You don’t need to buy Ms. Malcolm’s take on the reporter-subject relationship (“Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible”) or, for that matter, Joan Didion’s (“Writers are always selling somebody out”) to grasp the more unsavory aspects of this kind of exchange. No matter how principled, journalists use other people — for information, inspiration, personal gain and the greater good — which means they’re like anyone else who navigates social relationships for a living, including, of course, actors. The screenplay for “Interview” acknowledges as much, even if Mr. Buscemi and his co-writer, David Schechter, also play definite favorites.
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