Rowland: Likeable stars are more, well, likeable

08/07/2014 12:00 AM

08/06/2014 4:29 PM

If you went to the movies over the weekend, odds are you saw “Guardians of the Galaxy.” (It made $94 million; I know you were there.)

And if you saw “Guardians of the Galaxy,” odds are you’re saying “Who is this Chris Pratt guy?” (He stars in the NBC comedy “Parks & Recreation,” which I also know none of you watch because I’ve seen its ratings). So who Chris Pratt is is the latest not-exactly overnight sensation who the entire world has a little bit of a crush on.

While he was good, quite good, as Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) in Marvel’s newest comic-book-turned-movie enterprise, what has made the collective universe sigh is his off-screen personae. He has come off as real and relatable, goofy and genuine. He is, in essence, the male equivalent of Jennifer Lawrence (a.k.a. everyone’s pretend BFF).

What makes the Chris Pratts and Jennifer Lawrences of the world a different breed of movie star isn’t necessarily what they do on screen. They both star in multimillion-dollar mega-franchises and run and shoot and play make believe for our delight. But in this Instagram it or it didn’t happen world of constant sharing, they’re the perfect vessels for our imaginary friendships.

Movie stars used to be the unapproachable (think Angelina Jolie, still), but now you can tweet them whatever is on your mind at any moment. Or post on their Facebook feed. Or comment on their Instagram account. The illusion (or not, I’ve never tried) of approachability makes stars who seem the most down-to-earth the most appealing.

The tabloid magazine “Stars, They’re Just Like Us” philosophy has finally been proven out. Whether it is Lawrence falling at the Oscars (twice) or Pratt showing off his French braiding skills during an interview (and well, I might add), these are things normal humans do. More so with the falling than French braiding for me personally, but you get my point.

While I love the aloof stars and their untouchable auras as much as anyone, I’m thrilled to see the dawn of the age of the charmingly human movie stars. Also you should really watch “Parks & Recreation” because it’s funny. That’s a nonsequitur, I know – but I’m only human, too.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Ninteen-year-old Modesto filmmaker Derek Mari needs your help completing his new short dramatic film.

The recent Beyer High graduate got a little help from some well-established Modesto talent for the project, called “Song of the Trees.” He worked with filmmaking brothers Mark and Greg Runnels, who served as director of photography, sound department and script supervisors, as well as Prospect Theatre Project co-founder and veteran area actress Kathleen Ennis, who stars as one of the leads, on the film.

The movie tackles the issue of co-dependency as a mother moves to an environmentalist commune and her children, played by area actors Eric Wann and Maggie Braun, try to bring her back. Prospect actor Bryan Hurd also appears in the piece.

Mari, who heads to California State University, Northridge, in the fall to study film, is looking for public support to complete the project. Filming was completed this summer, but he hopes to raise $2,000 for post-production with with an Indiegogo campaign. Those who give can be included in the credits and other perks depending on funding level. The campaign ends Aug. 31. For more visit his Indigogo page: www.indiegogo.com/projects/song-of-the-trees. ...

And finally, Turlock native and celebrity hairstylist Kiara Bailey will be on QVC today selling her styling newest product called Charmies. Bailey is CEO and founder of the company, which sells iron-in hair charms. She will be on at 2 p.m. ET (check local listings) on QVC to sell the product.

Bailey got her start with her mother, Karla Chancellor, who owns the Turlock salon Push for Style. Since moving to Beverly Hills the 1996 Turlock High graduate has worked with celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Paula Abdul, Rachael Zoe, Katherine Heigl and Emma Roberts.

In 2004 she was featured on the Bravo reality series “Blow Out,” which ran for three seasons. Later she launched a successful line of hair extensions, Hair Lingerie.

Learn more about Charmies at www.haircharmsies.com.

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