Thing of Beauty

I’m usually not one for cheesy opening salvos. That personal mantra went out the window four years ago when I spotted Jared Allman walking towards me at a red carpet event.  When he stopped briefly for an interview, I actually remember stammering, “Wow. You might very well be the most attractive human being I’ve ever seen in real life. Like, ever. In real life.”

Appalled at my behavior, I then proceeded to throw up in my mouth a little bit. Fortunately, Jared did not … and we’ve been friends ever since. (He might use the term “reluctant friends” or “stalker” … I just say friends.)

Turns out Jared was – shocker! – a model/actor or actor/model – depending on the audition. Nary a day goes by that you won’t find him nestled in a the back of a coffee shop running lines or reading a script. I’ve had five screen tests in my life. For him, that’s a typical Thursday.

Either way, he is – to quote Zoolander – really, really, really ridiculously good looking.  From humble beginnings in Nashville, Jared started to hone his craft and impossibly perfect hair (which we also discussed during that short interview).  If you get to know him, his Southern accent drips out of him like slow-moving molasses. Otherwise he’ll do his very best to sound like a non-descript Midwesterner.

I’m wholly fascinated by Jared because of his prowess to blend in to any group for any length of time. I thought I was the only one with that ability. Forget karma chameleon. I was always the comic chameleon – able to leap tall buildings with a single joke. He’s quiet – or as he calls it “brooding”. (Because of course he does …) He’s like the misunderstood love child of James Dean and Tammy Wynette.  If you’re picturing a Greek god saying, “Aww, shucks, ma’am!” – you’ve just nailed the essence of this kid.

His spontaneity is his calling card. During a recent trip to Athens, GA … I gave him a last-minute call to see if he wanted to join me for a music history tour.  “I frickin’ LOVE history!” he shouted back. “I’m there.” We spent the entire today roaming around Athens getting schooled on The B-52s and R.E.M. Every time I looked over at him – he had a look of whimsy and wonder on his perfectly manicured, scruffy face. It was then I realized I was hanging out with a goofy, overgrown eleven-year old.

We went thrift store shopping and he picked out the most ridiculous Bolero-esque jacket.  If I had purchased it, I would have looked like a deranged bandleader circa 1974. He threw it on and suddenly he was the fifth Beatle in Sgt. Pepper’s.  It garnered plenty of attention that evening when he wore it out for a night on the town.  No matter that it was a stifling 90 degrees outside. His motto? Fashion before function … or apparently heat stroke.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jared’s little shooting star goes SuperNova in the next year or so. I predict he’ll jump from a national hair care commercial to some indy film with Oscar buzz.  His good looks are a mere 4% of all the other things he brings to the table.

I would never tell him that though … I wouldn’t want it to go to his head.