November 15, 2006

And Here's To You, Mrs. Russo During high school, I appeared as somewhat of a roundtable panelist on a show for teens on an independent, Manhattan-based network that aired throughout the tri-state area. As you can imagine, there was plenty of dead air and B List celebrities, as well as segment producers in their thirties far off base in their knowledge of teenagers. Somehow, however, the show eventually improved. Before long, the show's guests became less B and more B+, and I was soon assigned a chunk of the "entertainment reporting" (if you could call it that) when I was sent to cover several movie junkets. Decked out in only the finest Old Navy tee shirt, torn jeans, and old Sauconys (this theme will return later), I spent one Sunday afternoon at a hotel on East Side where interviews were being held with the cast of the Rocky and Bullwinkle remake. Understandably, Robert De Niro, clearly having made a grave mistake after signing on to play The Fearless Leader, was a no-show (as were Jonathan Winters, Janeane Garofalo, and Carl Reiner). Present, however, were Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, and director Des McAnuff. (Did someone say Des McAnuff? Oh my God, GET THE CAMERA!) After speaking with the very friendly Alexander and nearly falling asleep in front of McAnuff (seriously, I had to bite my inner lips to keep from yawning because, really, what is there to ask the director of a Rocky and Bullwinkle remake?), all that was left was meeting Rene Russo. Not knowing too much about Russo besides her being both ...pretty... and in a movie about a monkey with Pee Wee Herman, I didn't expect to encounter anything out of the ordinary. Oh, how I misjudged that one... Aside from my parents, there was no one who witnessed the raw footage without chiming in, "Rene Russo wanted to jump your bones!" And when a closeted 'mo is told that a hot lady wants to have sex with him, he dare not respond any other way than with a delightfully awkward nod of approval (of course, after I came out, the response quickly changed to the excuse that I was "saving myself" for Rue McLanahan). I realize now that, while being very personable and comforting to a bumbling teenager like myself, Russo was enjoyably inappropriate, as well. With full knowledge that the interview was being filmed for essentially a kids' show, she barreled through themes of anorexia, depression, self-hatred, paternal absence, and sexual perversions in an emotional obstacle course like a star quarterback. The best moment of all was not, mind you, the orgasm faces... the touching of my leg... or the glassy-eyed stare [/longing glances?] employed while discussing an intense childhood crush on an animated mouse... No, the kicker came at the final moment of our interview, when Rene Russo's retort to my admittance of dressing too poorly for a movie junket was that I needn't complain, as she, herself, was wearing "ripped underwear." In other words, she was all, "I'm going to say, 'Imagine your parents fucking' so fast that you're going to have to visualize it, but instead of 'your parents fucking,' imagine my pussy peeking through from behind tattered silk panties!" All of a sudden, Des McAnuff's crotch sounded really appetizing.

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