Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Rhys Ifans, it's not good to act the PRat

Outburst: Rhys Ifans
Outburst: Rhys Ifans

This week the actors' Liam Gallagher, Rhys Ifans, got bored and sweary during a newspaper interview, finally curtailing it prematurely by telling the journalist to f*** off.

The unseemly event triggered a discussion on the global publicity interview conveyor-belt which cranks into action with the launch of many mainstream films. These blurry, not fun merry-go-rounds (enter hotel suite – TICK – ask five questions TOCK – get hastily ushered out as the next flushed hack is whipped in) are organised by and for publicists.

They flex their muscles by presenting you with a list of 'banned' subjects (sex, family, addictions, duct-tape fetish), then hover over the interview like nippy little owls, swooping in when things go off-piste. I've done a few of these and yes, you want to tell the PR nannies to sod off. There are few experiences more excruciating, pointless and boring.

Of course it's not always this ridiculous and mutually demeaning – some stars are smart and self-possessed enough to do no-holds-barred interviews on their own. I can't fathom why a supposed rock 'n' roll hell-raiser like Ifans is checking with his publicist before answering a question (actually, scrap that Gallagher comparison, never seen Liam kowtow to a PR like that).

Why does any grown-up let another make them look so pathetic, like a brain-washed cow or a hope-deserted hostage? It's too late for them to lose the movie job.

If these millionaires have agreed to a humiliating marketing strategy and are afraid of being sued for non-compliance, they really need to ask themselves; what price dignity?

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