... especially if this was her banner.
Katherine Hepburn enjoyed her private life. She didn't like giving interviews or talking about herself. Last year on TCM they ran the two part Dick Cavett show from the early seventies where he interviewed her and it was wonderful. The first night there was no audience at her insistence. So most of the first interview is very quiet with Kate seeming ill at ease and anxious. Eventually, though, by the second night enough people had gathered from the studio to make an audience and she was more comfortable talking about things. Which leads me to...
Stars and the public, or more specifically, paparazzi. I've never approached a celebrity for an autograph myself although I've seen several. I've even had casual conversations with famous folk without letting on that I even knew who they were. The last time was a couple of years ago when I chatted with erstwhile CNN anchor Bernie Shaw at a famous world leader's funeral (you really want to know what I do don't you?). I bummed a smoke from him and we talked about the deceased and the media coverage and when he mentioned his own interview of him I reacted with a "so that's where I've seen you" faux surprise.
I'm not saying it's wrong to recognize famous people and I'm sure to some extent they enjoy it. I'm really talking about invading someone's space ala the paparazzi. I'm no big fan of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan (apologies to Kim Morgan) but I have a genuine sympathy for the fact that they are hounded and followed endlessly. I don't like it when I hear someone say, "Well if they don't like the fame they shouldn't have gone into that profession." But you don't not do something you love because fame goes along with it.
Most of us have jobs we could very well do without, I know I do. But take something you love doing, really truly LOVE doing. And then imagine that no matter what it is, it is only possible if fame accompanies it. Are you really going to give up something you love because of that? If so, why? Why would you stop doing something that gives you fulfillment because of a certain amount of hardship that follows?
So, yes, fame accompanies celebrity, but that doesn't mean they've given up their right to eat in a restaurant without being interrupted every five minutes. Which is why I've never approached anyone for an autograph (although I have gone to a signing because I just had to meet Chuck Berry). I think to myself, "How many people before me have approached them today? Was the last one just two minutes ago and they're just trying to walk to the damn store?"
So there's my take on it. It's just a personal call of my own, not saying it's something I expect everyone to do or agree with. And I think a good amount of celebrities enjoys recognition and fan adulation and are gracious and appreciative of it. But my favorite moment of fan recognition has always been the scene in King of Comedy. It's early in the film and Jerry Langsford (Jerry Lewis) is walking down the streets of New York. People are waving and saying "hi" and getting the occasional autograph until one woman takes it too far. The problem is, the woman doesn't realize this has been happening all morning (like I said, that's why I don't approach) and Jerry's running late. She praises him and he gives her an autograph and then says he has to go when she asks him to speak to her nephew in the hospital. Her response?
"You should only get cancer! I hope you get cancer!"
It's unsettling and hilarious all at once. Oh and please ignore Kate's sign. I don't want anyone to go away. I love doing this too much and fortunately blogging does not bring on the paparazzi so I have no worries. Although I hear Dennis Cozzalio can't walk to work in the morning without being stopped a thousand times. I feel for you brother, I really do.