Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why is Edith Zimmerman getting a hard time for hanging out with Captain America?

There are three reasons why I'm a fan of movie star Chris Evans.
  • First, he's playing Captain America this summer – who is one of my favorite superheroes.
  • Second, since I got into lifting weights, his is the program I've been following. You can't blame me: the guy got positively ripped to play ol' Cap.
  • Third, he shares the name with my redheaded nemesis – the radio presenter everybody in England used to say I looked like. These days, whenever anybody compares me to Chris Evans, I can whip up a picture of the Hollywood hunk and say, with a wink, "Gee, thanks – although I don't see the resemblance myself!"
Anyway. Evans is on my radar, which is why I was interested to read the interview with him in the July edition of GQ magazine.

Chris Evans apparently drinks liter-sized steins of Sam Adams. This makes him awesome.

American Marvel, by Edith Zimmerman, was far from the typical puff piece. Instead, it followed our hapless author as she inadvertently went on a drunken date with the 30-year-old movie star (instead of interviewing him.)

I enjoyed the article. It was fluently written, entertaining and told us a lot more about the movie star than you'd learn in a conventional interview in the lobby of some luxury hotel.

Unfortunately, it seems my appreciation of the article isn't the consensus. On Twitter and beyond, a lot of people are criticizing Zimmerman for what she wrote:
  • "bask in the idiocy of Edith Zimmerman and her blog-core writing style" wrote @insuhyoon
  • "If this were 1999, Edith Zimmerman would have been fired for this behavior. Astonishing lack of professionalism" wrote @drmabuse
  • "Oh geez. Edith Zimmerman's article on Chris Evans for #GQ is an embarrassment" opinions @Samantahhh
Personally, I think they can all go and stick it.


Aside from being a wildly entertaining writer, Edith Zimmerman is also pretty darn cute.

It's pretty obvious that 99% of this criticism is fueled by jealousy and the rest by a startlingly unrealistic expectation of what modern journalism is supposed to be.

[How come its always the least successful writers who have the most dictatorial opinion about how articles 'should' be written? - Editorial Bear]

You get the impression that most of these critics feel they'd have written a far better piece on Evans if they'd been given the opportunity to interview him (neatly ignoring the fact that Edith Zimmerman no doubt worked her ass off to be "given" that opportunity in the first place.)

But they'd be dead wrong. Zimmerman's two objectives were to write a profile of Chris Evans that didn't just repeat the same old trite we can read anywhere, and to do so in an entertaining style. She achieved both of these with aplomb - and I'm confident none of her critics could have come close.

Where else would you have been able to read about drinking beer, bumming smokes and crashing out in the house of a Hollywood A-lister? How many other interviews include being introduced to the subject's mother, or crawling out of their living room window?

As the Captain America blockbuster hits mega screens across America, you'll find no shortage of interviews with Chris Evans – many written by jealous hacks like the ones criticizing the GQ article. However, I guarantee that none of those articles will ever be as revealing as Edith Zimmerman's alcohol-fueled adventures playing Captain America's squiffy sidekick.

You go, girl. I'll be looking forward to reading more from you soon.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

You are right. The interview is awesome...this is the sort of thing that feels good, friendly...and it's going to net the man more fans. Because interviews aren't for fans...they are for people who don't know to care about you.

also, hello, long time no see!

Jermzzzy said...

I just didn't like how she overplayed everything which happened- the reality was she interviewed him at a bar, they made small talk, he offhandedly said she could stop by his birthday if she wanted, she got shitfaced in front of his friends and left. What we got were 4 pages of fabricated reciprocation from him. I highly doubt the events of her interview were as dramatic to Chris as they were to her.

Also, it's awfully hard to take someone seriously when they put themselves on a lower status than the person they are interviewing by objectifying them. The story came off less about Chris and more about herself. She sounds like a very fun lady, but I bought the magazine for Chris.

Jermzzzy said...

I just didn't like how she overplayed everything which happened- the reality was she interviewed him at a bar, they made small talk, he offhandedly said she could stop by his birthday if she wanted, she got shitfaced in front of his friends and left. What we got were 4 pages of fabricated reciprocation from him. I highly doubt the events of her interview were as dramatic to Chris as they were to her.

Also, it's awfully hard to take someone seriously when they put themselves on a lower status than the person they are interviewing by objectifying them. The story came off less about Chris and more about herself. She sounds like a very fun lady, but I bought the magazine for Chris.

Roland Hulme said...

Well, I can't really argue with you for that. I read the article for the Chris Evans stuff and it was, as you said, quite significantly Edith heavy!