It used to be that a plodding spot on the celebrity B-list meant endorsements, sad roles, maybe a reality TV gig, or a doomed restaurant—now, of course, the best way to flaunt your former glory is with a superfluous tech company.
AOL, the company that brought you AOL.com, has a new content offering: a video series titled "Acting Disruptive." The series is called "Acting Disruptive" because it covers six former or currently working actors with new, "disruptive" startups, because that's what we call things that are vaguely alluring but implausible and silly. You might say Adrian Grenier's entire career has been "disruptive."
There's also a very real tech transformation happening in LA, with companies that could be the next giant, expensive thing: Snapchat is right on the beach. And, hey, Ashton Kutcher invested in Twitter, so maybe the actor-founder crossover phenomenon is real? Here's AOL's case:
Jessica Alba is running a firm called The Honest Company, which sells home and baby products.
Jared Leto made a website that will let you watch his mid-life crisis band jam via internet.
Felicity Huffman made a blog for moms.
Adrian Grenier made some sort of... I'm not sure. It sells wine, and coffee, and showcases other "eco-friendly" products. It's called SHFT, so at least it has that going for it. The first season of Entourage was pretty funny—Jeremy Piven, some hilarious stuff in there. What were we talking about?
It's insane to imagine these people getting money or attention of any kind were it not for their success on some sort of screen. Some of them deserve it! Rainn Wilson and Adam Goldberg are both funny fellows with big followings, and are basically just trying to expand their routine to new technologies. But Adrian Grenier's company is premised on some belief that his character in Entourage will make him a competent e-commerce baron. The guy wasn't even good with money in his TV show, and his last idea was so startlingly bad it looked like a hoax.
Talent and venture cash are hard enough to spread around as is—let's not waste them on celeb vanity project.