Red carpet brings sweaty palms

“Spring Break affords college students the opportunity to live the American dream. Drunkenness and over-exposure to sunlight are the perfect ingredients for a successful vacation experience. Alas, my break was spent here in Ohio. But one single ray of sunlight broke through the clouds and rain as I drove to Cleveland for my night with Halle Berry.”

Spring Break affords college students the opportunity to live the American dream. Drunkenness and over-exposure to sunlight are the perfect ingredients for a successful vacation experience.

Alas, my break was spent here in Ohio. But one single ray of sunlight broke through the clouds and rain as I drove to Cleveland for my night with Halle Berry.

The actress returned to her hometown to promote her new film Perfect Stranger, in theaters April 13, and she brought along her co-star Giovanni Ribisi. Sadly, Bruce Willis was unable to attend.

The stars entered the lavish red carpet of Valley View Cinemark Theater last Thursday to a crowd of about 800 screaming fans who braved the pouring rain.

Admittedly, my palms were saturated with sweat as the celebrities inched their way down the red carpet, nearing my interview spot.

Ribisi was first to arrive.

Buchtelite: I understand you have two films in the works, due for wide release this year. Could you tell us a little about the films?

Ribisi: One’s called The Dog Problem…written and directed by Scott Caan, who’s also in the film; Don Cheadle is in it. Lynn Collins, who is a great actress and I think we’re going to see a lot more of her soon.

Buchtelite: And the other film?

Ribisi: The Gardener of Eden was directed by Kevin Connolly and that was produced by Leo DiCaprio’s company. That will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

(The interview was brief, as we were allotted only two questions. But Ribisi gave us a great preview of some promising movies and talents coming this year.

Then, the crowds parted. Birds began chirping. The sun shone brighter. Her beauty was radiant. She stepped forward and I began.)

Buchtelite: Hi, Ryan Wells, Buchtelite, University of Akron, it’s a pleasure to meet you.

(OK, so not the most intriguing, nor the most suave opening, but hey – I choked…)

Berry: Hello.

(Yeah, that’s right folks, she said Hello back. I’m so in!)

Buchtelite: (draws a deep breath) I understand you have a couple upcoming projects where you step into the producer’s chair for the first time for a major motion picture.

Berry: That’s right.

Buchtelite: How does that compare to the production for TV projects such as Lackawanna Blues and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge?

Berry: It’s almost the same. It’s about getting a project you love; getting it scripted in time, finding a director…

Buchtelite: And what is your favorite part of that whole creative process?

Berry: Probably about a month before we begin shooting. You know, all the actors are all together, the director is there and we have rehearsal time and we’re all just trying to figure out this world and who the characters are. That’s really the fun part.

And with that, it was over.

She was whisked off to the next post. But the film was to follow. The anticipation was still running high. The stars moved into the theater for a grand introduction by Frank Jackson, the mayor of Cleveland, and a round of applause that lasted minutes.

Ribisi and Berry gave an overview of the film and answered a few more questions regarding coming home, her family and tips for upcoming and aspiring actors and performers.

Her advice? Get out of Cleveland.