Feig on the Road: Crossing the Pond
Part five of Paul Feig's sartorial tour of the press junket.
[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 11th – I'm on a plane. (Wasn't that a Nirvana song? I'm pretty sure it was.) Had a good press day in Chicago and actually got to do a few longer interviews mixed in with the shorter sound bite-ish ones. I enjoy the longer interviews because it gives you a chance to get a bit more specific in your answers and for the reporters to ask you some different questions from the ones you usually get asked. ("How was it working with the girls?" "What was the funniest thing that happened on the set?" "Is there going to be another 'Bridesmaids'?" All good and legitimate questions, but you definitely fall into a pattern of giving the same answer over and over again. That's what happens as you do press. You start to hone your standard answers the same way you set your routines when you're a standup comedian. It makes you more efficient, but it also makes you less spontaneous and, I fear, a bit dull.) And trust me, I can prattle on endlessly in response to any question. I sometimes see regret in a reporter's eye that he or she asked me a question that sent me into some long-winded diatribe. The vision of these reporters sitting with their voice recorders back in their offices wading through my lengthy answers while eyeballing the clocks that tick down toward their deadline fills me with shame. But it doesn't mean I try to make my answers any shorter.
Looking forward to London. They're putting us up at Claridge's, which is pretty much my favorite hotel in the world. It's just all old-timey English elegance and class. It also costs a fortune to stay there, which is why I'm only there when someone else is footing the bill. Thanks, Fox!
Going to try and sleep now. I travel internationally a lot and so have my ways to fight jet lag. The main one is to simply make sure you get some sort of sleep on the plane so that you mentally have a separation between the days. I used to stay up the entire time so that when I'd land in London, even though it was morning, it was still yesterday in my head and then I had a full day to get through before I could sleep, which always resulted me in me falling asleep during dinner with friends as if I was somebody's elderly grandfather. And sleeping during the day once you land is a disaster. Your body never adjusts to its new time zone and so you're basically fucked for the first week of your trip. So, desperate avoid that fate, I'm going to try and get some sleep. I'll report in from London.
June 12th – Nice to be here. Was able to get just enough sleep on the plane to feel normal. Our room at Claridge's is a renovated art deco suite and it's fantastic. Lots of closet space too, which is nice because of all my ... well, you know.
Having dinner at Locanda Locatelli, which is a great modern Italian restaurant. But before that, we'll be having drinks with Katie Dippold, the writer of "The Heat," at my favorite bar in the world, the Duke's Hotel bar. They are famous for being the place Ian Fleming discovered the martini. But to me, they're most famous because I think they make the world's greatest martini. How do they do that?
First of all, the bartender is Alessandro Palazzi and he's been making martinis at Duke's for quite a while. When you order one, Alessandro wheels a wooden drinks cart from 1908 over to your table, then brings out a bottle of frozen gin and a frozen martini glass. He puts two quick shots of house-made vermouth into the glass, swirls it around and then shakes it out onto the carpet with a flourish. Then he pours in the frozen gin, peels a generous twist of lemon zest from a huge Italian lemon he has shipped in from Sicily. He squeezes the twist over the martini, spraying its surface with lemon oil, then sweeps the twist around the edge of the glass to make sure the oil is covering any possible surface your lips may come in contact with. Then he drops the twist in and serves it to you with a bowl of amazing olives from Puglia, Italy.
Some people, misguided as they are, don't like this way of doing a martini. The gin never touches ice and so it remains the exact same strength it would be if you chugged it directly from the bottle. Some people find this much too strong. Even James Bond, for all his cool, asked for his martinis to be shaken and not stirred, which just creates a floe of ice chips and waters down the martini so much you might as well just dump some club soda in there while you're at it. But for me, Alessandro's way is the best. If the gin is good, I want to taste it. Alessandro freezes many brands of gin but always pours Berry Bros. Number 3 when he makes mine. It's strong and flavorful and very hard to find in the United States. A few good stores have begun to carry it, like Wally's in West L.A., and if you like gin, I recommend you pick up a bottle. It's gin-tastic!
Suit about to be worn: my dark blue Anderson and Sheppard three-piece again. Can't drink a great martini dressed like a slob! —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.