The bizarre recent trend in celebrity journalism of the writer turning an interview into a quasi-date has been popping up in some of the best magazines lately.
GQ has run three embarrasing examples of this style so far this year, including the August cover story on Mila Kunis.
The current New York magazine has another embarrasing example of the bizarre trend — a feature by Jada Yuan on the rising British actor Dominic Cooper.
Instead of finding out much about the acclaimed stage work in “The History Boys” or the string of recent interesting screen roles, we get a detailed account of a dinner shared by Yuan and Cooper at the Los Angeles branch of Soho House.
“We are having fun, but our fantasy date, or his fantasy of our date, isn’t going that well. So we figure we might as well talk about our exes.”
Cooper launches into a vague account of cheating on his non-celebrity girlfriend of more than a decade — Joanna Carolan — with an on-set fling with his “Mamma Mia” co-star Amanda Seyfried (left).
This chatter is interrupted by prolonged discussion of a seafood dish that arrives at the table of the pseudo-daters:
“Ugh, this is really strange. That’s not nice at all. Did you try it?,” Cooper asks Yuan.
“I’ve got a feeling that’s going to make me ill….The snapper’s no good either, is it?”
The piece goes around in circles as the journalist assures the actor that she doesn’t think he was too awful to cheat on his girlfriend so flagrantly: “I tell him maybe a bit, but it also sounded like his relationship with Carolan had been petering out for a while.”
Pretty much lost in the shuffled is the presumed reason for the interview — Cooper’s appearance in the new “Captain America” and a buzzed-about upcoming performance as Uday Hussein and Uday’s body double in the docudrama “The Devil’s Double” (above).
Anyone who interviews show business figures runs the risk of temporarily falling under the spell of a particularly charismatic figure — after spending just a few minutes with Angelina Jolie a decade ago, I was ready to give her my power of attorney — but if you can’t come back with a decent story you should consider another line of work.