Filipino columnist’s interview with Anne Hathaway draws mixed reactions online


Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables.”

MANILA, Philippines—Like wildfire, the recent “controversial” interview of Filipino entertainment editor-journalist Ricky Lo with “Les Miserables” female lead, Anne Hathaway that has been circulating on social networking sites drew mixed reactions among netizens and local celebrities.

Though Hathaway was seen smiling and laughing all throughout, she appeared irritated by a few questions of the veteran show-biz columnist.

Lo asked how did she lose weight for the role and gain it back again, Hathaway declined to answer, saying it’s something personal.

Hathaway plays Fantine, the ill-fated character of a poor, pretty innocent woman who becomes a prostitute.

Hathaway’s mother Kathleen Ann “Kate” McCauley played the role in the original “Les Miserables” cast that was toured in the United States. Hathaway cited in several interviews how she learned a lot from her mom.

Lo asked if Hathaway got some pointers from her mother, she answered with a straight “No.”

When Lo asked her how she was able to play the role of a poor woman when she is “perceived to have lived a life of luxury and privilege,” Hathaway declined again, citing it’s “very personal.”

The role was also played by Lea Salonga in 2010 for the 25th Anniversary of “Les Miserables”.

In the interview, Lo showed an SMS from Salonga that apparently said something about Salonga’s eagerness to see the movie.  Hathaway reacted positively, seemingly flattered and was all smiles saying, “I adore her.”

But when Lo asked for a message to Salonga, “who is looking forward to meet you in person” Hathaway declined again, saying, “We’ve already talk about that.”

At the end of the more than four-minute interview, Lo asked Hathaway to invite her Filipino fans to see the movie.
The still-smiling Hathaway said, “Why don’t you invite them, they’d rather hear it from you.”

While many netizens lambast Lo for what they described as a rather “disgraceful interview” with general questions that seemed more appropriate to lesser-known celebrities, Lo’s colleagues in the industry defended him, citing his long stint in entertainment journalism.

Lo has been entertainment editor and columnist of a national newspaper for decades. He is also co-host of “Startalk,” a Saturday entertainment talk show on GMA7, on which his live interviews are usually shown.

Jim Paredes in a Facebook thread described the interview as “a big cultural gap.”

Ruffa Gutierrez in her Twitter account posted the link, saying “She (Hathaway) suddenly switched to ‘bitchiness’.”

A theater actor posted: “When you interview an actor, most especially someone really big, you ask about the craft, the production process. Don’t ask personal questions, unless you are Oprah. Avoid intrigues. And most especially, it is not a time to flaunt who you ‘know’ and compare them with the subject. Otherwise, the interview will turn out bad. Really bad. Even embarrassing.”

Earlier links to the said interview have been deleted though more have been posted again with some parodies highlighting Lo’s “gaffes.”

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  • Guy Quezon City

    There’s a disconnect between offering the excuse that Lo wasn’t prepared to do the interview and the demand that he be respected because he is a veteran in the industry.  I would EXPECT a seasoned columnist of his stature to be fully prepared when conducting such an important interview.  While I generally agree with Jim Paredes’ observation that it was a “big cultural gap”, I think it’s rather convenient, if not calculated to featherbed Lo’s faux pas. I hope this becomes a cautionary tale of sorts.  I’m all for Filipino Pride, and I cringe when we fumble or go the “pwede na yan” route, or worse, when we make excuses and portray ourselves as victims. Call a spade a spade.  He f*cked up.

  • be_halogirl

    on david letterman show, she was asked about 25 lbs loss.

    • junzed

      Good observation, however — first of all Lo is no Letterman (a world class Hollywood comedian and celebrity doing his internationally watched nightly iconic show); second, as such his intention and purpose was to draw laughs in light banter as opposed to serious interview. Third, the question is not the issue rather it is the manner, the style if you will, or the approach to the question notwithstanding the demeanor of Lo, that did him in. 

    • Edward

      David Letterman asked Anne Hathaway about the weight loss, after talking to her on air for seven minutes. How long was Ricky Lo talking to Anne Hathaway before he asked the weight loss subject? Oh wait…. that was Ricky Lo’s first question. How long did it take MannyTheMovieGuy, to ask the weight loss subject? Definitely, not as a first question. Back to David Letterman, despite establishing the rapport, Anne Hathaway still refused to answer the question. That is even with David Letterman asking. If Ricky Lo have searched the youtube for clips of interviews on Anne Hathaway regarding Les Miserables, maybe Ricky Lo will see a pattern of Anne Hathaway’s refusal to answer that question. If everyone here, reviews past interviews of Ricky Lo with Hollywood personalities, maybe you will see a pattern too. Time and time again, his interviews are below par, specially coming from someone who is supposed to be a veteran already in this field. No improvement at all.

  • Guy Quezon City

    I just got done watching Mannythemovieguy’s interview and how Anne totally interacted with him. He kept her engaged which helped lower her guard. Sure there were a lot of the same “cultural gaps” that Jim Paredes observed, i.e. addressing her as “Miss Anne”, the bowing of the head in deferrence, the obtuse laugh, etc., but he leveraged these and succeeded in getting a lot of insight given the very limited time allotted the cattle call of interviewers.

    • karma_chameleon

      yung tawa ni ricky medyo “polite” na dun sa video, pero kapag mas mababa ang tingin nya sa tao mas nakaka-insulto pa yung tawa nya.

  • karma_chameleon

    “Later on in his article, Lo said that if given the chance, he would love to interview Hathaway again but with a slight revision of his questions.
    He said he will remember to ask only questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” or, “What’s your favorite pet?” and refrain from asking “personal” questions like, “What did you have for breakfast today?” ”
    RICKY: What is your favorite color?
    ANNE: Rrrrrred! *soprano* and blaaaaackkkk! *alto*
    RICKY: What did you have for breakfast today?
    ANNE: stol(l)en bread *still in a sing-song voice*
    RICKY: What is your lucky number?
    ANNE: It’s two fourrrrr six oh ooooone! *still singing*

  • karma_chameleon

    hulaan ko mga nasa notes nya: mga accomplishments/achievements ni lea salonga.

  • karma_chameleon

    lola pa

  • karma_chameleon

    His question about her perceived life of luxury smacks dab of her ex boyfriend’s financial scam issue. That’s why anne dodged that luxury question.

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