Home > Random Musings > Professional Liars, Public vs. Private, and Three Hot Guys

Professional Liars, Public vs. Private, and Three Hot Guys


I’ve been trying to write a new blog for a couple of days. And I did. I just didn’t post it. It turned out too personal and too raw to send off into the world. Since writing it, I’ve been stuck. I’ve discarded a bunch of half-written, too-boring, who-cares-about-that blogs. If I’m bored, you’re going to be bored. I strive to be many things, and boring isn’t one of them.

So, now what? Now we have a frivolous post. Why? Because I’m feeling shallow.

Last night, I was watching Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge me; it’s a smart show) to relax. Then I watched White Collar. Every time I watch WC, I fall a little bit more in love with Matt Bomer. Sure, I don’t know him personally. And I know enough about characters to know that he is not Neal Caffrey. But sweet fancy java, that man can wear a suit and a fedora very well.

He is one of my very favorite tv boyfriends (there are two others: Alexander Skarsgard and Ian Somerhalder). While I was watching the episode, I started to wonder about actors. They spend most of their time pretending to be someone else. They tell a story not just with words, but their entire being. It’s nothing short of impressive.

I wonder, then, how difficult it is to let somebody in. If that constant pretending, of Being Other, starts to infringe upon one’s core identity.

…I said I was writing a frivolous post, didn’t I? Er, scratch that. *dives deeper*

Everyone is at least two people. There’s a Public Persona and a Private Persona. Neither of these facets are false. It’s all situational and contextual. For instance, the lady who teaches Sunday school – she is what you’d call straight-laced. She wears beige cardigans. Her hair is done at the beauty parlor. And she has perfected what I call the Death Mom Glare. Caution: it may wilt plants and singe small children.

Then you find out that she frequently rents the unrated version of a certain movie about Los Vegas dancers. The very same movie that killed Elizabeth Berekley’s career.

Public, meet Private. It’s unsettling, sometimes.

Being an actor has to be weird, sometimes. People run up to you on the street. They ask you to sign their cleavage. They think they know you, and to some extent, they do. They know a little bit about your public persona. To an extent, that’s really all we know about most people, initially.

Actors, like writers, are professional liars. For work. One hopes that doesn’t extend over into one’s social life. We’re not our work, but our work IS us. So, I don’t know if Matt Bomer drinks coffee – or if Alexander Skarsgard likes Italian food (does anyone NOT like Italian food?). I can say that I admire their acting, their craft.

And yes, Matt does have one hell of a smile.

…which you can’t really see in this picture. Moving on…

Let’s be frivolous again — who are your favorite tv boyfriends/girlfriends?

  1. August 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    A great actor, like Meryl Streep, makes you forget she’s Meryl Streep about 2 minutes in, whereas you always know it’s Jack Nicholson PLAYING the role of So-andSo.

    I wish I could dish with you over cute TV boyfriends, but the only two I’ve seen in a zillion years are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – and they play themselves (well, SC plays a character.) I do like Owen Wilson, he’s got a puppy-dog cuteness and an easy-going way about him, AND he writes. Cary Grant, in his prime, who once spoke about how even he wasn’t “Cary Grant” when he was at home.

    I think now more than ever, when the guy behind the counter at the dry cleaners or the girls in your yoga class all have cellphone cameras, actors must feel under more pressure than ever to be “on” at all times.

    • Ali
      August 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

      I agree with you completely — and Streep is completely amazing because of that. I adore Jon Stewart. He was in one of my favorite movies way back (Playing by Heart) and when he took over on the Daily Show, it made me very happy.

      I love the quote about Cary Grant. I remember hearing that, too. Good point, about the everyday people we encounter. There is certainly a pressure, there, to perform. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  2. August 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I love PLL! Especially Tyler Blackburn as Caleb, haha.

    • Ali
      August 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

      He is lovely. I’m kind of partial to Jason and Erza. Mad props that there’s a character on TV named Ezra. I keep thinking of Ezra Pound. That amuses me greatly. *grin*

  3. August 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    This is a very interesting topic. How strange it is that I was talking about this very thing with my 11 year old daughter earlier today. Our brief conversation began when she commented that I use a fake laugh when talking with some people. I tried to explain why, depending on whom I’m speaking with, my tone and mannerisms are different.

    I wasn’t very successful in helping her understand. And, frankly, her observation did give me pause to wonder whether or not there was a degree of truth in it. Am I not showing my true self in those moments? Does the person on the receiving end perceive me as being phony? Thankfully, reading this statement from you made me feel better: “Everyone is at least two people. There’s a Public Persona and a Private Persona. Neither of these facets is false. It’s all situational and contextual.”

    In regard to actors, I can only imagine how challenging it can be for them (and other popular public figures, for that matter) to interact with people who perceive to know them. I happen to live in a town filled with various celebrities. The regular citizens here are rather proud of the fact that our famous residents can go about their business, be out in public places, and mingling with us with little to no fear of being mobbed. Generally, we average joes appreciate that the more our notable neighbors are inconvenienced by people taking their picture and asking for autographs, the less likely they will be to continue to get out & about. Don’t they deserve to be treated like regular citizens too? I’ll admit that sometimes it is hard to be star struck and not act like a fool, though. If I ever had the glorious fortune to run into Henry Cavill, you may as well throw a jesters hat on my head! : )

    • Ali
      August 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

      I imagine that was a tough conversation. It’s hard to explain something like that. There’s a polite laugh I have, too, and I know when I’m using it. I think it’s often that we have to spare people’s feeling or just endeavor not to be rude. Like when my grandmother used to attempt to buy me clothing — and she always picked out something that I’d never wear. But it was the thought that counted, so I thanked her for it.

      I think I’m rambling. I need more coffee.

      As for celebrities, I’m always kind of horrified when people go bananas around them. They’re people, too. They deserve to be able to get a cup of coffee in their pajamas. I once witnessed a small mob of people swarm Hugh Jackman in NYC. I just…don’t get it. Yes, he is ridiculously hot, but he’s just a guy with a cool job. You know? I can get just as flabbergasted talking to the cute at Starbucks. Although, for the record, if you run into Henry Cavill, I expect to hear about it. So lovely. 😉 thank you for reading and commenting!!

  4. Jessica
    August 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve been at work for 9 hours so I can only make frivolous comments. My favorite TV boyfriend is NATHAN FILLION!!!!

    I also can now count Sean Bean, since he did the HBO Game of Thrones series. OH! And Eddie Redmayne from the Pillars of the Earth series.

    …and half the cast of Grey’s Anatomy…

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