I interviewed 3 celebs last week and because I took particular care to avoid their publicists, it took no time at all.
The relationship between writers and celebs is mutual dependency. We need short quotes to jazz up our writing, and they need to stay in the limelight.
However, celebs tend to insulate themselves from the world with a wall of publicists, secretaries and other folks. That's fine if these people are fast and on the ball, but in my experience, too many Malaysian publicity people move at a speed that makes tortoises seem like racing cars.
Last year I was looking for 2 sentences from celebs for a newspaper supplement for young adults. I was asking for 1 sentence answers to 2 questions: what it is the best part of your job? and what is the worst part of your job? I told the publicists I didn't need to meet the celebs. A quote over the phone or via email would do.
It should have been a 2 minute job for the publicists to ask the question, email/relay the answers, and get good free national publicity in return. However, at the end of 1 week of daily calls, I still didn't know if the celebs were willing to take part, or if they were even in town.
In the end, I scratched both. I called my neighbour who is a relative of TV Chef Ismael and asked her for his phone number, and I called another mate to ask for Formula One driver Alex Yoong's number. These two gave me their quotes in less than a minute and we were done.
Last week's task was effortless because I went for my talent over Facebook. I looooooooove the Internet!