FEED: You grew up in Los Angeles. Were you always a Hollywood insider?
RICHARD RUSHFIELD: My parents were not involved in the industry in any way. Before high school, I didn’t really come into contact with Hollywood, apart from seeing a movie star in a restaurant now and then. But my high school, Crossroads School, was very Hollywood.There were a lot of people whose parents were in the industry, while a number have since gone on to work in the industry.There were children of stars and children who were stars themselves. So I had this awareness of that world from then on.
FEED: It seems you’ve always had an interest in what goes on behind the scenes. Is that true?
RR: The problem is, if you submitted my story as a novel or script, they’d have a lot of notes.There are many segues that don’t add up to anything or make sense.Things sort of fall out of the sky without any build-up or logic to them. I got on an art history degree at Emerson College, but my first career was as a political grassroots organiser. I lived out of a suitcase for four or five years and went all around the US. It was a great experience for a young person, because you work with all communities – coal miners, mobsters in South Philly, in disadvantaged
and affluent neighbourhoods, with unions and environmental groups. So, when it came to journalism, I had a sense of the wider world. I was on the Bill Clinton presidential campaign in 1991. I think that was the only one I was involved in that ever won. Then, I went on to work for a long series of losing campaigns – which are much more emotionally satisfying.You feel a moral victory over those fools who rejected you, and don’t have to deal with actually being responsible for running the place.
“YOU FEEL A MORAL VICTORY OVER THOSE FOOLS WHO REJECTED YOU”
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