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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

From commercials to commercials 

While I'm keeping this blog...um...pure, I've gotten interested in other people who have become famous for no reason whatsoever. But it turns out that those of us in the United States only knew part of the Rula Lenska story.

First, a recap of the part that we know:

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she became famous in the United States as well for her Alberto VO5 hair products commercials that began with a closeup of her stating: "I'm Rula Lenska.." People assumed this was a product endorsement by a celebrity whose name the advertisers expected them to know, but it later was revealed that this was a marketing ploy. It worked, and thus in the United States she became famous for pretending to be famous. Most people there...believed she was just a model. At any rate, the 'discovery' that she was nobody famous in the US led to the eventual demise of her commercial 'starring roles.'

It turns out, however, that she is an English actress with some considerable fame. Enough fame, in fact, that she ended up on a UK Celebrity Big Brother. On that show, she did some role-playing with another celebrity - George Galloway, Member of Parliament:

Cat's whiskers: George and Rula at play

Rula is with George in the living area. He is on the sofa and she is on the rug. Big Brother has suggested they try some animal role play exercises to warm up for the tasks ahead.

George: "Would you like me to be the cat?"

Rula: "Yes please."

[George proceeds to clamber down on to the rug beside Rula, and purrs throughout the exchange.]

Rula: "Here pussy, pussy, pussy, yes ... more tickles it's OK ... Oooh little pussy cat, there there pussy cat ..."

[George slowly licks his lips.]

Rula: "You stay there, I'll get you some milk, you like that don't you ..."

[Rula pretends to get some milk. George is now on all fours, lapping pretend cream from Rula's cupped hands.]

Rula: "Yes, good pussy cat ... that's right, delicious! Good girl, good girl ..."

[George licks his lips and moustache.]

Rula: "You've got cream all over your whiskers."

[She rubs his sideburns and says: "Good pussy cat." George nuzzles into her lap and starts purring. Rula strokes his head and behind his ears.]

Rula: "Oooh yes, has it been a trying day with all those people coming into the house, has it? You just like being alone with your mummy, don't you?"

Hmmm. Never saw Jane Curtin doing that. But even though Lenska was the third celebrity that was kicked off the show, the episode paid off for her:

[Lenska] has now secured a six-figure deal as the new face of a cat food company. Doubt we'll see her in the states, but if you're visiting London and you see Rula in a commercial, you'll know who she is (unlike in the 70s).

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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