Replay: Fame can make you rude —Jennifer Lawrence

Mean girl?

JLaw: Mean girl?

Yep, it’s true. America’s latest sweetheart has said in a recent Marie Claire issue that she’s become “closed off” and “rude” since fame has enveloped her.

Lawrence says sudden fame will do that. A couple years ago she was enjoying her newly-minted celebrity. Now…

I’m a lot more closed off and frankly probably rude. I mean, I’m from Kentucky. I used to be very personable and make eye contact and smile at people, and now all I do is look down. When I’m at dinner and one person after another keeps interrupting to take pictures, it’s like, “I can’t live like this.”

The online comments in response to this confession were predictably mean, but perhaps even more so than you’d expect. They ranged along the lines of The poor baby, making millions and having to put up with someone wanting to take her picture! to I’ll bet there aren’t that many people who want to take her picture.

And it is hard to sympathize with a 23-year-old who’s modeling, among other things, a $4200 Dior coat in the same spread.

But it’s hard to appreciate what it’s like when your own time is not your own, when you have no control over your own environment. A star as affable as the late, great Cliff Robertson once reported that it makes you paranoid. Everyone knows what you look like. You don’t know them. You get defensive, frightened of the people who pay your salary.

And because you’re wearing that $4200 coat, they think they own you.

Or at least that you shouldn’t have any complaints in life.

It’s hard to understand sometimes that fear, loneliness, anxiety, insecurity—these feel the same even when you’re worth so many millions. That down-to-earth quality they project (well, many of them, at least) in their interviews? They’re coached in that (well, many of them, at least—some don’t care).

Celebrities are stuck in the bizarre paradox of having to seem like ordinary people when in fact they are also, as the phrase goes, Hollywood royalty. That’s because their success is due largely to the fact that we project our ordinary lives on top of their spectacular ones up on the screen, hoping for a little piece of their radiance. And most people don’t really stop to see the inherent impossibility, the contradiction here. We expect glamour on the red carpet, only to see them go home and cook dinner in a microwave and do laundry like the rest of us. We don’t have this requirement of other rich people, oddly.

And while it’s true that not every celebrity lives shut up behind tall fences, alienating ordinary people with their sense of entitlement, it’s also true that they can never walk down the street or enjoy a meal like you or I can. Which is why they do have to close up restaurants or get private tours of museums and amusements parks. This clashes with the popular press presentation of them as “just like us,” and they’re painfully aware of that. But it’s reality.

Yes, Cameron Diaz gets her own gas (sometimes). But she’s fueling a Masarati. And she probably doesn’t go inside to chat with the attendant.

Read the rest of JLaw’s Marie Claire interview here.


2 responses

  1. Well, John, I definitely don’t have Jennifer’s problem, but I did have someone in our local coffee shop walk up to me last week and say, “Aren’t you that writer?” And she said she had read The Secret Sense of Wildflower and loved it. I gave her plenty of eye-contact for that!


    May 16, 2014 at 5:11 am

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