Journalists are always quite easy to spot because when you’re at an interview or a press conference, they’re the ones who tend to ask an awful lot of questions. I met one once who had a job writing articles for the newspapers, and he was fascinating. Apparently everything they come up with is actually based on a true story, so it’s not that different to being in the movies really. I’ll tell you who didn’t like journalists though, and that was Clark Gable.
Many of the better actors I’ve worked with over the years have what one can only describe as a love/hate relationship with journalists, but not me: I love them! Not the ones who say nasty things of course, they’re a bunch of untalented, lazy, useless shits, but the rest of them are jolly good chaps.
If he saw one coming toward him in the street he’d hide in a doorway to avoid them. If that didn’t work he’d just punch them in the face and run off, but when he twisted his ankle teaching Edward G. Robinson the rhumba he had to get a bus instead. It wasn’t the same.
Playing a journalist in a picture isn’t too difficult, you just need to wear your shirt sleeves rolled up and undo your tie a bit. Dustin Hoffman once told me that he played one in All The President’s Men, but I don’t remember them being that small. Not one of the Munchkins ever played a journalist, so maybe he was pulling my leg. I’m not saying all journalists are giants, in fact most of the ones I’ve stopped to have a drink with have been what I’d call an average height, but you never ever see a short one. Apart from Danny DeVito in LA Confidential. And Tintin.
There was one occasion when a journalist treated me very shabbily indeed, and that’s when he misquoted me when I said Elizabeth Taylor was a witch. But that’s another story…
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All the President's Men Clark Gable Danny DeVito Dustin Hoffman Edward G. Robinson Elizabeth Taylor Fluffer