Reynolds, Cooper, Evans and Idiot Journalists Everywhere
There is a strange obsession, present in all popular media, to frame profiles on budding male movie stars with the tagline and theme, “He’s just a regular guy!”
This is bland and reductive.
In the 2010 June issue of Details, Bradley Cooper was profiled. The interviewer, Nancy Jo Sales, quotes Paul Rudd: “…Movie stars used to be dashing, masculine, and mysterious…and we’re the kind of guys that laugh at our own farts.”
Sales’ profile drills into the reader that Cooper is just a normal safety/doorknob kind of guy.
Sales tells us, Cooper wore a “loose sweater and jeans.” She muses: he looked like “he could be any laid-back artist or writer from the neighborhood.”
Items like these are framed as the most revealing aspects of the writer’s subject. Bradley Cooper is normal and we should stand agog at this shocking revelation.
I am the expert journalist bringing you this story.
In the Details June 2011 issue, Ryan Reynolds is featured on the cover with the tagline, “Ryan Reynolds is Just Like You.”
Adam Sachs laments, “what’s nice about Reynolds is that offscreen he is just a guy. A self-deprecating, dick-joke-making, guilelessly, legitimately, put-you-at-ease nice dude of a guy.”
Sounds like Bradley Cooper. Do Sales and Sachs really believe the most compelling characteristic of an actor is his ability to be guyish (fart and dick jokes their choicest indicator of guyness)?
Edith Zimmerman, in her recent GQ profile on Chris Evans, tells us, “It’s hard to say which [Evans] did more: high-five when he was pleased about a joke of his or mine, or make jerk-off gestures when he was sick of hearing himself talk.”
Again, Zimmerman expects us to marvel at Evans’ normalcy. You’re saying he makes jack off gestures. I do that! You’re kidding me, the dude slaps hands?
Zimmerman’s article presents us with a conflict: “I wondered whether this whole conversation was a kind of test for [Evans], to see if he could be both the regular dude from Boston and the famous movie star from Captain America at the same time…and trust that his actual normal self would be enough to accurately and appropriately fill a celebrity profile.”
She feels deeply for Evans’ struggle. He’s just a normal, regular, average, guy, dude who’s celebrity is impinging on his normal, average dudeness like a terrible death cloud of extravagance. Fucking tragic.
Vanessa Gigoriadis of Vanity Fair interviews Justin Timberlake. She comments that the director of Timberlake’s new movie, Will Gluck, describes him as “fiercely normal, in a good way.”
Do these authors believe they are reporting on something profound? Do they actually think they’re digging up something about these actors’ psyches? Publishing a story worthwhile?
These publications are using a lame formula, one that reveals more about themselves than about their subjects. These authors apparently think what constitutes a guy is the average sitcom stereotype.
Further, they seem to always walk into a story thinking there’s something godsend about “celebrity.” And without fail, they walk out with the profound (asinine?) discovery that there’s not.
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