Why was there a band-aid on Ryan O’Neal’s nose during his interview with Matt Lauer on Today? The former film icon has just published a memoir of his thirty year relationship with the equally famous Farrah Fawcett, called Both of Us. The book he said is not a tell all – but rather a tribute to the highs and lows of their volatile relationship. Bizarrely, the distracting band-aid remained on his nose for the entire interview and was never mentioned.
This was however the second attempt at an interview. The first interview never got off the ground with O’Neal leaving the studio in a frantic hurry after what he later conceded might have a been a panic attack. “I don’t know what was wrong,” he confessed to Matt Lauer second time around. “I just broke out into a terrible sweat, so I just went home.”
His second interview was emotional and full of stops and starts. He talked of his family’s problems including Fawcett’s addiction to antibiotics. Lauer quoted O’Neal in the memoir as saying the couple’s behaviors arose because “we both had a feeling of leading pointless lives.” O’Neal looked genuinely startled. “Did I say pointless?” he asked rhetorically. Even Matt Lauer didn’t know where to turn.
The PR Verdict: “C” for Ryan O’Neal for an interview he was clearly summoning all his energy to get through. A gentler print interview might have been a better route for this client.
PR Takeaway: This interview had the hallmarks of a sympathetic therapist talking to a troubled patient. Sometimes it might be better to give the PR prize of a national interview a pass, and stick with some gentler, less exposing forms of publicity.
To read more and see the interview click here.
What ‘s your PR Verdict?