October 23, 2005

Larry and Me (Liberty Film Festival, 4)

Larry Elder spoke today at the Liberty Film Festival, and afterward I decided I was going to pin him down for another of my signature "mini-interviews." He had just agreed to let me walk him to his car when he got shanghaid into signing a bunch of his DVDs. As one might expect, that kept him there long enough for more and more people to arrive—most of whom needed to at least shake his hand, and maybe get a picture (and possibly have a small exchange with him regarding politics, race, economics, or affirmative action).

After a few hours my resolved calcified: as long as he'd agreed in principle to my getting a few minutes with him, I was going to wait until he was away from the madding crowds, and could focus on what we were saying.

I'll summarize our discussion in another post, but he is an amazing man. No matter how many hands he had to shake, he never seemed to get tired of his fans, supporters, and colleagues. His ethical system is clearly as demanding as his work life: I'd never seen that level of focus in someone surrounded by an ever-changing crowd of 5-10 fans who all clearly want to talk to him as well. When Larry turned to me I indicated that he'd promised I could walk him out, and that was what I intended to do. He appeared to respect that. Meanwhile, I reminded myself that people call in to his show all the time and wait for hours to speak with him in the least private of settings. I was waiting a bit, but would get a one-on-one chat with him. A bargain, if you want to know the truth.

And sure enough: a friend of his who works for the L.A. Times ran into us as we approached the back doors of the Beverly Center, and they had a very cute exchange regarding their differences of opinion. (Larry pointed to me and threatened, after the other man had made a tacit admission of media bias, that I was going to expose this shameful moment in my blog. We all had a good laugh, though I'm afraid my readers might not be any more impressed with that than they would be with "a Times writer admitted that it gets hot in the summer in L.A.")

But Larry really is the all-time gentleman: he listened to my questions, gave me thoughtful answers, and stood there by his black Thunderbird asking me what I thought about various issues, as if he had all the time in the world. (At first, my mouth dropped open, and I may have looked like a fish for a moment there, till I rallied and remembered that I definitely Have Opinions.)

Truly a great experience. I've met Larry before, but not since 1998 or so, and we'd never had this long a chat. And, you know: I love being treated like a Real Media person, when in fact I'm just bloggy little me: a girl with a keyboard.

Posted by Attila at October 23, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Well, if he doesn't like attention he's in the wrong line of work. So I rather hope so. ;) Nice to meet you, and I will be checking out the latest Wallace & Gromit.

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 23, 2005 11:57 AM




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