|Celebrity lunch interviews reveal stars' eating habits|
|Written by Associated Press|
|Thursday, 25 September 2008 18:00|
NEW YORK (AP) - In entertainment journalism, the purpose of the lunch interview is twofold: to help the reporter feel like a normal, social being, and to have an excuse to talk with food in one's mouth.
Interviews are done in any number of ways: over the phone, at a press junket, at the subject's home. Chatting over a meal, though, can be oddly revealing.
This is, after all, where so much of the entertainment industry does business. Deals are hatched, movies are green-lit and fates are decided while breaking bread.
The stakes are significantly lower when an entertainer sits down with a reporter. Since the whole point of the meeting is to talk, stuffing one's face can work at cross-purposes.
When it comes time to write the story, any mention of the meal itself is usually set aside like a stale breadstick, forgotten in place of loftier discussion about film and music and careers.
But sometimes what someone eats and drinks says a lot about a person.
For example, while discussing last year's "Bee Movie," Jerry Seinfeld acknowledged he hardly ever eats cereal anymore. The responsibilities of being a health-conscious father and husband have eliminated one of his most endearing and childlike habits - not to mention a prominent prop on "Seinfeld."
"I don't really drink - I'll have a glass of wine once in a while," said Seinfeld. "But if I'm really bumming about something and want to just go to hell: 1 a.m., a bowl of cereal, milk - just go crazy, eat as much as you can. That feels great."
In one episode of "Seinfeld," the character based on co-creator Larry David - George Costanza - associates the freedom of single life with the pleasures of sitting alone and chomping on a block of cheese. It was the opposite for David's co-star in HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Jeff Garlin.
In his directorial debut, "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With," Garlin looks for love through the holes of a hunk of Swiss. In an interview over breakfast when he was releasing the film, Garlin chose not to eat cheese, but had a bowl of oatmeal ("plain, nothing on top of it"), a bowl of blueberries and a glass of grapefruit juice.
The grapefruit juice, he said, was a tip from a friend - Marissa Jaret Winokur, star of the stage version of "Hairspray" - to help his voice when it was strained. At the time, Garlin was doing voiceover work for the Pixar film "WALL-E."
The actor and comedian credited his healthy meal to the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida, which, he says, "rescued me."
"You give me a can - I'm not making this up, I'm very proud of this - and I can tell you everything about it by a few different things whether you should eat it or not," said Garlin.
Greg Kinnear, while discussing last year's "Feast of Love," was similarly healthy, but for different reasons.
His spinach omelet with whole-wheat toast was a welcome reprieve for the actor after gaining weight for the role of Bob Kearns in the soon to be released "Flash of Genius."
"I'm coming off of gaining, like, 20 pounds for a movie," said Kinnear. "It didn't go into my face at all, it just went into all the wrong places. For the last few months, I've been eating anything that has a good, doughy, rich sound to it."