The Paparazzi

January 3, 2024
What makes someone a Star? Just like everyone else who goes to the movies, I feel that some people have a certain magic that makes them supremely interesting to watch. But, what is it in our greatest stars that touches us so deeply?
Most of them ironically open themselves to us so completely that in the darkened theatre, we feel we’re being granted that rarest privilege of looking into their souls. Beyond the sex appeal or the physical appearance is an unshakeable honesty.
That was one idea that went into the script for Delirious. Another one was the polar opposite; the paparazzi.
I’ve dealt with the paparazzi throughout my career and have always felt uneasy with the extremes of the profession. I don’t believe Celebrity automatically makes someone a limitless, open target. This made me wonder: ‘What inspires someone to become a paparazzi? How do they justify what they do?’
I called this one paparazzo who I’d thrown off several of my sets. He was astounded and quite nervous that I was reaching out to him. But once I got him calmed down, I ended up spending three months with him: going to events, driving around in his car, eating with him, visiting his apartment, and seeing how he lived.
To my surprise, I caught a glimpse into his persona, which really touched me. For all his vehemence in justifying why it was his right to invade the privacy of celebrities, there was a vast undercurrent of self-loathing. Underneath his bluster, he felt keenly inferior to the people he was stalking. This gave me a great hook into the character that became Les Galantine.
The further I delved into Les, the more fascinated I became with him. Despite all his conniving and maneuvering, Les is impulsively honest. He may not see it in himself, but he’s incapable of camouflaging his feelings. They’re all right there on the surface: his fear, his rage, his jealousy, his loneliness, his self-doubt. I came to see him as deeply human. He is one of my favorite, most loved characters.
Watch Steve Buscemi as Les Galantine in Delirious: The Director's Cut here.

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Independent Filmmaker & Musician