This is Rob Long with Martini Shot on KCRW.
This is going to sound crazy, but the truth is, I don't really know any celebrities. I mean, I know a few well-known people, I guess, and I've worked with famous people, but I don't really know anybody famous. You know, like, friends of mine. I don't know what it's like to be out to dinner with someone and get interrupted by autograph seekers, or to walk through a fourth of July of flashbulbs.
The few times I've been on the red carpet, either directly behind or in front of a famous person, I've been really unnerved by how many cameras are whirring and snapping, and how the photographers shout out the name of the famous person. Brad! Brad! Courtney! Courtney! I mean, you know how it is when you're walking along and you think you hear someone call your name, and you look around, alarmed? That's what it's like to be famous, I guess.
My two favorite famous people who I do not know are Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. Or is it Gillenhall? It doesn't really matter, I don't know him. Jennifer Aniston was sitting outside a restaurant in Malibu and I had just tied up my dog, who was wet and sandy from the beach, and she was incredibly nice to him. So I... love her. And not too long ago, outside a restaurant I go to a lot in my neighborhood, Jake Gyllenhaal tied up his dog, and I had tied up my dog, and he was really nice to my dog, who was very sick at the time, and so even though I don't vote for the academy awards, I know people who do, so I spent a few weeks vigorously campaigning for him to win the Oscar.
That's the extent of my celebrity awareness. If you're nice to my dog, I like you. You can burn down an orphanage, and I'll still go on the Huffington Post and talk about how nice you are.
But when you work on a show, the first thing you learn about celebrities is that they touch people in specific ways. You don't have to be a star to get fan mail. You don't even have to be a series regular to get creepy, intrusive, mildly disquieting handwritten notes from people with vaguely worded return addresses.
An actress friend of mine once got a lovely letter from a fan -- she had been on a show we worked on a few times; she wasn't the star; she was seven out of thirteen, a recurring guest -- but someone, some guy, took the time to write her a warm note. I just love your work, he told her. And he mentioned some of his favorite lines from the show that she said, and he mentioned some of her previous work. It would be an honor, he wrote to her, if you'd let me put up a web fan page. Please help me by answering the following questions. What's your favorite color? What's your favorite type of music? What kind of shoes do you like best? What kind of movies do you like? Favorite sport? What's your shoe size? Where were you born? How often do you get a pedicure? Do you have a favorite city? Are both of your feet exactly the same, or is each one magnificently unique? Favorite food? How steep is the slope from your ankle to your arch? What was the last book you read that really touched you? Does your little toe curl under the one right next to it? Have you named your toes? Do you come from a big family? Please answer as many of these questions as you can. But you must answer the questions about the feet.
She didn't answer the letter. Or the questions about the feet. Which means that somewhere there's a guy who has a hard time explaining to his friends why it is he just doesn't like this particular actress. Too bad he didn't have a dog.
That's it for this week. Next week, we'll shoot it single camera. Have a great Labor Day. For KCRW, this is Rob Long with Martini Shot.