In this case, the seventh time was the charm.
Six previous tries had failed. But when you want to get an interview accomplished with a busy producer during the production of a movie, patience is a virtue. Alas, the end results are sometimes not.
Thus begins another amusing tale of the trials and tribulations of a unit publicist, told to me by one of the tops in the business over lunch. Her story of an ill-fated interview begins with a mandate from on high.
"Forget phoners," the Hollywood big-wig told her. "Hate them, won't do 'em."
Fine. Face-to-face is better anyway. So my friend arranged for the youngish reporter from one of the better-known entertainment titles to come to the set. On two separate days the intrepid scribe dutifully arrived, only to be stood up. Hectic times on set, wouldn't you know. On the third effort, the producer managed to avail himself, but the reporter took ill and had to leave.
Not sure what happened on the fourth, fifth, and sixth tries, as they had been mercifully erased from her memory, but the eventual hook-up was a full-on love connection. Hand-in-hand the producer and reporter strolled through the day, speaking between takes, throughout lunch, even in the trailer during delays in shooting. The two might have considered marriage, given how well they seemed to hit it off. By the time they bid goodbyes at the end of a 12-hour day, my publicist pal guesses they spent four hours talking.
But when the "article" appeared two weeks later, it was the equivalent of a peck on the cheek. Two paragraphs, 43 words. (Yes, she counted them.) The producer was not thrilled. Guess who took the blame?
"He called me at home, absolutely ballistic," she says. "He yells, 'How dare you waste that much of my time for a blurb!' Then he went on a rant. I think he'd had a few drinks, which didn't help."
My friend had a few drinks herself after that. She began questioning why she hadn't gone to med school. But the ending has a sweet finish. A week after the scant story appeared, our heroine got another call from the producer. Seems the journo had sent him a copy of a new script he'd written. Thought it might interest him.
Our publicist happily shared the writer's cell phone number, blissfully aware that ungodly shouts would soon be echoing through the Hollywood Hills and down upon a certain someone's head. Score settled.
Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer