The Hollywood Faux-Mance!! Is this a Good Thing?

22 Dec

By: Open Book

It is no big secret Hollywood is in the business of creating fake relationships between celebrities. Better known as “ the faux or show-mance” today! The three most common reasons for creating these fantastic couplings is to promote a film, generate press or cover up a celebrity’s sexual identity. It can be said that if a celebrity is suspected of being in a so-called “faux-mance” people are likely to conclude the following. One or both are homosexual, they are desperate for publicity or they are guilty of trying to boost box office numbers for an upcoming film. Either way, to see a celebrity coupling today, public opinion automatically assumes one of these three things. Is this a good thing?

Now publicists (to get a celebrity couple time in the tabloids) arrange most celebrity relationships. Hollywood has always relied on Americas desire to see celebrities in romantic situations. The public insatiable appetite for celebrity romances go as far back as the 1920’s.

In an article from written by David Poltz, he states,

So from the ’20s until the studio system disintegrated in the ’60s, the bosses—who exercised absolute authority over their actors—fabricated fake dalliances and exploited real ones for two purposes: first, to create new stars by attaching them to established ones, and second, to cover up the homosexuality or potentially tarnishing behavior of a star.”[1]

Although, the studio system (who had complete authority over their actors) no longer exist, faux-mance’s still do.  Today, they are manufactured by publicist or by the actors themselves.  However, with the popularity of reality T.V. some of the old studio system ideas have been resurrected.  Today, studios can require a fairly unproven talent to sign a contract as leverage to guarantee a film or T.V. series success based on marketing, rather than on the talent. In such cases a talent will agree to carry out fake relationships with his or her co-star to promote a T.V series or film. Once the film or T.V. series is over, so is the contract and relationship!!

Many celebrities like Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and others have married non-celebrities or (what people in the industry call) “a civilian.” Those celebrities who decide not to have a celebrity wife or husband on their arm, is a publicist worst nightmare. However, in researching this topic I found, celebrities who don’t have big tabloid spectacle “Dating-Up” relationships are less likely to be accused of being called desperate for publicity, trying to cover up homosexual rumors or of trying to promote a less than adequate film or performance.  Perhaps, publicist, studio heads and others should realize creating fake tabloid worthy relationships today, might create more negative press than good.

Please join us for a discussion on this topic on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EST

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33 Responses to “The Hollywood Faux-Mance!! Is this a Good Thing?”

  1. Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:13 PM #

    I decided to write about this topic because I was surprised by so many negative remarks I’ve read over the last two weeks, over another tabloid story on a celebrity couple.

    The public opinion always seemed to be very speculative of the celebrities involved. So I was wondering why do celebs and publicist continue spin these fake celebrity relationships?

  2. Parisienne December 22, 2010 at 7:20 PM #

    Hi Open Book!

    I can only stay for a moment but I wanted to comment on your article. Good Job! I enjoyed it very much. Anyhow, IMO I think fake relationships will always be around because its what Hollywood THINKS people want to see. People live vicariously through actors unfortunately. As long as there is a demand there will always be a supply.

    Have a Good Night!

    • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:29 PM #

      Hi Parisienne….:0)

      I agree to an extent!!! I mean, twenty or thirty years ago people would just take things for face value. But today people tend to think actors who Date-Up are not authentic and their reputation suffers for it.

    • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:32 PM #


      Thank u by the way. I’m glad u enjoyed the article.

      Take Care!!

  3. Lurker December 22, 2010 at 7:30 PM #

    I think it’s definitely going to continue where it makes sense. Hollywood is sort of like the military – need-to-know.

    However, it’s all what they want us to see.

    • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:35 PM #

      Do u think celebrities reputations will suffer because of these faux mances?

      • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 7:39 PM #

        Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think so. People tend to forget yesterday’s gossip in due time. There are so many scandals where personal relationships (even marriages) have occurred and most people seem to have moved on given enough time. Do they take a permanent hit? I think that depends on their on-going behavior. SO I think it will fade in time.

        • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:48 PM #

          That’s true people do tend to move on if celebrities who partake in these faux-mances don’t make a habit of it. I mean one time to get a little press o.k. But every year come on!!!! Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Aniston are becoming predictable.

          • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 7:50 PM #

            Actually maybe Jake and Jennifer should date?LOL!!!

            • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 7:53 PM #

              That would be funny – but too big of an age gap! LOL

              • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:01 PM #

                Oh! Come now…… Age? Jennifer looks really great!

                But I agree we don’t want to turn Jen into Cher. LOL!!!

                • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:38 PM #

                  Well, age isn’t the only reason. Let me tell you the age gap shows up when you have discussions about likes and dislikes. And then you find out your views are different. I empathize with Jen, the dating pool gets smaller and smaller as you age. And then you question motives, which makes the pool even smaller. It doesn’t get easier.

                  • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 11:55 PM #

                    So true, the pool does get smaller especially for female celebs. But it’s more common today for an older women to date a younger guy. No big deal!!! When Cher was doing it, people were so shocked. Cher was the pioneer for it and still is!!

                    I think Jen should date a young up and coming director. What do u think?

          • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 7:56 PM #

            You know, I’m jaded. But I wonder how much of that is truly PR or people with prying eyes into people’s (normal) lives. I always wonder.

            • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:12 PM #

              Great Question. The way u can tell it’s PR by the constant Tabloid coverage of the couple. A tone of stories being leaked about the couple, staged dates where paparazzi are known to hang out etc…. Also, if one celeb is A-List and the other is B or C list it’s PR. it’s called Dating-Up.

              Also, if two celebs are co-stars and they are dating because a film is coming out it’s PR. U know a lot of celebs are into it, especially if they have something to protect or deflect.

              • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:18 PM #

                You know dating on the job is pretty common in the normal workforce. I think dating regardless of the ‘reason’ has become very superficial. And because it has become so ‘disposable’ we have these PR relationships. Its almost too common now. Which is why once the media stories stop, we don’t hear much. I truly think the celebrities who date non-actors are the ones who end up with more permanent relationships. The ones that survive I think are really rare.

              • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:20 PM #

                And about dating up. Well, that happens today in real life too. In fact, I find that more and more common and people tend not to hide it either. Its really sad to date someone who you find out only is interested in ‘easy street’ if they are with you.

                • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:31 PM #

                  LOL!! So true… Arranged marriages have been around forever. However, I think when people become addicted to media attention is when it becomes a problem.

                  U know there have been celebs who married non celebs and their significant other then became obsessed with tabloid attention. They have gone as far as staging citing etc… without the real celebs knowledge.

                  • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:34 PM #

                    That’s so true!

            • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:22 PM #

              I really don’t hold it against a celeb who finds themselves relying on the faux-mance card to stay relevant.. I just think when it becomes a schtick, with the constant Tabloid attention it competes with their craft. Then people start to speak more about their relationship then their work.

              • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:26 PM #

                I agree but the media seems to be fixated on these dramatic relationship stories in lieu of being about the work. The consumers seem to have an insatiable appetite for these dramas too. Maybe it’s just the curiosity factor? It definitely gets old fast, which is why I think we have become a nation with ADD. We are only interested in the sound byte and news snipets and we can’t remember 6mths ago.

                • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:38 PM #

                  I can’t agree with u more. Scandal media and gossip seems to be more prevalent than ever before.

                  • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:41 PM #

                    I know we’ve talked about this somewhat, but it definitely plays into the reality TV. I mean reality tv people they media calls them ‘stars’ and I have yet to figure out a star of what? They have no talent other then selling out their drama filled lives and we call this entertainment? I don’t get it. Its the same drama that fuels scandal media, technically.

                    • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:48 PM #

                      LOL!!! U see that’s why I think these faux-mances have become much more popular today because of The Jersey Shore, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette etc… and other shows that have relationships that appear real on T.V. but are fake and over dramatic to get ratings!!!!.

                • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:42 PM #


                  I’m going to get off now. Great talking to u. I would love to pick up this conversation tomorrow at 7:00pm EST. If that’s o.k.?

                  • Lurker December 22, 2010 at 8:44 PM #

                    Sure!See you then!

                    • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 8:50 PM #

                      Good Night!!!!

                      Hi Kim!!! Sorry, I missed u….:0(

                      Take Care!

      • kim December 22, 2010 at 8:44 PM #

        Yes, I would have to say a celebrities rep could be in danger. I’ll give you an example.

        I was a big Tom Cruise fan, watch all his movies and bought most of them in dvd. Loved him since Taps.

        But when he out of the blue divorced Nichole Kidman and hooked up with Penelope Cruz, which I think was really fishy. But when he dated and then married Katie Holmes I was like that relationship has never seemed right to me. Now this is all my speculation I have no idea if it is one of those HW faumarriages, but I did lose all respect for Tom Cruise. I don’t run out and watch his movies just because he’s in them, I have to really like the topic.

        So yeah, from my own experience I would say that being in a fauxmance may make me question.

        Now, I believe that Rob is in a fauxmance with KS but I have always believed this and I don’t look at it being something that will bother me when it comes out, if it comes out.

        • Open Book December 22, 2010 at 11:01 PM #

          Yes!!! Tom really looks suspect. I agree, it’s his business what he’s into in private. However, Tom really uses the tabloids to sell his films. Which, I never understood the reason for it now. I think his films are good and could get by on reputation alone without the games. Now, his personal life is taking center stage and his films are taking a hit for it.

          I think holding R/K responsible for doing the faux-mance to sell a movie can be overlooked. The two of them had no other choice, given they were fairly unknown at the beginning. It’s just now, it’s hard to tell if R/K or Summit are media addicts. Given what I’ve seen from K in the past I would say she is definitely a boarder line addict. Summit is crazy addicted, and R looks like a deer caught in the headlights compared to these two.

          • kim December 23, 2010 at 8:09 PM #

            I would agree, Rob really doesn’t seem like he likes the attention, but Kristen seems like she wants it even when she says no no no, there seems to be a smirk at times on her face.

            I also agree that Tom’s movies are taking a hit bc of his tabloid status, which is a shame it almost seems he went backwards. Not wanting the attention early in his career and now wanting it.

  4. Parisienne December 23, 2010 at 12:36 AM #

    Open Book,

    What is your opinion on the “jen/angelina feud”? Why does the media still have such a fascination with the fact that Angelina stole Brad from Jen? Its been how many years now? Both parties have clearly moved on.

    IMO, its just to keep both ladies relavant in the media. I just noticed an article in a magazine about J and A and thought it was suspect because I have heard The Tourist isn’t doing very well at the BO.

    I also noticed that magazines still run articles about them when they have nothing better to write about. So that part of it, I guess I don’t understand. Perhaps its to create sympathy for Jen? Since I would consider Angelina more of a BO draw then Jen but that’s my opinion.

    IMO, if it were me and someone was constantly putting an extremely important part of my personal life that happened many years ago and it had no relevance in my life now on the cover of a magazine, I would have a huge problem with that. I would also want my work as an actor to take more of the public spotlight because I would refuse to sell my personal life for any amount of money or fame to get ahead.

    Another point that also stood out for me regarding the media is when Angelina was in Framce to have their twins. The media camped outside the hospital and i distinctly remember one man was angry with the media for being at the hospital because someone had been killed earlier (I don’t remember why) and he thought that attention should have been brought to this person and not Brad Pitt’s kids.

    I understand using the media for exposure to sell a film but I don’t agree with “having to sell your soul to the devil” in order to stay relevant. People are either going to like the work of a specefic actor or not like it.

    Sorry for the long post. 🙂

    • Open Book December 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM #

      I think it’s difficult for a celeb trying to manage a relationship with the paparazzi.
      It’s like an adult playing with a child once the adults had enough the child wants to keep playing. I think it’s better for a celebrity to never get into the habit of using tabloids to sell their careers. Unfortunately, it’s very competitive for women in Hollywood so that may be too idealistic. Good film roles are few and far between.

      IMO: The media creating these feuds between J and A now will continue until one of them does something larger to overshadow the big spectacle this stems from. I think America likes a good underdog success story and why tabloids are still interested in J and A. I think if J got re-married the tabloid interest would end and she knows this.

      After the A/B/J divorce spectacle! Do u think J had a choice not to use the tabloids interest in her to boost her career?

      Do u think tabloid popularity sell movie tickets?

      • Parisienne December 23, 2010 at 11:58 AM #

        IMO, being in the tabloids all the time, hurts one’s career because I think that if you read about someone’s personal life so much and tben go watch a film with that paticular celebrity in it, how can you imagine that person as their character? IMO, one can’t.

        i know i’ve said this before but the first time i saw Eclipse it was ruined for me because all i saw was
        KS flipping the bird to the paps in australia. So I wasn’t able to enjoy the movie for what it was. I kept waiting for Bella to flip Edward off when she went with Jacob on the motorcycle.

        So I think that usuing the media to sell tickets is a huge gamble for the actor.

        i think that J used it in the beginning to help her because she knew people were interested in what happened.

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