Why Celebrities Fake-Date, Explanations from a Publicist
I feel like a buzzkill when I have to explain to friends and family how the cute celebrity couple on the cover of US Magazine they adore is, in fact, not a couple at all. Rarely do they believe me, until the news trickles out weeks, months, or years later that the couple were never together or one half of the couple is not even straight. Many of these relationships are fake. Why would these celebrities even agree to being part of a fake relationship?
1. It Keeps Them Relevant
There is a statistic out there that says that only about 7 percent of the Screen Actor’s Guild members are working actors. There is an insane amount of competition in their industry and nearly every actor fears their last movie or sitcom was their last job. In order to remind casting and movie directors to keep them on their short list they know they need to be in all those tabloids you hate to admit you read every week. These actors know that if you are talking about what they are wearing and who they are dating that it helps their chances landing an audition.
2. It Boosts Their Paycheck
Major movie studios and television networks spend an outrageous amount of marketing dollars to ensure you know about their movie or television show. When the actors in their films or television programs are also on the cover of US, People, Star Magazine, etc. they are obtaining “free media”. For example, when Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn were dating their relationship was covered by all the major celebrity media outlets. This coincided with the release of their movie ‘The Break Up.” Although the studios spent millions of dollars on marketing the film, they earned just as much free media surrounding the relationship between its stars. So if you are a celebrity who lands themselves in these sort of articles you are able to use it as a bargaining chip for your next paycheck. If I get you (the movie studio) all this free publicity, I have to be reciprocated. Anyone who is dating Jennifer Aniston is guaranteed to be on the cover of all the tabloid magazines that week (i.e. Bradley Cooper).
3. It Helps Maintain Their Brand
Celebrities want to control their image. Many celebrities mask their sexuality to ensure they continue getting specific kinds of roles. (There are only a handful of actors who are able to float easily from drama to comedy). Once you are boxed into certain kind of roles it is difficult to be casted for anything else. (Can you imagine Hugh Grant in anything but romantic comedies? Can you imagine Jason Stratham in anything but thrillers? These actors are straight – just giving an example). So these actors will pretend to be in a relationship to maintain their image as a sex symbol. Movie studios fear women will not buy tickets to a romantic comedy starring a gay man in the leading role. Actresses may agree to “beard” these actors because this allows them to stay relevant (see #1), boost their paycheck (see #2), or help maintain their brand as a sex symbol.
I also want to point out that a slew of celebrities call paparazzi and arrange photo opportunities. Next time you read about a celebrity complaining about the paps (i.e. Jessica Biel in this month’s Vogue) remember they are tipping them off to ensure they get their picture taken.
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