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Celebrity friendships are not wishful thinking

Cassie Belek | Monday, November 6, 2006

I’m prone to judging the worth of a celebrity on one factor alone – whether I want to be friends with him or her. Since I don’t want to be friends with Lindsay Lohan, her celebrity is inconsequential to me.

However, I would love to be friends with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. Therefore, I greatly value this Hollywood super-couple – even though I secretly want Tom Hanks to myself.

I can imagine the three of us eating together at a bar and grill, catching the latest Spielberg and making each other laugh. Oh, how we would laugh! Slowly, I would steal Tom away and he would ask me to host “Saturday Night Live” with him. Lorne Michaels would be so impressed with my stint that he would hire me as a regular and I would single-handedly save the show from unfunniness. It would be quite glorious.

But if I may be serious, there are quite a few other celebrities that I would love to befriend for one reason or another. Perhaps I want to be friends with these people because they are the anti-Lohan. They do not seek out fame by scandalizing their image, but rather through their body of work. And they seem down-to-earth and totally for real in all their interviews. They must be legit. The following are the celebrities I most desire to be BFFs with, but trust me, there are more.

Allison Janney. Janney portrayed my beloved Claudia Jean in “The West Wing” and a deliciously trashy woman in “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” She’s won Emmys for her drama, but her comedy is top-notch. She has an infectious laugh, she rocks a green gown just as much as Mariska Hargitay, and she’s friends with Ellen. The three of us could have crazy cool dance parties at all hours of the day and re-enact scenes from “Finding Nemo” just for kicks.

Jenna Fischer. Who could not be obsessed with Fischer’s Pam on “The Office?” Pam is sweet and funny, and as far as I can tell, so is Fischer. How do I know? Because the only reason I joined MySpace was to add her as a friend and read her blogs. Fischer has a unique relationship with her fans since she is so involved in her MySpace. She also wrote, starred in and directed a mockumentary called “LolliLove.” I want to write, star in and direct a mockumentary called something else. And if we did become BFFs, she could introduce me to John Krasinski, and I could stop stalking Tom Hanks.

Kate Winslet. After seeing her in that American Express commercial, I’ve had the strangest desire to go flea market shopping with her. Winslet is one of those rare actresses who carefully chooses film roles and makes sure they won’t embarrass her later. At 31, she’s already accumulated four Academy Award nominations. I desire to be her friend not only because I respect her talent but also because she can be the friend that brings a little culture to my life.

Maybe she’ll introduce me to Thai food or we can take in a ballet. Afterwards, we can rent a good British comedy and I can help her choose movie scripts that will further empower her as an actress and maybe finally snag her that Oscar. As a thank you, she will introduce me to Colin Firth, and I can die a little bit happier.

I desperately want to be friends with these people, but for now, I’ll have to find empty replacements for them in my own life. Janney, Fischer and Winslet are among my favorite celebrities because I feel that friendship with them is not entirely impossible. Call me a creeper or call me a dreamer. I like to call me a creeper. But I’ll have the last laugh when the four of us are playing Mall Madness and prank calling old grade school teachers. Maybe there will even be ice cream.

Contact Cassie Belek at cbelek@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.