It Takes All Kinds

a Few Stories and Profiles by Erik Hedegaard from Inside the Pages of Rolling Stone (with Additional Commentary and Falderal Provided by the Author)

Carlos Santana!

This story was a failure, largely because I wrote it at around 5,000 words and it got cut to what you see here now.  It was a failure at 5k too, but still …  So, read it if you must.  But if possible please ignore and go on to the next…

Russell Brand: Sexy Beast

Sheesh, I don’t know, I guess I liked him. Hard to tell. Maybe yes, maybe no. Very draining fellow to hang around, though; while he’s awake he’s always on, demanding to be the center of everyone’s attention, charmingly, of course, but relentlessly. Too bad Get Him to the Greek tanked. I really think it was marketed wrong. Brand should have been positioned as the star, not that chubby dude. Anyway … sorry about the sucky ending; I just couldn’t find a better way out. Win some, lose some…

Jesse James, before the split

Post cheating on Sandra Bullock, we all know what a self centered jerk he is. I wish I’d been prescient but such was not the case. He is a weird guy to talk to, though; his affect is just a little left of center. It also adds to his appeal, somewhat.

Rise & Fall of the Campus Nazi

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CAMPUS NAZI Under a hot, cloud-filled sky at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the boys are slapping along in their Birkenstocks, and the girls are skipping along in their frilly sundresses, and on the second floor of the F.W. Olin Building, in Room 213, eight kids are listening […]

Joe Walsh Rides Again

He’s trashed hotel rooms with Keith Moon, had a love affair with a chain
saw and was drunk for thirty years, but against all odds he survived.
Now one of rock’s most underrated guitarists is ready to hit the road
with his original band

Little Jimmy Cameron Gets Even

Jim Cameron, the director of Avatar, must have been some weird kid. In person, he didn’t want to talk about it, but when I got in touch with some of his former classmates, they opened right up. Pretty funny stuff, when you think about how far he’s come. The man’s drive must be ferocious, and if you believe everything you hear, so must be his temper. Naturally, he didn’t put that temper on display for me. He was calm as could be, up until the moment I started talking about his childhood. Then he jumped to his feet, made some comment about “therapy,” and high tailed it out of the room. Must be more there than even his former pals know about. Probably a lot more.

The Lobster Boy Is a Killer

NOT LONG AGO, A FREAK NAMED Grady Stiles sucked on a Seagram’s 7 and Coke, fired up a Pall Mall, and stared at the moist image of actress Sherilyn Fenn and her genetically fine boobies on the TV screen. This was in his trailer home near Tampa, Florida, in a town called Gibson-ton. Grady was […]

Megan Fox Is Just Too Hot

So, I spent about 1.5 hrs with Megan Fox and did what I could with what I got. She sat across a hotel room from me the entire time, in a hard-back chair, legs crossed, perfectly composed, while I did everything I could to get her to loosen up. At one point, I shucked off my shoes and jumped up on the couch and began waving my arms. Nothing doing. She didn’t even seem to notice. The only time I got her off her mark is when I took her to a full-length mirror, to get her to tell me what she saw. That undid her a little.

Nonetheless, I liked her and thought she was pretty fun, despite herself. Go figure.

The Guys of the Hangover

Hanging with Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms, the three stars of Summer 09’s biggest hit movie.

The Heavy Life of Hulk Hogan

Wow.  What a guy.  And what a lot of stink when the story came about.  So he once thought about going OJ on his wife?  Big freaking deal.  He was in the middle of a brutal divorce.  Lots of things go through your head.  That doesn’t mean he was going to act on them. Of […]

Smokin’ with Jason Segel.

The strangest in the Apatow universe is a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, womanizing Everydude who turns each of his humiliating missteps into comedy gold.

Robert Downey Jr

I went to a birthday party with Downey, a sit-down affair with maybe about 20 other people, and he spent most of his time with his wife, huddling with her. Other people made a little fuss about him, but he never made a fuss about himself, not even a little. These were Hollywood people, and he seemed content to just be. He’s so wired most of the time, it was nice to see that he can relax and lay off the verbal hijinks.

Johnny Depp

This post used to start off, “What more can one say? He’s the best.” And, as the story here testifies, I had good reason to think that. Well, I now have a few reasons to think otherwise. I may post more on this later. Or I may not. Meanwhile, the story remains the same.

Sharon Stone

Sharon invited me into a bed and, after due consideration, in I went. Later, someone got the bright idea I was her new fling: Sharon’s Bed Man Revealed. In my dreams. Anyway, she was a delight to pal around with, full of life and high spirits and haughty, too, which is a combination I tend to favor.

Chuck Palahniuk.

Under the skin of Chuck Palahniuk, America’s most deranged novelist CHUCK PALAHNIUK IS PACKING BOXES, large boxes and small boxes. Into some of the boxes go Whitman’s Samplers, chocolate-covered cherries, necklaces strung by him with beads that spell out the names of the addressees, small rubber ducks, birthday candles, novelty erasers and fake dog poo. […]

The Girls of Scream 2

Rebecca Gayheart, Neve Campbell, Tori Spelling, S.M. Gellar, etc.
I heard that this story really pissed off Sara Michelle Gellar — and really pleased Tori Spelling. Yeah, well, that’s just as it should be.

Scream Team Kids

Another experiment in the “royal we”. I can’t help myself, as in, from the story:

This is no time to be dwelling on moral decay and the loss of true north. We have our Scream 2 Six to think about. There’s Neve Campbell, Party of Five babe and plucky survivor of the first Scream, who in the sequel is a college freshman pledging a sorority. There are her maniac-dodging sisters on campus: Jada Pinkett, so fine in The Nutty Professor and Will Smith’s flame; Rebecca Gayheart, formerly the face of Noxzema and no doubt still quite creamy; and Sarah Michelle Gellar – Buffy! And then there’s Tori Spelling, who plays Campbell’s character in a movie within the movie (and about whom need we say more?); and, finally, Heather Graham, Boogie Nights’ very own saucy Rollergirl. She is also in the metamovie. It’s called Stab! We refuse to reveal more.

Mark Wahlberg’s X-Rated Redemption

This was my second profile of Wahlberg and my guess is, he wasn’t too happy with it, though in my eyes it’s one big lovefest. In recent months, I’ve run into him several times while out with profile subjects and, grim Wahlberg smile on his lips, he typically says to them, “Be careful. Be very careful.” And then he gives me a hug. I guess that’s the way they do it in Hollywood. Anyway, he’s one of my favorite guys.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop’s Higher Vision For the Doggfather, global domination ain’t nuttin’ but a g-thang

All about Eva (Longoria)

Eva Longoria is TV’s hottest, youngest and least desperate housewife These days, lots of people want a piece of Eva Longoria, who is probably the biggest thing to come out of the biggest must-see water-cooler-type program to arrive on network TV in years: ABC’s weird and warped suburban soap opera, Desperate Housewives. Let’s say she […]

Kiefer Sutherland

Drinking to forget with the star of 24 — the magazine gave the story a subhed along those lines, naturally, because it hints at the most lurid bits in the piece. I wasn’t happy with it. And wish I’d done the story differently, too. Kiefer deserved better.

The Words of Leonard Carlo

The Words of Leonard Carlo: In a little bar out west lives the most profane man in America. And when he speaks, people listen. Not so much because he’s got all that much to say, but because he’s certain he has the right to say it. This is a story about the perils of freedom, to the soul of one man, at one time.

Inside Pro Bodybuilding

This one is from a long time ago, when the great John Homans was my editor at Details, which was then one of the hottest magazines anywhere and routinely ran longform stories. Got many threats upon its publication — threats of physical violence and lawsuit-type threats. None were carried out. Actually, everything I wrote in the piece was true, as was acknowledged by the bodybuilding buff magazines, which in print begin referring to me as a “pencil necked geek.”

Gisele Bundchen pre Tom Brady

She speaks quickly, melodically, charmingly, volubly, dizzyingly, jumping from thought to thought. Soon she is holding forth on her sleeping habits. “Sometimes when it’s too hot,’’ she says, “I just sleep in my underwear. If it’s colder, I sleep in pajamas. I don’t like to feel closed in. I like no pillows. I like very fluffy beds. I sleep on my stomach and sometimes on my side, but never on my back. Now, if I have my boyfriend with me, I kick him out of bed, because I move around a lot. I’m the worst person. I steal blankets.’’

Arianna Huffington


ARIANNA HUFFINGTON abandoned her right-wing ideals, spawned a wildly
influential liberal Web site and made plenty of enemies along the
way-but she’ll still charm the pants off you.

Jack Nicholson

I’m still too close to this one to say anything about it. I need distance from … the dent! Nonetheless, Nicholson was great to talk to, open and funny and game to go almost any place I wanted to go. More later

Simon Cowell

I had more fun reporting and writing this story than just about any other. Cowell is a tremendous character. He’s full of surprises and likes nothing more than for you to tangle with him, roll your eyes in his direction, and snort like you really don’t believe a word he’s saying, even when you do.

Justin Timberlake

In many ways, he’s an interviewer’s dream: open, friendly, not given to taking offense at intrusive questions. It took a while to get him to open up, but once he got going, he basically interviewed himself, asking himself the same kinds of questions I would have asked. A good guy.

Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino

This is one of my most favorite stories ever, in terms of lots of things but mainly structure. I used the royal “we” to write it, since the first person and I have never been on agreeable terms, and caught a lot of flak for doing so. What did Q & T think of the piece? Quentin hated it, or at least his publicist did (see freaked-out letter). As to Uma, how could she not think I’m the swellest guy ever?

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn

I got word that Owen, at least, wasn’t thrilled by this one. It seems that I didn’t spend enough time in the story talking about his versatility as an actor. As it happens, however, I am not a film critic, so his versatility, whatever it may be, is not something I thought I could honestly address. As a film-goer, I did feel comfortable saying that he seems to play the same character lots of times; maybe that’s what he really took exception to. In any case, I hope he doesn’t think I was trying to get even with him for how badly he trounced me in foosball. I walked into the game thinking I was pretty good but he beat me fair and square. And I didn’t even mind his gloating. It was well earned.

P. Diddy

I went, I saw, I hung out with. One thing I liked about him, he took care of me while I was in his orbit. Most of them don’t.

Perez Hilton


How did a pudgy TV addict from Miami become the most hated man in Hollywood?

The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt

This is the first longish story I’ve done in RS in a while. So far, it’s been all over the JFK-assassination blogs but not one mainstream news organization has picked up on it. Hmmm. BTW / as noted in the piece, I attended high school with St. John Hunt. He was a great guy then and seems to be the same now, despite his decades of meth madness. It was

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke used to be the next Brando, but then everything went to hell. Now he wants another chance

Shania Twain

Got a call from Twain’s manager, the great Jon Landau, after the story ran. He told me he truly loved the piece and that it was the most insightful writing on the singer to date (yeah, yeah) but that he was sure she would either hate it or be deeply conflicted about it. Never heard one way or the other, however, which is par for the course.


Bob Saget is relaxing on the beach in Miami, shaded from the sun and heat by a cabana and letting his head spin. Once, everybody thought he was Mr. Wholesome, a reputation based on his role as the goody-two-shoes dad on TV’s Full House (also starring those Olsen twins) and the grinning, cheeseball host of […]

Shane Black

A decade ago, the hottest screenwriter in Hollywood up and vanished. Now he’s back HOT COMEBACK YOU PROBABLY DON’T know who Shane Black is, but he lives in Los Angeles, in a humongous mansion of the French château style, fourteen great-big, dimly lit rooms in all, where he can shuffle around for days on end […]

Me, Professional Gambler

It didn’t last long. And it didn’t end well. But at least I left with my shirt.

Iggy Pop

WITH A HEART FULL OF NAPALM, HE TERRORIZED AND REVOLUTIONIZED THE WORLD OF ROCK & ROLL NOTHING MAKES SENSE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHO IGGY POP WAS. BACK THEN, RIGHT around 1969, while the rest of the world was going psychedelic, he presided over quite some reign of perverted rock & roll terror. He would slather […]

Chloe Sevigny

Chloë Sevigny talks sex, drugs, fashion and her useless brush with Oscar EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, IT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA TO check in with wispy, ultra-happening, Oscar-nominated, New York-living actress Chloë Sevigny, 28, and see what’s up with her, because a lot often is. This time, she’s found oking a Parliament at […]

Ross Jeffries, the Speed Seducer

Before Mystery, before Neil Strauss, before any of those conniving seducers, there was Ross Jeffries. This is him and these are his horndog students.

Cool-Hot Norah Jones

“Rump steak,” she said brightly. “I’ve always liked the sound of that. Is it really the rump? I guess that’s why they call it that. It’s the ass. It tastes like ass.” She laughed at her own train of thought. She ordered a beef tenderloin, cooked medium, as well as a cucumber salad and avocado dip; and then, with all that to look forward to, launched into a brief account of how she got here in the first place.

Chris Farley: the Big Guy Goes Down

CHRIS FARLEY 1864-1997 The last time I saw chris farley was early last summer, in the middle of the night, at the Sky Bar, a breezy, cool, happening joint on Sunset Boulevard, in L.A. He eased on out of his limo as big as ever, in black engineer’s boots, a black suit and a spread-collar […]

Denis Leary

Denis Leary vents his rage onstage so he doesn’t have to deal with it
in real life. Is this any way for a normal person to behave?

Ozzy Osbourne

Not long ago, this piece was a top-
five finalist at the National
Magazine Awards, which is the
magazine racket’s equivalent to the
Oscars. The piece ran before the
advent of the Osbournes’ TV show
and, in fact, paved the way for the
show. Did they ever thank me with
a nice fat cash gift? Hell no! That’s
gratitude for you.

Smoking Pot with Rodney Dangerfield

Gone to Pot Rodney Dangerfield finally gets a little respect You may be wondering what Rodney Dangerfield, at the age of eighty-two, after nearly a lifetime in the business of making other people laugh, is up to these days. Mainly, he’s bathrobed and hanging out in his airy, ultradeluxe twenty-first-floor apartment in Los Angeles, smoking […]

Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate & Selma Blair

In which we take on the challenge and learn much about sex, swearing, male losers, female bonding, babe-on-babe action and kissing with too much tongue ONE SUNNY DAY, ACTRESSES CAMERON Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair converge on an unsuspecting little bistro and bakery in West Hollywood, where they belch a lot, cuss a lot, […]

Michael Bay: the Director

I hear that Bay called a friend after reading this one and asked her if she thought he needed to go see a shrink. The answer, I have not heard.

Asia Argento, So Very Very …

This was actually an RS cover story and probably one of the worst sellers in the history of the magazine. It’s not because people hate Argento, of couse, but because, at the time, nobody knew who the hell she was. And they still don’t.
Meanwhile, this was one of my early experiments in using the so-called royal we, which I did in order to avoid having to use the dreaded “I” word. This, too, probably held back a few issues from being sold. Oddly, the story was a rush job that I reported over the phone but presented as if I were right there, in the hotel room with her, as she said things like, “Yes, I have many wet dreams, all the time, very sexual dreams. They are the best. Recently, I had one about a love I’d had, and actually the sex with him wasn’t really great. But in the dream he was very good. So maybe I was trying to help him in some way.” Hot. Very, very hot.

Tori Spelling

This is the second story I’ve done about Tori Spelling. She gets a lot of heat, but I like her (though, as you’ll see if you read my eBay story, I did skip out early during a lunch with her so I could go on an old-calculator hunt in L.A.’s 2nd-hand shops. Hey, you’ve got to have your priorities!)

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Oddities & Ends

The Lobster Boy: an American Horror Story
Pro Bikini Contest Babes!
My Stupid Y2K Problem
Pro Bass Fishing New Agers
Nazi on Campus
Nikki Avalon
Me, Professional Gambler
The Grass Casters' Tale
Inside Pro Bodybuilding
Ross Jeffries, Speed Seducer
eBay Fries a Brain
World's Worst Investor
Asheville's Would-be Nudist Mayor

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