I’m the writer and I’m waiting at a once-trendy hotel rooftop restaurant in Los Angeles that, I will casually mention, is the perfect setting to meet the famous actor that I’m interviewing, because he’s known by Hollywood insiders to be low-key himself. I hope the amiable tone of my opening sentence has drawn you into this article.
Low-key is not how outsiders would imagine this uber-star though — I’ll slip that in here — because of how seriously he takes his craft. For example, this is where I’ll list the popular movies he’s done along with a few lesser-known titles, the most poignant of which I’ll say is my favorite. Who would’ve thought that I’d be taken by this quirky slice-of-life movie, I’ll overemphasize here. The overemphasis from that sentence will add more validity to this sentence in which I’m declaring it’s a privilege for me to be interviewing him.
I look at my watch and notice he’s a tad bit late. I’ll want you to know that right about now. What I won’t want you to know is, that sentence was a selfish setup because when he does show up, I’ll get to relate how genuinely he apologized for being only one minute and forty-five seconds late. (Yes, I will tell you exactly how late he was because the inconsequential amount will serve to over-qualify his apology, making him look even more charming.) I’ll then add that it was a shocker for him to be so humble because he’s one of the most sought-after actors of the moment, and just coincidentally happens to be starring in the huge movie that this article is promoting. But all that subtle manipulation designed to make you more inclined to watch the huge movie that this article is promoting will come later. Right now I have to write a sentence describing something about me so I can use it to contrast with him after he arrives.
This is that sentence: I’m just about to ask for a refill of my ten-ingredient-mojito-style drink (P.S. I ordered this because I want to subliminally suggest “refreshing,” California and effortless wealth, because you’re a “regular movie-going-guy” from middle America and statistics show that your decisions are swayed by these images) when I see him walk into the restaurant. I’ll mention how coolly he walks in so you’ll recall the low-key vibe I’m desperately trying to maintain. To bring that idea home, now I’ll describe his clothes: a well-fitted graphic tee, slim blue jeans and black lace-up ankle boots. This will remind you that he’s all-American and simple, a lie that I’ll ram down your throat at least one more time.
Here’s the payoff to my first setup — the second he sees me, he genuinely apologizes for being late. Because I’ve already done a pretty good job of building up his mystique, I should start revealing some real details about his life. I’ll begin by mentioning that the reason he was late was because he had to pick his daughter up from ballet practice because his wife had an emergency meeting. I’ll then say that his wife, whom he referred to by first name because he’s so empathetic he doesn’t want to make me feel uncomfortable, is a famous actress as well. The wife tidbit will make him seem more elite, so when I describe him later as a down-to-earth family man it’ll have more resonance.
Now he’ll sit down and we’ll talk about him. But before we start, I have to share that he ordered a diet Coca-Cola. That sentence has facilitated this contrast payoff: I’m drinking alcohol and he’s not — how noble it makes him look, right?
Our conversation will begin with where he was born, and of course I’ll falsely paint it as a small town so his journey to Hollywood becomes more meaningful. I’ll mention a childhood story here of something rebellious he once did because, until now, I’ve only narrated fluffy stuff and I need you to see his dangerous side. That sentence will play double duty because it’ll drive male readers to want to be him and female readers to want to be protected by him.
But in this paragraph I’ll go right back into how normal he is and how he just wants to be respected for his work. Then I’ll tell a funny story that I pray will make him even more relatable to you. To do that effectively, the story will have to involve him failing somehow. But what he fails at has to be something performance-related, because then you will be more surprised that he overcame it and was able to star in the huge movie that this article is promoting.
This is where I shall finally touch on the huge movie that this article is promoting. I will detail how he steals the movie from other talented actors, one of whom will be Javier Bardem or Philip Seymour Hoffman playing a villain. I’ll then add how long he trained for the role and how he gained 25 pounds of muscle by adhering to a strict diet and working out twice a day for four hours.
Now I’ll talk about how this interview has gone on for three hours — one hour past the time his agent had allotted. This kind act again shows how gregarious our thespian is. Here I’ll mention I’m glad I got that last hour with him because that’s when he broached sensitive topics (like that now-viral meltdown at that public place) and really revealed his insecurities, fears and regrets. I’ll redirect these inner demons back toward the sudden death of his mother — she passed away last year before seeing him cast in this career-defining role in the huge movie that this article is promoting. Here is where I’ll throw in how she always encouraged him to be the best at everything, and I’ll follow up with a quote from her that he now has tattooed on the inside of his wrist. In case you forgot he was normal, the purpose of this paragraph was to remind you.
Now he has to go. For a little twist, I’ll inform you here that the restaurant closed an hour ago but stayed open late for us. This will hint at the special treatment this star gets without being on the nose about it. It’ll also allow a decent transition into this sentence where I’ll talk about how he wants to continue our conversation, but he must get home and cook dinner for his family because it’s “his night.” By mentioning his dinner habits, I’m highlighting what a down-to-earth family man he is and making my planned call-back to his all-American and simple life.
This last paragraph will include me talking about how he phoned me later that night and asked me not to print a certain section of the interview, a portion that he thought might be too revealing and could be misconstrued. This should undoubtedly prove what a good guy he is because he took the time to personally call me and ask me politely, when a star with his power could have resorted to other tactics. I hope you’ll acknowledge how dissimilar he is to the character he plays in the huge movie that this article is promoting and respect his acting more for it. By now I’ve succeeded and you’ve emotionally committed to go see the huge movie that this article is promoting. (If you haven’t, read his workout routine below so you can feel more connected to him and change your mind.)