Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, and ‘Mom’: The Downsides of Giving Private Lives a Public Face

IndieWire | 8/9/2017 | Hanh Nguyen
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Fans of CBS comedy “Mom” follow Anna Faris’ character, single mother Christy, while she struggles with alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions. In real life, Faris’ fans are following the popular actress as she faces a personal challenge: Her breakup with husband Chris Pratt.

Blurring fact and fiction is nothing new in Hollywood. Actors frequently play versions of themselves – in television, that goes all the way back to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, who re-created their couple dynamic as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy,” and the Nelson family, who played some version of themselves on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

Course - Media - Barrier - Stars - Fans

Of course, that was before social media further eroded the barrier between stars and fans. Tabloids and celebrity weeklies aside, personal lives could still be managed out of public eye. Today, social media is an essential tool in any celebrity’s promotional arsenal, one that can allow them to seem more accessible while still operating at a reserve.

However, that can cut both ways: Faris and Pratt’s outsized social media presences, as individuals as well as a couple, provided fans an endearing sense of familiarity. That’s an optical illusion, of course, but try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of people who shared or commented on Pratt’s Facebook and Twitter posts announcing the split.

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As Brangelina showed, there’s a high cost when celebrities’ pop-culture identities becomes entwined with the most personal elements of their...
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