Every generation needs a heartthrob.
A heartthrob quickens heartbeats without the necessity of riding exercise bikes or jogging. Any cardiologist will tell you the importance of raising your heartrate.
A heartthrob helps us forget reality, and reality isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.
My grandmother’s generation had Rudy Valli, my mother’s generation had Gregory Peck, and ours has George Clooney.
The first time I became aware of George (how cozy to call him by his first name) was on the popular television sit-com, “Roseanne.” He played an opinionated, rigid boss, one who surely did not foreshadow his future status. Watching him in that role would never suggest the probability of his inducing hero worship, mad crushes or Clooney wannabees.
His character was demanding, aggressive and unfair. His looks were unappealing, unless you like wide sideburns reaching below the cheekbones and a wardrobe consisting of plaid shirts with striped pants. Never did he flash his alluring smile, wink his long lashed blue eyes or play any of his infamous practical jokes.
And he scowled a lot.
George made his employees’ lives on the job unpleasant. He looked more like an actor playing an angry John Travolta role than George Clooney in a George Clooney role. But a George Clooney role didn’t yet exist.
As mean spirited as the character was, the actor had a star quality: a charisma hard to define. I saw it, I knew it, and I waited for the rest of the world to recognize what was so obvious.
Now, with the academy awards approaching, and with his Golden Globe glory fresh, I am proud to take full responsibility for George Clooney’s success.
Even though he doesn’t thank me in his acceptance speech.