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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The "it " factor

The other day I was having a drink with one of my long time friends..and we got to discussing a girl we knew in high school. As with most high school boys, we looked at her but did nothing at all about it except fantasize about her. She was stunning and we were just a couple of grade 9 boys way out of the league she was in.
Fast forward to 2010, and its more than 30 years later. We are older, she is older, and now both of them are now single ( I am not).
In the course of the new reality of communication, both he and I have reconnected with her. While she doesn't even remember me (why should she, I doubt I said more than two words to her : ever) my friend and her have been reasonably close friends since grade 13, although they lost touch for about 15 years until very recently.
Now, while she is still attractive, she is not the stunning girl she once was, but who is? While I have not met her in person lately, he has.
We got discussing how that in addition to her obvious stunning looks, she had that extra thing. The "It" factor. He reported that while she is not the incredibly sexy young thing she once was, she still has that special something, that "it" factor.
So today, I'm preparing a list of some famous people, who I think, in addition to their obvious good looks, had the "it" factor.

Robert Redford: sure the movie star good looks, but he also has that something that many others don't, that inner substance and integrity that transcends his looks, and that has been proven out in his later years as his looks faded. And of course, as a great actor, he can convey that high level of passion while staying understated at the same time.

Paul Newman: Again, as with Redford, the movie star good looks, but also that charisma and passion and the moxy. As well, he had that added trait in that he had a bit of the daredevil in him. To watch him, he inspired confidence in you to follow him wherever he would lead.

Angelina Jolie: sure, the lips, the boobs, the hips, the skin, but there is just something about her that makes every guy want her. She has allure. Don't know any other way to describe her. But for sure, whatever it is, she has "it"

Elizabeth Taylor: of course the stunning looks well into her 40s, but even still, she has always had a way about her...even in the fat and drug years...maybe the way she speaks...she still has always maintained her class level. In some ways, Grace Kelly was another with the very same thing.

Johnny Depp: one guy that people either love or hate... and that is universal with both men and women..the looks..well that is obvious...but he also has that understated emotion and the attitude that he brings to every role he plays.

So, how about you...what famous or not so famous people make your list and why?


  1. Very interesting and very true Mark! your insight is always enlightening!

  2. I agree on every actor you named Mark. Especially Elizabeth Taylor. Now I know this will not be a popular or universal opinion- but I think Michael Jackson had the "it" factor. Another fascinating human being is Gary Oldman. Oh and freaking John Malkovich. I can totally relate to your "it factor" theory. You see, as an average looking woman-I see more attractive women than myself daily,I am completely humble and not self absorbed AT ALL, but I have noticed something about myself. I have "it". It is NOT what it is cracked up to be. People latch onto you. Which is great, don't get me wrong, I have fabulous people for friends, but having "it" has baggage. Jealous types loathe me- on sight- despite my sincere effort to befriend them. Insecure people are both fascinated and appalled by a person who isn't phased easily; who has "it". Then there are those who latch on and become dependent. These types are a drain on me; they want to infiltrate my very being. People who have "it" must quickly learn how to filter through and weed out the unworthy. The only good thing about having "it" is you're never lonely. The rest is a burden. It took me 25 years to figure out how to cope with "it". It is hard work to be gracious all the time. I am blessed with this gift of enthralling people, but it is exhausting too.


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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact