My Interview with Marlise Kast


No mom and dad, she is not Jewish.

The absolutely spectacular woman in the photo above is former tabloid journalist Marlise Kast. I interviewed her recently, and attached is a transcript of that interview. I found her to be exceptionally intelligent, philosophically wise, and delightfully unpretentious.

The cliche about not judging a book by its cover is vital in this case. She could have seen me as some guy trying to approach a hot girl, and I could have seen her as some shallow publicity hound. She was as far away from that as possible. She left the world of tabloid reporting behind, and while she does not hide from the unsavory side of it, she does come across as respectful towards the positive and negative viewpoints of the entertainment industry.

She did send more than one picture, but I was concerned her beauty would distract from those trying to read the interview without swooning.

Lastly, this interview was not doctored. Below is an fictional example of how interviews get doctored.

Eric: “Is it true that you have had a crush on me for years now?”

Marlise: “Oh silly, we just recently met. Besides, my boyfriend might get mad at me if you printed that.”

Eric: “I respect that. I hope you are both very happy together.”

Marlise: “You are so sweet. Absolutely.”

Here is how I would doctor that fictional interview…

Eric: “Is it true that you have had a crush on me for years now?”

Marlise: “You are so sweet. Absolutely.”

So to avoid giving people another reason to hate the media, here is my unedited, undoctored interview with the lovely Marlise Kast.


1) Paparazzi are largely to blame for the death of Princess Diana. Do the paparazzi overall deserve their reputation as the scum of the Earth, or is this an overblown over dramatization of basically good people doing an honest day’s work? 

With regard to the specific incident of Princess Diana’s death, the paparazzi were originally blamed for the tragedy. Although this remains the public perception of the cause of her death, it was later revealed that the driver of the vehicle had a blood alcohol level of 1.87, almost four times the legal limit in France. In no way does this diminish the fact that the paparazzi used aggressive tactics to obtain exclusive photographs of Princess Diana throughout her lifetime.  The paparazzi have earned their reputation as “hunters” because of their disregard for personal privacy. It should be noted however, that there are celebrities who also “use” the paparazzi in order to take advantage of the publicity. Often, there is actually a symbiotic relationship between celebrities who need media exposure and media which need celebrity headlines. Stars frequently depend on coverage by the paparazzi for their career survival.  Although tabloids and paparazzi are commonly viewed as being one and the same, they actually operate independently of each other. Paparazzi are freelance photographers. They zealously stake out celebrities in hopes of obtaining exclusive photographs, which they then market to the tabloids. Depending on the celebrity, the price tag for such pictures can generate up to a million dollars. It is this payoff that motivates the paparazzi to take risks and be confrontational in their approach.   

2) Many Hollywood celebrities, and Hollywood in general, are seen in an overwhelmingly negative light. Again, is this negative reputation deserved, overblown, or somewhere inbetween? 

Negative reputations are a direct consequence of negative behavior. Celebrities who choose to do so can lead normal lives. Those who elect to live in the glare of the spotlight, leave themselves open to public view. Many celebrities have chosen to move out of Hollywood to live more private lives away from the hub of the industry.  While some of the negativity is overblown, there appears to be a correlation between outlandish conduct and the amount of attention that celebrities generate. Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton are classic examples of maximizing this media frenzy which results in so-called “negative” publicity. 

3) Where is the line between legitimate celebrity following, and criminal stalking? What are examples of things that came very close to the line, but did not cross it? 

In my own tabloid career, most of my celebrity reporting was a consequence of a “tip” or “lead.” Although some of those leads turned out to be dead ends, I was never expected to aimlessly pursue celebrities. In contrast, stalkers are obsessed with particular subjects and tend to follow them with the ultimate intent of doing harm in some manner. For me personally, the line that I would not cross involved the minor children of celebrities. It has become increasingly difficult however, to “draw the line” when many celebrities themselves have taken the lead in exploiting their own children. (This appears to be the case for example with Brad and Angelina’s children or with the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.)  

4) Do you find most of the people you pursued to be likable, not likable, or inbetween? How about compared to the general public? Do you have a decent amount in common with most of them, or not at all? 

The nature of my work as an undercover reporter required that I remain incognito as much as possible. Therefore, most of my investigative reporting was done through people close to celebrities (limo drivers, nannies, waiters, family members, etc). Rather than with the celebrities themselves, most of my actual contact with celebrities was either accidental or under an assumed identity (jogger, bridesmaid, art student, florist, etc). In all honesty, I have never been star struck or personally intrigued by celebrities. This objectivity made my tabloid job relatively easy. Due to the fact I no longer read the tabloids or watch television, I am completely out of touch with the private lives of Hollywood celebrities. Since leaving the tabloids, I doubt that I have anything in common with celebrities.   

5) Are you political at all? If so, which issues are you passionate about? 

As an international traveler, I have learned that it is prudent to be apolitical. I consider myself to be a citizen of the world. As such, I remain neutral about expressing my personal political views.  

6) A few years back radio host Laura Ingraham wrote a book advising Hollywood celebrities to “Shut up and sing.” What are your thoughts on that, in terms of celebrities being political? 

When used appropriately, celebrity voices can influence a far wider audience than members of the general public. Among those who have used their status are Bono, Bill Gates, George Clooney, etc. If one thinks of Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono or Arnold Schwartzneggar, there is clearly room for celebrities to find expression in the American political scene.  

7) Celebrities are seen as not leading emotionally or physically healthy lives, aka drugs, divorces, etc. Do you find them to be more dysfunctional than the rest of America, less dysfunctional, or the same?  

Given the fact that many celebrities spend the bulk of their lives “on stage,” they tend to be dramatic by nature. Consequently, everything appears to be staged or dramatized, including their actions and reactions to stress and relaxation. Their highs are higher (Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s sofa) and their lows are lower (Paris Hilton in jail, Lindsay Lohan in rehab, etc).  My sense is that celebrity dysfunction is probably no different than that of the general public, although I cannot support this statement with statistics. Celebrity scandal may not differ from that of the general public, but celebrity scrutiny certainly does. Oddly enough, most of us envy celebrities. At some level, we take a demented satisfaction when they fail, whether in marriage, in fame, in finances or in appearance. Members of the public may consider the price of a tabloid magazine an inexpensive way to feel better about their own problems. Somehow, our failures seem to become minimized when we see celebrities cry under the spotlight.   

8.) If it is dysfunctional, did you get sucked into the dysfunctional life of Hollywood? If no, how did you avoid it? If yes, how did you climb out of it? 

In my line of work, it was almost impossible to avoid getting sucked into the dysfunctional Hollywood lifestyle. The more I chased the façade, the more I lost sight of who I really was. My descent into the depths of the industry and my subsequent “climbing out” are at the core of Tabloid Prodigy. In my case, I had to get away from Hollywood, the tabloid industry, and that entire lifestyle in order to survive.  

9) You have traveled worldwide. Are other nations as celebrity crazy as the United States? What are the Paparazzi like, and how do they differ from USA paparrazzi? 

Of the fifty countries I have visited, most of them are Third World nations where the primary focus is on day to day survival. Celebrity obsession is the prerogative of those with expendable time. Whereas celebrity gossip in the US is largely Hollywood driven, celebrity attention in other countries might be on athletes, political figures or musicians. In the United Kingdom for example, the primary emphasis is placed on members of the Royal Family.  

10) Do you feel “infotainment” should be banned from the nightly news, that the news should be hard news such as the War on Terror and celebrity news for shows such as “Access Hollywood,” and the like? Is there a legitimate reason for Hollywood to be considered “news?” 

While many of us prefer to see hard news segregated from “infotainment”, it is inevitable that the two will become increasingly intermingled in today’s society. Entertainment and celebrity news accounts for 23% of the content in all magazines. In order for mainstream media to survive, they have to include some celebrity news. They may have done so reluctantly, but every major newscast, including CNN and FOX, covered Paris Hilton’s recent incarceration. Checkbook journalism, which was once limited to the tabloids, is now prevalent in mainstream media.     

11) Do you think having Katie Couric doing the nightly news is positive, negative, or neutral? Do you think her having Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman” character Ron Burgundy on one segment of the nightly news is a disgrace, or should people lighten up? 

It is unfortunate that the ratings of a newscast are dependent on an anchor’s personality as opposed to the quality of news gathering. Somehow television journalists have become celebrities (Anderson Cooper, Bill O’Reilly, Katie Couric, etc). Hopefully the day will come when an anchor’s gender will be less important than an anchor’s coverage of a story.  

12) Are most of your friends entertainment industry people, or do you prefer socializing outside your industry, or a combination of both? 

I tend to socialize with people who like me for myself. Because of the circles in which I move, most of them are surfers, snowboarders or world travelers.  

13) What matters most to you in this world?

The things that matter most to me in this world are God, family, writing, surfing and travel & languages.  

14) What do you want out of life for yourself? 

What I want most out of life is to continually discover and fulfill a significant purpose. I think there is a difference between contentment and satisfaction. My goal is to be content no matter what the situation. I do not however want to be satisfied; I want to continue to grow and to embrace new challenges.   

15) Do you belong to any religious faith, and if so, does it play any role in your personal life or your career path? 

Although I do not belong to one specific denomination, I do consider myself to be spiritual. As a Christian, I now am constantly searching for God’s will for my life. In this search, I hope to be the kind of person who can influence and positively impact others.  

16) Joe Dimaggio zealously guarded Marilyn Monroe’s honor even after they broke up. Today we have Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger at each other’s throats with their kid inbetween. What has gone so wrong, or is the past just romanticized? 

In prior decades, movie stars were “owned” by production studios. Those studios regulated how much publicity and information would be leaked to the press. Today, stars no longer have that protection. Technological advances have provided new information sources to the public, such as cell phones, police car cameras, celebrity blogs and the Internet in general.   

17) You have said that you have an independent streak, which often makes it tough to have healthy relationships. Is the fault yours, that of the men, both, or neither? Are you better at “balance” than you used to be? 

Some men may struggle with the perception that I am considered strong and independent. Also, the fact that I like to travel, makes me something of a nomad. This is not conducive to establishing long term relationships. I hate to think that in order to “settle down,” I would need to sacrifice my freedom to travel, to surf or to write.  

18) What are your favorite books, movies and television shows? Do you think they are of a better, worse, or neutral quality compared to decades past? 

Some of my favorite books are Eat, Pray, Love, Traveling Mercies, Running With Scissors and The Poison Wood Bible. At the moment, I am trying to focus on reading memoirs. With the exception of The O’Reilly Factor, I do not watch television. I enjoy independent and foreign films such as Maria Full of Grace, Tsotsi, City of God, Life is Beautiful, The Station Agent, Pieces of April, etc. Obviously, technology and computer animation have changed movie production forever. It is hard to tell if the content will advance as much as the technology however. Whether or not the quality will stand up to the classics, both in print and film, remains to be seen.   

19) If you had another 2 minutes on O’Reilly, what would you tell him that you did not get a chance to tell him last time? 

Just before going on air for the O’Reilly Factor, I was instructed to avoid any reference to having left the tabloid industry for fear of dating the content of the material. Since the premise of Tabloid Prodigy has to do with my departure from the industry, this restriction limited my ability to defend my role as a former tabloid reporter. If I had more time on O’Reilly, I would explain that there is virtually no difference between mainstream media coverage of celebrities and what I did as an investigative reporter. Both of our careers feed the insatiable appetite of a celebrity hungry public. I would also have told him that although I lied about who I was, I never lied about the celebrities I covered. 

If I had more time on the O’Reilly Factor I would explain that going undercover is not limited to tabloid journalists.  Assuming false identities to get at the truth dates as far back as Nelly Bly.  It is as contemporary as planting hidden cameras in television exposes. Although the use of “going undercover” is very wide spread, I am not defending the method or the tabloids for using it.

I would explain to O’Reilly that I left the tabloid industry for all the reasons he seemed to find the most disgusting.  I would emphasize, however, that, for me, the tabloids provided a great training ground.   During my tabloid career I learned how to conduct research, how to find sources, how to interview, how to document facts, how to quickly turn a story, and how to gather data.  I would tell Bill O’Reilly that I did not regret having worked for the tabloids: My only regret was for those who might have been hurt during my career, especially innocent sources.

20) What would you want to convey about the entertainment industry in general? If you could communicate one message about yourself to the world, what would you want people to know about you as a person?  

In my personal opinion, members of the entertainment industry never leave the stage. They are somehow always “up” and always aware of the camera, so to speak. Members of the public should take everything with a grain of salt.

People may be surprised to learn that despite my reputation as an aggressive tabloid reporter, I am actually rather compassionate and sensitive. I thrive on time alone, but pivotal to my balance is spending time with my family, especially my niece and nephew.  I love languages, cooking and independent films. I am obsessively organized. Life without spontaneity and some level of danger bores me.  I’ll take a late night over an early morning and a sunset over a sunrise. If I cannot see or smell the ocean at least once a day, I become agitated and irritable. At the top of my “to do” list are the words “journal,” “surf” and “yoga.”  I would rather travel than vacation and will seldom visit a destination where surfing or snowboarding are not an option. I will never again take a cruise for the simple fact that food and claustrophobia do not mix. My true belief is that the world would be a better place without television. I am however, an advocate for the Internet.  

Reflecting on my career as a tabloid journalist, I now have a better understanding of the power of words and how they can impact lives. The primary thing I would want people to know about me as a person is that I want to spend the rest of my days using my pen and my life in a positive way. 

I would again like to thank Marlise Kast for her class and graciousness. Regardless of what one may think of Hollywood, or tabloid reporters, we are all complex human beings. In most cases, when dealing with others, we barely scratch the surface.

To be dazzled by beauty, go to If you can somehow stop gazing at the photos, click on the links and read what she has to say. Behind that style is a significant amount of substance.


5 Responses to “My Interview with Marlise Kast”

  1. snooper says:

    COOL!! Hey man…GREAT job!!

  2. Craig says:

    Congrats Eric. ( you may want to clean up your post, so there’s no repetition.)

  3. […] (Another horny guy beat me to her interview. Normally I wouldn’t allow my hormones to overflow into my interview, but she does write a lot in the book about preserving the treasure of her virginity. […]

  4. […] Another horny guy beat me to her interview. Normally I wouldn’t allow my hormones to pour into my interview, but Marlise does write a lot in the book about preserving the treasure of her virginity. […]

  5. Jake Carter says:

    Extremely talented and innocently beautiful. Surfing and traveling would be the way I would do it if I had a chance to do it all over again.
    Bless her soul,


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