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"A Fan's Process":
my 10-year journey into fandom


Phase One: Oscars, 2003

I first "discovered" Adrien during those pre-Oscar telecast specials where nominees are discussed. I thought the clip from The Pianist was very impressive, and, on the shallow side of things, I thought he was absolutely beautiful (this was in my single days).

When he won Best Actor in a Leading Role later that night, I cheered. I loved his speech and was quite taken with him. When The Pianist was released on DVD, I purchased, watched and enjoyed it. However, that was kind of as far as it went at that time. I was under the spell of other fandoms then which were consuming much of my time and attention -- mostly Color Me Badd, *NSYNC, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, Adrien was just sort of a casual interest.

I would smile when I saw him on TV, like talk show appearances, or his various commercials (especially that Diet Coke one!), but still, it was just a "he's adorable and charming" kind of thing.


Phase Two: 100 Movies Challenge

Cut to about 2010, when I was married with a child and many of my fandoms had been placed on the back burner. As a hobby/outlet, I had started doing one of those "100 movies in a year" challenges I'd seen on LiveJournal. Basically, you're supposed to watch 100 movies you've never seen before, all in the span of one year (and document/rate them on your journal).

While I was on this quest to basically watch any movie that looked interesting, I noticed that Hollywoodland was going to be on. I'd heard a little about it when it had come out and decided to watch it. I smiled and said "aww, Adrien Brody" when I noticed he was in it. I enjoyed it and thought he was great in the role, but, again, I didn't exactly go all fangirl... yet.

I also didn't come anywhere near 100 movies, in case you're wondering. I think I reached about 40.


Phase Three: Thank You, Woody Allen

I had enjoyed several movies by Woody Allen over the years and one day just kind of decided I wanted to see all of them. And that's when a movie called Midnight in Paris entered my life.

Adrien had a one-scene role as artist Salvador Dali, but for me, he made the whole film more magical. That was it. He so impressed and charmed me in that role, that I shifted my focus and decided I needed to see all of his films instead (sorry, Woody).

And that's what I did.

I've now seen every Adrien Brody film possible (and own most of them, as well). *There's a made-for-TV movie from the 90s called Bullet Hearts I've yet to find. And Adrien pulled his documentary Stone Barn Castle after its screening at SXSW, because it was too personal. So... I haven't seen those.


Phase Four: Full-On Fandom (2013-present)

I can say with absolute certainty that this man is now my favorite actor of all time (sorry, Marlon Brando). There is an absolute brilliance to his process. He is at once subtle and intense. Emotionally devastating and hilarious. He's just remarkable.

When I decided to start joining fanlistings again (2014), I was sad to discover Adrien no longer had one. Well, sad and also happy, because it meant I could apply to run it. And here we are.

So, you may be wondering, do I still think Adrien is beautiful? Well... I have now come to appreciate Adrien's appearance for less shallow reasons (a good thing, since I'm happily married and wish to stay that way). Adrien's wonderfully unique and expressive face is his greatest tool. His eyes tell stories and display emotions that go beyond the lines he's delivering. He has an empathic and caring nature that I greatly admire. He has an elegance that is a costume or fashion designer's dream.

He is an artist. He is art. And that is beautiful.