Jeremy Fogelman is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland. He received an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from University of Maryland College Park and his master’s in systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He currently works as a software developer by day and a film reviewer by night at hotchka.com. He is also part of the Washington, D.C.-area Film Critics Association.
What is your secret talent?
I can perform a pitch-perfect impression of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
Have you ever met anyone famous?
A few through my film criticism work. Last year I got to meet Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle from the original “Beauty & the Beast.” She still has those pipes! She was shorter than I expected though.
What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
Food becomes aggregated qualitative ephemera in my mind, like knowing I always loved my Bubbe’s lasagna, so I really only recall recent experiences. For example, after I came back late on a recent weekend, my brother made me hot dogs and it was a transcendent experience, which isn’t typical for hot dogs.
But maybe the best I can ever recall was when I was a kid on a visit with the family to NYC, and on the way out we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall pizza place on the Upper West Side, shockingly the best pizza I’ve ever had. That little shop is long gone now, but the memory remains.
Who is your alter ego?
I use different aliases in different contexts, but I have had more than a few nicknames. I think there’s a specific answer you’re looking for, but I don’t consider nicknames to be alter egos. Instead, my alter ego is the endless stream of alternative versions of myself that inspire my decisions, mistakes, and successes.
You freestyle poetry. Write a short poem about YP Spotlight.
Okay, putting me on the spot here...
Alighted in the city, the words atop
The segment of people, unable to stop
Personalities unwound in a world
Interests piqued in the words
It may be the capital,
but the insight is there
People described in a way
Watch the light spot the dark
Hit the spotlight on its mark
Its words and thoughts flowing with ease
Next time someone more
What is your go-to karaoke song?
These days it’s “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” by Britney Spears, dropped an octave or so because I’m a baritone.
What are you known for?
People that get to know me identify my excessively dry sense of humor, my unusually good memory of early Simpsons episodes, my insatiable desire to pedantically correct people, and my unwillingness to ever yell at anyone. And, I suppose, my glasses.
You are writing a 300-page memoir. What is the first sentence on page 150?
It turned out making homemade tomato sauce was simultaneously easier and harder than the diet itself.
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Maybe Daniel Radcliffe if he’s willing to wear glasses again, but I wouldn’t say no to a more glamorous version of me, like Oscar Isaac. He can play anything!
What would you do all day if money wasn’t an object?
I think I would write until my fingers hurt.
Interviewed by Batya H. Carl