Interviewing James Cameron

7 May

Photo Courtesy of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

In my line of work, there are opportunities and then there are opportunities! Interviewing James Cameron was one of these “opportunity opportunities.”

Robin Wallace in the lobby of The Directors Guild of America, New York, during a special screening of "Avatar" with director James Cameron.

He is the second A-list celebrity that I have met with in the past six months or so, which for me, as a non-entertainment reporter, is a bit out-of-the-ordinary. Like my story on Hilary Swank, the purpose of speaking with Cameron was about social issues.

The all-time highest grossing director recently put out a little sci-fi film — you might have heard of — called Avatar. Among many things, Avatar is significant because it brought to the forefront a host of challenges that indigenous people here on Earth currently face.

It was fascinating to sit down with such a famed man and to learn — similar to Swank — that he is real, straight-forward and personally moved by the unfortunate plight of so many. I hope you will read my story about Cameron, Avatar and indigenous people because it will leave you with a broadened perspective of the “real” Pandoras.

‘Avatar’ Gives ‘Real-Life’ Na’vi a Global Voice

Cameron was showered with gifts from various indigenous groups. Here a tribal elder is taking off the necklace he is wearing and giving it to Cameron -- a huge deal in the Native American culture. It was very touching. (Photo Courtesy of UNPFII)

As for the fashion choices of the evening

The only full-length photo of the evening was captured while I was teaching James Reinl, a fellow journalist, a few basics of swing. It should be noted that it just started to rain, so we were particularly earnest, or crazy.

It came down to figuring out a way to look appropriate for two events: The Avatar screening-Cameron interview; The monthly jazz-age celebration of Wit’s End at the speakeasy Flute. I wore a contemporary silk blouse with an Asian inspired print — very art deco — and a vintage black slip as my skirt (with a real slip underneath, of course).

Myself and Dan Herman, another jazz reveler at Wit's End. (the only real shot of the pin-turned hair detail!)

Although hats are my trademark — many times — it seemed a little over the top for the Cameron interview, so I needed some kind of detail to make my vintage-styled hair have  purpose. The solution I found at my local vintage, artisan boutique, Arts Echo: A gold and rhinestone spherical rose pin.

After Wit’s End, an entourage of us headed to another historic site: The Empire State Building, where a new 1930s lounge has opened up, The Empire Room.

The Wit's End entourage at The Empire Room.

From there the vintage festivities continued and, as many might say, only in New York can a gal be escorted by two Brooklyn boys who look like they stepped out of Casablanca (or who might be carrying “Tommy guns”).

Jack Newcastle, whom I call "Bogart, left, myself and Bernard DelGado, who is part of the "old guard" of NY Times staffers.

All-in-all, it was a fabulous evening filled with beautifully inspiring people who are truly living their lives with great passion.

I was blessed to have been a part of it.


2 Responses to “Interviewing James Cameron”

  1. Milt Savage May 7, 2010 at 7:13 PM #

    In the mid-late 80’s…I’d visit my cousin and her kids in NYC. Did enjoy the city then. Haven’t been “downtown” in years. Wish I lived closer….think I’d enjoy the “retro” night life….! To wear a three piece, belted trench coat, fedora….(would have to wear my boots though, never could like low cut shoes…smiles!)….with a bit of rain and the “flat iron” building in the background. Talking with the likes of Steiglitz, Strand, WeeGee….Nice!



  1. Take Your Best Shot: Guesstimate & Win! « Thrifty Vintage Chic - November 29, 2010

    […] Interviewing James Cameron […]


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