David Geffen Meets The Media

Twenty years ago, I interviewed David Geffen (pictured), show-biz mogul and extraordinary philanthropist, just after he publicly came out at a charity event. He remains one of the people on planet Earth that I have most enjoyed talking with, because he is passionately interested in many of the subjects that I am passionately interested in. Geffen keeps a low profile in the media, but he has just sat down with TV reporters to discuss his “American Masters” documentary, “Inventing David Geffen,” which premieres Nov. 20 on PBS. My favorite extract concerns his thoughts about the waning power of movie stars. He says: “The story means more today than the cast means, and that’s a big change,” adding: “The biggest movies today don’t have stars in them.” Having ticked off such current examples as “Avatar,” he recalls the era in which a movie’s gross could be tied to the caliber of its stars. When one critic attempted to help him make his case with the example of Tom Cruise’s latest effort, “Rock of Ages,” bombing, Geffen stopped her. “It was a bad movie,” he said. “And it’s unusual when a bad movie succeeds.”

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