WASHINGTON - "He's, uh, in 'The Hunger Games.'"
"Is he? Ok."
Apparently it's that easy to convince someone you're famous.
This was just one of the tactics employed by a team of pranksters who struck a the MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk, Va. in late March. The group managed to convince almost everyone -- including the mall security, it seems -- that renowned heartthrob Thomas Elliot was in their midst. They posted a video of everyone seemingly buying into the hoax.
Don't bother hitting up Wikipedia. He isn't a famous actor, at least not yet.
Richmond-based Chill Hill Media conducted their experiment by planting groupies around one actor to see if they could make others believe their would-be star was an actual celebrity. Their ruse proved convincing enough to garner some followers, including a posse of mall security guards who closed off a store so "Mr. Elliot" could shop in peace, between posing for pictures with babies.
Some seem to have bought it:
THOMAS ELLIOT OMGG I SAW HIM twitter.com/johannacecelic…— Johanna Cecelic (@johannacecelic) March 31, 2012
While others were unconvinced:
Obviously you are not famous is nobody knows who Thomas Elliot is.— Cayce Hilfiger (@caycehilfiger) March 31, 2012
The resulting video "is just a taste of all the autographs, pictures, and people who wanted [to] get close to all the commotion," according to its YouTube page. The producers end with one piece of advice: "Do something fun today."
He seems to have already gained a following. As one commenter on the YouTube page says, "The funny thing is, NOW he IS a (minor) celebrity!" Check out more of that sentiment and the video here:
A lesson in the idiocy of celebrity worship & how easy to manipulate we can be. Thomas Elliot, you wonderful faker! youtu.be/C9Ko6Xfa84w— ♔Bernadette♔(@BeeCDN) April 10, 2012
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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