Ireland is hilarious. Sometimes I feel deep down, despite the fact we now have posh coffees with soya and agave and the like—and a Cos, that we still feel inferior to BIG countries such as AMERICA (f*&k yeah!). Never was this more apparent than when Tom Cruise rolled into our capital city.
Tom Cruise visited Dublin for the premiere of new film Oblivion and the next day it was on the front page of the national papers. I mean this in the nicest, fondest way possible—we’re so embarrassing.
At the thought of an American movie star we suddenly turn into Father Ted. Bless us but we’re just so impressed. No matter how cosmopolitan we’ve become we’re still very much seduced by the ‘glamour’ of celebrity, especially if they’re the ‘big names’ as my mother would say.
I saw evidence of this myself when Michael Bublé came to turn on Dublin’s Christmas lights in 2012. You couldn’t move to scratch your nose. It was every man for himself as pensioners belted you out of the way and groups of teenagers formed impenetrable walls. The most I got to see was the sign for Aldo over a profusion of jostling heads. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if half the people there didn’t even like Michael, wouldn’t know one of his songs from a hole in the ground—but that’s hardly the point, he’s famous.
Okay, of course we’re going to go a bit mad when there’s the chance to see a ‘big name’. We’re a small island and people don’t seem to pop over to us that much—they’re too busy going to the likes of London or Rio I think. If, for example, Nicolas Cage was strolling around Ballintubbert I would be fully behind anyone who came after him for a clump of his hair or an autograph, or even to hold him in a van for a little while, just to chat.
However trotting Tom up to the Guinness Storehouse and then meeting Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore for the presentation of an Irish heritage certificate is a little bit cringe, no?
It’s gas, an actor comes to the country actually gets to meet with the Tánaiste. Is it not a bit like if every time Colin Farrell went to Washington he would meet the vice president of the United States?
I understand that people will say: “It’s really good for tourism” and “We’re a small welcoming nation” and “Tom’s lovely, always has time for the fans” but still. Could we not act a little nonchalant? A bit cooler about the whole thing? Have an air of detachment?
“Oh look it’s Tom Cruise over there.”
“So it is Thomas, so it is, so will you have a latte or a cappucino?”
“Ahm, a latte please Diego, almond milk and stevia. You know, I wasn’t mad on Mission Impossible Four, were you?”
“Not the best of the franchise Thomas, not the best.”
First published April 2013