Careers in Psychology, Criminology Sidetracked for These HFPA Members

Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sometimes follow unexpected paths to Tinseltown.

Mario Amaya
Member since: 2005
Writes for: Shock, Caras and El Tiempo

It has been a challenge getting Amaya’s U.S.-born wife, Jennifer, to understand his work. “For her, entertainment isn’t really serious,” he says. “I used to do hard news, covering elections, and Jennifer thought that’s what you did as a journalist. She’d say: ‘Why do you have to interview Clint Eastwood? Do they know him in Colombia?’ ”

Helen Hoehne
Member since: 2004
Writes for: Bauer Publications’ TV Movie and Empire Magazine

Hoehne, one of the HFPA’s four designated press conference moderators, wanted to be a psychologist, but living in Los Angeles got in the way. “Out here, you’re really exposed to the entertainment industry,” she deadpans. With degrees from Pepperdine and UCLA, she’s been covering the Hollywood beat since 2002.

Herve Tropea
Member since: 1997
Writes for: Gala, VSD and Tele-Loisirs

Tropea came to the U.S. to study criminology at UCLA before he admitted the truth to himself: “My real passion was television,” he says. “Now that I was in L.A., I said, ‘Well, why don’t I try to do what I really love?’ ” Using his criminology contacts, he came up with an idea for a French TV program about scams, which led to a gig as a correspondent for Tele-Loisirs.