Sunday, May 25, 2014

Five Year Flashback: All those interviews

Day two of the Five Year Flashback. Interviews!

Here are a few of my favorites:

At a certain point in my interviewing, I decided that one of my goals was going to be to get a male interviewee to remove their shirt for me. It's probably the most professional thing any person could ever hope to accomplish - obviously. I call them my 'clothes optional interviews'. My attempt with Victor Webster was my favorite. I failed, but still...

Originally Posted: May 25, 2012

I watched the first episode of a new Canadian TV show, Continuum, and it looked legit, so when I had a chance to interview one of the main cast members, I took it. It helped that it was in person and he is kind of a babe.

Victor Webster is a born and raised Calgarian who moved to LA with his mom and step-dad when he was 13. Of course, as is the case with most people who move to the city of smog, he stayed. This was his first trip to Calgs in 15 years…which was almost inexcusable to me, but I didn’t bring up my disappointment and held back my eye roll (pat on back).

For those Calgary folk who are wondering, he went to St. Williams Elementary and St. Bonaventure and lived in Maple Ridge, ‘across the street from South Centre’ and in Fish Creek. He wouldn’t give me addresses, and frankly, I think he thought I was weird for asking.

Human totem pole
You may be wondering how I got from a hotel lounge talking about the intensity of his character on the show to doing a human totem pole on the side of the street? Or maybe you are what they call a ‘real journalist’ and are rolling your eyes at my unprofessionalism? Let’s face it group number 2, you’re just jealous.

Let me tell you about the time I met Victor Webster. It was a mild Tuesday afternoon. I had just pounded a glass of wine, and I walked into the dimly lit lounge at Hotel Arts and met the dark and handsome Victor. He left for a second before the interview started and I looked over at my photographer and said, “Ugh, have a feeling this is going to be lame.”

I was told prior to the interview that he was a laid back dude who would give me a fun interview, but he came out of the gate serious. Maybe it was because he had just done an interview with the Herald and forgot what fun was? Whatever the case, I was concerned. (Just kidding…friendly jab at the Herald guy who hates my taste in movies).

So, as is the case when you think there is no fun to be had, we got down to business. We started talking about the ins and outs of the show.

Here is a brief recap of what I know: Carlos is a Vancouver police officer who gets involved in a debacle with a woman who time travels from 2077 to 2012 to stop terrorists. I have actually made it sound much less impressive than it actually is. 

Vic says that Carlos is pretty intense, but that we’re going to see different sides of his character. Then I ask him if Kiera, the future woman, was going to be his love interest. He asked if I really wanted to spoil the show if they did get together and I said absolutely, but he wouldn’t budge on the information. But from what I can tell, if it does happen, it is not going down in the first season.

I can tell you that at one point this season Carlos gets in a fight in the nude. No joke. Vic, “I did a fight scene in nothing.” Me,“What? Wait…you fight naked?!” Um, yes this pretty much seals the deal that I will be watching the 10 episodes of season one, if nothing else. He wouldn’t tell me why he was naked because he didn’t want to spoil anything, but I guessed shower. Pretty safe bet…I think.
If you know my interview style you can probably already see where this is headed. He broached the naked subject so I was thinking…why not? First, I needed to make sure there wasn’t a missis that was going to fly to Calgary to knife me.
 “Is there a Mrs. Webster.”

“No, why you interested?”

“Pfft, obviously. A special someone?”

“Not at the moment.”

Rad. That was basically all I needed to start up on my quest to finally get a male actor to show me his abs. As you may recall I struck out once with the Republic of Doyle’s Allan Hawco. I harassed him so much he called me a crazy ass hole. I decide to use this past experience to try to get Victor shirtless.

I brought up Hawco’s show, which Victor had heard of. Then I told him an abridged version of that interview and said, “Are you going to show up Allan Hawco?” He rambled on about being past that point (Why do they always do that?!) and a polite thanks, but no thanks. Could I resist pressing on? Of course not.

He had mentioned earlier on that the show had yet to be picked up for a second season, obviously because it hasn’t aired yet. I told him that showing me his abs would solidify the future of the series, to which he responded,

“I appreciate the offer of exploiting my abs to get the second season picked up. You are trying to get me naked.”

Are you insane? In a bar, in the middle of the day? When you ask a man to take off his shirt does he translate that to “I want to see your man parts”? Cause I am a pretty literal person, and I actually mean abs, not peen. Great. Now I am 0-2 in my shirtless photo conquest.

Anyways, I took the failure for what it was and didn’t push any farther. But Victor was being a much better sport at this point than the exasperated Mr. Hawco, so I continued with my need for a good photo, but this time with clothes.
Victor shooting Continuum
My next idea was pretty dope.

“Can I push you into [the hotel] pool? I heard this is your last interview of the day.” (white lie)

“No….If I go in, you’re coming in with me.”

“OK. Unlike you I am down for anything."

Oh snap. This was followed by uncomfortable laughter and a look like “this chick is hilarious, but completely insane.”  Great, now my second idea was kyboshed.

Victor suggested that we go for a jaunt to figure out what this masterpiece photo was going to be. I made him think of ideas as I was creatively tapped out. This was when he had the brilliant and terrifying idea of a human totem pole.

Clearly we did it…as you see in the photo. I’m on Vic, and my photographer, who you lovingly know as MG, was on my back (she couldn’t hack the danger of possibly falling 10 feet to the ground). Some kid who was walking by took it as I tried to look like the last time I got on someone’s shoulders was not when I was 10 in a swimming pool.

This pretty much redeemed Victor in my eyes from wussing out on the no shirt or pool options. I am sure he is reassessing his future sit-down interviews after having two grown ladies on his shoulders, but that was his idea, not mine.

So there you have it…from the professionally serious to the human totem pole. That was my meeting with Victor Webster.


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