In his new film, For Your Consideration, Christopher Guest skewers the awards-season buzz machine that begins cranking up right about now. The movie chronicles the making of a quirky little film and the hapless actors whose dreams of Oscar glory are fueled by a cavalcade of obsequious TV personalities.
Everyone from Ebert & Roeper to local-morning-show hosts get the Guest treatment, including a certain public-television interviewer with a penchant for stepping on guests’ answers. Apparently, Guest was inspired by a visit to The Charlie Rose Show while promoting his 2003 film A Mighty Wind.
Chief among the film’s caricatures are Cindy Martin and Chuck Porter, the smarmy hosts of Hollywood Now, a send-up of Entertainment Tonight-style magazine shows. Jane Lynch channels ET host Mary Hart, while Fred Willard, sporting a frosted faux-hawk, manages to be more obnoxious than Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush.
Was Bush actually an inspiration? "I was doing the Tonight Show a couple of times," says Willard. "And one time, Billy Bush came in my dressing room to introduce himself to me—and I was very flattered. And then the next time I was on, he came in, and he says, ‘I understand you modeled your character after me.’ And I felt bad. I don’t know if he was flattered or annoyed. I said, ‘Oh, no, he’s kind of a generic guy.’"