I always thought Charlie Watts was an interesting man. Mostly because he played on huge stages across the world for 50 years with The Rolling Stones and always looked like he’d rather be somewhere else. This was, of course, confirmed in the amazing quotes that surfaced from him in the past week about playing Glastonbury. “I don’t want to do it,” he told the Guardian in 2013. “Everyone else does. I don’t like playing outdoors, and I certainly don’t like festivals. I’ve always thought they’re nothing to do with playing. Playing is what I’m doing at the weekend.” Tell it how it is Chaz (sorry, I’ll never call him Chaz again).
There’s a reason this quote went everywhere – it’s refreshing. Too often we hear celebrities banging on about how wonderful it is to be them, insisting they’ve never had surgery, saying they lost all the weight “running around after their kids”, then trying to seem normal by saying they feel best when they’re just at home with no make-up on. It’s boring, it’s tedious. Please, bring back the celebrity who doesn’t care. No Instagram collabs, no thanking God for your success, and no pretending you love everything about your job. If, now Charlie’s sadly left us, you’re looking for some more no-nonsense celebrities, here are my favourites I like to check in on just to feel normal.
Why is this (beautiful) man not on more dream dinner guest lists? Sure David Attenborough is nice and I’m sure he’d now bang on about going vegan in his 90s (very much the ‘throwing a deckchair off the Titanic’ of dietary efforts) but Keanu lives the life of a man absolutely at peace with himself, who couldn’t give a fuck about fame. He’s 57 years old and he looks 34, so either there’s a painting of him in an attic somewhere or his lack of bother is an advert for not sweating the small stuff.
As the man himself says: “Money doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account. I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.” You just know that when he dies (in 2125) there’ll be an outpouring of stories about how he funded entire towns through college or similar. Follow this Twitter account and feel instantly calmed.
I couldn’t not put this gem of a woman on the list. From her numerous, completely unfiltered appearances on Graham Norton (set aside a few hours of your day for this, and watch Matthew Perry’s face on repeat) to an interview I read with her this week where she said she eats an onion like an apple for lunch because “it’s good for you”, you get the feeling she could be offered a billion pounds to do something and if she didn’t fancy it that day, she’d tell you where to shove it. What a woman.
You can’t be from Stoke and get too up yourself. Even when he’s been a bit Hollywood over the years, Robbie’s still managed to do it with his own twist – like when he live-tweeted his wife giving birth to their daughter in 2014. He’s never afraid to put himself down, be extremely self-effacing when it comes to interviews, or indeed, tell a story about being wanked off by a fan in a castle he’d hired.
I once read an interview with the man who penned the best (or worst?) earworm of everyone’s childhood where someone asked him what motivates him to make music. His reply was brilliant: he makes enough money so that he can go back to Jamaica and live the good life then, when the money starts to run out, he starts making music again. Take my money, Shaggy.
Everyone has a Bill Murray story, whether it’s lucky enough to be first hand or passed around, whispered on the wind, told for generations. Legend has it that he doesn’t have an agent, you just have to leave a voicemail on his house phone. How do you get the number? I feel like you just have to will it hard enough and Bill sends it to you telepathically.
Photos of him surface every now and then around the world, just spreading joy, in the calmest fashion. You get the feeling he might be the inspiration for every Wes Anderson character combined. God, I’m such a sheep. Come and save me, Bill! Let’s live off-grid together!