Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner at last night’s premiere. Inset: The playwright.Photo: Getty Images, Jed Egan (Kawaller)
Red-carpet and party reports are the lifeblood of entertainment and gossip reporting; we depend on them heavily, as does Daily Intel and every other newspaper and blog out there. But the truth is that most interviews don’t go as well as the ones that make it onto the august pages of Daily Intel, where the actor is snappy and the reporter asks just the right question and it ends on a little button that makes you chuckle. These interviews are conducted on the fly, between reporters who have done their best to prepare and subjects who often wish they weren’t forced to talk to us. That means that a lot of them are really, really awkward.
We sent intrepid intern Ben Kawaller out to the premiere of Bee Movie last night. While he came back with a number of good interviews, he also collected his fair share of not-so-great ones. In the interest of demystifying the business of entertainment journalism, and of making young Ben Kawaller famous, we’re proud to present this short play, about Ben’s conversation with the directors of Bee Movie, Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner.
Our Awkward Interview With the Directors of Bee Movie
A Drama, by Ben Kawaller
On the red carpet at the premiere of the animated film, Bee Movie, BEN KAWALLER waits behind the metal barrier separating Press from Stardom. A publicist hawks her wares: “Anyone want to talk to the director?,” etc. KAWALLER nods; he’ll see the man. Said DIRECTOR approaches; he is SIMON SMITH. Another MAN is at his side.
Ben Kawaller: So, have you worked in animation before? Is this your forte?
Simon Smith: Yeah, I’ve been working in computer animation since 1987. So, twenty years.
Ben Kawaller: But have you worked in bees before?
Simon Smith: Um, I haven’t worked with bees before, no.
Ben Kawaller: So this is your first insect endeavor?
Simon Smith: No … I worked on a film called Antz.
Ben Kawaller: Ohhh! I was going to ask about that!! Do you think there’s any bad blood between like, Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld, who’s honing in on the insect-comedy niche?
Simon Smith: Not that we know of; I don’t think there’s any bad blood at all. I think everybody’s been very successful being an insect in Hollywood.
Ben Kawaller: Yeah. What are some more insects that you’d like to explore in the future?
Simon Smith: Uhhh, well, maybe I’ve had my fill of insect films for now. I’ve done two types of insects; maybe I should try something else.
Ben Kawaller: And, uh, what about other animals? Any non-insect animals, or something that you’ve done before?
Simon Smith: Uhhh … well I worked on Shrek.
Ben Kawaller: You worked on Shrek. So, uh, I must seem like the biggest ignoramus in this whole place. [To the guy standing next to him] What’s your name?
Steve Hickner: Steve Hickner.
Ben Kawaller: Hi.
Steve Hickner: Hi.
Ben Kawaller: And so, um … how are you important?
Steve Hickner: I’m doing very well.
Ben Kawaller: No, I asked, How are you important?
Steve Hickner: Oh, I’m one of the directors.
Ben Kawaller: Fantastic! Well. Looks like you’ve got a lot of children here tonight with this movie. [They’re all over the place, many of them dressed in bee motifs.]
Steve Hickner: We hope so.
Ben Kawaller: Are you at all worried about, like, kids making noise in the theater and everything? Think it’ll be a problem?
Simon Smith: [Slightly bewildered] No, I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
Steve Hickner: We hope they make a lot of noise—
Simon Smith: Yeah.
Steve Hickner: —and it’s called laughing!
Simon Smith: Yeah. More, more fun.
Ben Kawaller: [Dubiously] I guess. Um. Thank you very much.
One of them: Okay, thank you.
Related: Jerry Seinfeld Tortures ‘In Style’; We Rub It In [Daily Intel]Our Awkward Interview With the Directors of ‘Bee Movie’: A Play in One Act