Q: When celebrities are asked why they took a certain role, they almost always say how it was an opportunity to work with a certain director, or how they always wanted a role like that, blah-blah-blah. Why don't they ever say, "Because they offered me $10 million and a piece of the take -- how could I turn that down?"

Les Brown, Fairfax

A: They tell us everything and nothing, skipping the obvious answer: I need to keep working.

From this might flow all the honesty we ever craved from our celebrities, who seem genetically engineered to avoid it: The house I bought in Hollywood Hills isn't quite paid for, ergo my appearance as the babe in (fill in blockbuster here, and add chase scene). I am terrified of slipping even a little bit from the zenith of fame I apparently reached in mid-2002, ergo I signed on to this hopeless horror-movie-with-a-twist-no-one-expects-only-everyone-sees-coming.

Let us not forget the key charades of movie stardom: We are all serious, serious artists here. We all wish very much to work with one another and just be in the presence of one another's genius. We never argue on the set, and we are all huge fans of one another's oeuvre(s), even those of us who apparently used to date one another. Pay means nothing and artistic integrity is all. We'd love to discuss this further, but it's time for our YogaColonic, then off to cavort in the park very publicly with our husband, who is not homosexual.

But let's also blame the fluff-brained questioners in the infotainment world. When the star launches into the usual pap, the blow-drieds seldom interrupt to ask this key follow-up: "I've heard other actors say that before. But what do you really mean?" Some other useful questions, should you find yourself going mano-a-celebo in future movie media junkets: "Why?" "Hunh?" And my favorite, "Do you realize that what you just said will make no sense whatsoever to anybody who reads this interview?"

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