Jennie Garth: On fame and perceived fame

Lainey Posted by Lainey at April 17, 2012 18:06:43 April 17, 2012 18:06:43

Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli broke up. She’s now doing promotion for her new reality show A Little Bit Country. So, you know, the subject of divorce is coming up a lot. Here’s Jennie at The Today Show this morning.

Us Weekly reports that Jennie is “resentful” of Peter’s success with Twilight and, to a lesser degree, Nurse Jackie. The magazine notes that she’s been “loopy” in her interviews, vaguely alluding to how Peter’s frequent absences strained their marriage, seeming to imply that he wasn’t around to BE around. Jennie insisted today that professional jealousy had nothing to do with it:

"I enjoyed the quote that I was envious of his fame. There was nothing like that going on. I was very happy for him and so happy to be at home with the kids and enjoying my early retirement. I didn't want to work at that time. I just wanted to be at home on the farm." (Source)

It’s interesting to me how celebrities themselves perceive fame, especially when their perceived level of their own fame differs from our perception of how famous they really are. Sure, Peter Facinelli is in Twilight. But he’s certainly not the major player in Twilight, and probably not even in the Top 5 major players of Twilight, if there are really more than two major players in Twilight - Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. To everyone else who isn’t a Twi-Hard, come on now, is Peter Facinelli all that famous and important? Even on Nurse Jackie, and I do watch Nurse Jackie, he’s a supporting cast member who isn’t Jackie or Dr O’Hara.

Can Peter Facinelli headline a movie? Or a television show?

Not even maybe.

Peter Facinelli is a working actor. And that’s great. I’m happy for him. Working actors have steady incomes, they are busy, they don’t struggle. As a casual observer of that marriage however, it’s not like he’s Brad Pitt and she’s an ex-contestant on Dancing With The Sh-ts though, right? Kelly Taylor is married to Carlisle Cullen, that’s it.

Internally though, well, with actors it’s always an alternate understanding. In a relationship between actors, by nature narcissistic and self-absorbed, the real is often magnified so that someone who’s actually a C level celebrity becomes, in their home, a solid B+. What happens in a situation involving two real Cs when one or both considers him/herself to be more? We talk often about the B+s who want to be As. Or the As who struggle to never become B+s. But for an actor couple, the dynamics are same, no matter what grade.

Doug Meszler/Splash

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