In case you’ve been living under a rock, The New York Times recently published an 8,000-word piece called, “Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan In Your Movie”, which details the stranger than fiction filming of The Canyons that took place over three weeks this past summer. Reading it feels like being witness to a bewildering train wreck because, considering how much gets written about Lindsay Lohan, little is actually known about her day-to-day life. Yes, she’s a party girl but just how far gone is she in her addiction? Who are her friends? What the hell does she even do all day?
The answer: not much. The Lindsay Lohan portrayed in this piece is the hot mess we always expected her to be but never actually knew for certain. She repeatedly shows up late to filming, drinks on set, has meltdowns, disappears for long stretches of time and behaves like a delusional asshole to the cast and crew. Any hopes that she’ll get it together one day and win that Oscar are dashed to hell by writer Stephen Rodick and his unrelenting honesty.
As a whole, celebrity profiles are kind of a joke. They often pander to the star and never actually reveal anything remotely close to the truth about their personality. They talk about how sweet they are (“They showed up two hours late but seemed genuinely apologetic about it!”), what they’re eating (“Reese Witherspoon gingerly eats her Udon noodle soup as she contemplates life, love, and circumcision…”) and how down to earth they come across (“Despite having millions in the bank, Coyote Fox is still the humble girl from the Bronx!”) Occasionally, though, a profile like this one will come out and actually tell the truth about its subject. “OMG, celebrities really are bizarro egomaniacs! I knew it!”
I, for one, love it when this happens. Being an avid reader of celebrity gossip, I always jump for joy when I see something that dares to be honest. Besides this brilliant takedown of LiLo, I’ve decided to share with you my five favorite pieces of entertainment journalism. They’re actually (gasp!) entertaining, I swear.
1. “Chris Evans Is Captain America” by Edith Zimmerman
In this now-infamous GQ profile, which came out in 2011, Edith Zimmerman pays homage to the style of writing seen in old mags like Sassy and Jane by giving us a #realtalk all-acess pass into the world of Chris Evans. While spending a few days with the movie star in L.A., Zimmerman opens up about the mutual flirtation that develops between them and even details a night in which she got wasted at his house. People were freaking out about this article, calling it “out of line,” but give me a break. Edith actually made us interested in silly boring CHRIS EVANS. If that’s not the true talent of a writer, I don’t know what is.
2. “How To Get Under Aaron Sorkin’s Skin” by Sarah Nicole Prickett
We kind of always knew Aaron Sorkin was a dick (a misogynist who occasionally smokes crack? Honey…) but writer Sarah Nicole Prickett finally gives us the proof we needed with this interview in The Globe and Mail. While asking him questions about his new show on HBO, The Newsroom, Sorkin treats Prickett with remarkable condescension, calling her “Internet girl” and even teaching her how to high-five properly. Basically Prickett found out that Sorkin treats women the exact same way he lets his male characters treat them in his TV shows and movies. Charming!
3. “Tiffani-Amber: Something Does Not Compute” by Mary-Ann
Sassy always published the best celebrity interviews because they really did not care about kissing anyone’s ass. Case in point: this vintage interview with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen in which it’s revealed that the Saved By The Bell star is a big ol’ dum dum. Hardly a shocker but still: LOL!
4. “Meet Your New Boss, Dov Charney” by Claudine Ko
Sassy‘s successor, Jane, kept with the trend of honest celebrity journalism, particularly with this piece about America’s # 1 hipster creep, Dov Charney. Writer Claudine Ko talks about the CEO of American Apparel masturbating in front of her and generally behaving like a sexual predator during their interview. If you ever wondered how Dov got such a nasty rep, this legendary piece of entertainment journalism would be it.
5. “M.I.A.’s Agitprop Pop” by Lynn Hirschberg
Lynn Hirschberg is no stranger to penning controversial celebrity profiles. In the 90s, she interviewed Courtney Love for Vanity Fair and intimated that the singer was still using heroin while pregnant — a fact Love vehemently denied. Still, this created an avalanche of bullshit, which eventually resulted in the involvement of Child Services. Oops! In 2010, Hirschberg once again proved that the pen is mightier than the sword when she wrote this scathing profile of M.I.A. in The New York Times. Hirschberg points out the many contradictions in the pop star’s life, including her claims that she’s a political rebel who lives on the fringes of society when, in fact, she resides in a mansion in Brentwood with her super rich husband. M.I.A. was understandably pissed about the piece, though, and got Hirschberg to admit to a misquote. Still, the American public never really looked at M.I.A. the same way again and her album, which came out shortly after the piece, ended up tanking.