Monday, September 10, 2007


Sometimes it’s good to be a faker, sometimes it’s not.

James Campbell has shown up in full firefighter’s uniform at the World Trade Center, various train wrecks and wildfires, even at hurricane Katrina. But Mr. Campbell is a faker. Over the weekend Mr. Campbell was arrested for impersonating a fireman.

In Finland, Ochi Yosuke received kudos and a $3,400 first prize for winning the Air Guitar World Championship. Here it pays to be a faker: winning the real thing, for example, the International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, only netted the winner $3,000.

At the MTV awards Britney Spears was unable to pull off being a faker, flubbing the lip-sync to her new song “Give Me More.”

But when they’re good, fakers make very good money and achieve great fame, especially when they’re actors. Keanu Reeves made over $150 million from The Matrix Reloaded and Bruce Willis $100 million from The Sixth Sense. Talk about gender income disparity: Julia Roberts tops the actress payday with only $25 million for Mona Lisa Smile.

Still, she did a lot better than James Campbell, who now faces felony charges and jail time, and Britney Spears, who faces public humiliation.


cheryl said...

Are keanu and Bruce fakers? In eac of their film's they are action so movement is more intense. Yes Keanu has done romanti ones, which justify's the lower incom, but come on Matrix trilogy was so intense he deserves every penny he gets. If Julia did more action or intense I am sure her salary would rise. Keanu and Bruce are no fakers

Larry Shiller said...

Hi Cheryl,

I defined "faker" as a person being something different from who they really are. Of course in one sense actors are not fakers because, well, they're actors: not being who they are is their job. But I am not placing a value judgment on faking, just observing that lots of people do it and some are accepted and even lauded for it.