It was a romance worthy of a bard, a ballad to rival John and Yoko. Only the most cynical of PRs would dismiss the star-crossed lover affair of Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift as a stunt. Well I am a cynical PR man and from day one the pictures of the well-groomed couple canoodling on a coastal nook had as much gritty authenticity as a Nicholas Sparks novel.
The news of the Hiddleswift split has confirmed that love is, after all, little more than a tennis score in the cut-throat world of celebrity. Reports have spun the story that Swift had grown uneasy with the levels of public exposure Hiddleston was courting with their romance. (“Not another coastal walk Tom. Can’t we just get a room?”) While accepting that tabloid whispers are hardly reliable records there is plausibility to the spin. With Bond rumours swirling around and the Emmys coming up Hiddleston’s star was kept bright by proximity to the reigning chanteuse queen.
Assuming –hypothetically, of course- Hiddleston needed Swift more than vice versa what kind of PR strategy was this for the ambitious actor? In a week where Daniel Craig is rumoured to be back in play to return as the famed spy with pay-packet that would make Goldfinger blush Hiddleston’s name has all but dropped off the 007 radar. The stories now emerging of Hiddleston’s vanity couldn’t help his Bond chances. Nor will his exposure in the US –crucial to his chances of lifting an Emmy- be much improved.
The only sure strategy of boosting your fame and credibility -in both entertainment and enterprise- is through the work that you do. Even Mel Gibson, formerly written off as an alcoholic racist, has managed to redeem himself with the critically lauded Hacksaw Ridge, which premiered at the Venice Film festival this week and has now been hotly tipped for Oscar glory. Hiddleston is by no means as beyond the pale as Mad Mel once was. But he still shouldn’t be afraid of a period of lying low. Amid the deafening noise keeping your head down and waiting for the quality work to find you can be the best option. This is advice as applicable for captains of industry as it is for stars of the screen.