Hugh Grant and the Oscars Red Carpet Interview

Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant present the Oscar for Production Design during the live ABC telecast of the 95th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023 (Blaine Ohigashi / ©A.M.P.A.S.).

The recent Oscars Red Carpet interview with Hugh Grant makes the most compelling case to return journalists to the red carpet.

Watching the red carpet interview with Grant was like watching a comedian die rather quickly on stage. On one hand, Brits have a different sense and style of humor than Americans. Two, Grant clearly wasn’t up for any nonsense. I mean, you have model Ashley Graham asking him about his cameo in Glass Onion. The actor is starring in not one but two films in March and she’s asking him about a film that he’s barely even in! Where are the questions about reuniting with Four Weddings and a Funeral co-star Andie MacDowell to present an Oscar? That’s an immediate lost opportunity.

If you did not have an opportunity to watch the video yet, here it is:

Instead of discussing a cameo in Glass Onion, Graham could have asked about Grant appearing in both Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre or Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Was she assigned Grant ahead of time? Or is this a case of improvising on the spot? If it is the latter, scroll through IMDb really quick before asking questions. It’s what I do prior to every interview I conduct. Most of the time, I choose to focus on the upcoming film if it’s for a new release. After getting all of my content, I’ll ask about other things during their career. It really comes down to interview length and publicist guidelines. I’m not the type of journalist to ask questions just to make something go viral. I guess this speaks to the differences between journalists and social media influencers.

While I’m at it, if the Oscars could avoid airing on Selection Sunday going forward, that would be great. ABC needs to take advantage of the journalists already working for their stations. The good news is that the pre-show (On The Red Carpet Live: Countdown to Oscars 95) before the pre-show was in good hands. Per ABC:

ABC News Live Prime anchor and World News Tonight weekend anchor Linsey Davis and Good Morning America weekend co-anchor and World News Tonight weekend anchor Whit Johnson will host the red-carpet special at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, featuring interviews with Oscar nominees and previewing the big night. Davis and Johnson will be joined by ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly, ESPN’s Andscape senior entertainment reporter and ABC News contributor Kelley Carter and Hollywood insiders, including Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister and Clayton Davis, and celebrity stylist Joe Zee.

That’s how it should be. So why did they choose not to carry this over into the next portion of the evening? Instead, Countdown to the Oscars was hosted by model Ashley Graham, actor Vanessa Hudgens (second hosting stint), and multihyphenate Lilly Singh. Joining them for the 90-minute special were content creator Reece Feldman as a backstage correspondent and Rocsi Diaz as the correspondent for the Academy’s member viewing party in New York.

I rarely do red carpets at film festivals because there is no guarantee of coverage. You might find yourself in a group with other journalists and are lucky if you get a question or two. Oscar Sunday is the biggest night for Hollywood. This is an opportunity for ABC to have working journalists as a part of the evening rather than hiring red carpet hosts who are only there because of their social media numbers.

If the Oscars producers want to avoid this type of interview going forward, they need to bring journalists back to the red carpet.

The 96th Oscars will air next year on ABC.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.