With the rise of reality television and the explosion of the viral video culture, it’s never been easier to burst hard and fast through the ranks of the anonymous and bask in the warm, loving glow of the public as a ‘celebrity.’ But what makes a good celebrity? What separates your David Beckham from your David Spade? Not so much a solid body of work as a consistent and unflappable ability to generate interest in you and the things you’re doing. Here are five celebrities who have never quite gotten the hang of that, and the people they could perhaps take a leaf from.

Orlando Bloom:

When reviewing Pirates of the Caribbean the notoriously sarcastic BBC film critic, Mark Kermode, had this to say on the subject of Orloondo Bland: “Is that a nest of tables? No, it’s Orlando Bloom attempting to be charismatic.” Wetter than a fish’s wet bits, and with a list of failed attempts at leading man status so dire you’ve likely never heard of them (The Good Doctor? Anyone?) Orlando is one bad movie away (or twelve calendar months, whichever comes sooner) from the indignity of being referred to in the tabloid press as ‘Heidi Klum’s husband…’ While George Clooney fronts national telethon campaigns for tsunami victims, Mr. Bloom lends his celebrity in support of victims of Australian bushfires. Maybe he lives there and that’s why no one ever seems to be able to photograph him doing anything interesting? One group whose interest Bloom did pique was the notorious “Bling Ring” Hollywood burglars, but the fact that they were far more interested in Bloom’s collection of Rolex watches than anything personal to the star speaks volumes.

Who He Could Take a Leaf From:


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Daniel Radcliffe – Another posh, southern schoolboy who can’t actually act worth a damn, and who also rose to prominence on the back of a billion dollar franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, has managed to hide his cataclysmic lack of charisma by at the very least making some interesting project choices. At just seventeen, his critically acclaimed run in the West End production of the dark boy-blinds-horses drama, Equus, – with it’s full-frontal male nudity – is about as against type as it gets. Word has it that teenage girls lined up around the block were there because they enjoy wildly overpriced exhibitions of ‘difficult art,’ and not at all there to catch a glimpse of ‘Harry’s wand.’

James McAvoy:

Quietly flitting back and forth between Oscar-baiting drama (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement) and crowd-pleasing blockbusters (Wanted, X-Men: First Class) with a deftness that most can only dream of, what Scotland’s finest export since malt whiskey brings to the screen in terms of talent, he more than offsets with the kind of “low-profile” personal life that would bore the pants off of the inhabitants of a particularly uneventful coma ward. A UK tabloid reported that McAvoy and his wife, Anne-Marie Duff, share a modest London flat, drive around in a 1990 Nissan Micra, and spend wild nights in playing Sudoko. His other interests outside of acting – which, to be fair, he is magnificent at – are Glasgow football club, Celtic F.C., a team so middle-of-the-road that they are in serious danger of being hit by a truck. Oh, and that old chestnut always guaranteed to get you into a girl’s pants – science fiction!

Who He Could Take a Leaf From:

Christ, absolutely anybody…Orlando Bloom?

Josh Hartnett:

One time teen heartthrob Hartnett has gradually morphed into a, bland, vaguely famous supporting actor now perennially cast as second banana, having never garnered anything approaching a breakout performance. So unengaging and middle of the pack is he in fact, that he often doesn’t even manage to bag the title of ‘most uninteresting thing on display,’ routinely having lost out to the likes of Harrison Ford (Hollywood Homicide), Aaron Eckhart (The Black Dahlia), and, most famously, Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor), at various stages of his career. For example, Bliss Magazine once voted him “3rd sexiest male,” presumably behind the two construction guys across the street that the editor happened to be staring at out of the window at the time of writing. Even his activism is dull. Hartnett is currently a spokesperson for the Ad Council’s campaign to raise awareness of FWD (Famine, War, and Drought). Not exactly sexual slavery is it, Josh?

Who He Could Take a Leaf From:

Shia LaBeouf – At least when he is routinely awful in movies he manages to get people’s attention, having been accused of ruining two billion dollar movie franchises in as many years. Also, when he’s awful alongside Harrison Ford, he’s man enough to own up to it, admitting that “we dropped the ball” with the Transformer’s sequel, and that Indy IV “sucked.” The later quote earned the ire of Mr. Ford, who called him “a f*cking idiot” in a subsequent interview with Details Magazine. Presumably Harrison thought it was some kind of well-kept secret that LaBeouf had blown the whistle on?

Julia Stiles:

Hollywood’s reigning Miss Vanilla, Julia Stiles has built a, bold, eclectic body of work ranging from light and fancy rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You, through light and fancy rom-com Down to You, to light and fancy rom-com The Prince and Me. Given a track record like that, we can likely surmise that her Emmy nomination for her role in Dexter as the abused, damaged survivor of a horrific abduction was born out of sheer surprise more than anything else. Even we’re short of actual things to say about her. What else…she used to be a vegan for a while? In terms of jazzing up her image a little bit, we’d say she should perhaps release a sex tape, but it’s currently the middle of the workday and we could probably do with staying awake.

Who She Could Take a Leaf From:

Evan Rachel Wood – Like Stiles, Evan Rachel Wood started as a child actress in local theater, but unlike Stiles she wouldn’t be caught dead in a middle-of-the-road romantic comedy even if she was homeless and eating out of a bin. Oozing talent and an always seemingly dangerous, alluring presence, the young starlet attracted the likes of Ellen Von Ulwerth, desperate to photograph her, and Marilyn Manson, desperate to marry her. The left leaning British culture rag, The Guardian described her as follows: “Evan Rachel Wood is one of the finest actresses of her generation.” In 2004, when Julia Stiles contributed an Op-ed to the same paper on the subject of feminism on stage and screen, they ran the piece with the tagline: “Julia Stiles is an actress.”

Clive Owen:

Having enjoyed a career littered with high-profile projects realized by above-average filmmakers, the Academy Award nominated British thesp has somehow managed to consistently hide the fact that he's only got two expressions: nobly harried (as seen in King Arthur, Children of Men, The International) and effortlessly cool (see Inside Man, Shoot 'Em Up, Duplicity). His uncanny ability to find steady, paying work likely has something to do with his effortless charm, come-to-bed-eyes, dulcet tones, and impeccable charisma. That said, the man is the source of more movies that you’ve never heard of than the $3.99 DVD bin at Wal-Mart – Derailed, Trust, Intruders, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Beyond Borders…ringing any bells? Us neither. And if you want to talk dull then look no further than Owen’s stellar charity work. The man is the patron saint of storied old cinema in the small town of Harwich, Essex, and, according to The Times of London, he used his high-profile status to launch an appeal to raise money to replace the fabric on many of the chairs. Yes, we’re serious.

Who He Could Take a Leaf From:

Russell Crowe – Perhaps taking his breakout role as ‘Gladiator’ Maximus Decimus Meridius a bit too literally, Crowe has garnered a reputation as a dedicated professional on-set (read: no matter how dreadfully he mangles the accent, he’ll soldier on regardless), and a bit of a head case off of it. Brawling in nightclubs, brawling in restaurants (we’re starting to detect a theme!), hurling a cell phone at a terrified hotel clerk with the venom of an Aussie spin bowler, Crowe seemingly has a habit of exploding first and asking questions later. At one point he was even briefly declared the potential target of a terrorist kidnapping, leading to an FBI security detail guarding him while he promoted Proof of Life (so that’s who bought seven tickets that movie sold). He’s calmed down in the last couple of years though and now limits himself to going batshit crazy on the phone (as opposed to throwing one), like during the PR for Robin Hood when he went off on the aforementioned Mark Kermode for writing an article he objected to on the subject of Crowe’s early picture Romper Stomper some eighteen years previously. As it transpired, it wasn’t even Kermode that wrote the article either.

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