Thursday, April 16, 2020

Celebrities Sing ‘Imagine’ to Console the Little People


There's no way on the planet that Gabriella Montez deserved the lead in the high school musical when Sharpay Evans worked for it her entire life.

The High School Musical fan favorites were rivals on screen, but in real life they're all in this together. Both Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens teamed up for a TikTok where they reprised their beloved Disney roles, just a little.

In the TikTok, Tisdale is clad in a tie-dye sweatsuit with her hair in a messy ponytail while performing a dance routine to the HSM favorite "We're All in This Together.

" We really needed some inspiration from our Wildcat faves, and this was it. In Hudgens's half of the split-screen, she was sitting by herself, lighting a candle, and pouring a glass of red wine as she chair-danced to the same song. Clearly, she's living her best quarantine life.”

Inspiring message aside, the TikTok comes fresh off the heels of a minor quarantine scandal for Hudgens.

The star was accused of making light of the pandemic when she claimed reports saying the situation could last through July were "a bunch of bulls**t." It seems like she's gotten her head in the social distancing game.

 Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, people have sheltered indoors to practice healthy socially distancing and flatten the curve of the outbreak. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to do in self-quarantine, unless you're the kind of person who can work from home.

With production schedules indefinitely postponed and tours and public appearances canceled, Tinseltown has turned to the internet to pass the time.

 There's a lot of great social media content coming out from cooped up celebrities. No, we're not talking about Gal Gadot's viral cover of John Lennon's.

"Imagine." (Does anyone else think Zoe Kravitz looks like she's being held, hostage?) We're talking about TikTok, the app that rebranded and relaunched in 2017, then amassed a whopping 1.5 billion users, according to The Verge. ”

Since there's not much else to do but dance in our living rooms, the app seems more popular than ever among the Hollywood set.

Without further ado, here now, are the best TikTok videos of celebrities during the quarantine.

If you’re a wise celebrity, now is the time to tuck yourself inside your Hollywood Hills hideaway, lock the gates, and keep your privileged lifestyle and a stash of in-beta retroviral as quiet as you can until the 2021 Oscars season.

It’s most definitely not the moment to try and burnish your credentials as a compassionate humanitarian by singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” in a celebrity mash-up to lift global spirits.

However, in an extraordinarily ill-thought-out piece of COVID-19 marketing, a roll call of celebrities whose publicists really should have known better have done exactly that.

Perhaps it was inspired by the famous charity rendition of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” by singers including David Bowie (R.I.P.), Bono, Tammy Wynette, and Elton John.

 Israeli Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot has assembled a significantly less stellar lineup of singers and non-singers, including Natalie Portman, Jamie Dornan, Sia, Pedro Pascal, Zoe Kravitz, Sarah Silverman, Leslie Odom Jr., Eddie Benjamin, Ashley Benson, Lynda Carter, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Norah Jones, Kaia Gerber, and Cara Delevingne.

To say the internet is not impressed by the car-crash attempt at the soulful connection to lift the mood of the masses—particularly by the line “Imagine no possessions”—would be an understatement.

n a toe-curling Instagram video—which we have watched so you don’t have to throw your laptop out the window—Gadot said that she was on “day six of self-isolation” and that the events of the past few days had left her feeling “philosophical.”

With her hair artfully pulled to one side in a loose chignon arrangement that wordlessly telegraphed the message: “I may be in self-quarantine but I still know how to take care of myself,” Gadot reminds us “We are in this together, we will get through it together.”

Gadot then goes on to explain that she saw a video of an “Italian guy playing the trumpet on his balcony” to the tune of “Imagine” and there was something “powerful and pure” about the video, and “it goes like this” before launching into the opening line of the Lennon classic.

The next line is sung by Kristen Wiig, who appears to be in a lovely garden with rushing water in the background. She’s wearing a sun hat like she’s planning a day at a Hamptons farmers’ market.

The third singer is Northern Ireland’s Jamie Dornan, who at least has the decency to look utterly shellshocked against a plain background, as does British rapper Labrinth, who sings from his car.

Actor James Marsden goes for an all-American denim jacket, white tee, and even whiter teeth with a camera angle that shows off the artful wooden paneling on the ceiling of his home.

And so it goes on. How, one wonders, did the usually so astute Sarah Silverman get sucked into this car crash? Was it a condition of her participation that she got to do a quirky take on “you-hoo?”

More questions arise as the hideousness unfolds. Who, for example, is the guy in the white hoodie? (Eddie Benjamin, an Australian singer/songwriter, I can reveal.)

And what did Jimmy Fallon think was in it for him to be pictured out on a walk in what appears to be a park when the country is on lockdown? Is it OK, because he is actually on his private estate?

Does Natalie Portman have the same hairstylist as Gal Gadot? Is that how she got her to join in? And is that her garden with the tropical-looking trees in the background or is she... on holiday?

Zoe Kravitz chose to hunker down by an open fire, telegraphing what exactly? A homesteading vibe?  

At least Sia can sing, and former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter can be excused on solidarity grounds.

But what in the name of heaven-inspired Amy Adams to perch mournfully at her window and croak out “But I’m not the only one”?

So she and Gadot share a publicist?

Not any more, one assumes.

Everyone has thought very deeply about exactly what they are trying to say.

Boasting is wrong, of course, but as a grouping brought up on the joys of consumerism, they just can’t help themselves.

So, subtle boasting is the order of the day. For example, Leslie Odom Jr. gives us a view of pink flowers in his lovely garden while Pedro Pascal, best known as Javier Peña in the Netflix biographical crime series Narcos and now as Disney+’s titular Mandolorian, is chillaxed in an expensive cotton hoodie with half a killer view from the window.

Then up pops Will Ferrell! Informing us there is no need for greed and hunger.

Thanks, Will.

Mark Ruffalo’s next, laying back on his sofa singing the praises of the brotherhood of man.

And here comes Norah Jones, petting her cute dog, sitting on a couch that probably cost several thousand dollars, underneath an only partly in-frame art-installation light fitting that likely cost even more.

With a totally straight face, Jones sings the line “Sharing all the world.”

I mean, yeah, just imagine, Norah! Newsflash: All the world includes your sofa and your fancy light fitting. Still keen?

Ashley Benson and her girlfriend, Cara Delevingne, are not in an at-risk group and appeared untroubled by anything other than how cute they look as they do cheerleaders take with model pal Kaia Gerber when their turn comes.

But guess who gets to do the last line?

That’s right! Gal Gadot! Because it was all her brilliant idea. She put this thing together, man!

One wonders what would have happened if Gadot had instead “run into” another video currently doing the rounds on Italian social media: of military trucks whisking away the corpses of 60 COVID-19 victims for burial in the dead of night in the city of Bergamo?

Should you feel brave enough, here’s the original video from Gadot’s Instagram page. Don’t click if you have blood pressure problems.