You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the people around them, no matter how unimportant they may seem – and this story about Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will warm your heart.
Silicon Valley and The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjiani has shared a lovely anecdote about the Star Wars director that dates back five years, when Johnson was at Comic Con and Nanjiani was a mere red carpet reporter.
THREAD: I know y'all don't need another reason to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but I'm gonna give you one more. This is a story about its director, @rianjohnson, & why he's awesome. In 2012, before Silicon Valley, I got a job doing interviews on the red carpet at Comic Con.
It turned out this was actually a pretty rough gig…
I'd never done red carpet interviews before, but it was decent money & it would give me a way to go to Comic Con. The job turned out to be very tough. I was running from red carpet to red carpet, interviewing people who were sometimes rude, sometimes fine, always disinterested.
Btw, I completely get the disinterested part. They'd been doing press all day & I was 1 of like a 100 interviews they had that day. I get it. The job was tough cuz sometimes I'd only get 40 secs w someone & had to give my producers something usable, otherwise it was a total bust.
1 person, who shall go unnamed, was so rude to me & made me feel so stupid that I got a talking to from my producer (I totally get the prod being upset btw.) I wasn't able to get anything usable cuz he just mocked me, dismissed me, walked away. I bet he doesn't remember. I do.
After that awful encounter, we run across to the red carpet for Looper/Total Recall. Still upset by the encounter. They hand me the list of ppl walking down the carpet that I'll be interviewing. After a couple of people, Rian walks up. I love his work, I'm a huge fan of his.
But, in the moment, I say "Can't wait to see the remake of Total Recall you're directing." I know Looper. I'm excited for it. I know his work. It was just 1 of those stupid brain things. He says "I wish! I did Looper." I'm mortified. My ears turn hot, my producer gives me a look.
Uh oh! But did Johnson throw a hissy fit? Did he roll his eyes and walk away? No, he did not.
I'm like "Dammit. I messed up another interview & look like a fool in front of someone I'm a huge fan of." But, instead of being upset, he started laughing. Not in an "at me" way. In a "with me" way. He saw how upset I was, put his hand on my shoulder, laughing.
He truly went out of his way to make me feel ok, to make me not feel like a loser. He didn't have to. He could have just been cold after that, not made such an attempt to lift me up. I would have understood. He doesn't know me from Adam. But he helped someone in crises just cuz.
It truly meant so much to me in that moment, on that specific day. Especially right after someone w a millionth of his talent had dressed me down for no reason. I got the interview, finished out the worst Comic Con I've ever had & went home.
My two take-aways from the weekend were: 1. Red carpet interviews are tough & I'm bad at them & 2. Rian Johnson is a good dude. (This is why I try & be nice on the carpet & give usable interviews, no matter how tired I am. If I've ever been rude or dismissive, I apologize.)
Years later, when Nanjiani was a star in his own right, they met again – and Johnson remembered exactly what went down.
I told him how much his kindness meant to me. He said it was no big deal. But it was a big deal to me. You can tell a lot about someone by how they are to ppl they don't have to be nice to. He didn't have to be nice. I was just some scrub who'd gotten his film wrong. But he was.