Friday, February 13, 2009
He Just Wasn't That Into Me
When people find out I used to interview celebrities for a living, the question I’m asked most often is, “Did any of them ever hit on you?” The answer is no, although there was a time when I thought one of them did. A few years ago, Rolling Stone flew me out to L.A. to profile Bradley Cooper for their Hot List issue. Wedding Crashers had just come out and his forthcoming sitcom, Kitchen Confidential, was getting all kinds of buzz.
My friend Sara and I had been out late at some club in Hollywood the night before so I showed up to the interview wickedly hungover (I’m a professional). His publicist set up our lunch at the trendy Urth Café. The first words out of Bradley’s mouth after we introduced ourselves: “Do you really want to be here? C’mon, I’m going to take you to a place that’ll blow your mind.” We hopped in his jeep and he drove me to a great hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place where he knew everyone by name.
Dude was a sweetheart. He pointed out which smoothies he thought would best cure my headache. He asked permission to drink his latte when it arrived before the food. But the best part was the vibe between the two of us. I’d interviewed tons of people before, but this was the first time it felt like a date. We laughed, we shared stories, we flirted. All this and I’m not usually attracted to blondes (it would be like dating my brother). Yet for this guy, I made an exception.
“I’m actually going to be seeing you in two weeks,” I said coyly as the interview wrapped up. Kitchen Confidential was having a launch party in New York and I was scheduled to cover it.
“Oh great!” he replied eagerly. “I'm really looking forward to it!” Then he offered to drive me to the airport. I already had a ride but he asked several times, “Are you sure? Are you positive? It’s really no bother.” Clearly he was into me.
I spent the next two weeks fantasizing about what our life together was going to be like. I couldn’t believe I was about to be dating a celebrity. The paparazzi, I knew, would be annoying. They’d follow us down the street, photographing us shopping together and brunching. I figured I’d let them get a few shots in before taking charge. “Okay guys, that’s enough for today,” I’d say. “Let’s shut it down. Thanks!” Our wedding would be featured in InStyle magazine. They’d follow Bradley and me to the playground to photograph us pushing our herd of Aryan-looking babies on the swings. But we’d get through it – together.
The night of the party I arrived in my meticulously planned outfit -- camisole, cute blazer, stilettos, city shorts (it was 2005). I waited until he’d settled in with a drink and strode up to him casually and said, “Hey there!”
He looked at me quizzically. “Ummmm…” He had no idea who I was. After five horrendous seconds, and my prompting "Rolling Stone?", he said, “Oh wait! Now I remember you. How ya doin’?”
Yeah, that was uncomfortable.
The next day I tried to figure out where I had gone wrong. I went over our conversations, which was easy by virtue of the fact that the interview had been tape recorded. I spent hours (well, minutes) pouring over the details of what had happened that day we met. Was it my outfit? Maybe it was the hangover?
I recounted this embarrassing story to a friend of mine last week after we saw He’s Just Not That Into You. “Oh my god!” she said. “That’s amazing. You basically behaved like one of the characters in the movie to one of the characters in the movie. Only you did it in real life!”
It’s true. I'd completely projected a fantasy relationship onto a man who had forgotten me the instant I’d left his presence. The truth is, it was just an interview to him. Nothing more. Or maybe it was because I’d been dropped off for our interview by a guy driving a convertible, and when Bradley had asked, “Who was that?” I replied, “Oh, him? I met him last night.” Yeah, that could’ve been it, too.