Anastasia Steele’s Interview Etiquette in the ’50 Shades of Grey’ Trailer Is All Wrong

Fifty Shades of Grey TrailerYouTube/Fifty Shades of Grey, Focus Features

Anastasia Steele may be a timeless literary hero. She may be a beacon of female agency in the realm of modern sexuality. She may be a vessel for the release of personal frustrations for readers the world over. She may be any and all of these things. But a good interviewer she is not. At least that’s what we’ve gleaned from the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey:

We’re not claiming to have all the answers behind a seamless interview, but we do know a few basic rules. Rules that Dakota Johnson, as the spiritually lukewarm Miss Steele, so callously breaks in this first look at the film. Steele pays a visit to the nauseatingly sleek office building of one Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) in order to conduct “an interview for the newspaper,” as she so facelessly introduces. What’s to follow is an onslaught of cardinal sins and groan-worthy slip-ups on the part of the would-be reporter.

Always look your subject in the eye.
Nerves are understandable, but keep your nose out of your notebook. Steele’s face barely reaches sea level.

Keep the discussion going.
Any conversation is bound to hit a few lulls, but Steele allows for a pause so diabolically long and piercing that it’s sure to kill any momentum in what otherwise might be an engaging back-and-forth.

Fifty Shades of Grey TrailerYouTube/Fifty Shades of Grey, Focus Features

Don’t make yourself the focus.
While it’s not a crime to inject a personal reflection here or there in the interest of forging an empathy and connection with your subject, Steele allows the chat to switch gears entirely and begins lamenting her own meaningless life. If you do insist on talking about yourself, keep it upbeat!

You probably shouldn’t go and have sex with the person you interviewed.
Although this one has its detractors.

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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