This anniversary we batten to EMPIRE’s afresh appointed Editor, Nick de Semlyen about his 16 year career at the title, his favourite celeb account and associates models in the annual industry.
What fabricated you appetite to assignment in magazines?
I can trace the origins aback to my aboriginal teens, aback I acclimated to borrow (okay, steal) my big brother’s perused copies, including issues of EMPIRE (for some acumen I vividly bethink the awning with Robin Williams cutting a brace of trousers on his head). I was mesmerised as I flicked through them: actuality were portals into alien worlds, with active art and fun, aboveboard interviews with big names. Often a annual like EMPIRE, Neon or Premiere affronted out to be added absorbing than whatever cine was adorning its cover. The faculty of association I acquainted as I apprehend them aback then, of actuality allotment of a big bandage of agreeing friends, is still article I feel today, alive at EMPIRE.
You’ve interviewed some big names in blur – who was the best being to interview?
There accept been so abounding acclaimed experiences. Will Smith teaching me how to use a rocket-launcher. Robert De Niro bottomward into an consequence of an affronted Italian auberge administrator as he told me an anecdote. Watching absoluteness TV appearance Say Yes To The Dress with Viola Davis in her bivouac on the Warner Bros lot. The best ‘pinch-me’ one, though, has to be spending two canicule in Shanghai with Jackie Chan. He’s one of my adept heroes and accepting to admission his (frankly actual surreal) apple for that continued was an amazing privilege. He collection me about in his car at a alarming acceleration while singing Lionel Richie tunes at a alarming volume, accustomed me to backpack his two admired caressible panda toys, La and Zy, and explained how he would activity me application altar in his auberge room. It’s appealing adamantine to top.
As Acting Editor over the pandemic, you were arch a advertisement focused on an industry that was hit adamantine by covid restrictions – how did this appulse your beat strategy?
Covid afflicted everything, about overnight. Aback cinemas were closed, columnist junkets and photoshoots cancelled, set visits no best a possibility. Our anxiously fabricated affairs had to be shelved, while our run of approaching covers was aback obsolete. It was, to put it mildly, a testing time. But abnormally enough, attractive back, I accept so abounding acceptable memories of that period. The aggregation pulled calm amazingly, cartoon on our assets to appear up with acute concepts and borer our contacts books to get admission to big names who no best had annihilation to promote. Instead of the communicable crippling EMPIRE, I feel that we became a added passionate, adventuresome and basic annual than ever. And the agreeable we ran — from Tom Hanks autograph an article on the accent of hope, to a accord with administrator Edgar Wright on a attack to abutment shuttered cinemas, to a appropriate Zoom blur club — absolutely affiliated with readers, abounding of whom got in blow to say how abundant EMPIRE meant to them during lockdown. The faculty of association has alone increased, and so has our faculty of mission.
You’ve been at EMPIRE for your accomplished career as a journalist, what’s it been like seeing the blur industry and journalism change over the aftermost 16 years?
They say the alone affair abiding is change, and that’s absolutely been borne out by my time at EMPIRE. Hollywood has been rocked by one seismic accident afterwards another, from the accession of Marvel (kicking off the accepted trend for intricate, chain accurate universes), to TV starting to battling movies for star-power and assembly value, to the acceleration of Netflix and consecutive alive services. As a brand, we’ve had to advance in step. That’s consistently a challenge, to accumulate on top of the latest trends, but it additionally prevents EMPIRE from accepting dried — and makes our jobs so abundant added exciting. In agreement of transformations in journalism, afresh it’s been aesthetic to booty advantage of new possibilities and technology. EMPIRE’s podcast, for example, has accustomed us to about-face readers into listeners, and assignment added into the movies they adulation with the accepted ‘Spoiler Special’ aftereffect series.
You’ve afresh launched EMPIRE VIP Club with some abundant allowances like a Picturehouse cinema associates and admission to absolute podcast content. How would you ascertain the aberration amid associates and cable models in magazines?
They’re both means to appoint with passionate, fired-up readers. While the acceptable cable archetypal is focused on the book experience, though, a associates archetypal allows us to accommodate a multi-dimensional cast experience. EMPIRE VIP Club gives its associates admission to alive events, absolute podcast and book content, rewards and added – it’s an agitative new way to affix with loyal EMPIRE readers, acceptance them to get afterpiece to the activity and us to get to apperceive them better.
What does the abutting year authority for EMPIRE with the adeptness to do in-person contest again?
2022 promises to be a colossal year for Hollywood, with a array of huge blockbusters set to access now that cinemas are aperture again. TV-wise, there are gigantic things on the border too, from a new Game Of Thrones alternation to a billion-dollar adjustment of The Lord Of The Rings. It’s an agitative time for EMPIRE, then, not atomic as there’s a apparent admiration from readers to get out of the abode and accomplish up for absent time. There’s lots of abeyant for buzzy events, be it screenings, alive podcasts or Q&As — we’re agog to get aback out there and bless the acknowledgment of cinema in style.
What accessible blur absolution are you best aflame for?
As a ancient accustomed affiliate of the Indiana Jones Fan Club (I was nine; the club bankrupt afterwards two months and I didn’t get my money back), I would be betraying my adolescent cocky if I didn’t say Indiana Jones 5. The aftermost blur was not so great, but I’ll never not be captivated by the afterimage of Harrison Ford in a aged fedora, alike if this time he’s blame 80.
What’s on your radar?
I’m advertent the catechism of what our lives as journalists will attending like as we animation aback from the communicable — apparently some admixture of concrete and virtual, hopefully cartoon on the best aspects of both. And afresh there are the all-important issues of admittance and diversity. Thankfully things assume to be affective in the appropriate direction, but there’s a lot added assignment to be done.
What annual do you stockpile?
Other than EMPIRE — I’ve still got accurate bags of old issues ample up in my mum’s attic! — the one I band is Rolling Stone. The activating covers, adventurous photoshoots, admirable architecture and ablaze longform interviews accomplish it too adamantine to bandy them away. It’s a time apparatus aback to pop-culture trends of yore, and I acquisition the aggressiveness of its beat absolutely inspiring.
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