A Romance writer’s musings on life and love in today’s world

March 17, 2021

A funny thing happened when I went to pick up the mail last week. Aside from the junk mail and bills, a copy of AARP magazine was in the inbox. Gracing the cover, staring back into the camera lens, which give you the distinct impression that he is looking you by the way, was an actor who I’ll admit to having a little, but harmless, crush on for some time, George Clooney.

The article begins with the acknowledgement that he is on the cusp of 60. I won’t say how did that happen because time flies.  In fact, the years seem to pass faster and faster as I get older. Does anyone else feel this is happening?

However, I find it comforting that he is secure and willing to own his gray hair and some wrinkles.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks healthy, and the article confirms that life is good.   I’m glad to hear that. Because the entertainment industry is generally not too comfortable with the issue of aging.  Heck, our whole culture gets a bit freaked out on growing old, but I digress.

The author of the article commented that, “George Clooney was never young, but he was also never old.”  I’d agree, the roles he took, even earlier in his career, tended to have a level of maturity in them. To me, he reminds me of Cary Grant. A versatile actor who had a long career and was still quite dashing as he grew older.

The article even shared some information on skills that I would have never would have thought that he had.  Like sewing (repaired the kid’s clothing and one of his wife’s dresses when on pandemic lock-down) and get-it-fixed-in-a-pinch auto and home repair skills.  I’ve got to admit, this makes him appear real and relatable. 

Real and relatable is good, especially if you’re a romance writer.  Our readers love handsome heroes who are good guys.  If they aren’t good guys at the beginning of the story, there should be a solid reason why not, and we want to see the transformation to good guy at the end.  

I’m sure that many a romance writer when creating their characters have looked to Hollywood for examples. Where better to search than the long list of “sexiest men alive” over the years, right?  George has had this title bestowed two times by the way.

But aligning your hero too closely to a well-known person, especially physically, can present problems.  I speak from personal experience on this mistake. When your main character looks exactly like Mr. Famous and it comes time to get your book cover gets designed, every model presented by your designer will not seem quite right because they aren’t Mr. Famous. For the record, I never based any of my heroes on George Clooney, honest answer!

Is he on track for another “sexist man alive” title?  I don’t know. There are a lot of smart, hard-working, talented, and handsome actors, athletes, or performers, to choose from each year.  I suspect if it never comes his way again, George will probably be fine with that.