Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comparing Two Interviews

Bill Murry seems like an easy interviewee. He's clever, offbeat, and seems to enjoy the Q.A. process. It's also notoriously difficult to get him to sit down for a chat with the press. He's stingy like that. That's what makes him cool. So if you're the one profiling him, you'd better not waste the chance.

The Esquire piece seems like a great mesh of subject and medium. Murry is snarky, the location for their chat is NJ turnpike, and the journalist (Scott Raab) has a sense of humor. For instance, I now know that Mickey Rourke is a douche bag, and Murry is a Chicago style "jagoff."

It's a good good piece. The whole thing revolves around what an agreeable character Murray is. The fact it takes place just after he filmed The Life Aquatic makes it even better for me. Lines like this make me wonder if he was playing himself in that film:

"My impression of Italy before doing this job was that it's one of the greatest, most beautiful places in the world. After this job, if you say 'Italy' to me, it's like a whole lotta cockroaches in one room--you don't know what to deal with first. It was by far the hardest job I've ever had, and I always work hard."

Good stuff.

For my second article, I checked out a political profile titled "Low-profile Obama aid gets top spot," by
Peter Nicholas and Lisa Mascaro. The article comes from the online edition of the LA Times. I figured I would contrast a fun interview with something a little more bone dry.

The article turns out to be a bit more entertaining than I'd expected. It's fairly short, but its lets us know about the "serious business" style character who has been chosen to temporarily (perhaps permanently) replace the more interesting Rahm Emanuel, a guy named Pete

"He is a person who would run away from a camera," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who once employed Rouse as chief of staff. "He has no interest in personal publicity whatsoever."

Rouse is a bit of an unknown to the online politicos. So what the hell, here's hoping he's a competent bureaucrat and manager.

I like both these articles. The biggest difference is probably that Bill Murray actually talked to the Esquire journalist, and the LA Times writers didn't have access to Rouse. But both are informative, and both take comfortable informal tones.

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