I swear he isn’t allowed to keep sweets or salt in his house.
Every time we were in a theater, he asked for a hot dog and soda, also snacking on whatever candy bar was placed in front of him. It was his favorite part of the night. Maybe Eva keeps a strict leash on their diets?
What We Do: We are Awards Publicists, conducting publicity and representing whole films – and most of the talent involved – during the 6-month Awards season.
- We work with the voters (all Guild/Academy Members)
- Run point on special events/screenings/premieres
- Market by strategizing movie trailers/TV spots/billboards/etc.
- Bring the press to the project by pitching ours films & talent for interviews/ appearances/worthy coverage with unique angles and great storytelling/etc.
- We also frequently fight for magazine covers.
The Project: (The facts are the same as my time with Emma Stone, as they were the duet of the year.) I was already two award seasons down when my company started working on La La Land in 2016. I have never experienced an awards campaign like it. It was barely May when we saw the first cut of the film, and we knew we had something special. The hype surrounding the movie was spreading through the industry, resulting in press and top guild members begging to see it. Every single screening was filled to capacity and many guests returned multiple times to see it again and again. Reviews and predictions were always positive, and the feedback kept us busier than ever. The cast and filmmakers were in HIGH demand.
FYI: “Guilds” are industry unions divided by titled categories such as, actors, directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, editors, etc., and then of course, there is the HFPA and the Academy. Guild members vote for their specific award ceremonies, while the HFPA members vote for the Golden Globes and the Academy members vote on the Oscars. Based on the award show, you can figure out which groups are the more prestigious.
La La Land, Distributed by Lionsgate, Released November 2016
Set in Los Angeles, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) are dreamers in love. In this modern day musical with an old Hollywood twist, the young couple learns what it truly means to sacrifice for love and career. It resonates with everyone, as we are all fantasists. It also reminds us that big, magical, romantic cities are as lonely as anywhere else at times.
The Story: Like most of my other clients, I first met Ryan on an elevator at the Director’s Guild of America. He took his hand out of his peacoat-ish pocket (which was layered with a nice leather jacket and often worn dog tag necklace) to shake my hand. Before working with him, he was one of those “just there” type of celebrities for me, although it was never lost on me that he was adorable. Even as a 36-year-old father, he’s still adorable. I’m now familiar with his sense of humor, which is totally rad, his normalcy, and his eagerness to engage with his fans.
We often had bits going about his large appetite, or the television shows that we both tuned into. He loves Baskets on FX. He was incredibly easy to talk to, even when I looked him right in the eyes, which should have been intimidating. He’s the definition of calm, cool, and collected. He enjoyed the SAG screenings the most because the audience was full of actors, or “his peers.” He loved answering technical questions about his acting approach, always wanting to keep the conversation going when it was time to wrap it up. His goal was for the audience to walk away having learned something.
“You haven’t snacked tonight. Aren’t you hungry?” I asked.
“I am, but there were people around and I felt vulnerable,” Ryan answered.
“I understand. Sometimes, even when I’m starving, I put the feeling off for the sake of other people,” I added.
“Right. It’s too much pressure,” he said.
FYI: Ryan was nominated for “Best Actor” at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars. He only took home the Globe, which gave us false hope regarding his momentum for the rest of the season. (Unfortunately, Casey Affleck swooped in.) He gave the most amazing speech at the Globes, thanking his wife for her support and hard work as the mother of his two daughters, reminding everyone what a great guy he truly is. At the after party, which was held at Craig’s in West Hollywood, he asked for the mini hotdogs before I could even say congratulations.