Before this picspam, I had looked at my fair share of paparazzi shots of Tom, but he never looked happy in them, and I always felt guilty, especially if he was glaring at the camera. I never went looking for those pics, and I had only ever saved a couple of them. But if you're looking for scruffy Tom, those shots are a great resource, because he's most often caught on film during hiatus, when he's in full yeti mode. So for this picspam I googled "Tom Welling" and "candids," and wow, did I get an eyeful. In the end, I only used one of them, but then thought better of even that. Thank goodness Tom made The Fog, which gave me my choice of pics where he was both deliciously scruffy and impossibly sexy! :)
One set of pics in particular brought home to me how hard it must be to have even the simplest of joys, ones we all take for granted, if you're a celebrity. It's a series of pics taken from a distance of Tom walking down the street with Bonnie Hunt, his costar from the CBTD movies. They look completely happy and relaxed, talking and laughing and making funny faces. I already feel like an intruder just looking at this obviously private conversation. Then someone approaches them, and their whole demeanor changes. They suddenly look serious, and wary, and all the lightness of their shared moment is instantly gone. Of course, I don't know what the person said to them, it kind of looks like she's asking for directions, but my cynicism tells me she talked to them out of all the people on the street because she recognized them. And because of all the past experiences I'm sure they've had, they have to be cautious and careful. And regardless of how much money you get paid to be a famous actor, that has got to suck.
So how much privacy is someone like Tom entitled to? Certainly being recognized goes hand in hand with success as an actor, and how much we love (and watch) Tom to some degree directly affects how big his paycheck is, but does that mean we own some part of him? Are we entitled to access? Does he "owe" us anything? Is his evident reluctance in recent years to do public appearances, interviews, episode commentaries, or even a gag reel a slap in the face to his fans, or simply a choice that is his to make?
Personally, I don't think Tom owes us anything beyond the best performance he can possibly muster on Smallville each week. Sure, I wish he would do more to promote the show, because selfishly I want to see as much of him as I possibly can. I wish he would do interviews, because his past ones have been delightful, and I miss them. I want to know what he thinks about acting, directing, his roles, and his future plans after Smallville. I'd love to see him do photo shoots, because I think he is the most gorgeous man on the planet, and his beauty is beyond wasted on Smallville, hidden under baggy jeans and that stupid red jacket. I would kill for him to record an episode commentary, because he's smart, and funny, and insightful, and vastly entertaining. And don't even get me started on the gag reel.
But whether it's because he works impossibly long hours on the show and has no time, or because he's shy, or because he doesn't have anything positive to say about the show and so chooses to remain diplomatically silent, or simply because he doesn't feel like it, and prefers to stay completely private, I do think that is entirely his choice. As a fangirl, I am disappointed beyond measure, but not bitter or angry. If that's what he wants, I have to respect that.
I wonder if Tom realizes how much pent up demand there is to see him in print and on film? Does he have any clue about the degree to which the internets exploded when we got back to back appearances in the pages of Vogue, and then on the red carpet at the Costume Institute Gala at the Met? If I had more legitimate ways to see Tom, I wouldn't be so tempted to look at the paparazzi pics, but I suppose the more he puts himself in the public eye, the more they'll hound him. Celebrity. It's a blessing and a curse.
So what about you guys? Do you think Tom's life is open game, that full fan access just comes with the territory? Do you look at every pic of him you can find, and save them all to your hard drive? Do those looks of smoldering rage he sometimes directs at the camera lens make you uncomfortable, or do you just think he looks hot? :) If you saw Tom out and about, would you approach him, maybe ask him for a photo or an autograph? Tell me your take on the whole issue of privacy for celebrities in the comments!
And finally, I leave you with three promo pics of Tom, all taken while he was working. :)
These have all been cropped just a bit. Original images courtesy of andreas_ri, with my thanks! ♥