7 Things We Learned About Hollywood From Judy Greer

In I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, Greer dishes on celebrities, the Oscars and the paparazzi. Herewith, our seven favourite revelations

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1. How actors amuse themselves during press junkets
To relieve the tedium of answering the same questions over and over for hours, celebs play the “junket game”: a crew member picks a random word, and the star has to incorporate it into an answer. Promoting Elizabethtown, Greer got alligator: “I remember saying to one journalist that Susan Sarandon and I got along so well we were like two alligators swimming in the Everglades.”

2. The amazing thing Ashton Kutcher did for Greer’s dad
While Greer was shooting the pilot for Miss Guided, which Kutcher helped produce, he asked her what she’d do if the show got picked up. “I would buy my dad a Harley-Davidson,” she said. “He really wants one.” Months later, with the sitcom on ABC’s schedule, Greer received a card from Kutcher. “Inside the card was a photo of a Harley,” she writes, “and on the photo it said, ‘Call this number to arrange pickup.’”

Greer portrait3. Why Greer holds a grudge against Charlie Sheen
“He was nice to me but put a lit cigarette out in my fresh cup of coffee,” recalls the actress, who played one of Sheen’s love interests on Two and a Half Men.

4. Why M. Night Shyamalan deserves props
Say what you will of the director’s movies, but we wouldn’t mind working on one: once a week during the filming of The Village, “the names of all the crew members were put in a pot, someone would draw a name, and that person would win a trip for two to some fabulous destination.”

5. The truth about celebrity “candids”
Greer was shocked to learn that paparazzi pics in tabloids are often carefully staged. “Famous people are sometimes paid to walk around carrying or wearing [things],” she writes. “If you see a photo of a celeb walking down the street holding an Arby’s shake…they were probably paid by Arby’s to do it. They, most likely, had their hair and makeup done too, and I’ll bet you my entire brass snail collection that there is water in that shake cup.”

6. Free couture may not be as awesome as it sounds
In 2012, a famous designer lent Greer a gown for the Oscars: a beautiful black column with silver beaded stripes down the front. Unfortunately, someone stepped on the hem and the beads unravelled all over the red carpet. Also, the dress was so tight Greer had to take it off every time she peed. After one trip to the washroom, she walked past Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Meryl Streep without realizing she’d left the lingerie straps hanging out.

7. Greer turned down a role on…Desperate Housewives?
“I never used to think of jobs as something I could choose, I let jobs choose me,” writes Greer. The first offer she remembers rejecting: well, she won’t say what it was for, but she hints, “It rhymes with ‘separate mouseflies.’”

For more of Greer’s Tinseltown insights, read the book:
I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer ($30, Random House of Canada)