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The dirt under the red carpet

Notice how awkward those preshow interviews are? An insider explains what’s happening behind the scenes on the red carpet.

We’ve finally arrived at the crown jewel of awards season:?the Oscars. And if there’s one thing that’s become obvious after watching the Golden Globes, SAG awards and Grammys, it’s that the red carpet interviews have become more excruciatingly awkward than ever.

Whether it’s Giuliana Rancic talking fertility, Alexa Chung abruptly ending her interview with Robert Pattinson or Ryan Seacrest asking an annoyed Angelina Jolie what she fed her kids for breakfast, these red carpet moments are becoming just as memorable as the acceptance speeches. Are the presenters really that bad or is something else going on?

One insider who has run a number of red carpet press lines, K. Pearson Brown, exposed the blood-and-guts carnage of the pre-show, saying, “The scrambling that goes on behind the scenes plays into the awkward moments that end up on live TV. Celebs learn where they rank when their interviews are cut short and they are shuffled aside for a bigger-name guest,” adds Brown, the director at Steinreich Communications in L.A.

Not only does pecking order become brutally obvious, but the hosts also have another challenge unseen by the audience.

“On-air hosts are often getting instructions from a director in a control booth telling them gossip on the stars in their earpieces. Hosts are trying to listen and talk at the same time,” Brown explains.

Another opportunity for red carpet discomfort? “The unidentified guest [of a celebrity being interviewed] has to smile and be ignored,” says Harry Medved, head of public relations for entertainment website Fandango. “‘Avatar’ director James Cameron [is often] accompanied by actress Suzy Amis, who was rarely identified by red carpet interviewers.”

Red carpet faux pas

K. Pearson Brown gossips about red carpet gaffes she has witnessed firsthand:
“I can remember one particular high-profile Latin star who was with his wife, also a big star, and he wouldn’t budge from this one tiny cable show interviewer because she had on a very low-cut dress and he evidently liked the view. The other media waiting their turn were very frustrated.”

“Also, there was one B-list actress who is married to a major A-lister whom the media had to kowtow to in order to keep in the good graces of her hus­band. She snubbed media like she was the queen of England. Every-one had to grin and bear it or risk getting on the bad side of the A-lister.”

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