In his new autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Rob Lowe explains fame from the famous person’s point of view. It’s something I’d never considered before, and yet it makes blinding sense. In this case, the reference is to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. Lowe once praised the film to Coppola, who replied
You know, Rob, to me The Godfather is like that lamp, he says, pointing. It exists. It’s right there. People have opinions about it. The real Godfather, for me, is the experience I had making it.
It took Lowe years, he says, to fully comprehend the remark. Here’s his explanation:
“If you are fortunate enough to be part of a hit, particularly a transcendent one, all emotional ownership [of it] is transferred from you to the audience. They judge it and embrace it; project their own hopes, dreams and fears onto it; take their personal meaning from its themes, and with these investments it becomes theirs. The significance of your participation pales in comparison to the significance the project has on their imaginations. And so, you are left outside of the phenomenon. Just as Paul McCartney can never experience The Beatles, Francis Ford Coppola can never experience The Godfather. It becomes a lamp.”
The book, by the way, has loads of dishy tales about Lowe’s family, friends and films. It’s a quick, entertaining and occasionally illuminating read.
Interesting post. Paul McCartney once said he wished he could see a The Beatles concert. I guess when you’re in the bubble, your view is different.
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