NEW TREND? Female Journos Penning Flirtatious Profiles In Men's Magazines

evans

Edith Zimmerman‘s GQ cover story about “Captain America” star Chris Evans is all over the internet.

And for good reason: it’s great.

As one writer said, it reads like a diary entry, but a really, really enjoyable, intensely fun diary entry.

Zimmerman goes out drinking with Evans, ends up in a club, and sneaks out of his home at 5:30 a.m.

As she writes at one point, “Since we’re both single and roughly the same age, it was hard for me not to treat our interview as a sort of date.”

The format feels familiar: Pretty young thing sent out to profile celebrity. Flirts with celebrity. Writes charming profile based on the tale that’s as much about her as it is about him. 

Oh, that’s why: We’ve done this before, very recently.

There was Jessica Pressler spending a night in the desert with Channing Tatum in GQ, and Lisa Taddeo making dinner with Bradley Cooper.

And the profiles are fun, informative, and well-written. But three’s a trend, you know?

The story begins with Tatum in a sleeping bag.

'I wake to see Channing Tatum's face, framed by a camouflage Snuggie, wobbling above me. 'Hey,' he whispers, exhaling a cloud of booze so thick I can practically see it in the chilly air. 'I think we should go into the house before anyone sees us out here and shoots us or something.' Near us, beneath the bushes we slept under, are a half-empty bottle of Patrón, a glow stick, an unopened bag of Stacy's Pita Chips. I'm wearing a Snuggie, too. We are probably not exactly what the residents of this tiny mining town deep in the California desert would expect to find outside their windows.

Wait, pita chips? 'You brought snacks out here last night?' I ask.'

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Or in a midtown restaurant, eating Chinese food with Cooper.

'On a near-spring Sunday evening, on a forgotten block of midtown Manhattan, two young men in a Szechuan restaurant are talking about food and the world. They are in that early-twenties stage of being politically aware and culturally acute but otherwise kangaroos in pouches. On their table are five steaming plates of silken and brown and diaphanous noodles and meats and a bottle of good white. One young man is curly-headed, wearing plaid flannel, and might invent a social network. The other is overweight in a panama hat with the long singular brow of a samurai. If they have had sex recently, it was hard-won.'

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Or with a message about feeling Evans' muscles.

'chris evans pecs. how do they FEEL? like smooth stone from the souvenir shop?'

…is the instant message that pops up on my computer one Monday morning in April. My friend Kyle follows it up with a link to the gossip pages of the New York Daily News: I am being described as the 'mystery maiden' Evans introduced to his mother at a premiere party; we held hands, the paper is reporting, 'in a flirty manner,' and he even placed 'one of them on his chest.' Oh.'

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There's too much drinking between writer and subject.

On-set for Fighting, Montiel says, Chan and his co-stars Terrence Howard and Peter Tambakis had a game where they would punch each other as hard as they could. Once, after a night out in New York, where they were filming, Tambakis came back to the set with an unexplained black eye. 'When Chan drinks, you gotta watch it,' Montiel said. 'It's not like a bad drunk, it's like a crazy drunk.' By the time he warned me, though, it was too late.

'Bernadette, can I have another Budweiser, and can we have two more tequila shots?'

'Um,' I said.

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Or none at all because the digestive wasn't necessary.

'We're about to eat dinner with no wine or water and he was going to make this after-dinner digestive of fennel in olive oil. He starts to say it's an Italian custom, and I say that yes, I know about it... and suddenly the opportunity to impress is over. 'Do you think we need it?' he asks.

But slacking, even with a digestive, is like a small harbinger of failure, so he makes it anyway. He arranges the fennel in olive oil and adorns the dish with olives. He plates the stuffed squid on top of the whole-wheat pasta with a corona of steamed spinach. It looks pretty great and he kind of wants me to take a picture.

I say I'm impressed and he replies, 'It takes two.' But in general, in life, he only kind of means this.'

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Or maybe too much.

'But he does and, loudly enough for the entire car to hear, proceeds to tell the humiliating story of what happened after the club.

Up until half an hour earlier, I hadn't actually known what did happen. In fact, I had spent the week practicing breezy and reportorial-sounding questions like 'For fact-checking purposes, can you give me like a one-or-two-sentence recap of what we did after the club last Saturday?' Except when I finally found myself alone with him in his reserved booth, what came out was more along the lines of: 'Oh my God I was such a mess whaaat even happened whyyy am I always so drunk?'

He laughed. 'You don't remember?''

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And then we search for meaning in the end.

'The driver pulls onto the endless road out of town. 'Wow, look at that road -- it's like the longest road in the world,' Chan says. 'Like the road to heaven.' He turns to me. 'How are you even going to write this thing? There's not enough pages to encapsulate everything. If you need notes, just call me. Tee-hee-hee. I can't wait till you have the next interview with someone in this industry. If anyone tops this, you have to call me and be like, 'You just got topped.' And I'll be like, 'What! No! Where are you? I am flying to wherever you are. You have to call me. Promise.' '

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Cooper being Cooper? Or struggling to be.

'But beyond that, Bradley Cooper wants to realise Bradley Cooper, fully and irrevocably. That much is sure, the dedication is naked, but the question is, what level of a man and a star will the name Bradley Cooper mean?

After the bagels he retires to the couch, to watch television. He is almost longer than the couch but he is good at getting comfortable, and he falls asleep for a little while and when he wakes up, his inaugurated eyes focus on the screen. His friend's band is playing from his iPod in the other room, and Russell Crowe is silent but acting.

Half asleep but self-aware, Bradley Cooper whispers, 'Russell Crowe. Shit. He is. Next level.'

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Evans is wonderful.

'He's moving from group to group, laughing, toasting, making small talk, and perpetually returning to me for…I don't know what. He's still flirting, but if it's manipulative, it isn't insincere, and it's almost come full circle, from feeling genuine to feeling calculated to feeling sort of familiar and comfortable--although it's still a little weird to consider what's been real and what hasn't. But after a certain hour of the night and the whateverth glass of vodka-and-cranberry from the bottle-service bucket, I'm too tired to keep up with him or to figure out what the game is or has been. We hug, and I go.

'Don't be a stranger,' he texts the next day. And so we became Facebook friends.

···One other thing I should mention about Chris Evans: He is the greatest person I've ever met in my life, which is what I told him I'd say in this article if he gave me back the leather jacket I accidentally left at his house, and he did.'

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