As editor in chief of VANITY FAIR, dishing on celebrity foibles and excesses is what Canadian journalist GRAYDON CARTER does best. But today’s breed of celebrity is notable largely for one thing – a sheer desperation for fame, he says.

Between opening another New York restaurant and organizing VANITY FAIR’S annual OSCAR party in Los Angeles, GRAYDON CARTER has just released a compilation of favourite tales from Hollywood that draws its juiciest gossip from decades past.

Today’s hot young talent just doesn’t have the same kind of substance that their predecessors did, he remarked. His collection of VANITY FAIR articles, TALES OF HOLLYWOOD, came out last month.

“I don’t think the people are that interesting,” he commented from Los Angeles, where he was preparing for his magazine’s annual OSCAR bash.

“I don’t think this new generation reads that much – by and large. To be interesting you’ve got to be interested in things and I think they’re only interested in one thing – and that’s themselves.”

Still, taking part in the movie industry’s biggest night is something GRAYDON CARTER clearly enjoys.

A scaled back version of the ACADEMY AWARDS shindig will be held at the SUNSET TOWER HOTEL. He says that the guest list has been slashed by 500 people to a trim 650 and the budget has been reduced to one third that of previous years.

“You want make things in keeping with what’s going on around you,” attributing the reduced scale to the slumping economy.

“Only a fool would ignore the present situation.”

TALES FROM HOLLYWOOD features a collection of 13 magazine pieces that explores the behind the scenes machinations of films including THE GRADUATE, ALL ABOUT EVE, CLEOPATRA and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.

He notes that Hollywood studio system of the past means it was probably a lot more fun to be a celebrity 50 years ago than today, when relentless entertainment coverage documents every famous misstep.

“The studio system protected you. It was like an enveloping cloak around you and you could lead a much more normal life.”

“You know, they all lived down in Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades or in the flats of Beverly Hills. There are tree lined streets with sidewalks. You knew your next door neighbour and it was a smaller town and a much cosier existence than it is now.”

While he bemoans today’s superficial media coverage of the entertainment industry – specifically the way box office figures have been given such prominence – he has little sympathy for celebrities that disparage the machine behind their fame.

“These movie stars, they complain about the gossip columnists and paparazzi until they stop showing interest in them and then the validation of their lives is taken away. Then you see some people doing very desperate things to try to stay in the public eye.”

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