a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

Jennifer Lawrence, meet Welsey Shaw…

When I was writing Entertaining Welsey Shaw, one of the most pressing questions for me was why would Welsey, insanely famous actress, want to hang with an ordinary schmo. (And if you don’t understand the relevance of that question, click on the link above to read a synopsis of the plot of Entertaining Welsey Shaw.)

I finally settled on the reason that he was grounded, he was normal, a respite from her crazy world filled with phonies. But I wondered if it was believable. After all, most celebrities tend to hang with other celebrities. Then again, a lot of celebrities are more delusional and narcissistic than Welsey Shaw.

So it was refreshing to read that Jennifer Lawrence is very similar to my fictitious thespian. Like Welsey, the young star has experienced meteoric fame—and has had to adjust. She says “I have a very small circle,” she says. “The moment I feel like someone is using me or is in it for the wrong reasons, I have zero guilt about just cutting them the f— out of my life.”

(Like Welsey Shaw, J-Law has a salty vocabulary.)

Lawrence says, “My bullshit detector is phenomenal. None of my friends bullshits me. Everything in my life has to be real.”

Lawrence says it’s hard to let people to get close to you when you’re famous—something Welsey knows. “People start to feel a lot less guilty when you become bigger or have more money,” she says. “People feel less guilty taking from you because it’s like stealing a Snickers from Duane Reade [a drugstore]. People forget about the personal drain or attack that you feel.”

But with that wariness comes loneliness. As her fame has expanded, her circle of people she can trust has shrunk.

The same is true for Welsey Shaw. And that’s why she comes, every Wednesday, to just happen to “bump into” a very ordinary guy from small-town Callicoon, NY. Just because.

Because, as Clarie Danes has said in a somewhat similar context, “Acting is the greatest answer to my loneliness that I have found.”

Welsey loves acting too. But it isn’t the answer that it is for Claire. And I suspect it isn’t quite a satisfying answer for Claire either.

For people like Welsey (and Claire, and Jennifer), its’ a strange paradox that life’s possibilities in some ways are very limited. And there’s nothing they can do about it.

 

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