How Not to Talk to Celebrities at #NerdProm

There are ways of not acting like an idiot during White House Correspondents’ weekend.

National Journal
Lucia Graves
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Lucia Graves
May 2, 2014, 10:52 a.m.

The glow at the Wash­ing­ton Hilton is ex­pec­ted to be a bit dim­mer this year. That’s be­cause, ac­cord­ing to sev­er­al re­ports, few­er stars are at­tend­ing the White House Cor­res­pond­ents’ Din­ner this time around, com­plain­ing they’ve been “pawed at” too much by politicos act­ing like a bunch of kids.

“A lot of the people who have gone say they’ll nev­er do it again,” an an­onym­ous source told The Hol­ly­wood Re­port­er. “The room is so crowded. It’s un­con­trolled. There’s no lim­it to the num­ber of people try­ing to get pho­tos and auto­graphs — and there’s no way to hide from it. It’s like the stars are an­im­als in a cage. People go crazy when they see them. They act like a bunch of kids at the Kids’ Choice Awards.”

That, dis­turb­ingly enough, is an ac­count that res­on­ates. Few places com­bine en­ti­tle­ment and power-grop­ing like Wash­ing­ton, and giv­en the cur­rent vogue for selfies, this year will likely be par­tic­u­larly ter­rible for stars. What fol­lows is a primer on how to act like a nor­mal hu­man around fam­ous people this week­end.

1. Don’t sneak pho­tos of them, par­tic­u­larly when they’re look­ing right at you. It’s creepy. As Peter Dink­lage told the world in a re­cent Red­dit AMA, “The one thing that sort of gets to you are the cam­er­as/cell phones. People try to be sneaky and try to get your pic­ture without com­ing up to you or ask­ing, and that’s what kind of gets to me.” He’d rather people just ask. And no, you are not fool­ing any­one pre­tend­ing to text while you hold your phone at eye level.

2. No one reads bylines, es­pe­cially not celebrit­ies. Don’t ex­pect any­one to be fa­mil­i­ar with your work. Not even that one time you got a link in Play­book.

3. Don’t tell them who they are, though we un­der­stand it’s tempt­ing to verb­al­ize ex­actly what you’re think­ing at that mo­ment. Like, “Oh my god, you’re Sandra Bul­lock!” Yes. It’s true. She knows.

4. Do talk about pro­jects they’ve done that don’t get as much at­ten­tion as their block­buster work, or ask them about about their polit­ic­al pet pro­jects. Ben Af­fleck, for in­stance, would be only too happy to tell you about at­ro­cit­ies in the Congo. He will be less pleased if you un­ex­pec­tedly bare your breasts to him as he’s walk­ing in­to the re­stroom, as someone did (we won’t name names) the last time he at­ten­ded.

5. If a celebrity does agree to talk to you or take a photo, be gra­cious and don’t take up too much of their time. They’re giv­ing you a gift, not the oth­er way around. Un­less you are, say, Eliza­beth War­ren, in which case, thanks for read­ing!

6. If you must selfie, re­con­sider. If you still must selfie, you can­not be helped.

7. Do not talk to them about your book or tele­vi­sion show or movie ideas. Yes, Scan­dal and House of Cards are in­cred­ibly pop­u­lar. No, you are not the next Beau Wil­li­mon.

8. If you ask for an auto­graph (first, why?), pre­tend you’re ask­ing for a small child. In a sense it will be true.

Marina KorenEmma Roller and Brian Resnick contributed to this article.
What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
3 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login