2013 was a year of stars and nerds.
I flew 10 hours to have a 5 minute conversation with Will Smith and waited 2 hours in the corner of the Sydney Town Hall to put a microphone in the face of the man who created the World Wide Web. From the underpaid, overworked special effects designers who make the movies we love to the likes of Ang Lee, JJ Abrams and Russell Crowe.
Usually when it comes to big stars you basically walk into a room with 2 cameras, 15 lights, an expectant movie star and a ticking clock. Every once in a while though you get a fun, unexpected moment. From Julian Assange critiquing Benedict Cumberbatch to the man who translated all of Star Wars into Shakesperean Verse. These, however, are my favourites...
1. Andrew Gordon, Director of Animation at Pixar
Deep inside Pixar Studios this man has a secret bar that Steve Jobs and Tom Cruise used to hang out in. Deep inside this man is a childlike love of animation that will make you warm and fuzzy.
2. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the Web
Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Wikileaks, Anonymous even LolCats would not exist without this man. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee created the web. This was his only broadcast interview in Australia and they wouldn't let me film it. Once I got in the room I understood why. I later found out that Sir Tim was recovering from a major illness which left him shuddering throughout the interview. His mind however is still as vibrant as ever. Stay for the end bit with him talking about appearing in the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It gives me goosebumps every time.
3. Sir James Dyson, Inventor
Sir James Dyson has built a $2 billion fortune from applying new technologies to seemingly mundane appliances like the vacuum cleaner and the hand dryer. But for him... it's all about failing gracefully. If you've every made something, you'll find this guy inspiring.
4. Zach Braff
Ever wanted to see Zach Braff belt out the Jurassic Park theme song? The actor & filmmaker talks about his love of the dino epic, getting killed off by an internet rumour, why he loves the internet community of Reddit. He later DM'ed me on Twitter to say how much he enjoyed the chat but he wouldn't tweet it because I bagged Oz: The Great and Powerful. I'm claiming this as both a #humbelbrag and my weekly dose of editorial independence brownie points.
5. Julian Assange
Julian Assange was easily the most internationally recognised person running in the 2013 Australian Federal election. But ever since he set up the Wikileaks Party, it was been plagued by resignations and a preferences scandal. More importantly, this is how he rated Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as him.
6. Guy Pearce
World's. Easiest. Guy. To. Talk. To. He talked about why sometimes you need to shave your head for a role, What hoops he had to jump through in order to get ahold of a script for Iron Man 3 and why the hell did he chose to be in Prometheus anyway?
7. George R.R Martin, Creator of Game of Thrones
Meet the man responsible for murdering all your favourite characters! What's lovely about George R. R. Martin is how he is happy to go anywhere in an interview. There's not many authors you can talk to about their Porn fan fiction and they'll come along for the ride.
8. Armie Hammer
Way to cause controversy, guy. Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Mirror Mirror) was in Australia to promote The Lone Ranger and we got onto the topic of George Miller's scrapped Justice League Mortal. Hammer was on board to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the buzzed about film, and even went through costume tests before the project collapsed... and Kevin Rudd is to blame.
9. Danny Boyle, Director
Danny Boyle is a champion. He is one of the easiest people in the world to talk to about movies and what makes them so, frankly, sexy. His latest film is called Trance and he opens up about messing with the audience' head, the hypnotism of movies and what it's like directing the actual damn Queen.
10. Baz Luhrmann, Director
I love how outspoken Baz is. He has a go at critics, politicians and anything else that moves.