I promised that I would stop writing about the Oscars and I would almost stick to that promise. Because today post with the Oscars does not have much in common and more with gossip, fans and imaginations about what we see in front of our eyes. In other words, today will be about the fact that Lady Gaga does not have to have an affair with Bradley Cooper. Even if she looks at him as if no one else existed in the world.
When Bradley Cooper starred with Lady Gaga at the Oscars Ceremony- where they both sang together a song of lovers characters from their movie "The Star is Born” the Internet broke out from the comments of those who were absolutely convinced that the couple not only played on stage, but also showed the world their truth feelings. Everything went well into a coherent narrative - the couple intensively promoted the film over the last months, saying nice things about themselves, Gaga had recently break up with her fiancé. It's true that Cooper came to the Oscars with his longtime partner, model Irina Shayk, but apparently - it did not happen "in love" with the obstacle. The feeling that an actor and singer must combine something real has started to live a bit of life. To the extent that even comments appeared in the network about the fact that Lady Gaga behaved disloyal to Shayk by seducing her guy in public.
The truth is that our perception of star romance is one of those themes in which different worlds merge. Our vision of Hollywood is connected here, what can be played and what is not, the gossip culture and some of our "recourse" to marketing. At the very end, the icing on the top is our weakness to those spaces in which real life merges with fiction. Disassembly of this complex is not easy - and probably not all I can describe well, but at least I want to show you how this mechanism works and where some assumptions about what we see when Bradley Cooper sings on the cheek to cheek with Lady Gaga.
Let's start with the oldest element of this story, that is, the belief that the actors are resolved and Hollywood is a place of sin. The conviction about the debauchery of actors and actresses is almost as old as the profession (of course in the sense of Western culture, because I will not give a head or similar assumptions regarding acting in other cultures). This conviction definitely grew stronger with the arrival of Hollywood. Hardly anyone remembers that in the 1920s the Dream Factory and in general the film world was considered as a haven of promiscuity and a place that sends the wrong message to the world (it was then when films showed romance, non-heterosexual characters and women of success). Hence, among other things, the moral limitations that these creative creators had to bring back to the noble path of showing the only one morality - that is, the one that currently fit into the traditional model of life and family.
Anyway, for many years, the film studios controlled the actors - a bit because it was quite a common vision that an actor leased out of a leash would do something stupid immediately. Usually - he will get a divorce, he will get into an affair or someone will go drunk and have a car accident (there are cases when the film studios were able to cover up quite nicely). However, even today - when it seems that the times of considering romance immoral long gone Hollywood is for many people an example of a place where there is no real love or honesty are only romances on plans, drugs and richly instilled events of disgustingly wealthy actors. In part, this belief comes from the general distrust of the actors - who show emotions that we probably can not show them without feeling, on the other - it is a manifestation of such a quite conservative distrust of the creators. Creators usually behave a little against or beyond established social norms - which raises anxiety and the feeling that they are doing something that "ordinary mortals" would not have escaped. What's more - even though the studio system has long ceased to exist - there are still marketing specialists doing everything to sell the stars as family, warm people, living in a beautifully cleaned home, with husband, children and a dog. When you read three such articles in the next interior magazines and then read about some betrayal, it is not difficult to feel that we are dealing with hypocrisy and some unstoppable, even by the photos of labradors with promiscuity.
Interestingly - very often the immoral behavior of actors or the general promiscuity of the environment is evoked in those moments of history when the activity of creators becomes more political. Whenever you hear that movie stars are immoral and can not be trusted, look around the US political landscape. Because this correlation - summoning romances, "bad conduct" and, in general - the decay of Hollywood, and the emergence of more conservative groups in power (but also in society) is quite important. Talking about the dissolute lifestyle of artists has been one of the best ways to discredit their political and social message for decades. In addition, there is opposition to their lifestyle, this "good" conservative model, which is the only one that carries good values. This mechanism has been working quite well for decades (if not for centuries).
Well, but the stars, as we well all know, do have a romance. So how much is the truth in this talking about Hollywood promiscuity? I must admit that here we have to go to the next point. Well - it's impossible to hide that our view of Hollywood and the employees of the Dream Factory is heavily disturbed. All thanks to magazines and gossip sites for which divorces and romances of the stars are the best material. However, if we review the list of famous romances on the set, it suddenly turns out that there are not so many of them. Of course, taking into account all produced films, all the actors appearing in them and generally the whole of the film environment. Anyway, let's not hide - everything is a matter of exposure here. I assure you that historians also have affairs, leave their wives, look passionately at old prints, and probably more than one query or study trip led to the breaking of marital or fiancee relationships. But of course, nobody cares. The situation is different for the stars we follow at every turn. Hence the conviction that the stars are extremely unstable in the context of a very stable society. What is not necessarily so simple. In addition - it is impossible to hide - the specificity of acting is contributing to romances. But it is not about showing feelings to the camera. Actors, actresses and the entire film crew in general, work together for long weeks. Often away from home. Often - unpleasantly bored between successive shots. If you read stories of romance on film sets, it often turns out that people fell in love, not in front of the camera, but when they bored and waiting for the next shot. Anyway, often when one reads about the reasons for the breakup of actors associations, it appears that more than romances are simply a mode of work in which two people do not see each other for half a year, because they are both distant. Considering how it is difficult for most of us to part with a partner for a long time, it is not surprising that such relationships are more difficult to maintain.
If we're talking about gossip, it's worth mentioning that, more or less than Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and their famous romance on the set of Cleopatra, the writing about celebrity romance changed completely. It was not like the stars did not have an affair before. One of the most famous long-term romances on the set was the one between Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. But these were different times - although the press and everyone in general knew that this actress couple connects feelings, Hepburn could count on no one to talk about it directly until the death of her beloved and his wife (Tracy did not want to divorce what it did not bother him to spend more than twenty years living with another woman than his wife). Since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, all tricks have become allowed. What's more - the public began to respond very well to rumors about romances and the pictures of actors outside the plan became worth their weight in gold. Pictures of Meg Ryan and Russel Crowe eating lunch together on the set of "Proof of Life" were probably watched more often than just a (weak) movie. "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" remained in the memory of the audience mainly because the information appeared that the main pair Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are having an affair. Gossiping about romance on the set has become not only popular, but almost obligatory in cases of films where actors share romantic scenes.
Anyway, it seems that the film producers themselves sensed it to some extent. Although celebrities can not be forced into romance, it is possible to make excellent marketing material out of the feeling of joining actors. The vision that the actors "do it really" paradoxically can greatly increase the interest in production. This is particularly evident in the promotion of youth production. Promoting "Twilight” was based on gossiping about the romance between Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart, the fact that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams had an affair on the set of "Notebook” perfectly fit into the promotion of this romance. Even ”High School Musical” was promoted partly by the romance of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Not to mention the rumors of the ”Gossip Girl” cast, whose only problem was that they did not necessarily match those pairs that appeared in the series. Of course, in the case of marketing it is good, because no one here betrayed a lifetime partner - but it shows well how to play with the private feelings of actors in a completely real promotion of the film. Anyway, what's interesting - most of these compounds broke up right after production ended. Perhaps a part of what kept them was a certain marketing need of producers - who from what the stars say - still as in the good old days when the actor's private life was ruled by a movie studio, they want to control their stars before and after the camera.
Marketing use of romance works so well, because many of us still believe that in fact some emotions can not be played so well if you do not feel them. It is true rumor has it that if a couple has an affair, it does not translate into chemistry on the screen, but many viewers have a feeling that some looks can not be played if there are no real butterflies in the stomach. How is it really? Well ... the truth is that you can play everything. There are very happy actors and actresses in the world, with husbands, children, dogs and nice houses that can look at their partners on the set so that we would give them a head that they are in love with them. Anyway, whenever someone calls up the statement that some things cannot be played, they come to my mind ... figure skaters in sports or dance couples. There is also a lot of emotions to play, and it would also seem that such couples are married, and meanwhile, on the ice, more often the couples, we just see are friends, acquaintances, and sometimes - which is actually uncomfortable - siblings. Of course, the viewer likes when reality permeates the film - because it gives the impression that we are watching something real. But really - acting art is just that - to play the emotions that you know but you do not necessarily feel it to that person. Hardly anyone looked so lovingly as Heath Ledger on Jake Gyllenhaal in ”Brokeback Mountain” and yet Ledger fell in love on the set, but not in Gyllenhaal but in Michelle Williams. Although, of course, there were rumors that Gyllenhaal fell in love with Ledger because it would be impossible to play it.
At the same time, let's not hide - we saw on the screen a lot of couples who had an affair and nothing was seen on the screen (remembered Burton and Taylor somehow do not have that sparkle in Cleopatra), we saw that which romance definitely did not have and sparks flew very nice (a perfect example is Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper in ”American Hustle” where they have one scene with such screen chemistry that it spills out of the screen, or Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in virtually all the movies in which they joined together). What's more, our conviction that we can definitely detect who slept on the set is not going through a blank test. Watching ”Star Wars”, no one left the cinema convinced that Harrison Ford has a real affair with Carrie Fisher. It was only years later that Fisher described everything in her memoirs - showing fairly well that viewers do not really have such a strong sensor in their heads as they think. Besides, it is often the conviction that we have already seen this romance on the screen is a narrative added later. When you read about the couples who came together on the set, sometimes it turns out that they did get to know on the film set but they came together a few months later. But this period is shortening in our minds and we are able to swear that we can distinguish the kiss of a couple that connects something to one that only plays.
Here we finally come to a situation when the rumors concern people in relationships. Since we have seen so many romances on the set, what harms us to suggest that there is one more? Who can hurt it? Here comes the rumor about the affair of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in the ”Allied” plan that has been circulating for some time. As you know, if Brad Pitt had one affair on the set, then probably playing in romance he will have another. Romance was not there, but the French actress did not feel good about the suggestions that she betrayed her husband - to the extent that she even issued a public statement. Because that's how it is - what we forget, that behind every rumor about a romance on the set - real or not, there are completely real people with real husbands, children, dogs and pretty houses. Nobody seems to hide that if someone came to us and said that he heard that we have an affair, or that we fit someone better than our spouse, we would feel at least not comfortable. What does not change the fact that such rumors appear - in the case of both movie stars and television stars, because - we want the nice people from the screen to be together. What's more - by the way there is often no option at all that actors who look good on the screen can combine anything other than an affair. A great example is Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. A couple share a few films together and a long-term friendship. Whenever, Winslet is between the relationship and DiCaprio just does not date any long legs blonde beauty, the network begins to circulate posts that eventually may come together. As if the only thing that could be between two professionals doing the same job and sharing a piece of career is an affair. Friendship? It does not fit in our perception of long-term men's - women's relationships. If we already allow it, friendship is the remnant of an old romance. This is how culture teaches us.
Well, does that mean that Lady Gaga is definitely not having an affair with Cooper? I do not know, in my opinion - none of us knows. What's more - everything I wrote is true, even if that two in two weeks declare that they are moving together to some nice house, with a dog and a piano. What I am warning against, is the belief that life must always imitate fiction, and that there is no certain finger-dipping on the part of marketers. Lady Gaga and Cooper adopted a certain narrative in the promotion of their film, and they attended their interviews and on the red carpet. They usually appeared as a couple, they posed together and spoke only nice things about themselves. What's more, the narrative from Lady Gaga was surprisingly similar to the narrative we have in the movie, where an underrated singer is discovered by a well-known rockman. The problem is that in real life this story is completely incompatible with what happened. Sure Lady Gaga did not have an extensive film career, but she was also not a complete debutant - she had a Golden Globe for her role in the ”American Horror Story”. You can say a lot about it, but not that Lady Gaga required "discovery" by Bradley Cooper. Especially that in terms of fame and cultural influence, it exceeds the actor many times. But a certain narration has established itself and began to actually live its own life, causing the actors to blend in with the characters they played.
I do not know who Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are for themselves, I personally suspect that they are friends, maybe even good friends. It's nice. Would I want them to have an affair? I admit honestly - I think it is better for real people not to wish for romances if we do not know them - especially if someone is in a relationship. Because it is so that in the name of our own fantasy and entertainment, we imagine broken hearts or abandoned partners. However, before we start to imagine how nice everyone would look at a joint session in an interior design magazine, it is worth taking a step back and thinking about where our need is for fiction to mingle with the truth. What we think is our business, but life is much more interesting when instead of star beds we look into our heads and see how much is mixed up there.