I found myself just a few spots from the end of the red carpet at the Showtime premiere of “The Loudest Voice.” I was there with DISH, vying with every other major national outlet for interviews. Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts, Seth MacFarlane and many, many more were scheduled to walk the carpet outside of The Paris Theater in midtown Manhattan.
Everyone there wants Crowe; he’s a huge name and he plays Roger Ailes, the lead character in the limited series. To my surprise, Crowe arrived on the earlier side and began slowly making his way down the media line. I interviewed other cast and crew while keeping an eye on Crowe’s progress. Not far behind him, Watts also began granting interviews.
Usually at some point, after most if not all of the cast have arrived, the carpet essentially comes to a halt so a group photo can be snapped. Depending on how close this occurs to the screening, this can either signal the end of the carpet or the best chance to grab someone mid-scrum while everyone returns to their positions.
As “The Loudest Voice” group photo wrapped, some cast returned to interviews while others began walking towards the theatre. Both Watts and Crowe were in the latter group.
Here’s what plays out in my mind: I either bolt out and ask Watts a question or I lay low and take my chances with Crowe.
If I shout a good question (which I had banked) towards Watts, she’ll probably stop and answer. But it will come at the cost of both her publicist’s disposition and the chance at interviewing Crowe. Between the disruption this will cause in my vicinity, combined with the Crowe’s publicist’s unwillingness to have her client wait, I’ll miss out on the lead.
If I lay low I’m banking on Crowe, who has already been exceptional with the media assembled, to perhaps feel generous and grant one more interview before he heads inside. And unlike Watts, I may have a better chance at getting more than one question in.
I decide to go all-in on Crowe. I allow Watts and her publicist to walk by me. As that’s happening, Crowe and I see each other. The actor’s publicist is in the middle of informing him that his obligations on the carpet are finished.
“Hey, what about this guy?” Crowe asks, motioning towards me. “He looks legit.”
Crowe walks over for his final interview at the premiere, a three question back-and-forth with me for DISH Network’s “DISH Studio.”
And as for Watts — she returned to the carpet for another group photo before the screening began. The actress also confirmed that I had a good question banked, because she stopped to answer it on the way back inside.
I have always believed that “style” shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of “substance” and vice versa. This interview, and how it occurred, is yet another example of this.