A friend of mine who is about to do her first interview with a well-known actor asked me for advice. This is what I told her. I thought it might be of interest to you as well:
• Be prepared to the hilt going in—and have a long list of questions at your fingertips. Some actors are more at ease in an interview setting than others, and some just can’t talk at all.
• When the interviewee starts talking, let her talk. Unprompted talk is often much more revealing. (Corollary: don’t turn the recorder off until you leave the room.)
• If I get a talkative subject, I scratch questions off the list once they’ve been answered spontaneously. The idea is to let the conversation follow its own natural path—while silently keeping track of the things you still need to find out.
• Don’t waste a famous interviewee’s time asking questions whose answers you can obtain yourself.
• Start with a question that indicates that you did your homework.
• Don’t be gushing, but don’t withhold admiration, either. Even famous people like to be praised.
• Remember that no matter how well the interview is going, the subject is not your friend. Never forget that you’re reviewing somebody whose job is to give a performance.