When it comes to turning personal stories into tabloid paychecks, celebrities do it better than anyone else. But some stars are better at answering reporter questions than others. Here are a few celebrities whose dealing-with-nosy-questions strategy can be your inspiration the next time your mom corners you to demand grandkids, or your uncle won’t stop asking when you’re going to find a nice guy and settle down.
Crack A Joke
She isn’t the internet’s secret girlfriend for nothing: Best Actress Oscar winner J.Laws knows when to use humor to deflect a question. When a reporter asked whether she’d hooked up with her Silver Linings Playbook costar Bradley Cooper, Lawrence replied, “He's fluent in French, very impressive. And he's hilarious. It's too bad he's so ugly.” Giving a compliment and evading a reporter at the same time? Girl is good.
How you can copy this: “I’d love to find a nice guy, too. Do you think there are any at the bottom of that pool? I’ll go check.”
Make an emotional appeal.
When Star magazine published a cover story claiming that Tori Spelling’s husband, Dean McDermott, was being unfaithful, Tori took to her blog to strike back. Her post was about how her six-year-old son Liam was learning to read and was able to read the magazine headlines about his parents. “Driving home I repeatedly told my children, ‘That magazine doesn't know us. Daddy and I are very happy and in love. There will be no divorce and all of us will remain together as a family’” she wrote. Stella, my literal one, just kept saying ‘But then why is it on the magazine? Magazines are true.’ I wish that were always the case.” By turning a tabloid story into a family story, Tori effectively froze out the rumors.
How you can copy this: “It really hurts my uterus’ feelings when you talk about it being empty. Listen. She’s crying right now. Consider her feelings next time.”
Get angry and lash out.
LeAnn Rimes is a Grammy-winning singer, but these days she’s much more famous for her extracurricular activities: namely hooking up with married actor Eddie Cibrian and later marrying him after he divorced his wife. Now said ex-wife, Brandi Glanville, is a cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and hardly a day goes by without Brandi and LeAnn trashing each other in the press. LeAnn uses her Twitter account to slam Brandi …. and post pictures of herself on fun luxury vacations in Mexico. They say that living well is the best revenge, right?
How you can copy this: “I’m single? Oh, I was too busy being on a fabulous girls’ weekend in Las Vegas to notice. Thanks for the heads up.”
Divulge every detail until people wish they’d never asked.
Janet Jackson guards her privacy so fiercely that people don’t find out she’s getting married for months or years after the ceremony. When Kim Kardashian gets married, it’s broadcast on national television. But in a weird way, Kim’s tell-everything-while-not-saying-anything technique is actually brilliant. We know everything about what she wears, where she goes, and who she dates, but we don’t know anything about how she feels.
How you can copy this: “We are desperate to have babies. Every morning I take my vaginal temperature and test the consistency of my mucus. Here, do you want to see my ovulation chart?”
Be above it all.
They call her Queen B for a reason: Beyonce is so all-around flawless that a rare misstep like lipsynching to the National Anthem becomes a bigger story than the presidential election. But when Beyonce was accused of faking her pregnancy and wearing a strap-on belly, she rolled her eyes and kept moving. She didn’t address the controversy until she could do it on her own terms: in a self-produced HBO documentary. In other words, she’s in charge of both what’s being said and how it’s being said.
How you can copy this: “Well, I was planning to get married this year, but in between winning an Oscar, getting my PhD, and saving baby whales, I just couldn’t work it into my busy schedule.”