How to Get Interviews with Famous Actors, Directors, and Celebrities

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You know what would make your project way less boring? Famous people! Although celebrities like to make themselves seem untouchable, you know get access if you play the game right.  This article will give you the sources to contact famous actors, musicians, and directors. Then it’ll show you how to land an interview with them.

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Email them. The best way to start getting interviews with famous people is to work your way up the ladder.  The most independent ones are the easiest to get.  Many of them have their own personal email addresses on their websites.  This is easier with the music industry than the film industry, but if you’re trying to get some time with movie stars it’s not impossible.  Try looking for the more obscure positions.  While an actor will be hard to get an email address for, writers and even directors often have personal pages where you can contact them.

Get their contacts. One of the biggest secrets of the industry is IMDB Pro.  It has a database of nearly every celebrity in the business. You simply type in the name of the person you want to contact, click the link for their contact information, and away you go.  Membership does cost a yearly fee, but you can usually get a free trial from the site. Unlike our other options, IMDB Pro will most likely put you in-touch with their handlers. You see, because famous people are so very important, they have special less important people who take care of all their communications.  Sometimes it’s a publicist, sometimes it’s a talent agent, and with some of the more amusing actors and actresses it’s a lawyer.  For most it’s actually all of the above.  Email their publicist first and try the others after that.

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Myspace and Facebook. No kidding.  Not all celebrities are too important to give you the time of day.  Some have Myspace or Facebook pages that they actually check.  If you send the right proposal, they might just get back to you.  Remember that since they’re famous and you’re not, they have way less free time than you.  It could take them weeks or even months to get back to you.  The longer they take, the better chances that they’re who they say that are and not an impostor.

Making contact. Once you’ve got your contact information, send a brief message. I mean brief. Like, four sentences brief. These people get tons of messages, they don’t have time to read your six paragraph essay about how you loved them in that jewel thief movie. If you don’t have a producer or secretary to write the message for you, don’t be afraid to send it from a fake assistant name you just made up. Be professional, and don’t say more about your project than you have to. You want to sound like you’re big and important too. Tell them what the show is and that your schedule is very flexible. Also mention their projects. If you sound like you know a little about them, that’s a big advantage. Tell them you’re looking to do an interview to promote their new movie. Give the title to show you know what you’re talking about.

Famous people want money. Bands and musicians are a little more receptive about free promotion, but most actors will want you to pay them to talk about their projects.  It’s not usually the actors who actually press you for cash – it’s their handlers.  Explain to them that you’ve never paid anyone in all the interviews you’ve ever done.  Explain that your projects are self funded and don’t make any real money.  Convince them that the promotion they’ll recieve by doing this is worth the time!  Usually when someone’s brought out the words “compensation” or “honorarium” doing things for free is off the table. If you’re really set on getting the interview, it’s standard bidding from here.  It’s a slow process, but you can generally talk them down 50%-75% before they tell you to take a hike.

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Famous people are flakey. Once you’ve got the date and time, confirm it again before the actual interview.  Usually a day or two before.  Remind them personally if you can, but more importantly remind their handlers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called someone in the middle of a meeting, sleeping, or three hours before they were anticipating a call.  It’s like all clocks in the state of California are broken or something.  Give them the date, time (including TIME ZONE) and run down of how it’ll work in advance and you should be all set.

Additional Tips

  • Sometimes you get ahold of a celebrity, but have trouble getting them to stick to a date.  If your open invitation didn’t work, try picking a date and offering them one of several time slots.  This not only helps indecisive actors make decisions, but also make you look really busy and important.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one of the above methods.  Get creative! Go to movie premieres, film festivals, and even autograph signings.  Get in there, give them your card.  Write your number or email on it in front of them, and take off.
  • Use the shotgun approach: If you want to get someone from a film, try contacting five or ten people involved.  Eventually one of them may even mention the offer to another, and getting them talking will help the offer stick out in their memory.
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