It’s hard to be interesting every day. But in today’s news-saturated world, the rules of the game have changed. If you aren’t making news, you are out. So Lady Gaga goes to the extent where she never repeats the same outfit – even at interviews held within hours of each other. Her handlers have to ensure that her pictures are different, no matter where they appear. She might say the same thing at every single interview for the next couple of years, but the wrapping is different. She said the same thing in a red hat. Or when she was dressed in that strange pink effervescent abomination. She has carried the cult of celebrity to such ridiculous lengths, it’s as if there’s no real person inside – merely a ghostly manifestation in different clothes.
It must be crazy to wake up in the morning and think – Ok, what should I do today to get the TV guys to line up and chase me for quotes? Trashing hotel rooms gets no more than a yawn and a huge bill that isn’t affordable, even if you earn millions. For a reference, I cite the recent case of Charlie Sheen, who was paid $2 million for every episode in ‘Two and a Half Men’. He lost the role when he ran down his long term writer and producer down in a drunken stupor and continued the haranguing over the next few weeks. Quite a sitcom outside the sitcom. And he apparently managed to blow that inflated weekly salary – enough to feed several egos, not to speak of mouths on drugs and some really high maintenance prostitutes. The other rapid descent into oblivion is Tiger Woods. Now officially the mouse. Having lost his home, his status, his wife and going by his current game record, his talent as well. Two years ago, he could do no wrong. Now, he can’t seem to get into a tournament, let alone win it.
Last week must have been a real low for gossip in the Indian film industry. No one caught in the wrong bed. No marriages breaking up. No star thrown out of a film for some stupid reason. No child claiming that he or she had been fathered by the reigning superstar. That’s why the lead story in the film sections was how Priyanka Chopra was invited to Shah Rukh’s Khan’s home for a party and then pointedly ignored by his wife, Gauri. Nothing happened – now even that is a story. The stress on film reporters who have to do this living must be insane. What happens when our stars have absolutely nothing spicy, funny, or interesting to say? Or do? The cult of daily celebrity is a curse. We’d like to believe that they are fundamentally different, living lives laced with excitement and glamour. The truth? If you’re always in the fast lane, it’s the new normal. Unless you crash. And the cameras are there for a brief spell again to record for a ravenous audience. Until the next headline beckons.