I Heart Actors

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I fall in love with actors. I can’t help myself. I do.

I’m not a celebrity-stalking sort of person. I don’t frequent fan sites or read entertainment magazines. And I’m not talking about when I fall in love with a character in a movie or show (although there is that, too). No, I mean when I fall madly, hopelessly, passionately, longingly in earth-shattering, all-out, adolescent-crush-style, soul-singingly, can’t-eat-a-thingingly (okay, I can) love with an actor. Where I must see every damn thing he’s ever been in (even that awful one) because he’s in it. Where the anticipation of the next thing on the binge list (even if it’s not nearly as great as the first thing) is just killing me, but also totally making my day. Where I cannot wait to see this person that I know I don’t know, dammit. And I don’t even want to know—wouldn’t want to meet in real life, not really (Are you kidding? And destroy this delicious conception of them that lives in my head?). This transcendent fiction of a being that I just want to spend all my free time with and I’m beyond crushed when there’s nothing new to watch and I can’t explain it so leave me alone, dammit.

There have been a few. Probably quite a few.

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Don’t judge me.

Some short-lived, some enduring. The first one I can remember was Andrew McCarthy (Yes, I’m aging myself. Shut up.). Oh God, Andrew McCarthy. It was St. Elmo’s Fire that did me in. I followed him to New York to see him in a play and was outraged—outraged!—when his understudy went on instead. (Funny story: The understudy, I discovered years later, watching a talk show, turned out to be Rob Morrow. Who I love to this day because Fleischman (Northern Exposure, for those not in the know). PS: He totally knew the audience was full on young things ticked off not to see Andrew that night. Sigh. Sorry, Rob. I didn’t know!!). Right. Where was I?

Maybe it’s because I come from a theatre/film background. I do love actors. In real life, I mean. I know writers sometimes don’t because, you know, the bastards mangle your lines and all, but I <3 them. They make your lines real. And some of them are just incredible. I’m in awe. Maybe it’s because I have a propensity for developing insane crushes. There was a period in my life where I probably had a thing for every male I encountered. For at least five minutes. But whatever it is, it’s what I do.

Currently, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch. That took me by surprise. I had a discussion with a friend a year ago or so that went like this:

Friend: So, what actors do you like?

—insert lengthy list of actors one or both of us find appealing in various ways—

Friend: Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch! Can’t forget him!

Me: Uh. Yeah. I don’t get that.

Friend: Huh?

Me: I mean, I know it’s a thing, but I don’t understand it. I just don’t find him appealing.

Friend: Yeah, well, I guess so. My husband and I have been watching the BBC Sherlock series and he’s really good in that.

Me: Yeah, whatever. I’m not that interested in watching it. And I really don’t get why everyone thinks he’s so hot. There are like gushing fan girls and everything. What’s up with that?

Friend: I get it, but, you know, maybe we just have different taste.

Fast forward to about a month ago, when for reasons I can no longer recall I decided what the heck, I’ll give the first episode of Sherlock a try.

Me: OMFG, WHY DID YOU NOT EXPLAIN TO ME ABOUT BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH?!?!

Friend: Who is this?

Suffice it to say that I watched the whole series (in which both he and Martin Freeman are pure genius and, honestly, how could you not love both of them?) and have now moved on to pacing myself through Parade’s End, lest I burn through it too quickly. I don’t want to return to that devastating, mournful sense of withdrawal, of loss, I hit after I finally let myself watch the last Sherlock available for months and months (and months!).

What the #$%@ is it about actors?

I still don’t know, but the Cumberbatch experience (<— band name?) is quite timely for me. I’m just getting down to work on a project I’ve been planning since last summer. It’s the first in a series of novellas, focusing on a famous (fictional) actor and a not famous (fictional) woman. It’s so new—and I’m so new to independent publishing—that I’m afraid to say more than that for now. But I hope to put these personal experiences to good use. And I need to do research, of course. Lots and lots of research.

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I’m really excited about this series (and not just because of the research). If it’s half as good as I think it could be, it will be great fun to write (and, obviously, I hope, to read, as well). Be sure you’re signed up for my newsletter to hear more about the project as the first installment gets closer to publication.

Oh, and it is possible I have a thing for English men in particular. I remember the initial inspiration for my work-in-progress was, in fact, this:

OMG, Colin Firth!

Who are YOUR favorite actors?

 

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hopapril-2015/

 

  • So … I see his name everywhere, but I am so unfamiliar with Benedict Cumberbatch. *ducks*

    • Laurie

      You are me a year ago, Tracy. Just Go. Watch. Sherlock. 🙂 (Okay, you might not agree with me at all, but it’s an excellent show and definitely worth checking out either way.)

  • English men (actors) are a huge weakness of mine. I love Colin Firth so much, it’s embarrassing. He’s way too old for me, BTW (wink, wink), but I don’t care. The list of English actors I’ve crushed on is so long, it’s shameful. But I’m not really ashamed. Otherwise, I’d do something to change. And that’s not going to happen. Good luck with your publishing!

    • Laurie

      Thank you! No need for shame. How can you possibly feel ashamed when they are so very swoon-worthy? 😉

    • Old? Old? Brea, I rather like Sean Connery. He’s very very nearly twice my age…

  • I have loved Hugh Grant for decades. (Am I that old?) Seriously, I feel in love with chick flick movies watching him and over the years, after watching his vast body of professional work, I feel like I know him. He’s my Hugh. My lovely Hugh. And I forgive him, by the way. He only did “that” because he’s never met me. At least, that’s what I tell myself as I shovel in movie popcorn. 🙂

    • Hee hee. I am totally with you on all of that, Julie.

    • Julie, I just watched Bridget Jones for about the ninth time. Hugh Grant is so perfect in that role, even if I do get a bit distracted by his character’s gorgeous London mews house.

  • LOVE THIS! I have been in love with actors since…um…since I was a mere zygote, it seems. I was tiny when I went nuts for David Cassidy and Davy Jones (my first two on-screen loves). Fast forward to London, 1986, monthlong college theater class trip, where I went out of my way to see Davy starring in Godspell in some tattered theater (near Covent Garden, I believe). Let’s just say the theater was packed with fangirls; I wasn’t the only one! It was a wonderful weekend afternoon. 🙂

    You will love writing a story with a famous person in it! I had a BLAST writing mine, and while the hero was based on a real actor, the character quickly became his own person, and I fell in love with my own creation. Loop-de-loop!

    • Good to know. I’m fairly certain that will happen with me as well. 😀

      Side note: I may have seen the Monkees in concert at some point in the late ’80s…

  • Richard Armitage, but not so much when he’s talking about himself. Don’t spoil the dream, RA! 😉

    • Oooh, not on my list, yet. Perhaps I will have to add him.

  • I, too, made a special trip to London to see a heart-throb actor in the opening night of a live theater production – the whole show was canceled at the last minute. And I’m not actually sure who it was – Rupert Everett, possibly?
    But I do have the dubious claim to fame of seeing Hugh Jackman on the London stage, years before he was a big name: he was in Oklahoma and pretty hot stuff, even then.
    And I do know what you mean about the need to watch everything a certain actor has been in… perfectly legitimate research, in my book!

    • The sacrifices we make for our art. 😉

      I am trying to imagine a British, Hugh-Jackman-starring Oklahoma. Did they do American accents?

  • Sandie Docker

    For me it’s Hugh Jackman all the way. That man is as close to perfect as any man can get. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Brendan Fraser too.
    I can’t sing or play an instrument but I so wan to form a band and call it ‘The Cumberbatch Experience’!!!

    • I think it would be huge!
      Mr. Jackman seems to be pretty popular. 🙂

  • Nice post! I love that you saw Rob Morrow in person, even though you didn’t intend to. I live in Alaska and trust me, the small towns are a lot like Northern Exposure. Right now I’m kind of hooked on Damian Lewis from Homeland. Love his facial expressions.

    • Ooh, haven’t gotten to Homeland, yet. Will have to check him, er, it, out.