In celebrity journalism, what do we really know? Absolutely nothing, argues the writer, who constructs a counter-narrative that Katie Holmes has played everyone:
"They compare the pap-friendliness of various celebrities. Among the best are Cruise, in fact, and Hugh Jackman. Scarlett Johansson, who always runs, scowling, is 'the worst.' They scoff at the hypocritical attention-seeking of celebrities ('Why do you think Alec Baldwin tweets his location?'). A middle-aged woman with curly gray hair, tinted granny glasses, and a Hawaiian shirt wanders over. She’s pet-sitting for someone in the building, and she wants to know why the media won’t pay this kind of attention to the problem of puppy mills. Craigslist has really become lax, she says. There’s a 'secret kill site' on 110th Street. There’s also—
"'Katie! Katie! Katie!'
"Holmes, accompanied by a bald, burly off-duty police officer, has emerged from Whole Foods and begun the half-block walk back to the entrance of her building. She’s wearing a salmon blouse and blue jeans, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. The puppy-mills lady is left talking to the air as eight paparazzi swoop in front of Holmes, forming a solid wall of jutting lenses that moves furiously backward, calling her name as their legs backpedal and their shutters snap, keeping a few feet ahead of her as she proceeds up the sidewalk, eyes down, her crooked half-smile fixed on her face, and then disappears inside the building."
PUBLISHED: July 22, 2012
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5242 words)
[Transcript] A conversation between the actor and late-night host—and memories of working together:
"David Letterman: We did a sketch on the old 'Late Night' show, and it was with one of the writers, Tom Gammill, and it was 'Dale, the Psychotic Page.' We had to set up nine holes of a miniature golf course. He would come in with a NBC page blazer, and he would play miniature golf. And with each failing attempt on the hole, he would become more and more psychotic. There’s your comedy, America! This is what you’ve been waiting for. Aren’t you glad we’re here?
"Alec Baldwin: Yeah. They’re holding their breath. I love on your show – I haven’t done this in a while, I miss it when – ’cause everything – I guess they can’t do this stuff all the time. Maybe this bit is a victim of global warming, but I get there one time and they want me to ride the snowmobile on the roof of the building years ago. They’re all very droll, and Biff always calls me 'Alex.' I love that. You’re on the roof and it’s snowing, and we’re on the roof of your building and it’s snowing, and Biff’s like, 'Okay, now Alex, you’re gonna ride the snowmobile around the roof a few times, and gonna be men on every corner to catch you to keep you from goin’ over the side. Is that all right? All right, Alex!' I’m like, 'Great. Let me go.' Danger, I love it. Elements.
"Letterman: Well, I was thinking about a year ago, I was looking around the Ed Sullivan Theater. What a tremendous stroke of luck that was! I used to love working in the studio, and I remember one day running into Lorne Michaels, and he said to me, 'How long did it take you to get used to doing a TV show in a theater?' And I knew exactly what he was saying because to him, TV comes out of a studio, and I always felt that way myself. But I’ve really grown fond of the theater at CBS, the Ed Sullivan Theater, for reasons like that and many more. It’s comfortable; it’s fun; it smells of decades and decades and decades of show business. There’s tunnels, and alleys, and rats, but it’s fantastic. I mean it’s just so versatile and so great. And also the way Hal set it up in the beginning, it’s fairly intimate. You can have a pretty reasonable conversation there in this 500-seat room, and so I think it works fine as a TV studio now."
PUBLISHED: June 18, 2012
LENGTH: 38 minutes (9532 words)
Since she turned 38, Meryl Streep has been waiting for her career to crater. Instead, at 60, she is more of a box-office powerhouse than ever—and coming off her indelible performance in Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, she’s being pursued by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin this month in the romantic comedy It’s Complicated.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5700 words)
“In East Hampton, I’m a nudist and I eat meat,” Baldwin—a vegetarian—had said before my visit, expanding on the idea that he lived a quite different life on Long Island than he did in New York. “I shoot deer with a bow and arrow. I smoke the deer meat and eat it every morning with my eggs and toast. I am a homosexual. I listen to rock music, loud.”
PUBLISHED: Sept. 8, 2008
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8204 words)