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Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

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Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

Post by watching on Tue Oct 04 2011, 13:19

How to Charm People: A Lesson from America's Master The appeal of not being too good.
Published on October 3, 2011 by Harry Beckwith in Unthinking


Type into Google the names “Cary Grant” and “George Clooney,” and you learn that over 1,200,000 entries contain those two names together.

You also will learn that George Clooney may be the “new Cary Grant”, “the next Cary Grant,” or merely a famous actor who looks “so much like: Cary Grant.

It’s worth studying American actors because their success tells us something about us. As Cary Grant did for decades, George Clooney manages to be both improbably handsome and wildly popular with male audiences. Six times he’s been featured in People’s Annual 50 Most Beautiful People Issue, a record matched only by Tom Cruise and surpassed by no one. Clooney’s 27 films have grossed over $1.4 billion, attracting millions of men to the theaters.

How does George do it?

It’s because he doesn’t threaten men. That’s partly because, like every popular American actor of the last 40 years, he’s not the classic “tall, dark, and handsome.” He stands barely 5’10” (That’s an inch taller than James Dean, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro, two inches taller than Mel Gibson, Al Pacino, and Tom Cruise, and at least three inches taller than Sylvester Stallone.)

Clooney doesn’t threaten men for another reason: He doesn’t always get the girls. He played sexually-challenged doofuses in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and Leatherheads, and a 35-pound overweight depressive in Michael Clayton. In an unusual number of his movies, Clooney has no love interest at all. He almost scored one in both Syrianna and Michael Clayton, but when the movies got into editing, both actresses were edited out. (The editors decided that the romances detracted from the appeal of those movies.)

In his 2008 movie Up in The Air, Clooney’s manages to seduce a fellow frequent flier played by Vera Farmiga. They meet regularly, and Clooney’s character resists falling in love with her until one night when he is no longer able to resist.

He leaves a stage in the middle of his speech, rushes to the nearest airport, and flies to Chicago to see her.

Flash forward. She answers Clooney's ring of her doorbell. Seconds later, a male voice from behind her asks, “Who’s that, honey?” Clooney’s happily-enough married target had been doing the seducing all along. Poor jilted Boy Toy George, brought down to our level.

We also love Clooney because he laughs at his handsome image, just like Grant did. Even brief articles about Clooney routinely use the phrase “self-deprecating” to describe him. (As a wonderful example of Grant's similar trait: An interviewer told him that every man wanted to be Cary Grant. Grant replied, “Why not? Even I’d like to be Cary Grant!”)

When asked about the women in his life, Clooney used to point to Max--George's now-deceased pet Vietnamese potbellied pig who often slept with him. Men can sense that Clooney would buy a dozen motorcycles just so that his best friends could ride with him--which is exactly what Clooney did several years ago.

So do we like leading men who are taller, darker, and more handsome than us? Not at all. We want them to be like us--men too whom we can aspire without fearing it's a stretch. (That’s why Brad Pitt regularly looks gets hair cuts that appear to have cost him $4, and why America’s only two tall leading actors-- 6'4" Will Ferrel and 6'5" Vince Vaughn--play chubby goofballs and not slick seducers. Both Pitt's hair cut and Ferrel and Vauhgn's cut-ups bring them down to our level. It's also why experts tell professional speakers never to dress better than members of their audiences; men especially don't want to feel they are looking up.)

So if you’re the rare Cary Grant look-alike who kids himself and looks like he bonds with men, we Everyday Joes will help your movies earn over $400 million just in theaters.

But you’re too good for us--too tall, darkm and handsome, or too confident or self-absorbed--we pass. And men do it to women, too; both men and women can be too good for their own good.

All this recalls the wisdom of one of my favorite people, the entrepreneur/vagabond/shaman Derek Sivers. "Confidence is attractive," he once wrote, "but vulnerability is disarming."

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watching
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Re: Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

Post by pattygirl on Tue Oct 04 2011, 13:36

Great find, watching. Nice article. Always knew he was a "man's man. cheers

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Re: Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

Post by Guest on Tue Oct 04 2011, 13:57

Great article.

I prefer Clark Gable, I have never been too fond of Cary Grant, I don't
know why.

But, George does resembles Cary Grant in many different ways.


Last edited by nnz on Tue Oct 04 2011, 14:28; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

Post by pattygirl on Tue Oct 04 2011, 14:03

Neah, Cary Grant over Clark Gable for me. Gable wasn't as smooth or self deprecating as Grant. Really wasn't as easy going either. Gable was more brawly type where Grant was a gentler type.

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Re: Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

Post by Guest on Tue Oct 04 2011, 14:18

It was 'Gone With The Wind' that sold me out on Clark Gable.
After I saw that movie, there wasn't anything I didn't like
about him, lol. Laughing

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Re: Psychology Today - George doesn't threaten men

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