It’s far too easy to tag Aspen as “the nice guy”. He’s equal parts an entertainer; a bon vivant; an author; a producer; a star in his own right; an athlete; a journalist; and, yes – a very nice guy. At the luncheon on Friday 11/03 to launch his new book Dinner At Nelson’s, not only did he regale the attending elite with his many wonderful anecdotes on a life connected to Hollywood (“At Sunrise, the hierarchy goes: Intern, Cash Cow, Nelson’s producer…”), but also more than one song and each one perfect for the occasion (just ask Kate who was seranaded by Nelson after hearing that she’d gotten engaged that morning). Did you know there are lyrics to the Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeanie themes? Nelson does, and sang both for us.
Nelson list’s Hugh Jackman as the man: “He can do anything (except run marathons)”; & fellow Sunriser Melissa Doyle as the person he’d most love to cook dinner with. It’s obvious in the stories he relates that Nelson is no dirt-digger – and that’s a clear part of his appeal to the assembled and television audience.
The crowd certainly got their money’s worth, with photos happening all over the place and personal signings for those who wanted them. He had time for a word with anyone who wanted to speak with him – such a gentleman, devoting precious personal time to everyone. The event was ably hosted by Nelson’s Sunrise brother Mark Beretta, and the two played off each other like old friends.
A complete change of scene came from the refined confines of the The Strand Event Centre, out to the ‘burbs and Angus and Robertson’s in Victoria Point Shopping Centre. While the man may have looked a little harried and been near exhausted, it did not stop him happily signing books and posing for a million photos with the crowd that had waited to see him. A vastly different crowd, however no change in warmth or charisma from a man who showed why he is loved by just about everyone. Except maybe Reese Witherspoon.
He very generously and graciously offered me this interview at the end of the signing at Victoria Point. Entirely dignified in his Matthew Broderick “Stepford Wives” suit, he was happy to talk about anything – and I thank the gentleman in question so much for his time, his opinion, and his willingness to speak with me.
Again, a massive thank you to Nelson (and Patsy Rowe, his publisher) for the chance to see him and interview him for MolksTVTalk.