The internet is abuzz with reactions to Ricky Lo’s interview of Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables. People are so mad they either want to take pity on veteran journalist Ricky Lo or bash his head in. On the other hand, there are also those who want to bash Anne Hathaway’s head in. When I first saw the video [which I won’t link here–thanks very much], what I felt was embarrassment. “Nakakahiya” [such a shame], I thought.
Like I said, Ricky Lo is a veteran entertainment journalist. I think, when the Philippines was first invited to these Hollywood press junkets, that he was one of the first who got sent. He has interviewed hundreds of stars and celebrities, Pinoys and foreigners both. So he already must have a template of sorts, of questions or ploys to engage the most aloof subject.
Meanwhile, thanks to movies like ‘America’s Sweethearts‘, I know how these press junkets go. To promote the movie, stars have to endure facing as many as 40 reporters in a day, answering probably variations of the same question. Add to this the fact that some reporters are foreigners, bringing with them their own idioms and cultural nuances.
So what happened could just be a case of bad timing. Ricky probably got the last slot of the day, when Anne was probably already at the last strand of her patience that a seemingly innocuous question ticked her off right away, setting the tone for the whole interview. Malas lang! [Quite unfortunate]
Although I must admit, a little research would’ve prevented this. A little research would’ve informed Ricky Lo that after discussing her weight loss regimen in Vogue and in that morning show with Matt Lauer, Anne had said that she didn’t want to discuss it anymore for fear that young girls and women might emulate her un-healthy and, let me emphasize, dangerous method of losing weight. Bye-bye question!
I don’t know what to do with the rest of his questions, though. I don’t know; his questions felt inappropriate for a famous international star. His questions we’re all baduy [old-fashioned]. In formulating his questions, he obviously didn’t consider the cultural nuances that differed Filipino actors from the American actors. And that Lea Salonga name-drop! Gawd!
It felt like he was just interviewing a rookie Pinay who had just gotten her first break at the movies. This, I think, is why I felt embarrassed after seeing the interview. If the interview made Anne seem hostile and annoying (to some), it made Ricky Lo seem to be an incompetent journalist (to me).
Didn’t he have enough time to prepare? Was it complacency on Ricky Lo’s part? Did he feel so brazenly and overly confident that he felt he could just wing it? I won’t speculate. Apparently, Ricky Lo is just ‘amused‘ by the reactions that the interview generated. I think Jessica Zafra summed it up the best by saying that “the Lo-Hathaway interview is littered with cultural landmines, all of which Lo stepped on”.