Karen Valby is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly
and the author of one of our favorite books, Welcome to Utopia
, that is new in paperback. Perhaps because Gianna no doubt is blackmailing her, Karen has graciously answered our horrible questions. And since she's in the entertainment journalism business, Gianna was in hog heaven asking lots of pop culture questions. So here you go, some generally horrible questions for one of our favorites,
|We love Melissa McCarthy|
1. Don’t be shy…give us your Oscar predictions.
First of all, I should say that I'm going to be watching this year's Oscars at the Oakwood furnished apartment complex in Burbank with close to 100 child actors. True story. That said, I haven't seen movies like The Artist and The Iron Lady, as now that I'm a mother I find myself only having the emotional reserves to see films like Footloose and New Year's Eve, only one of which was a disgrace. That said, I did see The Descendants and quite liked it. Same with Hugo. I want Viola Davis to make me cry in her acceptance speech. What I would give for Melissa McCarthy to take home an Oscar, but I'll be pleased to see it go to her good pal Octavia Spencer instead.
[We think this may be the best answer we’ve ever gotten on any question...its loaded with excellent things.]
2. Best book to movie ever is…
The Black Stallion. To Kill a Mockingbird. Winter's Bone. The Hunger Games.
[An obvious ploy to get Gianna and Liz to read The Hunger Games.
Not gonna happen.]
3. One of our favorite articles you wrote for Entertainment Weekly was the interview you did with Melissa McCarthy. It made us wonder which other Melissa you may love. Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Leo, or of course…Melissa Rivers? Take your time we know this is tough.
(I'm betting good money that Gianna came up with this question and was halfway through a bottle of pinot when doing so. I also picture her being quite pleased with herself.) I'm going to go with Melissa Gilbert because a) half-pint and b) she used to be married to Bruce Boxleitner, a big childhood crush of mine. Scarecrow! Other childhood crushes: the young, black-haired George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life, Scott Baio circa Joanie Loves Chaachi, the bad guys in Sweet Valley High, Italians.
[You don’t know me Valby!!]
4. Favorite Housewife? – this question is dedicated to our friend Colleen.
Colleen, this conversation deserves a tasting menu dinner's worth of a conversation. I'm going to pick three in the meantime: Obviously Lisa Vanderpumpkin. Season 4 Atlanta's Phaedra Parks. And that dipsy doodle Sonja Morgan from New York. What do I wish more for my daughter by the way? That she not become a Real Housewife or that she not grow up to watch and write about them for a living?
[We don’t know what any of this means but we hope Colleen enjoys it.]
|This is Randy (with Ms. Lupone).|
He's no Liz.
5. Liz or Gianna?
[This is total b.s. Even Gianna knows the answer is always Liz! Ham is going to get an ass kicking…Italian style! In other words I will send someone else to do it.]
6. Book that changed your life?
This question feels cruel. So vulnerable-making, so much pressure! But I'll say Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? because it made growing up sound both terrifying and kind of fun-sexy.
[This is an obvious ploy to get Liz to read Are you There God
--not gonna happen.]
7. I’ve never read ____ and I am so ashamed.
Any Don DeLillo.
8. Coolest person you’ve ever met?
Hands down, Slash. I went on tour with his (pretty lousy) band Velvet Revolver for a week a couple of years ago. One night he brought me to the Hustler bus with him after a show. Those ladies were really impressed by my turtleneck and brown corduroy! Afterwards he took my hand to help me down the steps and we went and got ripped at a sports bar in Cincinnati. At closing time he went in the back to get high with the fry cook and then picked out a last song on the jukebox. U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For!" The next day at the airport the tour manager said the plane was short one first-class ticket. Well, of course that whiny pants Scott Weiland looked like he was about to pitch a fit and the creepy drummer wasn't going to fly with the riff raff. Duff's pancreas hurt so Slash volunteered to take the coach seat as long as he didn't have to check his guitar. He sat happily in the back row, his hair flattened against the window, and read a sci fi paperback. I love that guy.
[Gianna didn’t read past the part where you went on the Hustler bus.]
9. I have read ____ and I am so ashamed.
Rob Lowe's memoir.
[We heard that DeLillo pales in comparision]
|Chris Hoyt, BookPeople cutie.|
10. What are you reading now?
Ernie Cline's Ready Player One. Fun!
11. Liz and Gianna are going to start filming a reality show. Should we pull each other’s hair in the first episode or wait until sweeps week?
You need a love triangle, so I'd bring that BookPeople cutie Christopher Hoyt on board.
[Gianna: We will have to buy a ladder so Chris and I can kiss Liz. Liz: I resent this comment. For one thing, Chris is tall. Don't bring your short woman issues to this party.]
|Karen Valby. Good sport.|
12. A Book and a movie we should read/see right away?
We should all stay in tonight and rent Moonstruck. And then we should fall asleep rereading Brady Udall's enormous-hearted The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.
[This book happens to contain one of Gianna’s favorite opening lines: "If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head.”]
Thanks Karen! We'll understand if you try to distance yourself from us.