all over BOOK IT! when I was little and even still have my pin AND my patch. Oh yeah.

Lyndsay said...

In my excitement and lack of proof-reading-ness I realize I spelled Emily's last name wrong. That was disrespectful. Sorry.