Arts, Culture & Media

Interviewing Britney and Bono

Chuck Klosterman writes for the "New York Times Magazine," "GQ," and "The New Yorker." As a rock critic and a cultural commentator, Chuck Klosterman is a leading voice in the world of popular journalism. His latest book is "Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas." Klosterman has interviewed Val Kilmer, and Bono and talks about interviewing Britney Spears. He says that interviewing celebrities is a tricky business because there really isn't any up side in it for the star.

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"There really isn't any upside for the celebrity to take part in an interview.  They are interested, often, in having their picutres taken because that helps promote whatever product, be it a record or a movie that they are trying to get consumed by the public.  But, i think they are very aware of the fact that for the most part, it hurts them to be interesting."

Host Steve Paulsen asked Klosterman about his interview with Britney Spears -- "Who is the real Britney; is she the sex kitten or the girl next door?"

"At least when I interviewed Britney Spears, and I asked her, 'How do you reconcile this very clear dichotomy you have created between the hypersexual that comes across in all of your videos, and also in portraits of you as a person, and the fact that you kind of position yourself as just a nice girl from the south, sort of this person that got caught up in all of this.'  And her response what that not that she disagreed with this, or that yeah, she realized it and it's just part of the game; her response was like, 'I've never even considered this.'"

In his interview with Bono, Klosterman notes that the Irish rock superstar enjoys being interviewed.  "He would be the most self-aware celebrity that I have ever spoken with."

"If you interview a celebrity, and you talk to your friends about it, the question they always ask is, 'What is he really like?  What is Thom Yorke really like?  What is David Lee Roth really like?'  And what they are really, fundamentally asking is, the person that they are presenting themself as, how close is that to the person they are?  As an interviewer, you never really know."

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