With all the strange celebrity fluff that floats all over TV and glossy magazines these days, it’s a pleasure to report that there’s a site out there devoted to putting this fame thing into proper perspective. FameTracker, the brainchild of a group of savvy Toronto-based film buffs, offers a wonderfully in-the-know overview of everybody’s favorite overrated Hollywood stars as well as obscure character actors.
This offbeat destination will take you to a spot called “Galaxy of Fame,” where you can read strangely appealing items such as “Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas spawn,” “Special Biggest Losers of the Year Edition!” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Paula Devicq.”
Nothing is sacred here. Travolta, Ryder, Soderbergh, Crowe and David E. Kelley all make appearances. The cast of CBS’ doomed “Big Brother” pop up to say, “The good news is that you’ll never have to hear from us again. The bad news is that we still have to be us. Forever.”
Editors Tara Ariano and Adam Sternbergh are kind enough to devote a section to “2 Stars, 1 Slot,” in which they discuss instances where “niche actors collide.” A recent article dissected the eerie similarities between Elijah Wood and Topher Grace, and wondered why the film world really needed two versions of the same thespian.
There are also amusing bits about character actors but can’t quite identify, and discussions on why it’s so unjust that Gwyneth Paltrow’s current approximate fame level matches Julia Roberts’, while her truly deserved approximate fame level is equal to Mimi Rogers’.
Also quite good for an evil chuckle now and then are FameTracker’s occasional “And the Oscar can be returned to…”, sections where the eds wonder about a world where people like Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson can take home the best director trophy at the Academy Awards.
Kudos also go to the site’s artistic directors, who have come up with a very distinctive, copper-plate style of illustrations, which establishes a nifty brand identity for FameTracker. In any case, it’s a relief to know that there are brave people up there in Toronto who are fighting the good fight against the “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight” types of the world.