View photos from the New Moon premiere here.
Reporters love publicists. Pretty much when we're working on any story, it's always good to have an extra person blocking you from the information you're seeking. And you never know, for example, when you might end up starving after an Andes Mountains plane crash involving you, your subject and a publicist. Mmm -- publicist. Or say you're a rock star, and you need someone to carry your bags, drive you around, score drugs for you and keep Pamela Anderson away. Viola! Publicist. Or, imagine if you're on a bus, and it's losing traction because it's very wet and slippery outside. You're going to need to throw something under said bus. We're telling you, publicists come in handy ... sometimes.
One of the better, publicitous performances we've seen in a while came this week when American Idol host and KIIS-FM radio jock Ryan Seacrest attempted to interview New Moon star Rob Pattinson at the vampire flick's Westwood premier. Pattinson could barely get to the mobile radio studio in one piece as a storm of fans mobbed him. But once inside, he seemed in good spirits, and the banter was healthy -- jaunty even.
And then, before Seacrest could even get the question out, a publicist appeared pacing in the background impatiently and giving the wrap-it-up hand signal to the young thespian. What was so important that Pattinson had to walk away from an interview with one of radio's top-rated jocks? Was he hiding state secrets? Did he know where President Obama was really born? No, the question was about any possible romance with his New Moon costar:
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"What do you say to your fans that are desperate to know about you and your costar Kristen Stewart," said Seacrest, "what can you tell them?"
After the publicist waved the star out of the interview chair, Seacrest said, "I was just cut off for the first time ever." Watch the whole beautiful train wreck unfold here.
Of course, a publicist's nerve correlates directly to the intensity of the media interest surrounding whatever person or project he or she is representing. In this case, there is so much advanced hyperventilation about this flick (Fandango says it has shattered advance-ticket-sales records) that the flack could have cut Seacrest off at word one and still kept her gig with the studio (or with whomever employs her).
Still, publicists who become the story are a little too helpful, and we hope the studios, agents and managers notice that they're doing them a big favor by deflecting that high dollar marketing and publicity blitz toward themselves instead of toward the project at hand. A little romance, real or perceived, rarely hurt a movie or a star's ratings (ask Brad and Angelina). But a publicist soaking up all the love? That's golden. Like we said, we love publicists.