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Talking with Peter Sarsgaard

So, what’s it like interviewing celebrities? That’s a question I’ve been asked periodically for years, dating back to my days at the Los Angeles Times. More than 20 reporters exclusively covered the film, television and music industries and the people who populated them. Then, as now, my answer is the same: It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, unlike interviewing people who aren’t in the public eye, there’s a lot of resource material floating around, because celebrities are interviewed a lot. That’s a drawback as well, since they’ve been asked the same questions a million times, it takes some work to find discussion areas that won’t make their eyes glaze over.

Writing for Sky has given me a great opportunity to avoid those eye-glazing moments. Given that it’s an onboard magazine, I ask them about travel. It’s produced some candid responses and interesting insights into someone’s personality and character.

This month’s Talk Show guest, Peter Sarsgaard, had just returned from Hawaii when I interviewed him. He went on at some length about finding a place to rent with friends “where your kids can play together and you can get closer with your family and the parents won’t stress about the thousands of dollars going down the drain because you’re not getting presented with bills to sign four times a day.”

I cannot remember the last time I spoke to an actor or actress who even acknowledged cost in a conversation, not in this age where being well-known means getting everything for free—whether it’s a hotel room, a red-carpet gown or a car. The fact that Sarsgaard still thinks about the cost of things and doesn’t just coast along on his celebrity is so refreshing.

I think that down-to-earth sensibility also is reflected in his acting style, which is mesmerizing, but never showy. In addition, he’s appeared in many small, independent films, playing parts that more image (or money) conscious actors might shun. Sarsgaard has pursued them simply for the experience of inhabiting unusual characters and to stretch his range. In more than one interview he’s mentioned that he’s aware of, and grateful for, the very good living he makes from his acting. I’m an even bigger fan of Peter Sarsgaard after our conversation.

If you have a moment, watch Sarsgaard at his droll best in this silly Saturday Night Live sketch about pirates in love with his last name.


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About Sarah Elbert

Sarah Elbert

As executive editor of Delta Sky, Sarah Elbert lassos the best writers she can find to cover the world—as well as contributing some prose of her own. Before coming to Sky, Sarah was editorial director of magazines including Northwest WorldTraveler and Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Postcards. She has been a newspaper editor, a freelance writer and an Associated Press reporter, riding with the White House travel pool (back in the Clinton days) and covering everything from natural disasters to a cat kidney transplant. Sarah has written for The New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Sun—but not the NY Daily News. She now lives in Minneapolis, which she finds lovely and underrated, but does occasionally miss Manhattan and the Staten Island Ferry. Sarah would like to think she could again go backpacking across Europe, and she still loves to travel, but she knows that train has left the station. It's just so much quicker to fly.

About Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Senior editor Deborah Caulfield Rybak interviewed the Who’s Who of Hollywood during her years as an entertainment industry reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She still prefers writing about the arts to almost any other journalistic activity, so it’s a good thing we’ve got her on that beat at Sky. She’s pocketed numerous journalism awards and co-written three books.

But that’s just her journalistic cred: she’s also worked as an FM deejay in Aspen, a speechwriter in Washington and an environmental film festival director in Colorado. She considers herself happiest when she’s out of town—and out of cellphone range. She’s hitchhiked across Kenya, spent the night atop a pyramid in Central America, hovered face-to-mandible with giant manta rays during a night dive in Hawaii and hiked the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. Still left on her to do list: Bhutan and marlin fishing.

About Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle

After a few years navigating the trenches of New York's fashion scene as a stylist assistant at Harpers Bazaar, fashion editor Liz Doyle is excited to be back in her childhood hometown of Minneapolis. When she isn't scouting the latest trends in fashion and travel, she moonlights at a local Parisian brasserie where she says "welcome" and "enjoy" a lot and occasionally tries to improve her French. Though her foray to the editorial side of the magazine industry is a new one, she welcomes the challenge and can't wait to see what this new adventure holds.

About Amanda Welshons

Amanda Hoffstrom

Associate online editor Amanda Welshons maintains the web and social media presence of Delta Sky. She enjoys using new media and exploring how different platforms enhance the reader experience. Based in Minneapolis, Amanda has several destinations on her bucket list including London, Paris and Sydney. She just spent a blissful week in St. Lucia for her honeymoon, and can't wait for upcoming trips to Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and New York. When she’s not in the office, she's a pop culture junkie, soaking up as many movies, television shows and magazines as possible.