Pop culture focuses so much on celebrity f*ck ups, arrests, and embarrassments that we often neglect to call attention to nice things celebrities do, instances where they prove themselves to be unusually human, and their occasional bouts of generosity. So I looked around this morning, and marshaled a few instances of that in an effort to help you get through the day without hating everyone.
At the very least, you’ll never be able to hate on Amy Poehler, who released another edition of her Ask Amy series on YouTube. This week, Poehler offers some advice on the importance of apologizing, and as always, she’s sincere, earnest, and lovely.
Speaking of Poehler, how outstanding was last night’s Parks and Recreation, in particular the food poisoning scene, easily the funniest moment of the Thursday night comedies.
Meanwhile, I love this little tidbit from Martin Freeman, who talks to The Sunday Times Magazine about being separated from his wife and kids for much of 18 months while filming the Hobbit movies:
“Yes, I got lovesick. My family would come out for a few weeks then go home again, but over an 18-month period I saw less of them than I’d want…
“When they came over to visit, they had the experience of being babysat by Gandalf. So they were read bedtime stories by Sir Ian McKellen, a man with one of the most beautiful voices in the English language. And that’s kind of cool.”
Good God, can you imagine having Gandalf on hand to read your children Goodnight Moon? But we probably already knew that about Ian McKellen: He’s a good goddamn guy.
I don’t really care terribly about the personal life of Kristen Stewart, but I admire Emma Watson for defending Stewart after pop-culture had taken a dump on her after Stewart’s affair.
I thought that the media picked on her in a very horrible way. Kristen is human, just like everybody else, and she’s so young. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone. It’s not fair to consider them matters of public interest. On one hand, I can understand why it happened: people felt really involved in her relationship with Robert Pattinson. But it’s also true that they both have done everything in their power to keep their relationship as far from the public eye as possible.”
It’s not much, but when one young celebrity looks out for another, it should be recognized.
Elsewhere, nobody talks a lot about David Arquette, who has always seemed like a super nice guy with a slovenly case of Peter Pan syndrome, but after a cab driver offered to wait outside while Arquette and a relative dined in a restaurant, but Arquette insisted that the cab driver join them inside for a meal.
Well, it’s something, right? It’s not easy to find good deeds by celebrities, damnit.
Here’s a bunch of celebrities, including Emma Stone, doing a PSA for cancer awareness.
Meanwhile, here’s Allison Janney — who recently signed on with Anna Faris onto Chuck Lorre’s next CBS sitcom, Mom — doing a PSA for heart disease awareness in women.
Finally, if you have a few minutes and you haven’t heard it yet, I cannot recommend enough Bradley Cooper’s stint on NPR’s “Fresh Air” this week. It will completely change your perception of him: He’s tremendously thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate, and generous, especially when speaking about the passing of his father and his admiration of Terry Gross. My wife swooned a few times during the interview. Cooper always seemed like a charming enough guy, but he’s firmly in the good guy camp now. I think he may even have some Clooney in him.
Bonus: This has nothing to do with celebrities or generosity, but if you’re in the mood for COMPLETE EMOTIONAL ANNIHILATION, I can’t recommend enough the final segment of last week’s “This American Life.” It’s a replay of a 2001 story about a five-year-old and his mother dealing with their father/husband’s degenerative brain disorder, and it is devastating. I was listening to it while driving home from a late-night screening of Identity Thief last night, and I nearly wrecked my damn car. The last time I lost it so completely may have been Dear Zachary, so imagine trying to drive while suffering the debilitating effects of that documentary, and you know what I felt like on an empty Maine freeway around 1 a.m. last night.