He’s celebrities’ secret bogeyman. His words can set reputations on fire, or catapult them to the top of olymp. He’s Berlin’s cheecky whirlwind and possibly the coolest gossip columnist EVER. We present: Marcello!
We’re glad you could make time for us, Marcello. How does one become a gossip columnist?
Berlin’s nightlife always played a major role in my life. I started going out at 16. Two years later, I became a gogo dancer. I met lots of people during that time. From David Bowie to Blondie, everyone was thriving on the hedonistic Berlin nightlife. When I took up a job as make-up artist and worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, I had to cut down the partying. In the early 90s a friend of mine founded the 030 magazine and said “Hey, you know everyone! You should write about it!” So that’s what I did. I was sick of actors anyway. They’re all crazy. I work as a Berliner now (laughs).
So… how do you learn people’s secrets? Surely they don’t just tell you everything because you ask nicely.
My former column was called “Marcella’s heiße Spalte”. I was living as a transsexual back then – not a trash tranny, always with style. It was the perfect image for my column. I went to the parties looking totally normal, so no one expected that I was Marcella. People told me their secrets and soon Marcella would pick them up in her column. They never figured out it was all one person. These days I’m not Marcella anymore. My column is now published in somewhat bigger newspapers. Look for “Partyspionin Rita Bond” in the B.Z.!
Secrets… what kind of secrets?
Oh, this and that. Who’s opening a new club, who is fighting whom, the small-scale wars between different scenes… sometimes I spilled a few secrets I probably shouldn’t have. I admit I enjoyed that a little bit.
Don’t people get pissed off when you write about them?
Oh, they do. Tough luck! But I don’t just write to expose little stories. My column has always depicted trends, too, like the nightlife scene moving from “one love, one family” to the separatism that clubs like Berghain and Kater Blau celebrate so much. Some people do get pissed, though. Once author Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre wanted 18.000€ for the use of ONE word. It ended in court with the payment of 150€. Then there was this girl. She climbed Kingsize’s bar counter on the closing night, got her boobs out and splashed champagne all over them. A person who does that obviously wants to be at the center of attention. I took a lovely picture and sent it to the 24h B.Z. live ticker. A year later she sued us for 4.000€. We took the picture offline of course. But we don’t pay for stupidity.
How do you know where the celebrities hang out?
From my spies in the gastronomy scene! Often I’m simply invited to celebrity events though, after all they need gossip to remain the talk of the town. I approach them, tell them I work for a newspaper, do a little small talk and that’s usually all it takes. The trick is to be as tipsy as they are, otherwise they think you’re plotting something.
What’s your craziest story?
Some time ago Kate Moss was in Berlin to present a new perfume series. I was invited too, so when she was finally done getting drunk and we were allowed in, I asked her for a picture. She became very rude and insulted me, so I thought to myself “Allllright baby. I will not be treated this way!” She was so drunk, I knew it would just be a matter of time until she’d do cocaine on the toilet. So I waited. It paid off. I took a lovely picture of her, coming out of the cabin, white crumbs still dripping from her nose. She snapped and punched me in the face. I have a great picture of that too.
Do celebs NEED gossip?
Oh yes! Celebs below B-list will do anything for a bit of press coverage. What people don’t realise is most celebrities aren’t rich. They live on fame and attention.
What do you think about famous “underground” club Berghain being talked about on US Television?
No point complaining. Berghain is a tourist club. If Bill Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel is telling everyone how great Berghain is, there’s no need to be surprised. What’s still cool about the scene – celebrities don’t automatically get into clubs just because they’re famous. They have to wait in line like everybody else.
In 3 words, what does Berlin mean to you?
Freedom. Innovation. Hedonism.
Can you recommend a good restaurant?
Thanks for taking the time, Marcello!