Ruby Wax InterviewsRuby Wax Interviews
Despite her variety of work over the years, Ruby is probably best known for her
celebrity interviews in the series 'Ruby Wax Meets ... ‘
She has abandoned the predictable routine of Parky-type chat shows and broken
all the respected rules and conventions.
Ruby doesn't have a studio, set or live audience. She travels around the world
to be wherever the stars are, at work, home or away. She doesn't let stars plug
their latest products, except on rare occasions such as when she made Bette
Midler sing a piece from her latest album (in a department store on the
escalator!) while Ruby did actions in the background. If she gets temporarily
bored with the guest she wanders off to chat to the public, who in the USA,
don't have any idea who Ruby is!
She always feels free to pull a face when the guests aren't looking if she
doesn't agree with something they've said. She regularly interacts with the
viewers by speaking to the camera and making various facial expressions. She
also speaks to her film crew and producer quite often, whether she's supposedly
annoyed with something they've done or just to playfully demonstrate sexual
positions! (She found it impossible to understand one of Pamela's favourites
and so was given directions, which she tested out on the producer Clive)
However Ruby Wax appears to be a walking contradiction. She moans when Liza
Minelli makes it difficult to be interviewed, but one journalist had just as
much trouble trying to pin down Ruby for the same purpose. She doesn't like
too many people being around when she's interviewing people, yet when she
invades the working space of her guests, she ends up butting in and wangling
her way into being an extra (eg Dr Quinn). Ruby is one of the most prying of
interviewers, and has asked very personal questions to the biggest of stars,
yet she won't even reveal her age. (This is quite funny because almost every
article says Ruby is a different age – as well as being eternally 40-something
– one magazine gave Ruby’s age on two different occasions several years apart,
and she’d become younger!)
Ruby seems to amazingly different as an interviewer and interviewee. I get the
impression that if Ruby Wax were to interview herself, it would be a disaster.
However a journalist once posed this very question to Ruby, who just
replied 'I'd love it'. (I bet)
Ruby’s interview with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York was given huge amounts
of attention and caused much controversy. 14.8 million viewers watched the
programme and it was later nominated for a BAFTA award. However many critics
have claimed that Ruby made Fergie look ridiculous, locking her out of her
own home and snooping in her fridge and drawers. Ruby insists that she wanted
to present a sympathetic view of the Duchess, who was also apparently not very
impressed with how it turned out.
"Ruby is so sensitive about the subject that she turned off the tape recorder
of one broadsheet journalist who dared ask her about the Duchess."
Ruby is never deliberately rude to her guests, often she spends days talking
with them and getting to know them personally before having the cheek to
explore their houses and ask about sexual positions. She relaxes her
interviewees by telling them about her life and this is always removed from the
final show. Ruby has the courage and confidence to ask the questions we are
all dying to ask but would never dare to!
"A wax performance always contains energy and a willingness to look daft"
She has rehearsed on stage with the Spice Girls, got Friends star Lisa Kudrow
to sing Smelly Cat in Trafalgar Square, and shared a jacuzzi with Goldie Hawn.
She took OJ Simpson out on the streets to greet the public from those who
want his autograph to one who shook his hand before saying ‘I’ve never shaken
hands with a killer before’. OJ later jokingly pretended to stab Ruby with
a banana (as you do when you’ve been on trial for murder!)
She went on the set of Baywatch to meet with Pamela Anderson-Lee, where they
swapped mothercare tips and compared breasts. She transformed herself into a
Baywatch Babe - complete with red swimsuit in order to be an extra on the
show (she was later thrown off the beach) She chatted to the other extras
"Do you speak? Or do you just have breasts and therefore you are?" Ruby later
interviewed Pamela a second time and tried to pair up her own daughter with
Ruby has said that there won't be any more series of "Ruby Wax Meets..."
because she has run out of things to ask. She has explored all the angles and
I presume learned all she first set out to discover.
Ruby has now moved on from squeezing in bits of conversation with the public
in between the huge egos in ‘Ruby Wax Meets’, to meeting real people in
American Pie. She interviews a variety of just as nutty and interesting
characters ranging from child beauty queens to porn stars and New Yorkers on
the lookout for lurve.
Ruby does continue to chat with celebrities but in a more subdued way, in her
latest talk show ‘Ruby’. She has spoken with the likes of Eddie Izzard and Boy
George, Joanna Lumley and Jeanne Moreau, alongside famous authors and other
influential people. But the topic of conversation is not that of a typical talk
show. As usual Ruby has broken the rules and conventions and instead invites
the guests to talk about various issues and current news items. The audience
gets to see a different side of famous faces through hearing their range of
opinions, while Ruby for a change, tends to sit back and guide the conversation
rather than dominate it. It’s refreshing and once again there is a very
intimate feel to the show, guests are made to feel relaxed and there is no
studio audience which adds to the whole atmosphere being much more informal.
All in all this makes for an interesting programme that is much more low-key
than Ruby’s other prime time work. Unfortunately this also means it tends to
sit in a late slot on BBC2.
Ruby Wax Biography
Ruby Wax Press
© 1999 Copyright Caroline Marshall 1999. All Rights Reserved.