Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Keep him sober. Launch your career in movies

During my research into Owen Wilson's strategy for avoiding any more faux suicide attempt hospitalizations while staying sane and with his career intact, I found out something surprising about the "sober companion" position Wilson hopes will help him do just that.

According to this achieved article, back in 2002 sober companions for actors were pulling in up to 2500 dollars a day -- a fee often paid by movie insurance companies. Yet, now in 2007, Owen Wilson is getting his sober companion -- who will shadow him everywhere he goes including, obviously, the bathroom -- for a mere 750 dollars a day.

This confused me at first. Wouldn't there be more of a demand for Hollywood sober companions these days? Granted this perception might be based on the proliferation of the gossip industry and the complete lack of privacy celebrities now have. Still, the more than three-fold decrease in wages has got to be overwhelming a result of changes on the supply side of equation.

Which does make sense. I'm sure, once it was discovered that a personal sobriety minder was a real Tinseltown job, film school grads from NYU to USC began marketing themselves as such. Why fetch coffee for some studio exec when you can have 24/7 access to an A-list actor like Owen Wilson? (Breakfast at Hugo's with Wes! Lunch at The Ivy with Luke! Dinner at Spago's with Vince! Oh that's Kate on the cell, can't let that one get through!)

As an added bonus, unlike with the personal assistant, the intense dependency-laden psychological bond the vulnerable Hollywood star will quickly develop with the sober companion should garner producer credits even well after the formal arrangement has ended.

This is all to say by the time the Abigail Breslins of the world are old enough to develop debilitating substance abuse problems, the sober companion will be an unpaid position with a difficult application process. Although many will say it is all about who you know.

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