Friday, December 20, 2013

10 of my favorite celebrity interviews from 2013

While Charlotte isn’t exactly L.A. or New York, we do attract a fair amount of famous folks for one reason or another. And sometimes, they actually take time out of their busy schedules to talk with reporters like me.

Here’s a look back at 10 memorable celebrity interviews I landed in 2013, along with the quotes that stood out most to me.

10. Nick Jonas, who was in the Charlotte area last spring filming the upcoming thriller “Careful What You Wish For.” Quotable: “It’s been tough to venture out too much, just because it gets a little crazy around here. But I have my security guy with me, and he helps me navigate around pretty easily. It’s one of those things. You just have to play it by ear and make sure that everyone’s safe.”

9. Nicholas Sparks, N.C.-based author of “Safe Haven,” which was released in film version in February. Quotable: “I cried at ‘Old Yeller.’ Man, I was so sad when he had to shoot his dog. Still gets me. And ‘Toy Story 3,’ that moved me. … My son was heading off to college, Andy’s heading off to college – can’t help but get a little choked up at that.”

8. N.C. native Kellie Pickler, promoting her new CD “The Woman I Am,” which dropped in November. Quotable: “I haven’t had a chance to go home to Albemarle and do anything musically there – that would be great. Not many places to perform in Albemarle, though. We’ll have to find a field or something and set up a truck bed there. I don’t know. Get some hay bales ...”

Photo by David T. Foster/The Charlotte Observer

7. Kevin James, who did stand-up at Belk Theater in May. Quotable: “Believe me, my movies aren’t (my kids’) favorites. It’s Despicable Me,’ it’s all these other animated movies. They haven’t locked into one of mine. Right now Steve Carell’s winning in my house.”

6. Ke$ha, who performed in concert at Uptown Amphitheatre in August. Quotable: “I in the past have been known to jump off stage and kiss people on the mouth if they’re yawning. ... I feel like it’s an environment where everybody’s there for the same common goal, which is to completely go crazy, sans judgment. And hopefully in the end leave covered with glitter.”

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5. Michael Bublé, who performed in concert at Time Warner Cable Arena in October. Quotable: “It’s not just about what I wear, it’s the whole presentation. I’m playing places where there was a hockey game the night before. I want this place to be transformed, and for everything to be dressed up to where it looks like you’re walking into a beautiful place, about to have a beautiful night, and not some cold, stinky hockey arena.”

4. NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, during a break from shooting a GoDaddy ad at a south Charlotte fitness club: “This workout isn’t completely dissimilar to what I do. It’s just about intensity and keeping that heart rate up, and moving, moving, moving – which is what’s going to make us all skinny like we want to be.”

3. Tracy Morgan, who did stand-up at The Fillmore in June. Quotable: “Critics don’t get my show because they are looking for Tracy Jordan. I don’t listen to critics. After every show, I’m getting standing ovations. That’s what matters to me. Not somebody that comes to my show with intent. I don’t care about that. Critics, they ain’t nothing. Let me see you get up and do standup for an hour and a half. If I wasn’t funny, I wouldn’t be invited to Charlotte.”

2. Claire Danes, while walking the red carpet at a “Homeland” premiere event in Washington, D.C., in September. Quotable: “Coming from New York City, (Charlotte’s) got a much more gentle, forgiving pace. People are incredibly kind and welcoming.”

Photo by Théoden Janes/The Charlotte Observer

1. Tom Hanks, during a press event to promote “Captain Phillips” in Atlanta. Quotable: “I had to go full-bore for 12 straight hours. It was uncontrollable. It never stopped. If I didn't put 110 percent of my effort into every single moment we ran the camera, the movie would not have been as good – and that movie was Turner & Hooch. I swear to God. Working with that dog... almost killed me.”