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The Dangers of the TV Interview

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BRUCE WILLIS
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Bruce Willis was the latest star to fall victim to the unforgiving lens of a live television camera last week. On the BBC's The One Show, Willis was supposed to be promoting his new film A Good Day To Die Hard, but instead only succeeded in mumbling and squirming his way through an interview that was as awkward as a German history lesson about the 1940s.

The internet quickly became awash with the news that a Hollywood A-Lister was in fact fallible, humourless even. How could someone we all know so well, turn out to be so different?

But, this is nothing new. Actors may be rich and famous, but they are still like the rest of us, utterly flawed and hopeless individuals who are simply stumbling their way through life.

Indeed, there are certain stars who almost never give television interviews for this very reason. These canny operators are in a unique position that their star power is so great, meaning they can play hard ball with studio execs and record companies, refusing any opportunity to jeopardise their carefully constructed public persona.

Jack Nicholson is the most high profile example of a star that never appears on television. The three-time Oscar winner realised early on his career how damaging the medium can be. And, because of this, he has been able to protect himself, despite all the years of partying, against any real media negativity.

Outside the world of film, supermodel Kate Moss also takes the Nicholson blanket approach to TV interviews. Why dilute an already successful brand by speaking on camera?

Unfortunately, not everyone possesses such self-control. Top of the list of self-destruction was British actor and notorious wild man Oliver Reed. On several occasions Reed appeared totally inebriated on television, which changed the whole narrative of his career and legacy. Reed is first and foremost remembered as a drunk and not as the fine screen actor that he undoubtedly was.

But, while television still remains the most powerful advertising tool in the world, it is now supplemented by the constant rabble of noise that is the internet. While this adds yet another dimension to the already precarious practice of appearing on an unscripted show, there is no denying the effectiveness of television in promoting a brand or product.

And, because of this undoubted power, reluctant movie stars such as Willis are forced to sweat under studio lights whilst polished inquisitors try to pierce through their well worn emotional defences.

The Die Hard and Pulp Fiction actor has now been forced to make an apology, simply due to the vitriol that his appearance on the One Show has created. Willis is a big enough star to ride out this latest calamity, however there is no doubt that his PR team will be working over time to help prevent any similar slip-ups.

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