Last Monday, Chris Stark interviewed Mila Kunis for BBC Radio1, and the video immediately went viral. He invited her to a pub in Watford, a football match in the same place, and a wedding. A lot of people have already commented on this, and according to The Daily Beast, it has already been called “the best thing ever,” a “career-defining Mila Kunis interview,” and “possibly the cutest interview ever.” A prominent Dutch newspaper compared it to the interview conducted by Hugh Grant for Horse & Hound in Notting Hill (1999).
Obviously, both interviews incorporate an awkwardness-element, and are very entertaining to watch. However, while the Notting Hill-interview doesn’t tell us a lot about Julia Roberts’ character (other than that she’s in space and in a submarine for two separate movies), we do get to know a little bit more about Mila Kunis. Apparently she had two small roles in Baywatch, the color yellow doesn’t suit her, and she used to be a bartender. No, this is not at all related to the movie she was supposed to be promoting (Oz The Great And Powerful), but it made for amazing viewing and entertainment!
Now, voices have gone up begging for more interviews by Chris Stark, or maybe just more interviews that make use of the style. I, just like Gaby Dunn, immediately had to think of Josh Horowitz and his After Hours-program (I have no clue why it’s called that. I like to think it’s a nod to a line by prof. McGonagall from Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone: “No, you heard me correctly, Mr. Malfoy. You see, honorable as your intentions were, you too were out of bed after hours. You will join your classmates in detention.” I only base this hypothesis on the fact that I watched the movie yesterday, and as such it is fresh in my mind). I highly recommend it. It’s amazing. Next to Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr., Josh Horowitz is definitely an idol of mine as well.
Because this interview with Mila Kunis has gone viral, and because so many people are commenting on it, I thought I couldn’t deprive the internet of my two cents. My brilliant notion is this: a promotional interview is actually very much like a job interview! You are nervous going up to them, scared, it is your one shot at making a good impression, your income may hinge on the outcome! The only real difference is that, with a promotional interview the pressure of conversational skills and originality is on the interviewer, and in a job interview this pressure is levied on the interviewee. Interviewers can get bored too, and you want to stand out of the crowd in order to be noticed. So, would the patented Chris Stark-method, which basically means breaking all rules of conduct (as laid out by The Grindstone), get you a job? Let’s speculate!
Do your homework beforehand Nope. He readily admits this: “I really don’t know enough about films to have a proper conversation about things like that. And I’m not that interested in finding out loads about the films she’s been in.” Not really helpful for a job interview. Or so you’d think!
Chris’ (I’m not going to call him Stark, because he’s already too awesome as it stands) instant reaction to being bewilderingly uninformed for his interview, is panick. And he works it: “I just felt really uncomfortable. I started talking about the movie, but then I really panicked. I think I started talking about the pub, and she seemed to want to talk about that more so I just started talking more about it.” It just can’t be a bad thing to talk about the stuff that the person on the other side of the table is interested in. You may find common interests, and BAM you’re hired!
Elaborate on your responses When The Grindstone clarifies by saying that you should “essentially be a salesman for yourself,” I somehow can’t imagine that they had elaborating on 1) the ingredients for Lad Bombs and 2) the British tradition of “dropping trou” in mind. But Chris – again – makes it work! Mila seems genuinely interested in hanging out with him and his friends, and maybe even trying a Lad Bomb (“that sounds like the worst drink ever“). He scored himself a date! So, being inappropriate in your elaborations should help and make your interviewer see that you’re a fun guy!
Know when a question is off-limits I think it’s fair to say that Chris moved past this inhibition at the point where… well, basically when he opened his mouth. However, he only recognizes this later on in the interview: “The moment I realized I was doing something a bit weird was when I mentioned chicken bolshi pies, which at that point I thought I’ve gone violently off message here.” Off message is not the same as off-limits of course. Let’s just say though, that in this context, it was definitely not expected. At the very least.
He realizes he might actually be going off-limits when he says the following: “Have you ever… I don’t know if I should as- Ehm, have you ever dropped trou at a wedding? (…) Like on Baywatch. We just take all our clothes off and dance all around.” As response, Mila unflinchingly elaborates on her Baywatch acting experience, at which point the interview is sadly cut off.
So. Guys. If you have an interview coming up, and you’re worried about how you’ll do, these are obviously some fool-proof tips to help you land the job. Just be sure to not wear yellow.