Friday, June 09, 2006

My First Dishfest: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt interviewed

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Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt — how did society get by before she floated gracefully to the top of the birthing tub and filled her famous lungs with that first breath of Namibian air? What lessons can she, as the baby of celebrities, teach us, as humans? What makes this teeny-weeny-Brangeleeney so bloody fascinating? Is it the name? I bet it’s the name. It’s the name, isn’t it? Yeah. OK, let’s just say it’s the name.

Since her humble $4 million birth, the headline-grabbing lovechild of extra-mega-jumbo-stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has captured the hearts of everybody who has room in theirs for another celebrity newborn.

We regular people have been content to survive on the mere scraps of information about her we can glean from the celebrity dirt television shows, newspaper pages, tabloid rags, gossip glossies, the Internet, radio and watercooler theorizing. But I know what you’re thinking: “It’s not enough! You’re still too interesting, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt! There’s still 15 minutes or so of daily media time you haven’t conquered yet!”

Consider it conquered. While the tabloids have been scrambling to get the first pictures of The Brangelina Baby published, I’ve been hard at work getting a few minutes of face time.

It cost me every Namibian dollar I’d been saving to buy her a first-class plane ticket, but I have scored the first Brangelina Baby interview. Now I know what Neil Armstrong felt like.


Q. Thanks for talking to me, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.

SNJP. Thank you, Dan. Always a pleasure.

Q. And thanks for coming all the way to Fall River. I know it’s quite a hike from Namibia...

SNJP. Not at all. I found it OK. Right off 24, like you said.

Q. First thing I wanted to ask. I know the tabloids have told me I should be giving a crap about your birth, but why should I — really? I mean, you look like pretty much any other baby I’ve seen.

SNJP. Wow! (laughs) They said you were tough. Well, I’d have to say that, for one thing, I was born out of pure celebrity love. So there’s that. It sort of makes me a kind of higher degree of creature, in a way. One that should be respected — feared.

Q. Right, right.

SNJP. I think every person is very special, though. It’s just that, with someone like me, rich, famous — you know.

Q. I do know!

SNJP. (hastily, getting a little bit defensive) I’m just saying it’s not every day that celebrities have babies together.

Q. Actually, movie stars produce offspring pretty habitually by my watch. But let’s talk about the star power magnitude of your parents. They’re probably the most famous couple since Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson — or, as we liked to say back then, Burloni.

SNJP. Who?

Q. (slapping forehead) Right — you’re like 2 weeks old.

SNJP. Listen, I don’t think of Brad and Mom just as bankable stars who can open up a picture to a guaranteed $70 million weekend. They’re nice people, too.

Q. That’s so down-to-earth. Let me ask you about your out-of-this-world name. Forget the sinking economy, immigration, health care, schools closing down for lack of funds, the war in Iraq — your goofy name is the biggest news in America today.

SNJP. What’s the war in Iraq?

Q. Um ... how to phrase this. Men faw down, go boom.

SNJP. Oh! (sips from a bottle of Fiji Water with a rubber nipple on the top) I’m bored.

Q. Do you like stuffed duckies?

SNJP. I do. Actually, I collect strange ones.

[I give her a stuffed ducky. She puts it in her mouth and holds it with her feet for several minutes, giggling and chirping. Eventually, she comes up for air.]

Q. Can I ask, what was it like to be a media sensation even before you were born? Did you read any of the Hollywood gossip pages in ... in there?

SNJP. Some. I’m not going to lie to you and say I don’t pay attention to what the media says, even if 99.9 percent of it is totally fake — just garbage those slimeballs write to drag good, decent people down in the mud. And I don’t know why some of these paparazzi don’t all get put in their cribs and left there until they behave.

Q. So — yes?

SNJP. (eating her foot) Hmm?

Q. What sort of projects can we as a democratic nation look forward to from The Brangelina Baby? You know what would be cool? If you guys did a sequel to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” except it could be “Mr. and Mrs. Smith and a Little Lady,” with you in there. I’m making a pitch here, so I expect some money and co-writing credit if it works out.

SNJP. No, that movie was poopy.

Q. Yeah, you’re right. Anyway, what’s in the pipeline?

SNJP. I’d like to concentrate right now on learning to walk — I think that would help my acting career should I go that way, and there’s a great coach Brad and Mom know. Also, if I could not poop myself eight times a day, that would be fantastic. But more than anything, I want to help people.

Q. (tears welling up) Such a brave little girl.

SNJP. One thing I learned when I was growing up in Namibia — the world is bigger than Tinseltown. Be a big tipper when you visit poor countries, Mom says. And when you go to the UN to ask for millions in government aid, dress nicely or they’ll think you’re just there to bank on your fame. (spits up baby food junk on her Elmo bib — I wipe it off her chin) After that, I’ll be working on my first pop single, “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Q. That’s a classic I’m sure you can have a lot of fun with. So, inquiring minds want to know — are you seeing anyone?

SNJP. (pause) Well, I’m seeing you right now, here in front of me.

[I hide my face in my hands.]

SNJP. Aaaah! Where’d he go? I’m confused and tired! Waaah!

Q. [uncovering my face] Peekaboo!

SNJP. (relieved) There you are! Kind of startled me, dropping off the planet like that and all.

[I hide my face again.]

SNJP. Help! Somebody! He vanished again! I’m alone! My perception of reality is underdeveloped!

Q. [uncovering my face] Peekaboo!

SNJP. Whoa! You came back! How’s that work? (claps her hands) Again!

Q. No more. Dan’s tired.

SNJP. Again! Again!

Q. No — my, uh ... my hands are broken.

SNJP. Again again again! (crying) Waaaaah!

[I indulge Shiloh for several minutes of peekaboo until her publicist enters and puts her in a kangaroo sling for a nap.]

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