Shock and sorrow continue to ripple through the internet over the sudden death yesterday of Daniel Robert Epstein. In a medium where any yahoo with an internet account can be an “interviewer,” Epstein was a real writer and conversationalist, and the outpouring not just from his co-workers but publicists and even people he interviewed is testament to this. More remembrances from Suicide Girls, Blog@, The Reeler, Ed Douglas at Coming Soon, Chris Arrant, Eric Reynolds, Jamie Qualls at D&Q, and Mark Millar. It’s not often you’ll see that mix of people talking about the same person, and it’s another tribute to Epstein’s vast level of skill and interest. I’ll quote something from Ed Douglas which probably shows the professional side of Epstein better than anything — the guy took chances. And in this line of work, that was very very rare.
I won’t bore you with too many stories but my favorite Dan moments were when we used to do roundtable interviews together back in the day, and he’d always want to ask the questions that everyone else was afraid to ask… usually something personal that no one would ever have the nerve to bring up. You have to understand that Dan was a BIG guy who could probably get away with it since no one would ever dare take a swing at him. Of course, more than once, I was the poor soul who was caught in the middle of Dan and whoever he was interviewing at the time he decided to ask one of those questions. But that said, he wasn’t one of these journalists who was trying to purposely get dirt on celebrities or be mean to the people he was interviewing because he really was a fan of their work and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and character actors and things that most people would have to go onto IMDb to find out.