Chris Yandek is one of those interviewers that are seemingly born inquisitive. He is a journalist way too young to be so good at what he does and way too talented not be on some Entertainment show informing us of the latest celebrity news. When I read his recent interview with our girl, Ang, I was more than awed by his ability to pose questions that not only made her think but were questions that us BassettHounds would love to know. From her new Star, to her new movie, from politics to plastic surgery. I've never heard an AB interview quite like this one. So of course I was happy to chat with Chris about the interview that he says he'll never forget with a woman who we all can admire. Here is his commentary on how the interview came to be:
I am 22 years old and have been interviewing people since I was 15. It's been 7.5 years and over 500 interviews by now, but Angela Bassett left me something I will never forget.
On Thursday March 20th I was sitting at a computer in one of my classes at the University of Florida. I am a junior majoring in Telecommunications of course. I had received an email from one of my favorite publicists. She told me tomorrow she was running a media tour with Angela Bassett for her latest movie Meet The Browns and asked me if I'd like one of the interview times. I wrote back and said absolutely. Trying hard not to cheer I left my class and thought about the interview.
The evening before the interview I prepared and thought about the social issues I could talk about with her the following morning. I had never been scared or intimidated to ask somebody about anything. I knew I had to include talk of black churches in America, talk about Obama's campaign, and talked about her aging gracefully. As I tell her in the interview, she looks damn good and way younger than her age of 49. Finally at around midnight I did a news search and found out she had just gotten her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I had my interview direction and knew I would make the most of my time.
The next morning I sat up as I always do and waited for the call. She arrived early and asked again where the interview was going. I promised I'd get it out there and she accepted that. We did a quick sound check and the interview started at around 10:20 AM EST my time and 7:20 AM PST her time. The difference between this and other interviews is that it felt more personal. I felt like she was a friend I knew and someone I respected. I could also tell she valued my originality and my ability to not ask the same things she's heard over and over again. It was more a conversation with a friend and I wasn't afraid of her and she was very comfortable with me.
I think it's important to talk about a star's movie, project, but they also enjoy talking about personal and social issues as well. I always have believed it's important to get some things that are new and real out of every interview subject. It's how I try to stand out as a media personality besides being compelling.
As the interview ended I said my goodbye and I was shaking a little bit. The legends of the business leave you with something you never forget. I encourage anyone who is a fan of hers or entertainment in general to check it out. There aren't many like her. I look forward to the day when I can meet my fellow Floridian in person and tell her thanks for an amazing interview and story that I will carry with me the rest of my life. If only every interview could be as personal, inspiring, and real as that one, but I give my all in everything I do.
You can listen to the entire interview via Chris's site [CYInterview.com]