Interviews, and interviewers, are a special entity all their own. Interviews, when conducted well, provide rare, intimate glimpses into the souls of some of the most interesting people in the world. I have had the privelege of seeing, as many people have, some brilliantly crafted and guided interviews, but none so much as the interview Charlie Rose conducted with J.K Rowling.
Now, perhaps the fact that she is a writer makes me a bit biased, along with the fact that I admire her greatly, making me prediposed to be enamored with her interview regardless. However, it also would make me harder to please as I have seen several interviews with her previously.
From the get go it was obvious that this was to be different. Rowling seemed immediately comfortable, which is unusual for her as she is quite shy. She settled comfortably in her seat, leaned across the table and was actively engaged in talking with Rose as if they were simply having tea. For his part, Rose didn't ask the normal questions that one would ask, questions such as was she excited about her next book, or how she wrote "Harry Potter". No he asked her questions that made her pause and think, not just read from her biography a list of facts. He wanted to know her thoughts on subjects, and more than that, her train of thought. He encouraged her by asking intelligent questions that were probing but not invasive, engaging but not pushy.
At the end of the interview I had learned not only a great deal about Rowling's writing (a true feat as I am a tremendous fan) but about her. Not just her stats and facts of life, but her, what she thinks, how she feels. It was amazing. In addition, I learned a great deal about myself and my own writing and was inspired and encouraged in a way I could never have imagined by simply watching an interview. Charlie Rose did not just conduct an interview with J.K. Rowling, he had an intimate conversation with her which enlightened and inspired all who had the pleasure to partake in it.