New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof claims to be "more at home with mosquitoes than the movie crowd," but stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Ben Affleck are all fans of his reporting on global health, poverty and conflict issues. "I can't claim to have been a great source of information, but occasionally we'll send e-mails or exchange some tidbit," Kristof tells In Touch modestly. But Angelina and Brad showed up at his book party in October, and he even visited the African country of Chad with George. "He was a fun travel partner. We ended up bunking together as roommates in a quite wretched room in a hotel with a huge bloodstain on the wall. He was a very considerate roommate!"
Last year, he found himself at the Sundance Film Festival — but this time he is the star of a new HBO documentary, Reporter, executive produced by Ben. "We both had a common interest in Congo, but it was through Sudan that we got to know each other, initially exchanging e-mails and then meeting," Kristof tells In Touch. The movie follows Kristof on a dangerous 2007 trip to cover the horrific crisis in The Democratic Republic of Congo in hopes of inspiring people back home to take action, as he had previously done with his reports from Darfur.
Despite the fact that the Congo is the most lethal conflict since World War II, Kristof laments that too few people even know about it. Still, he admits that he initially regretted his decision to bring the cameras along, both because he was uncomfortable being the focus and because he often felt like a tour group leader, hindered by the crew. "This is utterly not my world," he says, noting that he doesn't even have HBO at home, though the movie debuts on the cable network on February 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET. That doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate celebrities who raise awareness for global issues. "Any way you can get people to pay attention is great," says Kristof, who suggests that those looking to help can check out a list of organizations at his web site, halftheskymovement.org.