Back in 1987, as a junior, rather ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ showbiz reporter on the Daily Mirror, I managed to get myself an interview with one of my screen idols, a rising star named Bob Hoskins.
I drove out to visit the set at Elstree Studios, Herts, of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which was making headlines at the time and it was quite a little scoop for me. So I was pretty nervous as I made my way to his portakabin at the back of the studio lot.
The great man was apparently having his lunch but wouldn’t mind being disturbed to do a quick interview. I suspected that he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and he was always playing menacing tough guys, so I was keen to make a good impression and was extra nervous knocking on the door.
He waved me in and I sat down politely as he started tucking into a giant plate of salad – lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and a whole load of other green veggie stuff. A huge amount, piled high on his plate. Just salads. He looked starving and was stabbing it with his fork rather aggressively, then chomping away.
I was very keen to get the interview off to a good start and wanted to come up with a polite first question. But I felt awkward asking him anything meaningful about the film while he had his mouth full and was wolfing down this massive plate of fodder.
So, tentatively, I innocently remarked: “Mmm, that looks healthy.” … Pause… Silence. Then the great Bob Hoskins looked up from his lunch, shot me a filthy glare and barked: “ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS, MATE!!!???” …
I nearly passed out with fright. I guess I must have been in a total state of shock after that because I can’t remember a single other thing about him.