We've been building to our big interview with Albert Brooks the last few days by dropping a few extraneous nuggets here and there. Friday it was Brooks's feelings on being a part of the Pixar family and his sequel pitch for "Finding Nemo." Yesterday it was his take on Steven Soderbergh's kinda, sorta retirement. Today, though, it's all about his impressive presence on the social networking website Twitter.
Basically, if you're on Twitter and you don't follow @albertbrooks, you're missing out. With so many celebrities taking to the site for boring self-promotional outreach or opportunistic, blank-faced PR on behalf of this or that cause, it's always refreshing when someone actually uses it for creative and entertaining means, peeling back the layers a bit to offer up a little personality.
And Brooks taken to it like a duck to water. Whether it's one-liners or humorous takes on current events, he's using the platform well. It was launched ostensibly to promote his recent book, "2030," but it has folded in nicely with "Drive" PR over the last few weeks. (And, he tells me, he has an affinity for In Contention because the first Tweet he got in response to the film's Cannes bow was from our own Guy Lodge, before he'd heard word one out of the fest.)
Here are his thoughts on entertaining the world, one Tweet at a time:
"I tell you, it's funny. You'd be surprised. I put more thought into this than I should for a medium that produces zero income. I'll run these by my wife. 'What do you think? You like it?' I'll call a friend. I take it, like, seriously. I know what you mean, though. There's a lot of people who just say, 'Oh, watch me at eight o'clock tonight.'
"I like it because it lets me comment on the news and the sort of day's events. I have no knowledge of Facebook. Facebook doesn't interest me. I know what it is I just don't have any desire to go on it. But Twitter, I like these ways of sort of commenting on, you know, the republican debate. If I wasn't doing that I'd be calling a buddy and doing it on the phone. So I'm calling hundreds of thousands of buddies."
But how would his "Drive" character, mobster Bernie Rose, take to Twitter? Brooks put a lot of effort into his backstory so he's quick with a reply:
"Bernie wouldn't know what Twitter is. Bernie wouldn't have ever heard of it. The only thing that Bernie would be doing on his computer is gambling."
Check back tomorrow for our full interview with Brooks as it'll be all about Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" and the buzz he's getting for his supporting performance in the film.