J-Lo loomed large (and her arse, ha ha) in the media last week, which was great news for lovers of old-style Hollywood excess (and her arse, ha ha).
Enough bum references. You know the excess thing: 35 staff, fleet of limos, 14 suites, £90,000 room service bill, 3,000 Tibetan lilies (left hand slope of Matchu Pitchu Katari only), hand-harvested bio-organic oxygen, personal therapist, gardener, Daniel Widdon, Harry Hawke, Peter Davey. Limo to drive her from her bed to the loo. And so on.
The exact details don’t matter (the figures were fairly flexible depending on which credulous hack you read). What did matter was the whole theatrical spectacle of obscenely ostentatious hyper-consumption, elegantly staged and obediently slavered over by the media.
It’s fascinating stuff. Barmy! Mental! Disgusting! But ooh, isn’t it glam?
If you want celeb culture, this is the gold standard. These people have the power to command whatever they want, however absurd or surreal, whenever they want it. They are not mere mortals. No wonder the press follow their every move when they momentarily intersect with our tawdry reality.
This is nothing new, of course. Richard Burton’s entourage dwarfed J-Lo’s. He even had someone to carry and light his cigarettes (he smoked 100 a day: at 5 minutes a fag, it’s surprising he had any time to act).
OTT antics were obligatory (Errol Flynn’s drinking buddies stole John Barrymore’s body from the coffin and propped it up in the great lothario’s kitchen).
The mythology of the movie industry is built on tales (real or imagined) of the sexual and other excesses of the stars.
J-Lo has developed a nice line in this kind of personal PR over quite a time, but this week’s example was very neatly managed. Because the great irony – get this – the great irony is that J-Lo is starring in Maid in Manhattan (in which she plays a lowly maid who has to put up with stroppy rich bastards staying in a Manhattan hotel). Do you see? Did you spot it?
Well, denser members of the press clearly thought what a fantastic and original conceit it would be to link the two.
The result: acres of coverage for Maid in Manhattan, and ever greater status for J-Lo. She’s got to be brilliant if she can behave this way.