God I loathe Toby Young. More then I loath Dylan Jones. Nothing reeks more unpleasantly then a desperate allegedly talented person, who thinks that being famous is all their is to life.
“How long does it take for a lifelong critic of our fame-obsessed society to start behaving like a D-list celebrity? About 48 hours, if my experience at the Cannes Film Festival last week is anything to go by.
The moment of revelation came in the small hours of Saturday morning, in the bar of the Hotel Martinez having a drink with actor Simon Pegg. Simon is playing a character based on me in How To Lose Friends & Alienate People, the film adaptation of a book in which I tell the story of my short-lived stint as a party-loving contributing editor on Vanity Fair, New York, where, miraculously, I lasted two years.”
“Simon and I were in Cannes to drum up a bit of publicity, but for the first time in two days, Simon wasn’t accompanied by a publicist or an assistant and I suddenly realised why celebrities rarely go anywhere without a ‘handler’. Their job is to protect people like him from the army of movie fans and autograph-hunters who are constantly on the lookout for their idols.
Until this point, I’d always assumed these camp followers were an affectation and if a celebrity didn’t want to be recognised, all he had to do was wear a baseball cap. But here I was with the biggest box-office star in the UK and we couldn’t draw breath without a ‘civilian’ appearing at our table trying to engage him in conversation. What made this particularly difficult is Simon is always unfailingly polite to wellwishers, thus encouraging them to hang around.
‘I hope you don’t mind me interrupting,’ said a large, middle-aged woman, ‘but I’ve just written a script and there’s a part in it that would be absolutely perfect for you.’
‘Oh really,’ said Simon, flashing his pearly whites. ‘What’s the story?’
‘Well, it’s set in this multi-storey car park and…’ ‘Excuse me,’ I said, leaning in, ‘but I don’t think this is the time or the place. If you want to offer Simon a part in your film, why don’t you get your people to get in touch with his people and see if they can set up a meeting?’
She blushed crimson. ‘Oh gosh, I’m really sorry. The thing is, I don’t have any “people”. I’m just starting out.’
At this point, Simon could have told her he now gets paid more than $1million a movie, that he is booked up for the next couple of years and, in any event, she’s far old to embark on a career as a screenwriter. But because his surname is ‘Pegg’ not ‘Cowell’, he shot me a hostile glance and invited her to tell him about the film.
Now it was my turn to blush. In that moment, I realised this person could easily have been me. Approaching celebrities in bars and pitching them with movie ideas is exactly the kind of thing I used to do.
On one occasion, I even had the nerve to ask Claudia Schiffer out on a date. (She said no, obviously.) Now here I was, puffed up with self-importance, telling this poor woman she was behaving inappropriately. What happened to me? How did I become such a twit?
Rewind 24 hours and it is not hard to work out the answer. The previous night had been one of the most glamorous I had ever experienced. All my life I have had my nose pressed up against the glass, gazing longingly at the A-list stars and their fabulous lives. But for one glorious night, I was on the inside looking out.
The evening began with an intimate dinner hosted by the film’s producer, at which I sat next to Gillian Anderson, one of the movie’s stars and whom FHM voted the ‘sexiest in the world’.
She is even more pulchritudinous in the flesh than in her photographs. She oozes sex appeal, like some glossy-coated jungle cat giving off a seductive smell guaranteed to attract male members of the species. Simon, also at the dinner, admitted being a little knock-kneed when he first met her on the set. ‘I had a photograph of her on my bedroom wall as a teenager,’ he said. ‘I was so nervous I could barely speak.’
Still, he wasn’t tongue-tied in Cannes. At one point, Gillian started to describe a ‘brain salad’ she had eaten at a stuck-up London restaurant. ‘It was so. . . weird,’ she said. ‘It was just. . . you know. . .’
‘You shouldn’t over-think it,’ said Simon, who was sitting opposite.
She responded with a deep, libidinous laugh and batted eyelashes at him. I was consumed with envy: Why hadn’t I thought of that line?
After dinner, it was off to a party for the film hosted by GQ and sponsored by Akvinta Vodka. Usually, the moment I set foot on the red carpet at one of these events, I’m almost knocked off my feet by the gust of wind generated by 100 telephoto lenses being lowered simultaneously; not this time.
My arrival was greeted with a dazzling strobe of white light and I was immediately taken in hand by a publicist and placed in front of a bank of TV cameras. ‘So, Toby, how does it feel to be famous at last?’ asked the reporter from the BBC.
‘Pretty good,’ I said. Once inside, I headed to the nearest bar, only to be told by a young woman bearing a clipboard that I wasn’t supposed to be there.
‘You should be in the VIP section,’ she said, pointing to a roped-off area across the room.
I have often been thrown out of bars for not being important enough, but this was the first time I had been ejected for being too important.
The first person to greet me in the VIP area, with a kiss, was Lily Allen. Seconds later I found myself chatting to Mischa Barton, gorgeous star of US teen series The OC. I wasn’t surprised to see her since a publicist had contacted me a few days earlier to ask if I could put her on the guest list. After my ‘yes’ came a request to add her boyfriend, mother, assistant and bodyguard.”
Sorry guys but I can’t copy and paste anymore from the Daily Mail website, you’ll have to go there yourself. This is just too depressing. The man is insane. What do you think would happen if he actually me a real star or better still, lived during the 50’s to 80’s, when ‘stars’ were actually frigging ‘stars’??
Via The Mail