If Doug had been a real boy (like Pinocchio), he might have grown up to be Rob Moran, Girlfriend magazine's resident entertainment reporter. In fact, when Rob was recruited into the team during my own tenure on the mag, I thought he was Doug come to life (see picture, right!).
While his penchant for procrastination was always a running joke at editorial meetings (sorry, it was!), Rob has a knack for producing endlessly amusing, pithy reportage, while also bringing balance to an otherwise estrogen fuelled office (though he did question whether the word 'bloke' was applicable when I approached him about this interview).
His blog 'Front Row' is one of my favourite monthly reads (seriously, if you haven't picked up a copy of Girlfriend of late, you should), while his brand of irreverent entertainment journalism brings a fun flavour to what can otherwise be a boring beat (rehash press release here; kiss celebrity butt here...). Though, you do sort of get the sense that after three years on the job, Rob writes as much to amuse himself as his 14-year-old girl-fans (send job offers care of email@example.com – joking... sort of!).
So, at the risk of bringing down the integrity of this blog, meet
Occupation: Entertainment Editor, Girlfriend
Tenure: 3 years or so
Writing credits: Girlfriend, TV Hits, Remix, Rolling Stone, Top Of The Pops, The Brag, Beef Knuckles [see zine question below].
Greatest aspiration: robot slavery
Why writing, Rob? My hands were too delicate for carpentry. Dreams shattered!
Where were you educated? UNSW Faculty of Film. I was too dumb for words, so I studied pictures instead.
Did you have any mentors and/or role models? Anybody who has given me money for writing stupid things. Nick Tosches and Richard Meltzer for teaching me to review CDs with the shrink-wrap still on (you get more money at the pawn shop that way).
How has your writing career developed? Uh, less swearing?
How did the Girlfriend gig come about? I wore a Hilary Duff badge to my interview in a cynical attempt to sway [then editor] Sarah Oakes’ love. It worked and she resents me to this day.
What's it like being the only bloke in the office?
Pro: I can say anything I want and people will laugh it off with, “Oh, boys!”
Con: Everything smells like musk. And the squeals; oh, God, the squeals.
How does an average day in the office pan out for you? Wake up late, turn up to work late, read the whole Internet, stare through my computer screen, go home with genuine relief that I wasn't fired that day, resolve to get more done tomorrow.
Best celebrity interview? Zac Efron. The way he touched my hand as I left his hotel said we’d be friends forever.
Worst celebrity interview? Barack Obama. America, politics, change, blah – I just asked him what his favourite dinosaur was!
Your thoughts on the state and/or art of celebrity journalism... It’s boring as heck, unless it’s about Paul Westerberg or Pam from The Office (US).
Which mags do you think do entertainment well? I haven’t read a magazine since some early ‘90s issue of Right On! with Heavy D & The Boyz on the cover. That was pretty great. I guess Blender’s celeb interviews were funny (‘cause they were mean), but they don’t exist anymore (or so I’m told, I haven’t actually checked).
Just how annoying and/or helpful are celebrity PRs? For people that party so much, they sure can be uptight. But most of them are pretty nice, until they’re institutionalized for alcohol abuse sometime near the end of their careers (see: Jack Lemmon in Days Of Wine & Roses).
Piece you're currently working on... Nice try, snitch! But it’s probably got something to do with RPattz [that's Twilight's Robert Pattinson].
Pros of being a teen entertainment editor... Teenagers are great! They’re like little adults or big kids.
How do you keep up with the ET world? AV Club. Oh No They Didn’t. Pitchfork. Kotaku. Armond White film reviews (NY Press). IMDB messageboards.
Tell us about your zine... It’s called Beef Knuckles. I write some stupid stories and hat poems, and my friends Hon and Bryn draw amazing comics full of laughs and pathos. It costs $3. You can only buy it out of our hands.
If there was a Rob Moran magazine, what would it feature, look like and where would you sell it? It would feature cats, essays about basketball, rap song reviews, cool hairstyles, self-help slogans and some sort of healthy recipe. I’d sell it from my coat pockets and it would look like this (see attached).
Yours truly (wetting her pants),
Girl With a Satchel