For his new documentary, “Teenage Paparazzo,” actor Adrian Grenier turned the camera on the paparazzi.
Grenier, star of HBO's "Entourage," gained access to the paparazzi culture by following the exploits of 13 year-old Austin Visschedyk, who cruises around Hollywood on his bike or skateboard chasing celebrities for photos.
Grenier told Here & Now’s Robin Young that he wanted to understand what drove the paparazzi to risk life and limb following celebrities through the streets of Hollywood. He picked up a camera himself and joined their ranks.
"I couldn't make a judgement about the paparazzi until I tried it myself," Grenier said. "I had to put myself in their shoes."
Dogged by the paparazzi himself, as a famous Hollywood actor, Grenier didn't expect to learn much from the horde of photographers that watch celebrities like hawks. Through the course of the film, however, it's obvious Grenier grows to understand celebrity in all of its forms.
"I look at Paris Hilton and I think there's an artistry to what she does," Grenier said. Hilton's "job" is to "create stories. When she walks out of her house, she's performing."
After sprinting to get a shot of Brooke Shields, Grenier began to understand the thrill of the paparazzi life.
“I realized this is it,” Grenier said. “This is why they do it, because it is so much excitement, and the adrenalin is pumping. It tickles this desire for the hunt… for the chase.”
For the full interview, tune into WBUR’s and PRI’s Here & Now Monday at 12 p.m.
This program aired on September 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.