Brian Johnson’s last Maclean’s article looks back on almost 30 years of celebrity interviews:
The ﬁrst movie star I interviewed was Michael J. Fox, when he was a 26-year-old riding high on the success of Back to the Future.
Meeting on the set of Family Ties in L.A., we chatted during his cigarette breaks, then at lunch he drove me across town in his Porsche, which he drove like a racecar, seatbelt unbuckled.
Beer cans littered the floor, a detail my editor agreed to leave out of the story because it suggested he was a drunk.
Today no star would leave himself that vulnerable, and no editor would jump to protect him.
As Fox told me in an interview last fall, “If they’d had iPhones with cameras when I was coming up, I’d still be in jail.”
Just over a year ago I had an audience with the next generation’s young Canadian superstar, Justin Bieber. Granting me a half hour in his dressing room before a show, he impressed me as a polite, serious young man who showed not a hint of the bad-boy antics that would start just weeks later.
I felt I’d been played.