The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

21 Apr
Bob Hunt

The Fan Who Knew Too Much

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments

Celebrity is a funny thing. We enjoy a famous person’s work and occasionally catch a glimpse of what is purported to be the star’s personal life. After consuming magazine interviews, chat show appearances, and the standard fare from an official website, we are left to fill in the holes by inferring what our favorite celebrities are really like. With no evidence to the contrary, we are likely to project our own preferences and values upon our heroes. The more we do this, the greater the disillusionment when we discover – horror of horrors!- that the personality we’ve admired for so long thinks very differently than we do. The naivete of a fan, if you will.

I used to be a big Woody Allen fan. The outrageous non-sequiturs of his short stories and the surreal silliness of early films like Take the Money and Run and Sleeper struck a major chord during my adolescence. His intellectual persona gave me hope on the bleakest high school days that there was intelligent life out there, if not in my study hall. Even his experimentation with the more serious themes of Interiors and Stardust Memories intrigued me, and I admired the integrity of a talented director who demanded and received creative control of his films.

By early adulthood, I was an entrenched Woodyphile. Each new film merited a trip to the movie theater, and with the limited release of much of Woody’s work, that sometimes required a little extra effort. If there was a newspaper article, magazine feature or anything remotely connected to my cinematic hero, I had to have it. Then, two things happened. I grew up a little as I began to see the folly in relentlessly pursuing obsessive interests. And Woody…well, you probably heard something about some of the controversial decisions he’s made in his personal life. I am not here to pass judgment but rather to lament the fact that my knowledge of this news diminished my enthusiasm for an artist whose work I had previously simply enjoyed. And before you start scrolling to the bottom of the page to flame me for being a prude, I want to emphasize that I still enjoy Woody’s work and regard him as one of our great filmmakers, American or otherwise. Try as I might, however, I can never entirely separate the movies from the man. Somehow it makes his comedic efforts a little less lighthearted and lends an uncomfortable edge to any material that appears to reflect his personal life. I haven’t made the extra effort to catch one of his films in the theater for over a decade.

Stars are who they are, of course, and though they may seek an audience for their work, each of us ultimately chooses whether or not to wear the label of fan. Maybe that’s where we should tread with care. “I’m a big fan,” we may say, but perhaps we should add from the start, “of your work.”

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