Feature Response: Halle’s World


Written on November 17, 2010 – 1:32 pm | by sweettea

Back in September, women’s fashion magazine Vogue published a feature article on a celebrity who had been MIA for quite some time: Halle Berry.

Jonathan Van Meter, the assigned (and lucky) reporter for this feature, jumps right into the main idea with the question “Where have you been, Halle?” He wastes no time in asking her why she hasn’t done any interviews lately. Van Meter should be happy he writes for Vogue, because Halle mentions she would be gracing the cover of the magazine’s biggest issue of the year. How could she possibly turn that offer down?

In order to get a feel for Halle’s life, Van Meter roams Beverly Hills with her for a couple of days. He gets full access to all her planned events and day-to-day activities, including being the first writer to ever enter her home. The organization style and reporting was excellent, because unlike a phone or Skype interview, Van Meter got to see Halle’s true personality without any restrictions as he shadowed her on a daily basis.

The article starts off with the writer and actress having lunch in Beverly Hills, where he questions her whereabouts in the last 3 years. The next day,  Van Meter finds himself at a gym with Halle and her personal trainer. That evening, Van Meter gets invited to dinner at Halle’s place in Malibu. The writer gets a tour of the house as the actress explains details about meaningful statues and pictures framed in her home. Next, Halle takes Van Meter with her to the domestic violence center she has a charity for. The feature story ends on a discussion about the right age to conceive children between Halle and Van Meter. Basically, the writer puts together a print documentary of Halle’s daily life.

Van Meter did his research prior to spending time with Halle. He knew about her recent breakup, about her infamous car accident in 2000 and consequences that came with that; he knew about bad movie reviews that critics wrote, and by asking about why she decided to give birth in her 40s, Van Meter even finds out what the “one thing God got wrong” is during his experience with the actress.

I love Van Meter’s writing style for this feature. Everything he mentioned had imagery to it. I could picture myself sitting eating dinner with Halle and her closest friends at her weekend place in Malibu; I could also see her working out intensively in her hot-pink top and “funny-looking split-toe sneakers.” Van Meter masters the style of emotional attachment in this feature by giving such visual details.

In my opinion, I don’t think there is anything I’d wish Van Meter should have or forgot to ask the Hollywood star.  He answers the main topic of where in the heck Halle has been, and what’s in store for her next. After reading this feature, I feel like I’m BFFs with her. Halle shared intimate secrets about her ex-relationship, being a mother to her daughter, and how to survive the curse of winning an Oscar. I think Van Meter successfully put together a feature article that presented everything a Halle fan would want to know.

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