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Adrian Grenier Takes Aim
Written by: Kelly Calabrese
At Sundance 2011, Entourage star Adrian Grenier posed for pictures as usual - but his reason for being there had to do with the exact opposite action… continuing to turn that camera on the paparazzi that usually do the snapping.
“I am a curious and philosophical person,” shares Adrian Grenier who directed a documentary that explores the relationship between society and celebrity, titled “Teenage Paparazzo” that premiered at last year's Sundance.
In “Teenage Paparazzo,” Adrian Grenier shared the story of 14-year old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk who he met on the streets of Los Angeles. The fast talking, camera wielding youngster inspired Adrian to better understand the lifestyle of paparazzi and explore the “responsibility of media and the first amendment.”
Speaking with psychologists and historians to celebrities (including Matt Damon, Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg), as well as critics, fans, bloggers, publishers and tabloid writers – Adrian Grenier sought to explore every side of the fine line between reporting on a story versus intruding in an actor's personal life.
Personally, Adrian found that “life imitated art” when creating the documentary. To dig deeper into how this documentary affected Adrian's life, NYCastings met up with him in Park City, as part of our own paparazzo action …
Q & A with actor/director Adrian Grenier.
Q: What draws you to make a film, like “Teenage Paparazzo”?
I always sit and ponder the world and stare outside my proverbial window. I ask a lot of questions and use film as a method to answer those questions – to seek, collect and organize thoughts so I can better understand the world around me.
Q: What message did you want to get across with Teenage Paparazzo?
The message of “Teenage Paparazzo” is about media, the next generation and how to use the first amendment responsibly.
Q: You considered yourself a mentor to the young Paparazzo. Do you have any mentors?
Growing up without a father, I realized that mentors are not necessarily a biological parent. Mentors are everywhere if you look for them. I have many. And I think it is important to become one if you can.
Q: What film has influenced you?
“F is for Fakes” by Orson Welles. It was definitely what inspired Teenage Paprazzo because it blurs the lines of fiction and reality; what is art. I've learned a lot from art imitating life.
Q: What advice would you hand down to aspiring filmmakers/actors?
One thing that I work by, is the reality that nothing turns out how you imagine. Every time you have a vision about something and put it out into the world it never comes out exactly the way you wanted. So important words to live by is to embrace whatever does come out even if it is not what you imagined because there is a lot of wisdom that can be found in mistakes or what you didn't expect in a creation.
Q: What do you consider your big break?
I was very rebellious growing up and actually resisted a lot of opportunities that I had. Then I got to an age that I realized I better do something quick and two things happened simultaneously. I got a role in an indie film called “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole” and a bigger Hollywood film called “Drive Me Crazy.” I got to go to Sundance with Sebastian Cole and enjoy the indie cred of that experience. And, simultaneously, “Drive Me Crazy” put me on the radar of Hollywood. I was able to indulge the Hollywood machine while keeping it real.
Q: What are the next steps for Teenage Paparazzo?
Right now, we are embarking on an exciting journey, in continuation of Teenage Paparazzo in a college tour. We will land in over one hundred colleges to present the film as an educational curriculum that reflects on the things in the movie. This is very exciting to me because the idea of the film is a lot about mentorship. It is about my mentorship of the teenage paparazzi and how teachers can mentor us as a society. So, I thought it was important to have the film live beyond what it was. It is not enough to just teach, you have to encourage the exchange of ideas. That is the most rewarding part of the process, being able to encourage kids.
Q: You have been building up the “Teenage Paparazzo” website. Why?
I've been creating a lot of content for the web because it is important to use technology to exchange information.
Q: On another note - any chance of an Entourage Movie?
That is what we are all hoping for!
For more information on “Teenage Paparazzo” visit: www.teenagepaparazzo.com
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