The summer issue of Written By magazine is out, and the cover story is about my involvement with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
First the good news. The story by Mark Olsen is terrific, everything I could have hoped for. Often with reporters, you hold back a bit, because you’re nervous about being misquoted or misrepresented. But I told Mark the truth, and he put it in context really well. I’m much obliged.
The bad news: Counting the cover, there’s four photos of me, only one of which doesn’t make me shudder. The photographer, Mark Hanauer, did his best. I can’t fault him. But I don’t know if any magazine story can withstand four photos of a screenwriter.
Part of the trouble was the “wacky” mandate. The magazine wanted big colors, with swirls of candy and chocolate. I was a good sport and ate the candy bar, even though in the back of my head, a voice was saying, this is not going to turn out well.
I’ll listen to that voice more in the future.
The other inescapable fact is that I’m not a model. As I’ve gotten older, my vanity has receded to the point where I really don’t mind having my picture taken. Not giving a shit makes the process much easier. It doesn’t, however, guarantee good results.
For the record, the one photo in the article I like is page 14-15, with me standing beside the lollipops. It perfectly illustrates what I’ve learned about having my picture taken: distance is my friend.