With Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston carrying on like they’re in The Notebook, a few conspiracy theories have been tossed around, one which claims that the two lovebirds are actually filming a long-form music video for Taylor’s new album. Another is that Tom is playing along with all this Fourth of July nonsense and participating in cheesy PDA with the singer because he’s dying to play the next James Bond, and Taylor would—and has—upped his profile.
Whether the relationship is real or fake, we may never know. But one top Hollywood publicist—who prefers to remain anonymous because she frequently works with A-Listers—breaks down for Personal Space how exactly a fake Hollywood couple would be created. (She’s actually pulled this off herself with two very well known celebs, so she knows what she’s doing.)
1. Determine why this will help.
First of all, why pretend you’re in love to begin with? Why not live your authentic life? Well, because it’s Hollywood, one, and two, someone needs their image either fixed or their profile raised ASAP. So one top publicist calls another top publicist, agent, or manager of a star and they hatch a plan to hook two seemingly compatible stars up. This may happen over dinner or drinks and the plan is laid out. “We call each other and say let’s hook up so and so with so and so,” says the publicist. “When you want to raise someone’s profile it’s called a celebrity hookup.”
2. Look for a good red carpet date on the calendar.
“A good premiere or a great restaurant always works,” says the rep. “Pick a high profile restaurant in New York or L.A. or walking on the beach is an easy one, someone will always spot two stars together that way.”
3. Ring, ring. Call the paps.
The reps, managers, and agents all have a go-to-guy in the paparazzi world. They call him or her up, the pap waits outside the restaurant or “catches” them going to the fancy party and snaps away while the fake couple holds hands pretending that they don’t know the photographer is there. But they know. Because they are in on it. And the paparazzi will sell the pics to an agency and get a cut of the money.
4. Make entertainment journalist/editor friends.
Publicists love make writer/editor friends. It works both ways. They get to feed stories to the writer, the writer then plugs their clients and products. That’s just the way it works. So, after the photographer sends in his photos, the publicist basically begs editors at the weekly magazines and daily online sites to run the pictures of the now “couple.” They pitch it as if it’s breaking, so everyone rushes to run a story about the new lovers (who barely know each other.) The pictures run, the star who needed their profile raised is happy and everyone’s job is done—except the rep. Who now has to deal with calls from reporters about the “relationship.”
5. “No Comment.”
“We just say ‘no comment,’ or ‘they’ve been friends for a while,’” says the publicist. Then the couple “gets caught” in casual wear, running a few errands, which makes it look like they’re spending the night at each other’s houses.
“Usually the charade doesn’t last all that long. But in one case I hooked two people up and the woman really fell in love with the guy. You know who they are, I just can’t say obviously.” Which leads to…
6. The breakup
“Sometimes it works out that they actually like each other,” laughs the rep,” but usually that’s not the case. Then the client’s want you to do the breaking up for them. I say to the client ‘I’m not breaking up for you, absolutely not,’ but I will give them a speech to follow, to actually read, if that’s what they need to get through it.”
In order for little suspicion to be raised, you have to keep the couple going for a bit, says the rep, who adds “press people always believe it.”
Are they faking it? Some clues...
“If anyone confirms ‘yes’ they’re dating after a week, it’s a lie,” laughs the rep. “The ultimate goal is to get the lower profile person in the more famous person’s world. It needs to be believable.”
As for Taylor and Tom?
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what’s going on,” she laughs. “If anything he’s using her to get the James Bond role. He needed to be more mainstream. I give them a couple of months.”
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