By Melissa Hunter
Celebrity can be so hard. But a handful of young stars have bravely decided that — in spite of all the pesky money, prestige, awards, fans, and VIP treatment — they will endure the struggles of the fame they worked so hard to attain. But they don't have to like it. Here are 10 stars who seem totally over being stars.
10. Hayden "Tween Recluse" Panettiere: As a precocious teen star, it's a daily trial dealing with the burden of fame. So tough, in fact, that Hayden has decided to hide out completely. Apparently. She once said, "I don't ever go out…. I stay at home. I go from garage to garage, and keep myself out of sight… It really has a major impact on your life. This business is very intrusive." Less, of course, the occasional trip to paparazzi-ridden hot spot Katsuya and chilling on a yacht in Cannes. But that's like, you know, the fun stuff.
9. Evangeline "Aspiring Nonactor" Lilly: Evangie may have hit the jackpot landing a lead on a hit network TV show, but the "Lost" star doesn't want any of it. None. Really, just fire her now. She told Women's Health in an interview, "My producer Bryan Burk is always like, 'My God, the opportunities you have!' It frustrates him that they've given me this chance to become the next Angelina Jolie [and I haven't gone after it]. Sure, I'd love to be her, but just the [humanitarian] side… But the reality is this: I'm a simple person who's not interested in attention who just wants to go about my business." And by that "business" do you mean the business where all the attention is on you? Right, that business. She goes on to say "Ultimately, acting is not my passion. It's my day job." She's just waiting for her big break to land a gig as a waitress at T.G.I. Friday's, guys. With this kind of attitude, that day will come soon enough.
8. Ellen "I'd Rather Be Camping" Page: After she had her "Juno" breakthrough, Ellen was inundated with press, fame, fans, and award nominations. While this was well-deserved, it did not seem all that appreciated. Similar to her offbeat, sardonic character, she has shunned much of the mainstream media opportunities that most fame-grubbing starlets would give their left breast implant for. Her hobbies include camping, hiking, and *gasp* reading. Not on the list? Swag parties and lunching at the Ivy. She is the embodiment of the "over it" 'tude and actually steers clear of the spotlight. She wins points for admitting what the rest of these celebs would never dare, saying in an interview, "I feel like if you really want that media attention you can have it, and if you really genuinely don't want it, it's something that can be avoided: I think there is an element of personal choice." Put that in your campfire and smoke it.
7. Jessica "Sourpuss" Alba: In a serious case of Sour Face Syndrome, Jessica Alba has made it abundantly clear that she doesn't like getting her picture taken. With the paparazzi following her everywhere, this can understandably get annoying. She says, "I could give two sh–s about them. They're so lame, I can't even believe that's a real job. I can't imagine they even pay taxes." Oooh, they're such scum that they evade taxes! Snap! Yep, pretty crazy that it's a real job, Jess, but it may help you just a bit. When your last few films are "Good Luck Chuck," "The Eye" and "The Love Guru," a few cheery candids couldn't hurt. But if all else fails, there's always your backup career as a shark advocate.
6. Keira "Dust in the Wind" Knightley: Woe is Keira. With nearly 40 films under her belt at the age of 24, Keira isn't slowing down anytime soon. So why the pout? Oh right, because she hates what she does. She once said of acting, "It's a pretty horrific profession really. Every photo takes away a bit of your soul." Little-known fact: When she agreed to be the face of Chanel, she signed her soul away to them. True story. And on the media and fans: "It is constant and I can spot them a mile away. It made me frightened of cameras and people." Jeez, that must be a tough phobia considering the line of work you're in. From now on, no cameras or people are allowed in Knightley productions. She continues, "I wish I was just an insignificant speck." Sorry this is all so hard on you.
5. Jared "Is the Coolest" Leto: Oh, Jared. There was a time when we loved you. That time was the '90s. And since then, you have made more pathetic attempts at a comeback than slap bracelets. At least slap bracelets don't put up a front about it. Leto has been known for just HATING when the paparazzi take his picture, especially when he dyes his hair a newly offensive color and hooks up with hot young starlets. Why would people care about that? He once went on a rant about blogs, presumably ones that were mean to him, in 2006. Let's look back, shall we? He said, "I think that blogging should die a sudden death. It's just ridiculous. It's like a playground for 4-year-olds. People say and do things in the world of blogs that they would never do in real life, and I think it's a false experience. …The blog is yesterdays parachute pants. It's here now but it's gone tomorrow." Blogs are on their way out, really. It's all about AM radio now. Incidentally, this quote was blogged about to no end. Darn that wily reverse psychology, Jared! Foiled again.
4. Claire "Stop Caring About Me" Danes: As a teenage star, Claire Danes had many a first with fame. Her first kiss was on-screen with Jared Leto in "My So-Called Life" (Hmm, maybe there's a correlation between So-Called actors and never-ending angst?). A condition of many "over it" stars, Claire now resides in New York (because LA is strictly for fame whores) and also pulled the classic "too good for fame" move by attending Yale, but then moved on to the '"too good for normalcy" move, dropping out halfway through. She has been quoted many a time whining about fame, once saying, "My life is completely invaded. Almost every day now in New York I'm followed by photographers — and I'm not even that famous! I'm in enough films so that people recognize me but I'm hardly a huge star. I find the whole fame thing irritating." You know, Claire, there's a cure for "the whole fame thing." It's called "stop starring in movies and dating other celebrities." I can refer you to a life coach for more information.
3. Katherine "Too Good for Everyone" Heigl: Katherine has a tendency to bite the hand that feeds her. She famously refused her Emmy nomination for "Grey's Anatomy" because she claimed the writing wasn't good enough that season. She only accepts awards for the most poetic of guilty-pleasure, love-hexagon hospital soap scripts. And her thoughts on "Knocked Up," the film that launched her movie career? According to Heigl, it was "hard to love" because it was sexist, painting women as "humorless shrews." Obviously Katherine behaving like a humorless shrew on screen is the fault of the writing and directing, and not due to her performance. Clearly. She's also been caught on video pulling T.R. Knight away from fans. In short: TV? Not good enough. Movies? Not good enough. Fans? You better believe they're not good enough. Now let her work in peace on her poignant docu-play that will be seen by no one.
2. Kristen "Eye Roll" Stewart: The emo poster child for fame-hate, Kristen has continually proved that celebrity is really an inconvenience. From shirking press responsibilities to whiny interviews to her perma-grimace on the red carpet, there's really nothing that will please this girl. In one of her many too-good-for-fame quotes (believe me, it was tough to pick), she commented on the "Twi-hard" fans in a Nylon interview, saying, "Anywhere we'd go for Twilight was a psychotic situation. The sound was deafening, and it's thoughtless, as well. You get a slew of these bulls–t questions like, 'What's it like to kiss a vampire?'" She had also been quoted calling fans who went to the "Twilight" set "retarded." With the second installment of the "Twilight" series due out in the fall and a third on the way, it's only a matter of time until she loses it and becomes a vampire so she can seek vengeance on all who get in the way of her angst-ridden existence.
1. Joaquin "Might Actually Be Over It" Phoenix: In Joaquin's case, it's still hard to tell whether he is over it or "over it." Vowing to never make another movie (except for the one Casey Affleck is coincidentally filming about him), he has been supposedly pursuing a career in hip-hop and has been seen donning Ray-Bans and a full beard ever since. While he made a huge splash when this meltdown controversy came out, he has since dropped out of the spotlight completely. This either makes him the most "over it" star of our day OR the most elaborate ruse to claim to be "over it," thus making him the least "over it" star. Jeez, my head hurts.