Never Grant an Interview

Hugh Grant

The phrase “Granting an interview” took on a whole new meaning at this year’s Oscars Red Carpet show.

It may not have been The Slap, but Hugh Grant’s cringeworthy behavior outside the Dolby Theatre certainly earned him the Best Actor in a Petulant Role award.

From the start, it was clear that Grant hated this interview. Because….he….wasn’t expecting vapid questions from an entertainment reporter standing outside the Oscars?

Don’t do interviews against your will

Interviews are mandatory for some (think coaches, athletes, and celebrities doing junkets). For others, reporters are a necessary -if pesky- component of a sound PR strategy (CEOs communicating during crisis events). But under most circumstances, it is better to decline interviews if you aren’t willing to really engage. That’s what Grant should have done.

Be a good actor

There is an element of performance in every interview. Even if you agree to participate, you may not be thrilled about it. That’s where you channel your inner Streep, using tone, body language, and facial expressions that say, “There’s no place else I’d rather be.” Grant is supposed to be a pro at this.

Anticipate questions

Was Grant actually stumped by those softballs being floated his way? Even if he didn’t know who designed his tux, and had no “favorite” thing about the Oscars, he should have, at the very least, been ready to respond to incredibly predictable questions. You should always do the same.

Mark Bernheimer

Mark Bernheimer is a former CNN correspondent and the founder of MediaWorks Resource Group, an internationally renowned media training and consulting firm.