Persistence of vision

The stars of “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!” hold forth on being star-struck.

by Tom Horgen

LOS ANGELES – It’s difficult not to stop and stare at the roving, iced-out celebrities when you’re in Hollywood. And at a recent press junket for “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton,” the new romantic comedy about celebrity obsession, that wide-eyed, drunken glee was in full effect.

The film stars Kate Bosworth as Rosalee, a small town girl who wins a contest to go on a date with the fictional movie star she obsesses over, Tad Hamilton. But when Tad falls for Rosalee, to the dismay of her best friend Pete, who is secretly in love with her, the film becomes a moral tale about seeing what’s right in front of you.

At the film’s press junket though, which took place at the Four Season’s Hotel, it was the reporters who took over the role of star-struck victims.

Not helping matters, the talent, as they’re called in Hollywood, acted just as you’d expect them to. Josh Duhamel, who plays the title character, glided into the room with his blue shirt half buttoned, exposing his hunkiness. Bosworth grumbled, however adorably, about being exhausted from the previous night’s flight in from Berlin. And director Robert Luketic – who also helmed “Legally Blonde” – donned a Spielbergian baseball cap and enjoyed yammering about his next film with J. Lo and Jane Fonda.

As each of these budding celebrities sat down for roundtable interviews, certain reporters, surprisingly the older ones, began bombarding them with unnecessary flattery. One reporter prefaced a question for Bosworth by using words such as “radiance” and “aura” to describe the 21-year-old’s performance, which almost led one to believe Meryl Streep was sitting before us instead of the spunky blond from 2002’s female surfer movie, “Blue Crush.”

Beyond the relentless fawning, though, adulation for the actors went a little too far when a couple of reporters whipped out their autograph books and asked Bosworth and Topher Grace (who plays Eric on “That 70s Show”) for their autographs.

With celebrity worship unfolding right in front of us, it seemed appropriate to ask the actors for their thoughts on the cultural phenomenon and how they feel about fellow actors who revel in it.

“I definitely don’t have whatever that mindset is that drives you to become an actor, to become famous. So yeah, I can say I don’t respect it,” Grace said. He continued with a smirk. “I’m not friends with many actors. Period. As a rule.”

Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Rosalee’s best friend and the most star-obsessed of the film’s characters, couldn’t be more unlike her character.

“I for a time was running around with the hobbits, and we would be out and about, and little girls would come up and start bawling, hyperventilating. I don’t understand that mentality. I’ve never understood it. It’s kind of sad to me,” she said. “Maybe thank God for it because it gets people into the seats in the movie theater. But I don’t understand having the ‘Tad Hamilton’ ideals.”

Bosworth, still enamored with the facade of Hollywood, seemed to have a different viewpoint than her co-stars. She had been halfway across the world making a movie with Kevin Spacey the night before, but was happy to be back in the City of Angels.

“It never changes flying into Los Angeles. The palm trees, and Rodeo and all this – the beautiful people. Every day I feel that way, that wide-eyed small-town girl,” she said. “Which I think keeps everything really fresh and magical.”