Ricky Lo’s Awkward Interview With Anne Hathaway Makes the Philippine Internet Cringe
Last Wednesday, the YouTube account of The Philippine Star Online uploaded Ricky Lo’s interview with Anne Hathaway. The exchange between the local gossip columnist and the Les Miserables star made several netizens cringe in shame.
(Update 3: An article by Ricky Lo about his recent interview with Anne Hathaway has appeared on The Philippine Star website, more details here)
But don’t take our word for it, watch the interview yourself! (Update: The Philippine Star Online [PhilStar.com] has taken down the video. But numerous readers downloaded the interview in anticipation of this, and sent copies to me.)
Transcript of Highlights
For those who can’t watch the YouTube video above, some highlights:
0:10 – Exchange of pleasantries.
0:17 – Lo: “You lose the 25 pounds for Fantine? And how did you do it and how did you get it back?” Oh snap!
0:22 – Hathaway laughs sarcastically before answering “I’d rather not talk about weight loss please”.
0:38 – Lo glances at his phone. He seriously glances at his phone in front of his interview subject.
0:50 – After being asked about her preparations for the movie, Hathaway talks about internalizing the “emotional toll” of “being a sex slave”, as part of what she did to “craft the character” of Fantine.
1:15 – Lo: “I have a friend from the Philippines, her name is Lea Salonga.” Hathaway emotes her admiration for the world-renowned Filipina singer
1:24 – Lo hands his phone over to show Lea Salonga’s message for Anne Hathaway. Ok maybe he was checking if he had Salonga’s message ready at 0:38.
1:31 – After briefly glancing at the phone, Hathaway hands it back to Lo. “Oh I have to meet her too!” Lo: “…and she said she could hardly wait to see the movie.”
1:34 – Lo interrupts Hathaway with another casual “anyway”, as she continues expressing adoration for Salonga.
1:37 – More from Lo: “Yes, you really [I think he meant recently, but the syllables just slid through] said in a Vogue interview that you could never have compared with Lea and your mom was who played Fantine, Kate McCauley. Why’d you say that?” I don’t know, maybe because Hathaway adores her?
1:48 – Before we get an answer, Lo interrupts with more praise: “But true, you were terrific in the movie”.
1:51 – After another gracious “thank you”, Hathaway lets some annoyance show, clears her throat and answers: “I think if you think of me as an actor who sings, rather than a singer, I would be probably be more impressive. But Lea has one of the great voices of our time. Now I don’t think there’s vocally anything that she can’t do. And she’s made a career as a singer so I have complete deference to her. And of course, my mother has a very very beautiful voice as well.”
2:20 – Lo: “You were there in the Emmy’s and saw your mom playing Fantine. What were your memories about having seen your mom on stage?”
2:26 – Hathaway: “I was very moved. I cried. It was very meaningful for me.”
2:34 – Lo: “Did you get any pointers from your mom?”
2:35 – Hathaway replies with a simple “No”.
2:38 – Lo: “And for somebody who perceived to have lived a life of luxury and privilege, how were you able to identify Fantine?”
2:48 – Hathaway struggles to say something. She’s probably thinking “weren’t you listening to what I said at 0:50?”
2:50 – Lo: “Have you ever experienced to be hungry? To poor, and you know, just like the character.”
2:54 – Hathaway: “That’s a very personal question.” Shut down!
2:55 – Lo laughs sheepishly (nervously? I can’t tell) and moves on to his next question: “What’s your favorite scene in the movie and the hardest to do?”
3:00 – “I think my favorite scene in the movie was when I got to come back as angel. That was with Hugh [Jackman]. Because I got to feel nice!”
3:11 – In the middle of her answer, Lo drops his phone. This prompts a kind “Oh, be careful” from Hathaway. Lo mutters “phone” while picking up his gadget.
3:13 – “The hardest scene was I dreamed a dream.” Lo: “Oh I dreamed a dream, yes yes yes yes…”
3:19 – Lo: “They’re saying that you’re a shoo-in for the Oscars next year. How do you feel about it? At this early?”
3:27 – Hathaway: “It is early, I feel like it’s early. I feel like it would be extraordinary if that were to happen but I’m not counting on anything.”
3:34 – “What about any other musical you like to do, maybe on stage or in a movie?”
3:37 – In what’s probably the sweetest smile she could muster at that point, Hathaway simply answers “Many…many.” Shut down II!
3:40 – Lo: “Would you like to say any message for Lea, who’s looking forward to watching the movie and to meeting you in person?”
3:47 – Hathaway is left puzzled. “Well, we’ve already talked about Lea.” I’m not sure about this, but someone off-camera asks Lo to move on. Lo laughs again, probably thinking about his failed attempt to make the interview about the Philippines, then proceeds…
3:50 – Lo: “And what about inviting fans from the Philippines to watch the movie, showing January?”
3:55 – Hathaway seizes the opportunity! “Well why don’t you invite them? I think they’d much rather hear it from you.” Oh snap!
3:58 – A sheepish “Ah ok then!” from Lo.
4:00 – They exchange thank yous.
Online reaction to his interview was very negative, focusing on the blundered question about Hathaway’s weight, Lo’s fixation on Lea Salonga, and his apparent lack of preparation. As YouTube user ectingson said about the video:
“A multimillion, multi-awarded, classic, soon to be remembered by generations movie – and this newspaper sending an unprepared, Lea Salonga name dropper just to ask Anne how she got her weight back. This is so Ricky ‘LOW’.”
At least two people tweeted Ricky Lo directly, sharing their own opinion about the interview:
@therealrickylo your interview with anne hathaway was a DISASTER!!!! Pls stop doing interviews with hollywood celeb for God’s sake!
— janita banana (@jtoledo944) January 19, 2013
@therealrickylo medyo awkward interview mo kay anne hathaway.
— Tony Rockefroths(@pblonglongji) January 19, 2013
However Christine “Tintin” Bersola-Babao, a Filipina broadcaster who enjoys a celebrity status of sorts, came to Lo’s defense:
Guys, @therealrickylo is a veteran writer/intvwer. He has intvwd countless Hollywd bigshots. Hindi lang sila swak that day ni AnneH.
— Christine Babao (@ChristineBBabao) January 19, 2013
And at least one Tweeter thinks it’s all a conspiracy, after a series of posts also defending the gossip writer:
and so the @therealrickylo plot thickens… could it be true that someone purposely uploaded the video just to embarrass sir Ricky?
— ed uy (@ed_uy) January 19, 2013
Whatever the case, Ricky Lo’s interview fail with Anne Hathaway leaves us with two valuable lessons: Don’t start an interview off on the wrong foot, and make sure the interview is about the actual interviewee.
Through his weekly Entertainment column “Funfare”, Ricky Lo has become a staple of the Philippine gossip circuit. The writer has scored countless exclusive interviews with local celebrities, thanks to his status as a leading commentator on the local show business.
Anne Hathaway is an American actress who became famous through Disney’s The Princess Diaries and its sequel, playing an awkward girl discovering her royal roots. A trained stage actress, she eventually moved on to more dramatic roles, starring in Brokeback Mountain and last year’s film adaptation of Les Miserables, one of the most popular musicals of all time.
Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer and actress who became famous abroad, after establishing herself through a lead role in Miss Saigon, another hit musical developed by Les Miserables’ French creators Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. The Pinay songbird later became the first Asian to play Fantine in a Les Miserables production, but she is also known for her performance of “On My Own” as Eponine.
Lo interviewed Hathaway around the time of Miserables’ world premiere, at Tokyo, Japan, last November 28, 2012. Update 2: Another Filipino who calls himself Manny the Movie Guy has won praise for his own interview with Hathaway, where he asked the right questions and literally stepped out of the way as the actress volunteered volumes of information.
Ricky Lo Reacts
Five days after the interview was first uploaded, Ricky Lo wrote what happened from his point of view. The gossip writer made it clear right away that has no ill feelings towards Anne Hathaway, in fact titling his column “Anne of a Thousand Hits”:
When the unedited Anne interview came out on philstar.com last week, I never imagined that it would generate that kind of reaction from netizens around the world, in the process polarizing them into pros and cons, with each side trying to drive home its point with unfathomable passion. We reviewed the tape before uploading it and, honestly, we didn’t find anything wrong with it. In fact, being used to interviewing Hollywood stars for more than two decades now, I found it more amusing than anything.
At the same time however, he shared anecdotes about Hathaway not being “in the mood during the interview.”:
I learned later that the other Asian journalists (from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc.) felt the same way, recalling their own separate encounters with Anne. “She seemed not to be in a good mood,” said one. “She was a bit rude, wasn’t she?” said another. “I used to love her, but not anymore,” said still another journalist. To appease everybody, I said, “I think she’s suffering from jetlag because she flew in from the States!” (During the print interview, asked if she was jetlagged, Anne said with a wide smile, “No. Jetlag is only a state of mind.”)
This entry was posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 7:18 pm and is filed under Interviews, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.