It’s never going to be easy to get to know your hero, especially when that person is an international celebrity. And after watching Pitch Perfect 2, as much as I think that Anna Kendrick and I are exactly the same person, it’s unlikely that Anna has ever even considered me as her friend. But in the last few years the rise of the ‘likeable’ celebrity has been on the rise, with Kendrick, Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence all holding the mantel for appearing to be the most genuine people in Hollywood.
Kendrick’s Twitter account, Stone’s honesty in interviews and Lawrence’s clumsiness and tendency to say the first thing that comes into her head, are all attributes that are uncommon to the regular stereotype of perfectly-poised celebrity. Their sheer difference to other celebrities is a major signal to us as civilians, meaning we trust them more as they seem to more down to earth and less of a diva as celebrities from a previous generation such as Mariah Carey, Madonna or Nicole Kidman. Seeing similar aspects of our personality in these people leads us to think we have a lot of traits in common. Other stars to fit into this mould are Taylor Swift, who now has a regularly updated Tumblr page, Michelle Obama, who recently created a vine parody of the song ‘Turn Down For What’, and Laverne Cox, who seems to have single-handedly brought transgender issues and representation to the mainstream.
The main thing that it’s important to realise though, is how much of their representation is genuine, and how much is just an act to garner our attention. I’ve heard rumours that Kendrick’s impeccably honest Twitter feed is actually constructed by her PR manager and that Lawrence can a bit of a handful to work with on set. How much of this ‘likeability’ is for show to gain support from an audience that is less than enthusiastic for modern acts of celebrity, and how much is that actor’s genuine personality? I highly doubt Taylor Swift has the time to control a Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook account alongside a worldwide arena tour and a highly publicised relationship with Calvin Harris, and it seems unlikely that Emma Stone would really be that chatty with you if you met her on the street, but these are indicators existing through the way that these celebrities present themselves.
But maybe we want to stay oblivious to it. In a world of insincerity and bitchiness, it seems nice to look at a celebrity and find things in common. It’s both an ego boost for yourself and a way to not take the world of celebrity too harshly. I’m not sure how sincere or genuine any of the aforementioned celebrities are, but I’m glad for their representation of normality. It makes the big bad world out there seem, even if only a tiny bit, friendlier.