Feig on the Road: Dressed for Detroit

Travel Journal

Part two of Paul Feig's sartorial tour of the press junket.

Oct 2, 2013 | 04:00 PM

[Paul Feig's daily travel journal continues. To see what all the fuss is about, download "The Heat" in digital HD today, or pre-order it on DVD or Blu-Ray, available October 15.]

June 7th – Today, I'm flying to Detroit. Okay, no jokes. I grew up in Detroit, so I love the place. Save your snarky Detroit comments for someone who doesn't like Detroit. 'Cause I do. So there. I mean, look at all the delicious things that come out of Detroit! (A company called Shinola even makes watches there now!)

Yesterday went well in San Francisco. Met a lot of nice reporters from all parts of the media and they patiently listened to me prattle on for hours on end. Not in show biz? Well, no problem. Here's how a press junket basically works:

The studio books a bunch of rooms in a nice hotel and has all the reporters come over. In one room, a crew sets up lights and cameras and TV reporters come in and interview you on camera, one after the other. They each get about five minutes and at the end of their time, the crew hands them two memory chips, one from each of the cameras—one is footage of the reporter and the other is footage of me. Up until recently, they used to hand the reporters two big videotapes. Now, it's all about the chips. Seems way more civilized. And easier to lose. Thanks, digital age!

In another room, there's only a table and chairs. Print and internet reporters come in one at a time and interview me at the table. Sometimes radio people will come in with portable equipment and tape interviews with me that they'll run on the radio closer to the day my movie opens. And then finally, there are roundtable interviews, which means several reporters come in at once and ask me questions in more of an open forum.

So, that's it. Now you know what happens at a movie press junket. Yesterday, I talked to 24 reporters, as well as doing a live appearance on the radio station KFOG. I really like doing live radio, although I always have to remind myself not to swear. For being what I consider a fairly classy guy, I do seem to swear a lot. Not sure why. I guess I’m just an obscene sort of fellow. Is it not classy to swear? I think it depends on where you’re swearing and what you’re swearing about. If you're in a public place and you’re swearing up a storm, especially if there are families around, then no, you are not classy. Also, if you wear a t-shirt that has swear words written on it, you are definitely not classy. (I once saw a guy walking down the street wearing a t-shirt that read "Fuck Off, Bitch" in huge letters. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and deem that not classy.) But if you're in the right company and you're using the swearing for comedic effect or to help drive home a point ("I am so fucking aggravated with Bill"), then it's fine. After all, we're adults. Part of the fun of being an adult is swearing and boozing and all the other stuff you weren’t allowed to do when you were a kid. Just all things in moderation, as my dad used to say.

Suit worn: Dark grey Anderson & Sheppard three-piece. It’s basically the exact same suit as my dark blue one with the lapelled vest worn the previous day. It's my favorite suit design from Anderson & Sheppard and incredibly comfortable. I'll probably get a few more made in different fabrics and colors one of these days. They ain't cheap but, man, are they great.

Finished the day with a very nice dinner at the top-rated restaurant in San Francisco, a place called Gary Danko. The restaurant was completely booked but they were nice enough to let us eat in their small private dining room upstairs. The food was great and the service was very friendly and professional. I recommend it highly.

Off to the airport now. Hello, Detroit!
June 8th – Goodbye, Detroit!  A quick visit to my hometown but a fun one. I haven't been back in several years and so it was nice to touch the soil from whence I sprang. (Well, I didn't really spring from the soil but I did track a lot of it into the house when I was a kid.) Did a lot of local press and had a great screening for various radio contest winners, civilians and several old friends and family members. Got to hang out with the Sampsons, a family of eight kids I grew up next door to, and all their kids. Nothing to make you feel old like meeting the college-aged kids of friends you remember falling off the monkey bars in front of. But it was extremely nice to see them all.

Suit worn: A dark blue Prince of Wales Thom Sweeney three-piece. Thom Sweeney is a new bespoke house in London that has set up shop away from Savile Row. They're over on Gilbert Street, right next to the insanely crowded and touristy Oxford Street. Thom Sweeney is actually two guys—Thom Whiddett and Julian Sweeney. They specialize in very classic 1960s cuts—very slim trousers and closely tailored jackets.

They also make a horseshoe cut vest that they copied from something they saw Steve McQueen wearing in an old movie. I have that vest for one of the three suits they made for me and love the way it looks but also found it to be dangerous if you (meaning me) have any kind of paunch or are even on the verge of having one. Since the neckline of the vest dips down low in a horseshoe shape, it creates a bit of a band around your stomach. If you're slim and rocking a six pack (or are just skinny), you look like a million bucks in it. But my 50-year-old stomach isn't as hard as it once was. (All right, I can't keep up the ruse. My stomach was never hard. But I have gotten great over the years at sucking in my gut, the way old movie stars used to do when they took off their shirts. Ever seen Captain Kirk with his shirt off in old episodes of "Star Trek"? Yeah, that’s pretty much how I look when topless.)

And so I now have the Thom Sweeney guys make me more traditional vest cuts that have the higher vee. I like the cut of these because when I button my jacket, you can still see the vest. With the horseshoe, the vest is more of a pleasant hidden surprise that appears when you unbutton your jacket. Both looks are great. Just do an honest assessment of your abdominal region if you plan on getting a horseshoe. That’s your tailoring tip o' the day from your old pal Paul.

I'm currently on a plane flying to Chicago and looking forward to walking around this evening. Growing up, Chicago was my New York City. Having been raised in Detroit, the thought of Manhattan was more than my brain could process. But going to Chicago with my dad for his bi-annual business trips was like going to a magical land of adult pleasures. So, I've always had a soft spot for the place. I have tomorrow off from the press tour and then hit the ground running on Monday with press and events surrounding the Just For Laughs comedy festival, where we'll be doing a screening of "The Heat."

My mission for tonight is to avoid any and all deep dish pizza, in order to ensure the third piece of all my three-piece suits continue to fit. There's nothing like having your well-tailored vest turn into a torturous corset. I'd like to wear my horseshoe vest a few more times and so will go in search of salads and lo-cal martinis this evening. Viva la self-control!

Paul Feig

Read more of Paul Feig's travel journal, and check back tomorrow for the next installment. In the meantime, you can download "The Heat" in digital HD today or pre-order it on DVD or Blu-Ray, available October 15.

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