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Student Life Blog

The Other Side of the Red Carpet

Maddy Keavy

By Maddy Keavy Monday, July 15, 2013


When you watch a red carpet event on television, you’re privy to glamorous celebrities you adore, the bright flashes of the camera and perhaps the muffled voices of the media asking questions to which your dazzled celebrities answer for you, their fans.  What you don’t see is the other side, the view from the star-studded side of media photographers, broadcast networks, cameras—of all sizes—and the tension between reporters to get their questions asked. This, readers, is what we in the business like to call “The Line.”

Let’s rewind — I am a huge fan of HBO’s The Newsroom, to the extent that when people ask me if I like the show I have a prepared retort that consists of something like, “Do I like it? No, that’s just what I want to do for my career.” The sarcastic response shows that I am aware of the awesome that is broadcast media, so, when I was given the opportunity to attend the Season 2 premiere — I took it.

The entrance to the screening theater donned The Newsroom logo; here celebrities and guests entered to watch the Season 2 Premiere.

The entrance to the screening theater donned The Newsroom logo; here celebrities and guests entered to watch the Season 2 Premiere.

 I arrived at Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue and was escorted through a newspaper-print-decorated party motif to the black carpet (yes, my first “red” carpet was black. There is no symbolism; it just makes it a little less cool to say.), and was taken to  TheWrap’s spot at the very end of The Line.

Before the talent arrives, the black carpet is decorated with newspaper print and key quotes from the show.

Before the talent arrives, the black carpet is decorated with newspaper print and key quotes from the show.

In my power heels, I get ready to interview the show's cast.

In my power heels, I get ready to interview the show’s cast.

We were last. After our first interview with Newsroom newbie Wynn Everett, I quickly realized that they saved the best media organization for last. Although we asked for some spoilers (receiving vague words like “pressure” and “tension”), I was most interested in learning what the atmosphere on set was like, how the experience of being an Aaron Sorkin original character was intimidating, and what the actors’ and actresses’ dream storylines would be on the show.

The fun had begun, and by the end of an interview it felt as conversational as chatting with someone I had met before. One star was convinced that we had met before, insisting that I seemed very familiar — that, readers, sent me into a Kristen Wiig-inspired freak-out.

Publicists moved along the talent quickly; stars like Jeff Daniels, Olivia Munn, and Dev Patel were kept terser than they seem when watching from the safety of your living room.  With our self-proclaimed “prime spot” at the end, we were able to watch as these individuals being photographed and called for interviews interacted with each other. In those moments, they were not the stars of a popular show, but rather friends, colleagues, and fans of each other.

This is not to say celebrities will not faze me at my next red carpet event. However, it did remind me to remain calm and make it enjoyable for the interviewee, regardless of their celebrity status. The way Alison Pill greeted her female co-stars was identical to the way I would greet my friends; though her face is  plastered on promotional posters throughout the nation, she’s still human.

Here, the Paramount quad is decorated for the after-party—of which no photos were permitted.

Here, the Paramount quad is decorated for the after-party—of which no photos were permitted.

I want to know how you, the readers, are spending your summer! Let me know here: twitter.com/maddykeavy.

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