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16 March 2008 @ 10:49 pm
Rock stars for friends: who would you meet?  
Most of the people who have caught my eye on the big screen or in the music scene (or novelists, which I was going to call "or penning for green" but decided it was taking the rhyme too far ... point being, anyone who is high profile and sick of getting too much fan mail), are people I don't want to meet.

However, there are a few, whether through an interview, a behind the scenes, a gag reel, an autobiography or the like, some untouchable will capture my attention in a way that makes me think I might get a kick out of getting to know the actual human being.

Who do you think you would actually want to meet in a casual chat environment?

My off-the-cuff list:
Gene Kranz (NASA, Failure is not an Option)
Henry Rollins (pretty much everything, but starting with Get in the Van)
Vin Diesel (Multi-Facial interview)
Claudia Christian & Jerry Doyle (Babylon 5 episode guides; it's all about the humor)
Bruce Willis (Hudson Hawk)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, season 2 gag reel)
Ani Difranco (Living in Clip asides)
Clea Koff (Bone Woman)
Masi Oka (Heroes commentary)
Ursula K. LeGuin (her Taoist works and commentary)
Jason Beiler (Saigon Kick, various interviews)

Whenever I've imagined being as famous as a few of these people, I always have this moment of intense sympathy. It must do such weird things to the monkey sphere (the monkey sphere is "us", whoever and whatever "us" is - the internet makes our monkey sphere bigger. yea internet!) - the people you knew before you were famous, the people you meet while you're famous which, at least from reading Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, I suspect would be met with ever increasing cynicism ("What do you want?" "You don't know me, you know my character/music/public persona." (etc.)), and, as with any subculture, the eventual tedium of insulation/isolation.

I'd be fascinated to learn more about how much or how little social lives and social mechanisms change pre-, mid- and post-fame. Observed it firsthand? Experienced it? Read an (auto)biography that delves into the social progression of people as they rise to fame? I've decided to attempt to make this my social anthropology topic of choice until I stop obsessing about the effect of endorphins (a.k.a. New Relationship Energy (NRE)) on romantic relationships :-P

If the attempt fails, a social anthropology pseudo-thesis on NRE is forthcoming. ;>
Current Music: "Little More Love" - Olivia Newton-John
Deirdreevillinn on March 17th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
I really, really want to hang out with Alison Janney.
I've seen her interviewed and on a couple of shows where she was just herself. She seems every bit as awesome as CJ is. I think she'd be a fucking riot to go drinking with.

I suspect there are others, but 89% of my braincells have gone on strike, and I can't blame them.

Kburgunder on March 17th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
I've never seen her interviewed, but hugely enjoyed her work in The West Wing and Juno.

My off-the-cuff list is a tad male-heavy, so I feel like I should go look up some Alison Janney interviews and consider her for my list, ha ;)

Two of the women I thought of that were excluded from my list since they're no longer with us: Octavia Butler and Alice Kober.
Deirdreevillinn on March 17th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
If you can handle the cheesy nature of it, look up Alison Janney on the Ellen Show. They are hilarious together.

It absolutely broke my heart that I missed my chance to hear Octavia Butler speak and to get her to sign a book for my mom. She died within a couple months of appearing at an event I was at. I've not read anything of hers, but she is one of my mom's favorite authors.
Varnvarn_ix on March 17th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC)
Ville Valo (H.I.M), I know several people who've met him backstage and they say he's pretty cool

Rocco Siffredi, Tony Tedeschi, Randy Spears - they have a very personal approach, and through some educational materials they produced, show a deeper understanding of the subject, not only physically, but also spiritually.

Lois McMaster Bujold - one of the pictures from her younger days shows her room with a giant Mr Spock poster.

Roger Zelazny and Richard Feynman would be on the list if they were alive.
indie: Demonic indieindiefic on March 17th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
I generally have a rule if there is an actor whose work I enjoy, I try to know nothing about their personal life. Because it breaks down that barrier and makes it harder for me to relate to them in the role without thinking 'hey, I read she spent $800 on custom underwear last week'.

That said, I adore watching Inside the Actor's Studio because it gives actors a chance to talk about their craft and their history in a very non-E! Entertainment Television sort of way and I think you really get to the human/creative side of the person without all the bullshit.

So, famous people I'd like to have coffee with:

Natalie Portman
John Cusack
Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie
Jeremy Irons
Rosie O'Donnell
Eddie Vedder (though if the opportunity ever presented itself, I suspect I would spaz out and cancel)

I will admit that I find Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Dru to be absolutely fascinating.
bitterfun on March 17th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
Eh. He'd (Eddie Vedder) show up at the old Machine Werks every now and then. He's an ok guy, liked to drink.
indie: Demonic indieindiefic on March 17th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah and I suspect I'd melt into a puddle of fangirl goo at the very sight of him, hence the cancelling. Uncool! Uncool! I did get stuck in line for popcorn at Cirque Du Soleil's theater in the Bellagio behind Dave Grohl and I managed not to embarrass myself ... but just barely.
Kburgunder on March 17th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
doh! I forgot Rosie O'Donnell. I'm totally with you there. :)
bitterfun on March 17th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
For the most part, I don't have any desire to meet any actor. People that make their living pretending to be someone else doesn't elicit a need to know from me.

That being said, most of the people I'd like to meet are dead:

Still Living:
Dr. Greene
Bruce Sterling (already met Neil Stephenson & Billy Gibson)
Claudia Black (...no comment there)
Hayao Miyazaki
Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Raymond Chandler
William Burroughs
Jack Kerouac
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Herman Hesse

Edited at 2008-03-17 03:06 pm (UTC)
autonomic_pilotautonomic_pilot on March 17th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I would still like to meet Henry Rollins... it would mostly be because I'd enjoy chatting with him. Having listened to and read his stuff for so long, I'd like to hear his thoughts about how his perspectives have changed (and stayed the same) through the years.

All things considered, though, I realize I don't have much of an urge to meet famous people at all. I like what they do, I enjoy their work, but I wouldn't be overly eager to gain their friendship. I think this comes from having worked with a number of famous folks and getting to know very well how completely normal they are. I'd much rather know the people I know now. ;)
nplusmnplusm on March 17th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Michael Shermer
Sam Harris
Richard Dawkins
Antonin Scalia
Anthony Hopkins
Joycelyn Elders

In my Strangers personal profile, under who I would invite to dinner, living or dead, my list says,

P.G. Wodehouse circa 1934
Michael Collins circa 1972
Raul Julia circa 1985
Valentina Tereshkova circa 1964
Kburgunder on March 17th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
I hereby award thee an extra 1,000 points for listing Valentina Tereshkova :)
urlgirlurlgirl on March 17th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
I'm fascinated by this fame issue you've taken up, and would love to talk to you about it more. I went through it firsthand, 1994-1998, and it involved quite the gamut of feelings about the way the fame came about and the eventual fallout from it. Granted, this wasn't Hollywood-style fame, the scope was much smaller, but the basic elements were there: name recognition among thousands of people who were unknown to me, attendant conversations and assumptions on their parts that I didn't feel were fair or useful, etc, etc. But anyway - interesting! :-)

I'm going to have to work on my own list a little, now's not the time. Among the living, I'd like to meet the Dalai Lama. But there are probably a few more names so - food for thought, thanks!