It’s such a weird line to tread when you’re an entertainment reporter: There’s a false joviality to red carpet interviews and press junkets where you act all buddy-buddy with the talent but really you both have very clear goals to achieve in the encounter. I envy the folks at MTV News and other sites who seem to have actual relationships with actors because they run into them over and over, so they get actual good anecdotes out of them instead of stiffly promoting whatever the new movie is. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the access to forge those genuine friendships, but it’s a fascinating dynamic to witness.
And then I see folks like this Ukrainian reporter and I just feel bad. I guess this guy’s “thing” is to kiss celebrities on the cheek, which isn’t so out of bounds since he’s from Europe. But when he tried to pull that shit on Will Smith at the Moscow premiere of Men in Black 3, the actor freaked out and actually smacked him away.
The crowd booed Will as he went down the line, and he tried to defend himself with, “He was trying to kiss me in the mouth! …He’s lucky I didn’t sucker-punch him.” The flash of anger was startling, especially as he quickly eased back into Amiable Movie Star mode for the next outlet. You could argue that Will’s ire was understandable because of all the rumors that his gay love affair is breaking up his marriage to Jada Pinkett. But he just showed himself to be either really stressed by the rumors, or that there might be some truth to them, with the vehemence of his reaction. Bad choice, Will.