How not to interview a celebrity Lesson 1 by Nigel Ferndale

July 26, 2006

“For entirely selfish reasons I have been trying hard to like Diana Krall. I go to see her in concert, you see. I have all her albums. And the next time I go to see her in concert, or play one of her albums, I don’t want to have it ruined by a voice in my head saying: ‘What a cow.’ But from the moment she turned up late, pointedly ignored me while she poured herself a coffee, and then greeted me with a crusher handshake, the world’s bestselling jazz singer and pianist has been in a foul mood. Ominously, when I try to melt the permafrost by congratulating her on her pregnancy (her first, at 41, baby due in December) and asking her the standard jokey questions about whether she has developed any odd cravings or caught herself behaving erratically, she glowers at me, actually glowers, and says in a flat voice: ‘You might just find out.’ After five minutes of her blocking my questions with defensive, one-sentence answers delivered in a Canadian monotone, I wonder if I shouldn’t just ask if she wants to reschedule.”

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