The stars look down

The stars look down

Victor Davis

Readers of The Observer Magazine were vastly entertained recently by an encounter between their feature writer Harriet Lane and the Hollywood superstar Richard Gere. It is fair to judge they loathed each other. But, oh, how refreshing to read a star interview where true emotions were laid bare as compared with the usual idolatrous fare that typifies this busy branch of popular journalism. In order of use, these are the trigger words and phrases Ms Lane pinned on the screen god: tiresome, hostility, wuss, bad, no sense of humour, looking daggers, a man badly in need of a hit film, uptight, inhibited, a nightmare, talking v-e-r-y slowly, as if addressing a remedial class, earnest, neurotic, no real ability to make casual conversation. For his part, Gere was clearly alarmed by this fiery woman who’d been kept waiting, without sustenance, for several hours beyond their scheduled appointment time. She recorded him “staring at me with distaste, or casting incredulous, help-me glances at the film publicist who was acting as his babysitter, poised for trouble in the corner”. This functionary finally leapt into action and whisked Gere from the war zone, cutting the interview (or lack of it) short by 20 minutes. One could scarcely forbear to howl with merriment when Ms Lane mused: “One of the biggest obstacles to our meeting, I realise, is that I am not deferential enough. It’s pretty obvious Gere is not used to spending time with people who aren’t simply gratified by his proximity.”

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