Soraya and I often have to deal with celebrities - more precisely, D- or C-list celebs - and it's not all smiles and sunshine. We've had acerbic interactions, looming periods of dead air in phone interviews, and some outright hostility. What I've found is, the more famous someone is, the worse it gets (of course, there are a few exceptions).
Enter Grace Park, a Vancouverite who's managed to establish herself quite a career in television. She's recently wrapped up Battlestar Galactica and is currently appearing on The Cleaner and The Border. Not your generic television beauty, she's exotic, charismatic, and of utmost importance, ridiculously friendly.
Attending a meet-and-greet for The Border, I was a bit hesitant. Having already interviewed her for BSG almost a year ago, I was wondering if Park would remember me. After a bit of prompting, she yelled, "Oh, f--k! Yes!" and we continued to talk for about 20 minutes about her co-stars, the weather, her new series, and a lot of other topics.
It was informal and comfortable, almost as if we were old pals. Even if she left the conversation and started to backstab me, I'd be none the wiser, continuing to live in my happy little bubble of Grace Park friendliness.
I know Park isn't exactly on the A-list, but other celebs can learn a lot from her. We understand it can be tough to do 30 interviews in a day, but it's a celebrity's job to fuel the media. That's why celebrities exist. We're not going to bite your heads off, we just want to know a little more about you. If you behave like a jerk, you'll be portrayed as one.
Approaching a journalist with a bit of kindness can go a long way. As The Hour host George Stromboulopoulos said in an interview with Soraya, if stars don't want to play, they're pretty much digging their own grave.