More often than not, when you write about celebrities, you are inevitably writing about a brand. A front. Or an illusion.
You don’t know them, they don’t know you, and what you’re writing about is actually, well, a character. This elusive line separating personal from private, the person you are writing about is often as contrived and constructed as the characters they play in their movies.
So when Jennifer Garner this week was interviewed by Krista Smith for Vanity Fair, her bold candour about her divorce and her heart and her children made her audience believe, that maybe, for once, we were accessing Jennifer Garner the person rather than Jennifer Garner the brand.
And open she was.
A “year of wine” she described the last few months, dealing with the fall out of what was arguably one of the highest profile break-ups of 2015.
But it is her description of Affleck, and their demise, that reinforces the idea that fame and wealth and love aren’t mutually exclusive. And a high-profile marriage can be as real and as genuine as yours or mine.
“I didn’t marry the big fat movie star,” she told Smith. “I married him.”
“And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again.”
So what about now? How does she sit with it all? For Garner, it seems, she’s still navigating that.
“He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?
“He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”