(This is part of the series on behind-the-scenes while covering celebrities.)
This article on how much stars charge for personal appearances or endorsements reminded me of my quest and that of GIO to get Jay Chou for an interview last year.
So this account is literally about chasing Taiwan’s multi-hyphenated superstar.
The picture above was taken in Bangkok in 2008 when Jay came to promote Kung Fu Dunk. That was the closest I could get to him ever and it was difficult to jostle for space in the crowded theater. Reporters were fighting with fangirls to get seats at an event that was supposed to be for the media only.
I have ranted about this previously in my old blog. I’m a fangirl myself so I do understand why fans behave like this especially since it may be the only chance they get to see their idol. But when they get in the way of people’s work, it’s another story.
But I digress.
This was a video taken at the presscon (too lazy to edit it):
After the presscon, Jay and his co-star, Baron Chen–then an upstart–had Q&As with each media group: newspaper, TV, magazine. I was grouped under magazine and together with my friend who was acting as translator, we returned to the same theater and found that half of the people there didn’t have any business being there. So it was time to become the aggressive journalist myself and I actually stared down a fangirl who was trying to grab the microphone from me when it was my turn to ask a question.
I don’t even remember my question now but for those precious few seconds, I had Jay’s sole attention. My question was in English but he was nodding his head all the time and didn’t even wait for the translation and right away answered… in Mandarin. He did answer my question perfectly and so my audience with
royalty the Chairman ended so soon and with the over-zealous people around him preventing him from even shaking hands, it was asking for heaven to wish to have a photo taken with him.
Fast forward to two years later. I had high hopes that I could get an interview with him during a trip to Taipei because after all, this was GIO (Government Information Office) making the arrangements. At the same time, the rejection was expected. He is Jay Chou after all.
The experience, however, was unpleasant for my GIO agent (the one assigned to make the arrangements for me, act as my translator and guide all at the same time during the entire visit). As de rigueur, they have asked me to send a story guide before my trip for each person I was planning to interview. That included questions that I intended to ask the subject. It was SOP. My agent then sent the same document to Jay’s agent soon after he made the request but to his surprise, Jay’s agent called and scolded him for sending the questions even before she gave the go-signal. I gave Jay’s agent the benefit of doing her job, it must be tough being Jay Chou’s manager, isn’t it? But my agent was naturally upset. The icing on the cake was when the manager said this: “If you want to get Jay Chou for an interview, then you should pay!”
And that’s why when I read the article hyperlinked to this post, I couldn’t help recalling this incident. Of course there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this world, much more, when you’re trying to get a superstar who obviously does not need the media to further his career. And don’t forget that said star has a love and hate relationship with the press and I bet he doesn’t even bother to differentiate between the paps and the legitimate journalists. To him, they’re all guos (dogs).
Despite that incident though, I continue to admire Jay’s work and didn’t end up an anti. I guess his talent outweighs the shitty behavior of the people around him.
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