Click the links below to jump to the interviews:
Blogcritics.com - Scott Buki
Rezoom.com 7 Questions - Dolly Carlisle
Albuquerque Tribune - Ollie Reed Jr.
by Scott Butki
Read the original: Click here
This is the first part of a two part interview.
Sara Voorhees is a syndicated film critic with vast experience and
knowledge about movies. So it’s probably no surprise that this, her
first novel, has a character who is a movie critic.
The protagonist, Natalia Conway, has quit her job as a film critic to
try to write more meaningful stories. But money gets too tight to
mention and her old boss is begging her to come back to cover the
Cannes Film Festival.
The book is engaging and engrossing and I’ll say more about the book
in the second part of the interview, which will be published about one
week from today.
Scott: How did you come to write this book?
Sara: A few years ago, after an interview with Tom Hanks, when the
cameras were off, he told me what he’d learned over the years about
the interview process. He said that my job was to get him to tell me
things he’d never told anyone before; his job was to make me feel like
I’d done it. He was dead right.
That was when I decided to write about the relationship between the
press and celebrities. It’s an uneasy symbiosis—there’s an artifice to all celebrity interviews that is awkward, and both the press and
the celebrities feel it, but it’s a win-win situation for everyone
involved, so it’s here to stay. And we’re living in the most
celebrity-saturated culture in history—who doesn’t want to hear
Halle Berry talk about how giraffes sweat at the end of their noses?
I’m a big supporter of Media Literacy. I believe the more we know
about what’s happening behind the curtains in the media, the better
off we are.
Scott: Do you plan to write other novels?
Sara: Absolutely. I’m working on a new one that has nothing to do with movies. But I don’t think Nattie’s story is finished. I’d like to tell that one.
Scott: How are you different from the protagonist?
Sara: I did not grow up motherless, as Nattie did. I was raised by a wonderful, loving mother, and that relationship has given me a degree
of confidence and courage that Nattie doesn’t have. She is so afraid
of people, she’s spent her whole life hiding from relationships with
them. I’m crazy about people.
Scott: How are you similar?
Sara: I’m a journalist, and I’m part of the publicity machine that Nattie is drawn to and yet confounded by. I find comfort and meaning in movies, as she does. We’re both pretty thin-skinned, but I bounce right back. She doesn’t.
Scott: Your bio says you interviewed “every major Hollywood celebrity.”
Sara: That sounds pretty grandiose, doesn’t it? I never talked to Jack Nicholson.
Scott: What was the worst celebrity interview you ever did?
Sara: It’s possible to have bad interviews with your favorite actors, but that doesn’t necessarily make them terrible interviews, if you follow my logic. For example, Robert de Niro is one of the most
brilliant actors in the business, but he’s also one of the shyest, and
he doesn’t subscribe to Tom Hanks’ interview mission statement. So you’re never going to get a chatty little conversation with him, but
it doesn’t diminish the value of the interview. In the book, Nattie
mentions that Tommy Lee Jones is the meanest interview there is, and
she’s right. It’s comforting to know that almost everyone agrees on that. The only actor who ever made me cry was Alexander Godunov.
Scott: What was the best interview, and I’ll let you choose how to define best?
Sara: Back to Tom Hanks on this one. Because of the nature of the
interview dynamic, the best are usually the actors and directors who
are either devilishly smart or have a natural charisma—and most of
them do, which is what makes them instantly appealing to audiences.
They are the ones who leave you feeling you’ve had a good interview.
But even they have to be willing to drop their guard or turn on their
personalities in order to create the illusion that they’re dropping
their guard. Some of the “best” interviews I’d have had have been with directors—Mike Nichols, Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese—or actors, like Robin Williams, who are so entertaining you just want to take them home with you. Then there are people you admire, like Meryl Streep or Edward Norton. You feel your should kneel in their presence.
Occasionally you have an unaccountably fantastic interview with
someone no one can pull anything out of, and when it’s over, your
colleagues are scratching their heads, wondering what in the world
they can use from their interviews, and you say, “Oh really? He told
me all about his first sexual encounter.”
Scott: Did you have any control over what films you had to review?
Sara: For the most part, the choice of movies to review on any given
Friday is dictated by what is opening that week. If The Hills Have
Eyes is the new movie, you pretty much have to see it and review it.
Occasionally you have several movies to choose from, and you make the
wrong choice. When Snow White had her 50th anniversary, for example,
I reviewed a magnificent Argentine film called Man Facing Southeast
instead. I thought my news director was going to fire me on the spot.
Scott: What was the worst film you had to review?
Sara: No one sets out to make a bad movie, but the kind of movies I
put in that category are movies that pretend to be something they’re
not. I’m in the minority on this, but I think a movie like Lord of
War is a good example—a well-crafted, brilliantly acted movie that
was presented as a hilarious satire. The hero is small-minded,
selfish, cruel, reprehensible, the movie is filled with unspeakable
acts against children and women, and guns are a kind of macho Holy
Grail. Even if you do find it merely hilarious, it’s in your head
forever. The moving image always says “yes.”
Scott: What was the meanest thing you ever wrote in a review?
Sara: With the exception of movies that make me angry, I’m notorious for not being mean enough, at least on television. It’s hard for a woman to say something mean on television and not be perceived as
bitchy. Marlo Thomas was right when she said that a man has to invade
a small country before he’s considered ruthless. All a woman has to
do is put you on hold.
Scott: What is the Cannes Film Festival—featured in this book—really like?
Sara: A friend of mine says that describing some things—a person, for instance, or the Cannes Film Festival—is like taking one
photograph of the Grand Canyon and saying, “This is what it’s like.” The Cannes experience, for a journalist, is frenetic and frustrating and infuriating—so many movies, so many celebrities, so many
deadlines, so little sleep. At the same time, you’re on the most
spectacular stretch of beachfront property in the world, and there are
hundreds of movies being screened and bought and sold, all within a
three mile radius of where you’re standing. There is always the chance
of stumbling upon a movie that will change the way you see the world,
or entertain you so you forget the fight you had with your editor, or
inspire you to become a painter.
Scott: What question would you most like me to ask you?
Sara: There is one question I’d like you to answer: is Halle Berry right? Do giraffe’s sweat at the end of their noses? I googled it after our interview and I can’t find the answer.
Scott: What is the biggest misconception about film critics?
Sara: That they have vast influence on the public’s movie choices. Woody Allen said that when it comes to movies the audience is always
right. That was certainly the case in Pirates of the Caribbean, which
was almost universally panned by critics, but it made nearly $400,000
million in the US alone and spawned a sequel. Film critics are a great
source of information about movies, but moviegoers have a mind of
Scott: What did Alexander say that made you cry?
Sara: Alexander Godunov (may he rest in peace) was doing his first movie junket, for DIE HARD, when I interviewed him in 1988. He was one of those people (I suspect) whose level of discomfort was directly proportional to his Grouchiness Quotient, and everything I asked made him grouchier still—I asked if he missed dancing (“if I missed dancing, I would be dancing”). And how he celebrated when he became a U.S. citizen (“Private”) even though I knew he’d had a hamburger stuffed with caviar. I should have had the good sense to thank him and get out while I was still in one piece, but I hammered on with a question about positive memories of the Soviet Union. “I don’ understan.” I repeated the question, more slowly. “I don’ understan.” And then ... because I had apparently lost my mind, I leaned in to him as if he were deaf and asked him the same stupid question a third time. He leaned into me with his nose an inch from mine and said, “I DON’ UNDERSTAN.” I waited until I was alone in the hall before I started to cry.
Scott: What is it about Tommy Lee Jones that makes him unpopular among the press?
Sara: I am being charitable when I explain Tommy Lee Jones’ GQ as having the same origin as Godunov’s. More likely he loathes the junket process and chooses to demonstrate his disdain by correcting and demeaning and arguing with journalists at every opportunity. Part of the pretense of the interview scene is that actor and press are chatting amiably in someone’s living room. TLJ refuses to play that game, which would earn him a degree of respect if it weren’t both of our jobs to be there. But he’s a big enough star—he won an Oscar after all. He
could probably refuse. So why does he participate in the process? A friend of
mine once asked Wilford Brimley at a CUCOON junket why he was there, because he was being so uncooperative, and he said, “Now that you mention it, I don’t know,” and stood up and walked out of the hotel.
Scott: Are you saying that Tom Hanks was the best interview or did you not answer the question about who instead just dealing with the definition
of “best.” It’s ok if you don’t want to name someone—I just wanted to make sure I understand your answer.
Sara: ’I actually meant that Tom Hanks—who I would definitely describe as a terrific interview—had answered your question of what makes a good interview in your question #1. He understands that my job is to get him to open up and his job is to make me feel that I’ve gotten him to open up. There are brilliant interviewees—Arnold Schwarzennegger was the master at turning every single question to an answer about the movie. Example: Me: “I read that you don’t let
Maria wear pants—only skirts.” Arnold: “She looks sexy in skirts, just like Jamie Lee Curtis does in our new movie, TRUE LIES ...” You get the drift. I have several favorite interviews—Robert Redford, for instance, Helen Mirren. Will Ferrell seems genuinely happy to be where he is, and he loves to make people laugh, which makes his interviews wonderful. Having been on the receiving end of an interview, I can say that a good interview is anyone who doesn’t dissolve into mental mush... especially under the pressure of seventy back-to-back 5 minute interviews in a day, which is now the norm for junkets.
Scott: Maybe I’ll pose your giraffe question to Yahoo Question and we can post a link to the response when we publish the interview. I may make you explain why the hell she was talking about giraffes in the first
Sara: I did an interview with Halle Berry a few weeks ago, and we were talking about eating green chile. She said she liked it hot—the hotter the better. I said, “So hot it makes your forehead sweat?” and she said, “No, I sweat at the end of my nose, like a giraffe.” She was quite convincing, that giraffes sweat at the end of their noses. If you could set your resources on this question,
and find out if they actually do, I’ll write a children’s book about it.
Part Two of an Interview with Sara Voorhees, Film Critic and Novelist
Written by Scott Butki
This is the second part of my two-part interview with Sara Voorhees, author of
The Lumiere Affair. The first part was published about two weeks ago. The book
comes out this week.
This book is excellent.
I've really enjoyed doing the interview by email with this funny, sharp,
clever writer and since we seem to have good repartee -- as some writers have
commented upon -- we may be doing some type of writing or work together in the
Okay, on with the second part of this two-part interview:
Scott Butki: Is this book the first of a series?
Sara: Only in my head at the moment. I would like to finish Nattie's story.
We'll see what the future brings.
Scott:: Which do you find more enjoyable and more satisfying – writing a novel
or writing about film?
Sara: I was an only child for many years (siblings much older than I am), so I
have a very active fantasy life. As the story and the characters were evolving
for Lumière, I carried them around with me, woke up thinking about them, hoped
things would work out in their lives, and could hardly wait to get to the
computer to find out What Would Happen to them. It's what catharsis is all
about: experiencing someone else's experience as if it were your own. In a
movie, this evolution happens in a couple of hours. Writing a novel extends the
catharsis for months and months.
Scott:: What question are you secretly hoping I will ask you?
Sara: I think I'd like you to ask me about the impact of movies on our culture
— it's an issue every film critic and moviemaker and parent and citizen should
think about. Nobody loves movies more than I do - movies can transport us into
marvelous places, both emotionally and intellectually. We always learn
something when we see a movie - sometimes it's good and pure and intentional on
the part of the director, who wants us to know about what it was like to be gay
in the '60s, or how one single bullet can alter the lives of a hundred people
in every corner of the world or what it feels like to suffer on either side of
the Middle Eastern conflict. But even in a movie that seems benign we're
learning something that may not be conducive to a happy life or harmonious
society - romantic comedies that tell us love is about romance, action movies
that teach us to resolve conflict like five year olds.
Even animated cartoons can teach us to be afraid of people who look different
from us. That is insidious learning, and it's happening all the time. There's a
lot of talk at the moment about the effects of movie violence on the minds and
behavior of our children. It's a dialogue that comes and goes - usually it comes
after a disaster and goes when people are tired of thinking about it. But we
should keep talking about it until we come up with a solution to the problem -
until we agree to include a media literacy curriculum in our schools, the same
way basic grammar was introduced into the public school curriculum 100 years ago.
The Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) is one organization that is
working hard to make that happen. I recommend that anyone interested in this
issue check it out. Because -- in view of our Constitution — we cannot dictate
what directors can and can't put in their movies. So it's up to all of us to
educate ourselves about the moving image so we can make intelligent choices, so
we understand what a movie (or a commercial or a TV show) is actually teaching
us that we may not be aware of. Until it becomes a part of every child's
education, parents have to assume that responsibility for their children, and
talk with them about what they're seeing. I might have gone overboard with my
kids in that area: my daughter says she spent so much time in movie theaters and
talking about movies, she grew up believing that the basic food groups were
popcorn, Raisinettes and Sprite.
Scott:: I'm working on getting an interview with Roger Ebert, who, along with
David Edelstein, are on my must-read lists. Do you have any questions you'd like
to suggest I ask Ebert?
Sara: I've asked Roger Ebert a lot of questions over the years. What I'd like
you to ask him now is how he's feeling. I hope he's going to recover from his
current unpleasantness and return to us intact. He is the father of us all.
Scott:: Most journalists I know have at least one person who they still really
want to interview someday. Who would that be for you?
Sara: That's easy: Katherine Hepburn. Alas, too late. She was the model for
every woman who ever dared to be more than What Was Expected. I also have never
spoken to Jack Nicholson, although I had an interesting encounter with him
before the Oscars a few years ago. The ceremony was still at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion that year, and when an actor came to the theater to rehearse
his/her segment for the Oscars, he was given a big fruit basket in gratitude -
the kind that come piled high with fruit and wrapped in yellow cellophane. I was
going through the back door of the theater to get my credentials at the same
moment Nicholson was going out the door, carrying his basket of fruit. I can
only imagine what was on his mind, but he burst through the door and caught me
right in the eye with a banana that was jutting through the cellophane. Our
conversation consisted entirely of expletives.
Scott:: Is it weird to be the one interviewed instead of the one doing the
Sara: Very. It's a lot harder to be on this side of the equation. I had a
wonderful interview once with Oprah in Santa Fe, and she told me that since she
was eighteen, she's been on camera more than she hasn't. It was a slight
exaggeration, but her point is clear: she's more comfortable in front of a
camera than she is behind it. I was amazed by that. I have never been
comfortable in front of a camera. When I do live TV I stutter and stammer,
unless I have a script. I've done the Oscars and Cannes and live shots from
movie theaters around the country. I am always a wreck, before and after. And
during. I've never gotten over that. I used to stand in the long line of
journalists at the Oscars and listen to other people — David Moss from Cleveland
and Scott Patrick from Denver — talking to the camera as if it were their pal,
and just be amazed. It's a gift.
Scott:: What is your favorite film and why?
Sara: I may be too fickle to answer that question. And the range of movies I
love is impossibly broad. This month I loved Blades of Glory — a movie with no
redeeming social or intellectual value. It was total silliness and I laughed
myself sick. I was also completely blown away by the German film The Lives of
Others, which won the Oscar for best foreign film this year. It's a movie that
made me realize how lucky we are — so far — in America, to have a Constitution
that protects us from our baser instincts, and how hard it would be, in a world
where your neighbor could be your worst enemy, to put yourself on the line for a
principle you believe in. How can a person have a favorite movie when the
choices are so varied? However, I can tell you the movie that had the greatest
impact on me... and that remains the same to this day... was a film with Sophia
Loren and Charleton Heston called El Cid. I saw it at an age when I was just
beginning to question the true meaning of courage and loyalty... of what it
meant to love another human being, of what motivated war, and the power of
forgiveness. It molded a lot of my most important ideas about life in general.
A few years ago, Martin Scorsese had it restored and released it in the
theaters — apparently it was an important movie for him, too — and it was just
as powerful as it was the first time around.
Scott:: What is your favorite non-fiction book about film?
Sara: Besides How to Watch a Movie, which is out of print, and I have no idea
who wrote it, but it'd filled with information about the tools of movie making
and written in a way that your average moviegoer can undestand.
I also love autobiographies. Charles Grodin's It would Be So Nice if You
Weren't Here is a very funny book about being a second-level star in movies. I
just finished Gene Wilder's autobiography Kiss Me Like A Stranger, which had the
most astounding honesty I've read in any autobiography since Julia Phillip's
scathing Hollywood memoir You'll Never Each Lunch In This Town Again. I love
autobiographies, because when people sit down to write about their own lives, it
all becomes a story: the horrible, tragic events and the wonderful triumphant
moments - they all form the substance of what a life is. It's good for us to
step out of the immediate scene we're living and see our own lives that way.
Scott:: Who, besides yourself, is your favorite movie critic? Who is your least
Sara: I would never put myself in the category of my favorite critics. But
again, how can you choose a favorite from the broad range of critics writing
about film today? There are print critics I admire - like Roger Ebert and Terry
Lawson, who writes for the Detroit Free Press, and Jay Carr, who was the critic
for the Boston Globe for many years. Those men are marvelous writers, and their
insights about film give us all perspective on our culture and our personal
lives. I wish there were more women writing about film - Sheila Benson left The
Los Angeles Times just when she was beginning to demonstrate how a woman's
perspective can be essential.
I'm on the board of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association, and we have 210
TV, radio, and internet critics in our membership who are all so interesting and
varied, you could never choose. There are critics in this country who are as
entertaining as the movies they review... some are esoteric in their views of
film... some have both feet firmly in the popular culture... some are writing
for other critics and not for audiences. Some critics are writing from a
specific perspective - religious, satirical, maternal, technical. Every one of
them is valid. Every one of them has something to say to someone in the
audience. Variety! There's a reason that is the most-read magazine in the movie
Read this interview:
Part One: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/04/26/054413.php
Part two: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/05/07/005853.php
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7 Questions for authors: Sara Voorhees
By Dolly Carlisle
September 28, 2007
Read the original: Click Here
"The Lumiere Affair: A Novel of Cannes," takes place at the Cannes Film Festival, an event that the author has visited many times as a working journalist.
Sara Voorhees is a syndicated film critic with a passion for movies. Always willing to explore new creative outlets, she wrote her first novel, "The Lumiere Affair: A Novel of Cannes," after several years of writing only non-fiction.
1. What was the inspiration for your most recent book?
It would probably surprise him to know he was somebody's muse, but Tom Hanks was the reason I wrote "The Lumière Affair." The moment of inspiration came about seven years ago, when I was interviewing him for The Green Mile. I'd spoken to him dozens of times before, but this time I asked him what he'd discovered over the years that made him such a great interview. He said he'd learned the secret: that I was there to get him to tell me things he'd never told anyone before, and he was there to make me feel like I'd done it.
It was an "of course!" moment, that made me think about the artifice of the interview process itself, which has spawned the culture of celebrity that is everywhere around us. We cannot escape it. I decided to write a mystery about that delicate balance between journalist and celebrity, from behind the curtain.
2. What's the most significant change you've made since turning 40?
I wish I could say that I suddenly devoted myself to feeding the hungry, but apart from quitting the movie press junket circuit a few years ago, (which made it possible for me to have a life during the week-ends) and apart from giving up carbohydrates (which relieved me of a lifelong craving for sweets) the single most significant change came from a comment my husband made when I accidently put permanent dye on my hair instead of a rinse, which turned my hair orange. I was embarrassed, miserable, frantic, inconsolable for several days. Until he said, "The problem isn't your hair. The problem is, you're defining yourself from the outside-in instead of the inside-out." That single comment shifted my priorities for good.
3. Tell us your thoughts about the Web.
Like everything else that carries any weight in our culture, I think the Web is a mixed blessing. It's certainly brought us closer together -- I have friends with whom I e-mail every morning, who I never used to talk to on a regular basis because they're so far away. Now I know what they're doing, and what they're thinking about on a given day. It's like having them in my living room. Except of course, that they're NOT in my living room. And the illusion that we're closer is pushing all of us farther away from each other.
There's a danger of our evolving into the society of the future that Isaac Isamov wrote about in one of his robot stories: where we've "evolved" to a point where everyone lives miles away from everyone else. We don't need to interact with salespersons -- we can buy food and clothing and anything else we need, electronically. We don't need to go to classes to learn things because we can learn everything from the internet. We don't need to leave our homes for entertainment because everything is available on the web. Maybe I've seen too many science fiction movies.
4. Where do you go when you want to get away?
I have to travel so often, away from my home in New Mexico, that I never really want to get away: I want to get home. But when traveling is a choice, I want to get away to my daughter in New York, or to my son and his family, (including my new grandson), or with friends -- wherever they are. In a perfect world I would have a pied à terre in a cozy little village outside of Paris, next door to a patisserie where I could buy chocolate croissants in the morning and nibble on them all day while I wrote the great American romantic mystery.
5. If you met a genie, what would be your first wish?
A few weeks ago, I had a discussion with friends -- including my 93 year old mother -- about what piece of wisdom we've learned in the last 25 years that we'd like to take back with us if we could be 30 again. Everyone said the same thing, although we all articulated it differently: all of us wished we could take back with us the knowledge that everything changes; that nothing stays the same, that -- as my heroine Nattie says in The Lumiere Affair -- "a happy ending depends on where you stop the story." I would wish to internalize that knowledge every single day.
6. What books are you reading?
I just finished Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and I'm in the middle of Patricia Volks' To My Dearest Friends, which my bookgroup is reading this month. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I prefer fiction over non-fiction, so for every three novels I read, I force myself to read one non-fiction book, so I'll have something to talk about at the dinner table.
7. Describe your next creative project.
I'm writing a novel about two very different memories of a love affair, from the man's perspective and from the woman's perspective. But to be honest, my most creative energy this month will be spent on the Halloween costume I'm making for my grandson.
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Voorhees' Mystery Novel Alights on Movie Mecca Cannes
By Ollie Reed Jr. Albuquerque Tribune
Friday, September 21, 2007
A Cannes caper
"The Lumiere Affair: A Novel of Cannes" by Sara Voorhees (Simon & Schuster, $24, 304 pages).
Read the original: Click here
Sara Voorhees said writing her first novel was not as challenging as others might imagine it would be.
Not that it was easy, mind you. It took her two years.
But Voorhees, a nationally syndicated film critic who has reviewed thousands of movies and interviewed scores of celebrities, had a leg up on other first-time novelists. She already knew how to tell a story.
"I'm a big believer in stories, which is why I love movies and plays," Voorhees, 61, said during a recent phone interview from her home in Corrales. "The stories we tell ourselves help us understand who we are.
"The same is true in writing a story about Tom Cruise or Meryl Streep. So I've had a lot of experience telling stories."
She said that in writing her novel, "The Lumiere Affair," she tried to imagine she knew the story of Natalie Conway, her main character, and just had to write it down.
"Natalie is partly me when I was younger and partly my daughter, who is 30 now," Voorhees said. "When I started the novel, I knew what happened at the end. I knew where Natalie was going, but I didn't know how she was going to get there.
"Toward the end, I would get up at 5 a.m. and get right out to the guesthouse, where I did my writing, because I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It was great fun."
The publishers describe "The Lumiere Affair" as as novel of Cannes, which it is. But Voorhees said it is also a mystery novel.
It's about Natalie, a Los Angeles film critic and celebrity journalist who gets an assignment to cover the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Natalie hopes the assignment will revive her flagging career. But she is apprehensive about returning to France, where she spent her early childhood and where her mother died in a strange incident.
Going back to France means stirring up painful memories and dealing with unanswered questions. For example, what connection did Natalie's mother have with an impetuous French director?
The novel's title has dual references. Lumiere means light in French and lightning plays a role in the novel's plot. But it also refers to the Lumiere brothers, who were pioneers in the French film industry.
Both France and movies play major roles in Voorhees' life.
She grew up in Denver and attended the University of Colorado, where she majored in French and French culture and minored in film. She studied in France her senior year.
She moved to New Mexico in 1972 when her physician husband, Dayton, went to work with the Indian Health Service in Crownpoint. In 1974 they moved to Corrales and have lived there since.
Her career as a movie reviewer stems from a play she wrote. The play, "Let the Flowers Fall," a mystery, was produced at the University of New Mexico and led to an invitation to review plays for KOB-TV. By 1981, she was reviewing movies for the TV station.
She was The Tribune's movie reviewer from 1990 to 2000, and as a syndicated critic she has written more than 4,000 movie reviews for TV and print, and she has interviewed most major figures in the Hollywood movie scene.
"Meryl Streep is my number one favorite," she said. "I would drop anything to go see her on the screen. But she has all the qualities of the kind of person you'd want to talk to if you ran into her at the post office."
Voorhees has covered the Cannes Film Festival five times.
She said the overall feeling that comes out of Cannes is one of exhaustion.
"As a journalist, you are there to work, and it feels like there are millions of movies to see," she said. "At any time, day or night, there are movies. It's like sitting at a table filled with all the things you want to eat but being too full to eat."
Voorhees said her years on the movie beat gave her an up-close look at how obsessed Americans are with celebrities.
"It's what makes us tolerate Britney Spears' shaved head on TV 24 hours a day while the real news about Iraq crawls along the bottom of the screen as if it were the weather," she said. "When I realized I was part of the machine that was turning us into that, it was a real shock."
Voorhees said she wanted to write a novel that showed what happens behind the curtain of celebrity culture we see on TV.
"And I couldn't think of a place more celebrity studded than Cannes," she said.
Voorhees is five chapters into the writing of her second novel.
So is it set in Hollywood, at the Sundance or Venice film festivals?
"Anything, I ever write is going to be influenced by movies," Voorhees said. "But movies are not an integral part of this novel as they were in the first."
She just wants it to be a good story.
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