Being a celebrity today is a lot harder than it used to be. I say this as though I have experience in a) being a celebrity and b) living back in the day. I have neither of those experiences. However, I feel like in order to be a celebrity today you have to either be really talented at one thing or pretend to be talented at lots of different things.
If you are in the first class of persons, generating publicity for a movie takes about as much effort as breathing. Tom Hanks, for instance, can literally film himself taking a crap and it will most likely generate some Oscar buzz.
For the second class of celebs, it can be a little bit tougher. What do you do to get people to get out and see your new mediocre movie or listen to your new tepid album or whatever subpar activity you’ve decided to try your hand at? You could hit the talk show circuit aggressively, but as you’re a lukewarm personality, people will most likely not be amped about tuning in to hear you plug your latest venture at 1:30 AM on a work night. What you can do is what millions (maybe not millions…tens? twenties?) of celebrities before you have done. Hit the internet. With your camera. And your naked body.
What brings this to mind currently is the latest nekkid photo to hit the interwebs that of Mr. Jamie Foxx. I’m shocked by this for a variety of reasons. First and foremost being, goddamn he should change his name to Jamie Foxxx and look into a career in porn. Secondly, no more than 5 years ago, Jamie Foxx had an Oscar in his hand. But come to think of it, I haven’t heard much from Jamie Foxx since “Blame It” came out back in February. But considering that video shows Jamie palling around with Forest Whitaker, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ron Howard, I’m surprised he feels he has to lower himself by lowers his pants. Though I suppose The Soloist has already come and gone from movie theaters with not as much hype as was expected. But Wikipedia tells me that Mr. Foxx has another movie due out in October. While it is only August, it’s never too early to generate some excitement for a movie. And with the image of Jamie Foxx’s wang seared into your retina (and at the top of most Google searches) for the next few weeks, Law Abiding Citizen may scrape some dough together from the box office.
An even better example involves a repeat offender of these publicity generating tactics, Ms. Vanessa Anne Hudgens. I’m sure everyone saw Baby V’s lopsided bush when it first leaked to the internet back in September of 2007. You’d think she would have learned her lesson and stop taking naked pictures of herself slash delete any pre-existing pictures of herself. That’d be a big NOPE, because more pictures leaked to the internet earlier this month. And in a strange “coincidence” V.Hudge has a movie which came out over the weekend. A movie in which she plays a character named “Sa5m” where the 5 is silent. Clearly, the producers of this movie realize people are going to need an extra push to go see this piece of garbage.
Surely two instances do not make a standard. Well for you fine people, I combed through the annals of celebrity scandals to find some correlations. Let’s see. Colin Farrell’s sex tape was leaked in early 2006, a year in which he released Miami Vice (with none other than Jamie Foxx! Twist!), a movie with much hype, but not a lot of results. Pam Anderson’s sex tape started hitting the old interweb right around the time Barb Wire was set to hit the silver screen. As iff Leighton Meester couldn’t simply let her collabo with Cobra Starship on “Good Girls Go Bad” hype up her forthcoming album, her foot-job sex tape leaked roughly at the same time. Likewise, Kristen Davis let Charlotte York’s good girl image go bad soon before Sex and the City hit theaters with an alleged sex tape of her own.
Let’s say that all of the above instances are really publicity stunts and not Revenge of the Ex (a la Mya) although there’s something kinda hot about revenge on a famous ex via public naked humiliation or maybe it’s just me. I would kill to be a fly on the wall when the conversation between a star and their publicist turns to getting naked. “Listen, Vanessa, V, Baby V. We’ve got a bit of a problemo here. The numbers for your new movie just aren’t where we want them to be. I Googled you last night and it wasn’t pretty. You were the #9 hit. #9! Nickelback got more hits than you! I’d love to see you at #1, and there’s one way I can think of to make that happen. Still with me? This is a cameraphone. I’m going to step out of the room and if you happen to take some intimate pictures of yourself, so be it. And I can promise you that I won’t not accidentally leak them to Perez. Now drop trou, I’ll be back in ten. Love you babe!”
If it does actually work and a naked photo scandal does increase publicity (the litmus test for this will be whether Bandslam is in theaters for more than a month), then please expect pictures of my raw dong to be floating around the internet faster than you can say “More like 2balls1blog!” If not, maybe keep the celeb naked photo shoots to a minimum. However, I heard Jake Gyllenhaal has a movie coming out soon, and if he needs to increase publicity, then by all means.