Hello, guys. Welcome back to the BigAppleSchool podcast, where the goal of this show is to help improve your English skills through listening. My name is Benjamin, and today we have three guests. Our first guest today, being...
Ken from Manila, Philippines.
And last but not least...
Ugur from Istanbul, Turkey.
Wonderful. So today's topic is going to be "Celebrities and their role in society". Let's get started. So, is anyone here a celebrity, a secret celebrity that we don't know about in another country? Are you a Turkish celebrity, Ugur?
Well, maybe one day we will all be. Yeah. But the main question is, how does one become a celebrity? Do you guys read celebrity biographies?
Well, I do, but I hope no judgments from, you know, from the listeners. I mean, because the thing is, I want to be inspired sometimes. Not all celebrities are shallow. Of course, some people, you know, they look down on people who read, you know, celebrity gossip. But I mean, I read that from time to time, but it's like it's not the main thing that, you know, that consumes my or takes the whole or the majority of what I read, yeah.
I love biographies. I mean, I haven't read many celebrity. Well, I guess you could, would you call artists, painters, would you call them a celebrity maybe?
I guess you could. I've read a couple of interesting biographies, one about Francis Bacon. You know, Francis Bacon, the very famous sixties and seventies. Read his biography. Fascinating. And I was completely enthralled by it. "Enthralled" means that you're very captured by something.
So Francis Bacon, you know, Mark Rothko or Russian, you say "Rotko", I think. He was an abstract painter. He just painted these big colors on the wall, on big paintings. Read his biography, it was amazing and I loved it. But how do you guys think someone becomes famous? What is the procedure?
I guess it... The first thing has to kind of be as a talented person in a way. So you need to have a talent enough. I don't know, in first degree of the process of being famous.. So if you have a talent, then if you have a successful PR management team, then you can become famous gradually, not overnight kind of thing. But it needs time and I don't know, experience in a way.
Mm hmm. Well, for instance, on YouTube, you have a lot of people who become accidental celebrities for, for... I can't really think of an example of the top of my head, but people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Viral videos, for instance. They did something by mistake and it looks funny. And then it gets, you know, spread out because people watch it and then they become instantly famous. But, well, that's one. However, by the way, I just want to go back to what or has said regarding, you know, fame coming from talent. Traditionally, that's how we see it. Although nowadays with reality TV, you know, people can still be famous or become a celebrity by doing stupid. Well, am I allowed to say?
Doing nonsense on television, so they become popular. Um, my favorite example, of course, the Kardashians.
What does Kim Kardashian actually do?
Well, we all know about the you know, the tape, but...
I haven't actually seen it yet.
But to her defense and her family's defense, I was also told by one of my students because, well, okay, let's say they don't have talent, but they have charisma. I mean, you know, they do things, ordinary things that somehow makes us captivated. Yeah, because if I were to do that and I record myself, I don't think anyone would be interested, right. But they have this certain level of charisma.
I don't know how to call it if that's even the right term "charisma". But, you know, they have something in them that makes people interested even though they just do mundane things. Because, let's say, Ben, if you were to cook something and then, you know, to everybody's minds, like, so what? But if Kim Kardashian cooks you like, oh, it's an event. You know what I mean?
So do you think there's a relationship between beauty and fame?
I think yes, because to add to what the guys has just said, the way the person looks, yeah, the way that the person actually behaves and lets everybody see them. So that's, I think, one of the most important things nowadays, even if the person is not really beautiful, but as Ken just said, charismatic, so that's important to become a celebrity.
Mm hmm. Well, Kim Kardashian, I mean, is she charismatic, would you say?
Well, to some people, yes. I mean, not to me.
I never really, I have never heard her speak before. I don't think so. I've only just look at her parade around, yes.
The Kardashian clan, I don't know.
Well, she has a sister who...
Oh, lots of, I guess, five or six. I don't know.
Including the Jenners. Kendall Jenner, who's the other one with fake lips.
I actually do not know any of their names.
I saw three of them in the picture one day, yeah.
Would you guys say that you're good at remembering celebrity names?
I am, but I don't remember, actually. Maybe the films they are and or the music they produce or something. But I am good at remembering faces and their names, yeah. It's the job issue, I think, comes from what I am.
What I actually know the recent celebrities that much. So they are everywhere popular every day. So I can follow them. But I know that like my childhood heroes and everyone like. Celebrity silhouette.
Yeah, I can agree, yeah. Like remembering the celebrities from the nineties, the zeroes, yeah. And, right. I'm more than 30.
Oh no, so am I. Welcome to the club.
Right, so. And nowadays, I think, I mostly remember, you know, those people who hype, yeah. Maybe Zendaya, yeah, she's quite, I love her styles. I have never seen her except the "Spider-Man". I mean playing, acting, but her styles on the red carpet like she's..
Well, you mean like a fashion, yeah. She's got a sense of fashion.
She's cute, I saw a couple of interviews and she's cute in her speech and behavior as well.
How old is she, by the way, 12, 13?
Well, actually, can you tell a difference? Well, what is it like to be a child celebrity, for instance, Macaulay Culkin, do you think that's difficult?
I think it is. Like remember Harry Potter stuff.
Yes. Daniel Radcliffe, right.
Daniel, right. Or Emma Watson and all those guys. So they even had to, I don't know, make themselves for the second time, yeah.
Because everybody thought of them as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and other.
People from their stories, yeah. But they had to do months of work to become themselves.
To completely reinvent themselves. I think Daniel Radcliffe, even he starred in a famous play in London. I can't remember the name.. What was it called?
Equus? Well, I don't know it, I know he was naked on stage.
Alright, everybody knows it.
It's a story about horse, I guess.
The story of a horse, alright.
Have you known that he can read rap?
He can read rap so fast and so smoothly.
Guys, you should watch it.
He's a fan of Eminem. And that's why he can produce some of his song. If we call that "songs".
Yes. And that to my mind, that adds to his personality, that he's not just Harry Potter. He's a great actor and...
That's exactly the word I had in my head. That's really, you stole. Yeah, "multifaceted". Great word for our listeners means that you have many different sides to use. A "multifaceted", good. Yeah. Which of a famous childhood of Michael Jackson?
Yeah, Michael Jackson did with the Jackson five.
Must have been a tough life for him at the start?
It was really tough because his father was really demanding and the discipline in the house, it was just...
Absolutely very strict. He didn't have a childhood. And that's why, you know, in his interviews, in his adult life, he mentioned one time that, you know, he missed that part of his life. And yeah, he's kind of, you know, justifying his behavior. I mean, I don't want to go down into details, but, you know, him hanging out with children. His way of compensating for that time that he missed in his life.
But, you know, I mean, it was a tough childhood, even though, of course they were very successful, earned a lot of money. But, you know, I guess you still have to remember that they are human. And if I were him, you know, I, I don't know, like, it would be difficult for me. I don't know, I would need an adult to balance my life such that even though I'm working at a very young age, I still get to enjoy my childhood.
I wanted to add that we know a bunch of teenage stars as well like Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
So now we can see what happened, yeah.
Britney Spears, of course. Yeah, she's going off the rails, by the way. That's a great idiom for listeners. "Off the rails" means that you're going a bit crazy. So, yeah. Britney Spears, didn't she? I do not know too much, but I know that she is famous for shaving her head. I mean, to be honest, I mean, some people can look okay with a shaved head, it is not... But a lot of people saw that as being crazy.
No, no, no. She had some more issues to that.
Yeah. What happened? What was her backstory?
The backstory, I think, was she was a teenage star and It happened that it was too much pressure on her or something. She had some problems in relationships and so it all went mad and family issues.
Was It like abusive relationship she had with people?
I'm not sure, but it turned out that she or as the journals, as the magazines say so it turned out that she was kind of looked down by her father for a couple of years. And just maybe a year ago or something, situation turned out that finally she was released from that.
Yes, yes. And I saw and I'm following "Vanity Fair" and I saw the news that just a couple of days, maybe weeks ago, she went married.
Yeah, sure. Like, yeah, something. I'm not sure.
By the way, you mentioned "Vanity Fair". What is the language like in "Vanity Fair"? Is it about formal..?
I don't know, I'm watching pictures.
Oh, this is mostly just for the adverts in the pictures.
Headlines mostly and the pictures because actually they produce a really lovely fashion looks, celebrities looks and what not, yeah.
So it's more just for the images itself.
Yes. Just to, for look my eyes enjoy it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's kind of like the "Playboy" magazine. People say they buy the magazine for the articles, but the pictures. Exactly.
So we talked about Michael Jackson, Britney Spears. What about Meghan Markle? She has quite a funny relationship with her father, doesn't she as well?
I know only both her relationship with the second Prince.
Oh, that's fair enough. But was she a childhood star? Oh, no, she was an adult star?
I know. I know her from "Suits".
Suits that show you. How old was she in that? I never saw it, but I've heard of it.
I don't know. But she's kind of adult in that series, but I don't know. She's not like Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears. I guess she didn't start like in an early age. I don't know. I'm not sure about that.
Well, the most extreme example I would say is Michael Jackson, because he, I mean, the way he changed was just absolutely drastic. And obviously, the childhood style was it can be a very difficult thing. I mean, I guess you saw pictures of Michael Jackson when he was really young. He looked like a handsome young man. He was, he was, yeah.
According to him, he has vitiligo. I mean, that pigmentation.
And he couldn't stop it. And so to avoid that, he had to clear everything, such that he had to whiten his skin. Not because he wants to be a white man. No, but just so it's doesn't look unpleasant.
But what exactly is vitiligo? So just mean? Just skin pigment become..
Okay, so you just would look very spotty, yeah. So it can look.
And so to avoid that, I don't know if. Well, he underwent surgery. So basically to even out the skin, so that it's all white. But it's not because he wants to. Wanted to be a white man, no.
But was that I mean, I know this is kind of off topic, but is that surgery that involve chemicals or..
Oh, okay, yeah. I mean, Michael Jackson, amazing music. But you can just see, like a tragic.
Character behind the scenes, yeah. Well, moving on from child superstars, what do you think would be the advantages of being a celebrity? We can talk about disadvantages later, but what are the advantages of being a celebrity?
Well, firstly, you're recognized and with that, you're given certain privileges that ordinary people do not enjoy. So there's always a special treatment, yeah. For instance, you go to a restaurant, so you'll be given the best place in the restaurant and you're given, you know, respect. Well, generally, yeah, because you are someone who is well-known. So everyone tries to be nice to you, especially if you're a big star. A big movie star.
Yeah, well. Well, we have to define what celebrity is, of course, at the start, because obviously politicians I guess you can, could you call politicians celebrities?
So a celebrity is a well-known person in different fields, yes.
So some celebrities would not receive the best treatment. Like for instance, you know, the famous philosopher, psychologist Jordan Peterson. So he walked into a couple of restaurants. He might have some eggs thrown at him or or if, um. Yeah, if some politicians walked into a restaurant, they wouldn't.
Well, that's the thing, because there's a difference between a being popular. That means, "well-loved by the people" and a "celebrity" that's just hated by a lot of people. Because being a celebrity, I mean, it only means that you are well recognized, you're well-known. But how the masses or the people or the public receive you, depends on what you show them.
And the way you act. So you could be hated or you could be loved.
It can change in just one moment. So, love-hate relationship.
But since we're talking about the good side or the advantages, well, if you are well loved and you are respected, you have special treatment, you are being idolized. Because maybe you are a good role model which you know, in a lot of cases you should be as a public figure, but then again, it's a different topic. So, yeah, those are some of the advantages unless, uh.
Another thing, a good thing about being recognized and well-known is the ability to help, yeah. And we call a "charity" and other organizations worldwide, yeah. So be in a face, like desired face, yeah. And actually, that can bring a lot on plate of charitable organizations.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely add a boost.
So you can be a voice and you have a certain power to influence people. I think that's another advantage.
Mm hmm. What else, I guess. Do you think there's a relationship between money and celebrities? I mean. Some other any broke celebrities that you know of. Well, I mean, poor, yeah.
There are after, you know, wasting their money. I mean, you know.
Oh, yeah. Tell me. I've heard the name.
Mickey Rourke was a famous like an action movie star back in nineties and late eighties. Then he started professional boxing and his face was kind of deformed because of the boxing. And he went couple of plastic surgeries to reconstruct the face and the Hollywood didn't accept because of his face. Then he started drinking, drinking, drinking and too much alcohol and drug abuse. And the last film was, I guess, "The Wrestler", maybe or..
"Iron Man 2", by the way. "Iron Man 2".
"Iron Man 2", yeah, he was in that too. And "Sin City", maybe you heard about.
And one more it's the film made by Sylvester Stallone.
He was in there too, I guess.
I guess so, I guess so. He can take in the roles that he used to have in back in the nineties or something. Now I don't think he's doing his job as as he did before. And he's broke I guess, yeah.
Yeah. I can't really think of many broke celebrities, to be honest with you.
God, I forgot her name. There was this... Do you know "The X factor" in the U.K.? It's a famous show.
Yeah, it's where people perform. I think Simon Cowell was the adjudicator. He was the judge on the show. And there was this. Oh, God, what was that name again? Susan Boyle, that's her name.
That's Susan Boyle, of course.
Yeah. She was actually really amazing singer. I mean, I don't really listen, I'm not like a big connoisseur of singing, but of voices. But she was amazing. But I guess she was kind of broke.
Initially, yes. I mean, because she's from like small town.
Yeah. Middle of Northern Scotland, yeah.
And then she shot to fame because of this viral video of her auditioning at um... It wasn't even "The X Factor". It was "Britain's Got Talent".
All right. You are right, yeah.
So she sang, you know, everyone was just kind of giving her judgmental looks because she wasn't really pretty. Yeah, she was kind of old. And you can tell from her appearance that she's not from the city. And so immediately people kind of judged her. But the moment she opened her mouth, they were so amazed that, wow, how can such an amazing voice could come from this woman? From then on, she became, I mean, she recorded albums which were, um, multi-platinum, by the way, and...
Oh, so she's not broke any more?
No more unless I'm not updated. So that's why, you know, that's how she started basically in the industry.
Yeah. Well some, yeah. It's just amazing how much money some celebrities can amass. For instance, I think it was Celine Dion. Have you seen her house? I think she spent something crazy, like 70 or $90 million on this.
But she could afford that.
But the problem was she wanted to sell it and she couldn't sell the place because nobody would buy it, so.
Baby, she's pretty. Abby, I could be wrong. I don't want to get sued by Celine Dion. Sorry, Celine, I'm just speculating. Maybe she could be broke soon. I don't know. Yeah. Well, I've got a question for you, actually. So, being a celebrity, you have a lot of fans. Let's make a second conditional sentence. So if you were a celebrity, would you take advantage of your celebrity status to date fans? So second conditional.
Well, that's interesting. My beauty pageant answer is I wouldn't because she said, yeah. I mean, you know, when people want to say something that, you know, the general public would like to hear. Well, we call that "beauty pageant" answer, right.
But if I can be honest, of course, my morals would tell me "no", because that's like taking advantage of your celebrity and that, you know, your fan is a fan who looks up to you and therefore, you shouldn't be, you know, using your celebrity to take advantage of that because it's unfair. Although I know of some celebrities who use their power in order to get something from their fans. And yeah, that's what I would say. I wouldn't if I were a celebrity.
I wouldn't do, I guess, or if I would, that would be kind of a secret, not a public kind of relationship.
So I probably wouldn't, because it could completely destroy your reputation. All right, so let's make a second conditional sense is just for all this. So, if I were a celebrity, we could say if I was a celebrity, so was and were optional over here, I would or I wouldn't.
I wouldn't take advantage of my fans.
Exactly. So a lot of people who are learning English, they get scared by the the conditional sentences, but they don't have to be that scary. The golden rule: Don't put "would" or "will" next to "if".
And you're gonna be okay, yeah. Well, when you were learning English at a younger age, did you, um, like when you were like at school, were you scared? Were you scared of the conditionals?
Oh, I didn't think much about learning English, back then. It was just, I don't know, I was involved in process and didn't consider many things connected to language. Like we had, kind of, I don't know, an essay. Well, alright, so I can right an essay or maybe report some kind of.
But the conditionals were not intimidating to you cause I, I get a lot of people who get scared by the conditionals.
I don't know, for me it was like, closer to algebra. We had some formulas.
And you just, I don't know, you put some notions that you need in the case where they are necessary.
And that you start using automatically in every condition.
It is a formula that's a very good way of putting it because a lot of things in English, like phrasal verbs, unfortunately do not have a formula, but conditionals. Don't worry, guys.
Even the tenses, they have those formulas.
That's in the usage or in definite under different conditions.
So yes. Well, anyway, guys, if you want to practice your second conditional sentences, let us know in the comments. If you were a celebrity, would you take advantage of your celebrity status to date fans? Let us know in the comments. Let's continue. So, do you think celebrities should be role models or do you think that it doesn't really matter?
Well, in an ideal world, they should be because, you know, people look up to them and whatever they do, the masses or the public, you know, may copy them. And that's the thing, because once their idols start doing crazy things, then it could influence them and they could even follow their ways, yeah.
So however, you have to remember that they are just humans. And I don't think they are... I don't think, I mean, there's no law that says if you're a celebrity, you have to be a role model.
Yeah, depending on the country, of course.
Exactly. Yeah. But what I'm just saying is that I think they could be more responsible knowing that they have a platform where everybody listens to them, watches every move they make. I, I think they just have to be responsible. But there's... You know, I mean, it's not exactly their responsibility also to be perfect. You know what I mean?
Well, do you.. Would you blame violence in societies on violent video games and violent celebrities who are gangsta rappers, for instance? Would you attribute a lot of violence to gangsta rappers?
If we definitely realize that it's just image. Yeah, it's just acting. All right, yeah? But if they overcome the borders, the lines. So, no. Not that way, yeah.
It's too much going on, on the screen or on the media or, right. There's this certain effect on people. But, alright, evil is everywhere when you think about it, right, so..
Yeah. There was a really interesting documentary. I don't know if you guys have seen it, but it's "Bowling for Columbine", have you heard of this documentary? It's published by, it was made by this man, Michael Moore was very famous in America. And the whole... So, the latest one. And his was... This was when there was that school shooting in Columbine. The really terrible story.
And this Michael Moore wanted to discover why does America have this problem with school shootings and in this documentary.. Well, I'm not gonna explain the whole documentary because you guys should definitely watch. It's really interesting. But he interviewed Mike, Michael, um, Marilyn Manson. Yeah, that's. So the famous rock. Well, would you call it a "death rock"? Like what? What would you call a genre? I guess...
Grind rock, death rock...
Yeah, death rock. Yeah. And he said, well, "I'm not going to be held responsible for what people do. I'm a performer. I'm a performer" and...
I'm a professional performer, yeah.
And he shouldn't be held responsible for what people do on stages and in the documentary is really interesting because they looked at Canada and the United States, which are both countries which, I mean, Canada has more strict gun laws, but you can basically get any gun you like basically in Canada, maybe not today, but at least back then. And little kids and teenagers watched violent films.
Listen to, yeah, celebrities who get death metal, people advocated violence in their lyrics. And you didn't have the same problems in Canada as you did in the States, which is really interesting. And in the States you had people who were crying out who are still crying out for games like "Grand Theft Auto" to be banned. And do you feel that "Grand Theft Auto" would make someone violent?
No, I don't think so. It's just a fun game. You just pretend, if you're smart enough, don't try to do it in the real life, you know? So, it cause problems.
I don't know, maybe those people just pretend to understand. Pretend to not understand that. Those, I don't know, films, music and other production. It's just something imaginary, yeah. Something that you can, I don't know, follow, not follow. It's just some story to be told.
Well, here's the thing. People, some people have sick, twisted minds. Such that they see films or listen to some songs with violent lyrics. And in their mind, it works in a different way. Of course, a normal person would think, oh, it's just for a show and it's not real. You shouldn't, you know, carry it out in your, you know, your life. But then there are people out there who are what's the right term for them, let's say mentally. Um, help me out.
Well, it's...They have twisted minds? So they take it, they probably know it's just imaginary, but they, you know, bring it to life because they have twisted minds. I mean, they're not normal.
For them it's kind of to do list, yeah. All right, so they told us do it.
I heard voices that make me do that...
They may even have mental problems.
As much as the general public, you know, knows that it's not real. But for people with mental problems and with twisted minds, they may interpret that in another way such that they eventually carry it out. There goes your mass shooting or other kinds of crimes.
Well, before the advent of the Internet and before DVDs and mass media people, there was still crazy people in societies. You had Jack the Ripper and...
Yeah, there were always crazy people in society. So I'm not. Do you feel that we should censor celebrities violence? Well, celebrities who advocate violence.
That's a very interesting question because not everyone's crazy anyway either. Well, personally, I don't know about the rest of the panel here, but I think we, I don't want to use the word censor because it's too limiting. Restrictive.
Because it's sometimes art. It's a way to express yourself. But then again, you leave it to the mind of the people to understand that it's just art. It's not real life. So, but anyway, no matter what kind of censorship we have or we put in place, there will still be people with sick minds. Even if they don't have this input coming from celebrities, they will still keep doing evil things. So I don't think censoring artists in that sense will help. I don't know.
We can all remember "The Beatles" case. We can all remember "Nirvana" case. So back then, the world wasn't that digital and everything wasn't that viral, as it can be nowadays. But still, there were people who did bad things to the frontman of...
John Lennon. Yeah, that was terrible, yeah.
They were reading books instead of looking for something, right. I read "Catcher in the Rye" and then decided to kill John Lennon. And so. The medium.
Yeah, it was "Catcher in the Rye", that's Salinger.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a great book, by the way.
Yeah, so. But do you have a favorite gangster rapper? Do you listen to gangster rap?
I'm not into rap or hip hop.
Eminem is very talented, yeah.
Yes, indeed. I like his duets with Marilyn Manson, with Pink, with Dido, Rihanna. So 50 Cent as well.
50 Cent is an amazing person, actually. And there's this famous author in America called Robert Green. And he wrote a book about how people master a craft, how people master a skill. And he interviewed 50 Cent and it was really interesting. And of course, 50 Cent was not exactly a nice person, but fascinating nonetheless. Did you know that he, there was a record label who wanted to sign up with him. I don't know the exact details of the story, but he went to the record label and threatened to kill them both.
Was it because of his image or because of a real threat?
I think it was a real threat, I think it was a real threat. I mean, he has taken nine bullets to his body. He's been shot nine times. So I don't think he's really scared of anything. Yeah, my favorite rap group has to be "Three 6 Mafia". I don't think any of you know them. They are absolutely horrible. They just rap about the worst things in society that they're big in the nineties.
I remember 2pac. When I was a kid, 2Pack and Dr. Dre. They were kind of gangster, like band of rappers. So that's all I know about rap world.
Notorious, Snoop Dogg. The Notorious B.I.G. And 2Pack they had wars against. Yeah, they had wars against each other. So it was not just performers. It was..
It was actually a call to action. It was a call to war between the two of them. And, yeah, they both got killed. But yeah. And I guess, I mean, I guess in some ways, gangs. Well, there's a whole other topic in and of itself, gangs. But they would probably definitely influenced by famous artists like Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac. They definitely were the, I guess you could say, the..
Well, maybe not pioneers, but they were like the the war horn. They sounded the horn to battle.
Yeah. And in London now, you have a lot of rappers who are underground rappers. I don't really listen to much rap, but I know that there are a lot of people record rap in prison. And it's it's actually, it's..
Yeah. It's a different kind of..
It's like in Russia, we have chanson, prison chanson.
Chanson, the special type of the music because chanson has, I think, two directions like something lyrical, I don't know, about your life and maybe not about all the life, but there is the second part the prison chanson, it's..
Well, like Mikhail Krug, Mikhail Krug is a famous Russian chanson singer. And he never actually went to prison, did he? But he was gifted I think it was like a special ring from a prison.
Well, like a like a gang leader. Like a really.
But anyway, in England, it's coming back to the gangster rap. It happens there is not really. About the music itself. It's now more about telling the youth what to do and who to stab and who to. It's.. Yeah. So it's taken a whole different direction, unfortunately, yeah. Well, let's come to your heroes, your teenage heroes. Who did you love as a teenager? Which celebrities did you love?
Oh, my God. I don't want to sound shallow, but all of my students know this, I and to this day, I still am a big fan of Christina Aguilera. I mean so much about her music that really inspired me. There was one time in high school I remember, I you know, a lot of my friends, well, mostly classmates, didn't like the fact that I ended up like the salutatorian, like the second best, you know, student.
But, and I was kind of depressed because like, they preferred another one to be like the salutatorian. And I felt like, okay, I may not accept that this my fault because, you know, it's based on your academic performance. And yeah, and then I kept listening to Christina's song called "Beautiful", no matter what they say.
I mean, it's, it stems from her lyrics, the songs, because she had also not a perfect childhood. Her parents were divorced, kind of like my situation when my parents were separated and she experienced domestic violence. Well, from her dad, because he was really, you know, abusive.
I don't know much about it.
Fight there. Okay, just somebody else.
Is Christina Aguilera Canadian?
No, she is American, but her mom is Irish American and then her dad is Ecuadorian. So she's half Latina. You see, you know this from a real fan. I like to talk about her all day long yeah and not just her song, but I'm able to relate to her life, too. I mean, because, you know, overall, I had a very good childhood, but I must say, there were some things that shouldn't have happened, but they happend.
Anyway, I'm not gonna go into details, but I can relate to her. I love her lyrics. I mean, the songs and you know, the message that she always has in her interviews, and that is to be strong and, you know, face all kinds of struggles in your life and be successful. So that's why she resonates to me.
I can say that when I was a teenager, that, okay, not the teenager, but I think. It was my last year at university. My last year at the university. And that was a tough year. My grandma died and they had oh, she was my academic studies. And I wanted to leave university just two months before the diploma. And what helped me among all – Linkin Park.
Linkin Park, Prodigy, Marilyn Manson. And then maybe Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Okay, so a bit wild mixture. A little of Eminem as well. That wild mixture, so they helped. Because there were a couple of Russian singers, but..
Do you know "BI-2", right?
Like, "BI-2" and "Король и шут", yeah. So, "King and".. They're.. What it have to be called. I'm not sure what's that. All right, anyway, so are they.. And they're all the first one is just a rock band. Like, closer to about rock. And the second one is a punk rock band, so, yeah.
So all that mixture really helped me through that difficult time I had in my last year of university.
And what about you, who was your?..
I, I didn't have any kind of a specific celebrity kind of crush or kind of idol or something like that. Since we were, we had a group back in high school. So I was drumming back then.
Oh, you were a drummer, oh, cool.
And I was into the kind of popular, famous drummers. Especially looking for their styles and their techniques and everything. So, like the musical influence kind of thing. Like the kind of famous John Bonham.
Or, I don't know, Mike Portnoy from "Dream Theater" or "Slayers". Dave Lombardo, such things. I was like them, all right, I would like to be one of them one day, but everything has changed in a way. So no drumming right now. So only just teaching English. So, yeah, so I was, I was more like into the groups, drummers of the groups in L.A..
Trying to hook my childhood. I didn't really have one specific, one. I guess Brad Pitt's pretty cool, yeah. Yeah, Brad Pitt, of course.
I had a crush on Harrison Ford.
Harrison Ford, he was a boss as well. Yeah, yeah, he's a boss.
Antony Hopkins maybe. I was. I don't know, I'm kind of off the track, but Antony Hopkins. And "Silence of the Lambs". Clarice.
Oh, come back to Keanu Reeves. He is like, he is the ideal role model celebrity.
He's humble, he cares about his fans and..
He play. Yeah, he hangs out in the community with like.
Yeah. If every, yes, I guess he's like the role model.. Gold standard role model celebrity.
He didn't go crazy like, you know, he is.. Anyway. Like other movie stars.
Wasn't star struck? Yeah, we call that it's star struck.
When you see a celebrity and you're like..
Oh, when you're dazzled by celebrities, I guess. I guess that is. To be honest, well, "struck" is the Past Simple or third form as well.
And, so I guess that means that you are struck..
By a star. His brightness, I mean, figurative.
Well, do you follow a celebrity on social media?
Well, it's so obvious, Christine.
Yeah, well, I guess we don't have Instagram right now, but..
I mainly looking for the music videos or the concert, like concert shows for the drummers that I follow.
Oh, and speaking of which, Instagram. I also follow Sergei Lazarev. Who else? Some sportsmen from Russia. I used to follow Nikita Nagornyy is a volleyball player. But when he didn't get the gold medal, a medal last year at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I unfollowed him because I was so disappointed.
I unfollowed the volleyball team because of that, yeah.
Yeah. Well, volleyball is actually really popular in Russia. That's another topic. But yeah.
Indeed.Our Novosibirsk team is great. Yeah, great.
Oh, I just thought of a celebrity, actually. Another really great celebrity to mention: Sergey Bodrov, you know. Oh, do you know guys, I don't know if you know him. Do you know the film "Brat"? One and two. Okay. So he's, you know this film?
He's the main character in the film.
I know this film, the "Brother" in English. "Брат" in Russian.
Yeah. I would say he's one of my role models. Yeah, he's a cool guy. I mean, maybe not copying him from the film, but his personality is just, like, really cool.
Yeah, I would say that Sergey Bodrov as a celebrity, not as a movie star as Danila Bagrov from "Brat".
So as the person he was, he was great, intelligent person, quite well-educated and kind, I must say, yeah. But I'm not sure that I love that character from that film.
Yeah, obviously quite violent. But what's interesting about it is that he is half, but he's just the imperfect person. He's like the imperfect hero. Like he kills people. But at the same time, he still has morals.
Yeah, he's kind of anti-hero, but kind of a hero at the same time. You guys definitely should watch his films, that cult classic. But yeah, I would say he's my hero, but unfortunately, he died. And he died in a really nasty accident. Yeah, what happened again?
There was an avalanche. Somewhere in Georgia or..
The Caucasus region, yes, so. And the whole crew. Film crew. So they were filming something back in 2000, yeah? If I'm not mistaken. And the whole crew died because of the avalanche.
Yeah. Absolute nightmare.
There were some, I don't know. For a couple of weeks, there were searchers, some the rescue team went there with dogs and what not.
Yeah, I heard they drilled a tunnel.
They drilled the tunnel, so they hoped that maybe part of the team could hide inside of them. Of vans that they had there, yeah.
Yeah, so it was just a nightmare situation, yeah.
And apparently, how old was he? Was he 27?
Because 27 is the year when. Yeah, exactly. You know, a lot of celebrities die at the age of 27. So we have...
Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse...
Jean-Michel Basquiat. Do you know that painter Jean-Michel Basquiat?
One of the favorite, yeah.
And here in Russia we have the other thing, 33, like Christ died.
So, Esenin died at the age of 33. So Pushkin died close to that age.
Yeah, like the age of Christ.
Well, let us know, guys. If you're 27.
Well, I remember you asked about the celebrities who we follow. The Cambridges.
She's gorgeous. Her styles..
She's definitely the role model, not only for British, but also for the many people who can... I don't know, follow them or maybe see the looks she presents and maybe the things they talk about, the way they talk.
And she doesn't get caught up in all this gossip. She doesn't.
Indeed, yes. So I just, I just love her.
I like Meghan. I'm sorry, I don't like Meghan. I'm just going to say it. Meghan, no respect.
Yeah. Well, let's move on to the hottest story of the day. So Johnny Depp, Amber Heard. What is your take on this situation?
I saw a couple of headlines. But that's all, I think.
Oh, so you haven't been following it, have you followed?
Well, I love Johnny Depp, but all that dirty thing happening around it. So that viral. And going, so widened.. Just, no. Not my cup of tea at all.
So have you been following it? Oh, by the way, Present Perfect Continuous. "Have you been following it"? Because it starts in the past and continues now.
I watched a couple of snippets from the trials that's being televised, but I don't know. It was kind of staged. I don't know that much. So, it's not so much real, all right. You're in front of millions of people. And you're in a national broadcast in a way. So you're acting in a way, especially Amber Heard "My dog, stepped on a bee" kind of thing. So, so artificial. I don't know.
Well, speaking of her dog, do you think it was, do you think the "special present", if you know what I mean, that was left in Johnny's bed. Do you think that was the dog or do you think that was Amber?
I don't know. I don't know. I wasn't there.
I wasn't there to see it for myself.
I think it was Ember, this kind of, yeah. Allright, you remember her? Just behave.
That was my favorite part of the whole. Not the money, no one cares about like the millions of dollars. It's like, who left that delightful presence in.. In Johnny's bed? And I guess all our listeners know what that "present" was.
Well, we sure hope they know. But the thing here is that she has made allegations of verbal, physical and mental abuse against Johnny Depp. And while the case was being heard, you know, she made this very, you know, well thought out story, but was, in fact, incredible and I mean, unbelievable because of the way she delivered it. And she was crying without tears, like, come on, you're an actress, you're supposed to be better than that.
You know, I'm sure everyone can tell that she was just acting.
You know, I think the whole world bought that story just because of Marilyn Manson, you know, that johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson. So they are good friends.
They are. They're good friends.
Together all the time, something stuff.
Yes, of course, and even even Johnny Depp played guitar. Yes, at Marilyn's concerts several times. So when, you remember that things started with Marilyn Manson, he was convinced of being the abuser.
And so that was the perfect time in there for Amber Heard to act out.
I had no idea about this. I was only fixated on the presence. And that's the only reason why I followed it.
I think there there wasn't much time between the Marilyn Manson stuff and the thing that started with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Kind of a snowball effect. So it started like engine
So because of that, Johnny Depp lost his contract because they, I don't know what the public thought, what the film makers and producers thought, but they all were like, "Oh, you have one friend, so probably the other friend is the same", yeah. Let's keep our hands from that stuff.
Well, the most fascinating thing about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case is how much you saw of their, like, private life. You saw almost every single detail of their private life. Do you think famous people, celebrities should have a right to privacy? Or do you think..
Yeah, they have. They have to.
I mean, they're humans, too.
Well, how much how much privacy do you think they should expect?
They cannot expect a lot, definitely, because remember, they are public figures. And by that, you know, people will always be interested in their life stories. So, you know, the moment you enter the entertainment industry, you have to accept the fact that you're going to give up, you know, some of your privacy. You cannot be, you cannot be totally private. I mean, you know, you have paparazzi for a reason.
And so you have to be ready with that. However, I'm not saying that they don't have the right to privacy. They still have, although they have to accept the reality that they're not going to have a lot of it.
You know, I think some celebrities, film stars, musicians, so they are quite good at hiding, yeah. So just not that much I can, I don't know flow.
And actually it also depends on them because, you know, if they're good at that, then they won't be able to expose much of their private life. But there are some celebrities who, you know, they, um, it's their main purpose to become more relevant such that they do crazy stuff just so people could talk about them.
Yeah. And do you think it's worth being a paparazzo in this day and age? You think you can make a living being a paparazzo? Or do you think it's kind of difficult now that we have Instagram and social media?
They're getting paid well like us. Especially if you're working for a tabloid or something like "Sun" or "The Mirror" in the UK, so. If you catch someone, the kind of celebrity doing the real thing and you've captured that moment.
You're getting paid enormous kind of paycheck.
I would like to be a paparazzi, it is quite fun. Would you like to be a paparazzo, Ken?
Well, with the work that they have following celebrities and there's always a risk of being attacked by celebrities once you're caught. No, I'd rather be just a fan reading, you know, magazines and, you know, watching interviews, but not the paparazzi.
Did you see what happened to that paparazzo who got in the way of Justin Bieber?
Was he punched in the face?
He wasn't punched, actually. But what happened was, is Justin Bieber has this really big pickup truck and this stupid paparazzo was right next to the truck trying to reach in to get a proper photo. Justin Bieber inside his truck. And I think he got run over.
He was run over. And I think Justin Bieber was sued by this paparazzo. I just thought if you're going to stand right next to a big pickup truck, whatever, and he's on his way out, what do you expect?
And yeah, I saw the video actually yesterday. And I mean, it was a long while back. Well, I just saw it yesterday just for fun. And I just saw this paparazzo wailing on the floor, crying. Obviously, it's painful to get run over by pickup truck, but Iike, yeah. Idiot.
Yeah. Well, do you. Do you watch many gossip TV programs with paparazzoes?
Yeah, I watched this one funny clip of Tom Cruise being approached by a joke paparazzo. Do you know this? What I'm talking about?
Yes. And he was being interviewed. I maybe wouldn't call it paparazzi. I would just call it a TV interview. And this person. Okay, so Tom Cruise was at a special events with many paparazzi and interviews and...
On that. That was it. So someone had this funny microphone which had a water pistol inside the microphone.
I think he's a prankster. He is a prankster. I've seen this video. One of those.
One of the Oscar if I guess, right? It was one of the Oscars, Met Gala or something.
I don't know. But I just remember Tom Cruise's reaction. It was hilarious. But to be fair enough to Tom Cruise, he's a very famous person and a lot of people want his time. And then this person just sprays them with water. And Tom Cruise freaked out or maybe not freaked out. I would say that he actually got really angry and he did not take the joke well.
He got the microphone, I guess just.
So he didn't repeat. He just said, "Why would you do that? You're such a jerk".
Yeah, he was mad. And.. Guys, let us know, would you be mad if you were Tom Cruise or would you just take the water in your face like a man?
Let us know. Oh, yeah. Well, let's. Let's finish off. So, have you ever met a celebrity before?
Yes, I have. Several times.
Yeah. But these are Filipino celebrities, movie stars, very famous in my country. And just one very quick story. I was in a Japanese restaurant and then my mom coming from Japan, she was a huge fan of this movie actress. She came into the restaurant with her fiancee then. And then, oh my God, it was so embarrassing because it's a very expensive place. You should be acting, you know, properly there and all that.
But, you know, my mom's originally from the village. And despite all the money that she has now, but anyway, she forgot all of that. She threw it out the window. She approached this movie actress and said: "Hey, Tony, Gonzaga!", was hitting her on the shoulders. I said, "They're the best buddies". "I'm a huge fan of yours, I've seen all of your films. Can we have a selfie together?" And I said, Oh my God.
I wanted to disappear at that moment because she was behaving so badly. She got the attention of everyone in the restaurant and I thought, Oh God, I wouldn't do that even with Christina Aguilera. I would, you know. "Hi, Christina. I'm a huge fan of yours. Like, I wouldn't behave the way she did, but anyway, I love my mom, okay? So. But I'm just, you know, sharing her story.
And the other celebrity encounters?
As Ken said, I, I know a couple of celebrities from Turkey. One of my ex-girlfriends was running a PR agency, so we had a chance to meet with the Turkish celebrities back then. But not internationally.
No, no, it was all right.
I don't know any celebrities in Novosibirsk...
As I worked in PR and event management, so I met a couple of local stars like, oh, I don't know, showman and other musicians, I mean, local musicians. Quite a bunch of them, I must say. But also our Olympic champions, because our company, I worked for "Megaphone" and "Megaphone" used to work really closely to, in the connection with the Olympic champions.
Yes, kind of sponsorship of their projects and so on. So I met briefly Anna Bogaliy-Titovets, so she's a biathlonist. Ex-biathlonist. And I forgot one more and my sister met Aleksandr Karelin, I think you know them.
Oh my God, yes, of course.
She has an autograph of him, yeah. And back then it was so like, I don't know, in 90-s, I think or maybe early 2000s, something. So my sister did quite a lot of runnings, semiprofessionally and in one of the trainings Aleksandr Karelin was like, you know, just our local ice hockey center. So a bunch of kids around of him to take pictures.
I'm a big fan. He's a great wrestler. He's a legend.
He's a legend, yes. So, we have his autograph at home. Maybe the picture, but I'm not sure because it was film cameras back then. But I don't remember.
Well, so I worked in a Posh Hotel in London a while back, and I actually met Bill Gates. But only, I didn't like, not like a proper meeting, but I said: "Oh, welcome, welcome, you, Sir. Oh, hi, how are you?" And then I also met at that hotel, Peter Doherty. Do you know Peter Doherty? This rock star.
Some rock star. He came in. It was hilarious because he came to stay at the hotel and I help bring his bag, show him around the hotel and everything. And he brought his whole entire living room with him once. And this hotel was, it was not a big hotel. It was a small hotel. And it's really expensive painting, which he hung up on the wall and all this other stuff. It was pretty cool actually.
Peter Doherty, it's kind of light-headed, I guess, right?
Yeah, he was fun. He was a fun guy. God knows what he was doing in the room. All right, that's all we have time for today, guys. So thank you very much. And guys, let us know in the comments if you want to practice one of those second conditional sentences and let us know your thoughts.
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