I wish you could swim
July 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
They say you should never meet your heroes.
I don’t know if that’s true, but I can’t help but feel a little flat after meeting the beautiful Cary Elwes at Comic Con last weekend. Don’t get me wrong, he was very lovely, but in retrospect, I’m a little frustrated with myself. I’m frustrated that I couldn’t articulate what I wanted to tell him, that for reasons I don’t fully understand, I am completely and utterly devoted to a movie he played a part in more than 25 years ago, and a huge reason for that is his performance. Now that I’ve written that down, it’s probably for the best that I couldn’t get the words out.
‘Nice to meet you’ did the job just fine.
And then he called me ‘very sweet’, which completely threw me (it must have been the dress) and left me giddy for the next half hour.
It’s weird that I feel this affinity with Cary Elwes and his work and he doesn’t know me from a bar of soap, but I guess storytelling works that way. Once a story’s out there, it will come to mean a multitude of different things to a multitude of different people. Obviously, this means that sometimes the people you most expect to get it, just don’t, and that can feel a little lonely.
Poor Cary Elwes isn’t to know how damn much I adore his Westley, though he probably had an inkling when I picked the photo I did for him to sign. And though I like to think I have a pretty firm grip on reality, it upset me a little that he doesn’t know how much he and that movie mean to me and no matter what, even if I sit him down and explain it the best way I can, he’ll never quite care as much as I want him to.
But then I suppose it’s the same in reverse.
I’ll never value Cary for the very real person he is, and I wonder, as more and more people line up to have their picture taken with him, hand over memorabilia for him to sign, and ask him to say that line, whether he feels lonely too. How does he reconcile the person he is with the fantasy that thousands of people want him to be?
How do any of us?