The Press Junket

As one of those guys who really likes to watch movies, I have a certain fascination with finding out what the creators of my favorite movies think about the movie they had a hand in making. Doesn’t matter if it’s an actor or someone whose work was all done behind the camera.

This leads to me watching a lot of interviews that start showing up online and on TV around the time of a film’s release. It’s always interesting to hear an actor’s insight into what they think of the character they’re playing or their opinion on the movie making process. Well… it’s usually interesting. Not everybody can give a great interview, you know?

But as I watch more and more of these interviews thanks to their ready availability on the YouTube, I’ve come to realize that the actors, directors, writers, and producers who are tapped in to do all of the film promotion must have some incredible patience during the press junkets.

If you’re unfamiliar with the press junket, here’s my loose understanding of it… The interviewee(s) in question sits in a room pretty much all day. Throughout the day, various interviewers from various media outlets get an allotted time slot during which they are allowed to ask questions pertaining to the film that’s being promoted. Sometimes other questions will be sneaked in, depending on the fame of the interviewee, the fandoms that he or she may represent, and whether or not they have recently been in the news for positive or negative reasons.

That’s a lot for anyone to have to sit through. I mean, I’m sure there are lots of people out there who sit in a theater and watch an actor do what they do and think, I could do that! And we scoff at the sheer volume of cash that an actor is given for a few months of playing make believe for the camera. But stop for a minute and think about what else they go through when it comes to promoting the movie they’re in.

Okay… yeah… the argument is that they still make too much money. But so do professional athletes. Wait… this is not a blog post about the ridiculous sums of cash that we allow entertainers to earn while paying our teachers next to nothing. This is about respecting the people who have to sit through hours and hours of stupid questions.

But, Aaron… there are NO stupid questions.

Yes, there are.

There are also stupid people who ask stupid questions. And these entertainers sit and answer these questions, usually with a smile on their faces. This is where the real acting kicks in.

I’m sure that the interviewers that are herded in and out of these interview rooms try their hardest to come up with questions that will set them apart from that geeky kid who is probably just going to write up a really crappy blog post while sitting on his sofa watching YouTube videos.

Wow… that felt like I was really personally attacking myself.

Anyway, it happens, sometimes, that an actor will get fed up with an interview and walk out. But I don’t think it happens as often as you’d think. I mean, first of all, if the star of a soon-to-be released movie goes off on some entertainment reporter for asking an insensitive question, then suddenly he or she could be labeled some kind of troublemaker that the press won’t want to work with anymore.

They say there’s no such thing as bad press… But that’s like saying there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

So, in probably 95% of all of these press junket interviews that take place over several days for each film, you’ve got actors who sit there and answer (probably) a lot of the same questions over and over again.

Like I said, each interviewer likely wants to stand out and have something unique to bring to the table. But there are really only so many questions that you can ask about the movie or the actor’s craft, right?

If I had to do press junkets related to my job, I’d definitely demand a lot more money.

Feature Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

One thought on “The Press Junket

  1. I was watched by a compilation of some sort of movies press and Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly were doing the interview and the person sat down and was like “wow you look tired” to Kiera cos she had just had a baby and doing all that and she was like “wow F you” and Benedict was like “that’s a horrible thing to say to one of the most beautiful women in the world” – can you imagine having to actually ask questions after that?! Lol guy totally just shot himself in the foot

    Liked by 1 person

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