Bert Marcus explored the mysteries of social media fame in his new Netflix doc ‘American Meme.’ The director opened up to HL about his findings, specifically about Paris Hilton.
If you don’t sell Fit Tea or promo Fab Fit Fun boxes, are you really ‘instafamous?’ Honestly, is anything we see on social media even real? What exactly makes someone ‘instafamous’ anyway? Director Bert Marcus explores those questions and more in his new Netflix documentary American Meme, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Marcus examines the lives of renowned social media ‘stars,’ like Josh Ostrovsky who runs The Fat Jewish account, and Paris Hilton, who has grown up in the spotlight, but furthered her influence using social media platforms. In the doc, we see the good, the bad, the ugly, and the endless hole of content that the globe has become addicted to in the last 5 to 10 years. “I think people have kind of created these mere caricatures of themselves and presented this false reality to keep certain images and businesses afloat and I was always fascinated with that, especially recently, because I feel like there’s such a blurred line between fiction and reality. There has been a massive cultural shift,” Marcus said of his inspiration behind creating American Meme in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com. “I thought it’d be fun to watch it through really well-known people, but seeing a side of them that you haven’t seen before and seeing the inner workings of how this all works.”
In one particular scene, an emotional Paris Hilton faces the cameras to explain her strong connection with her fans, who she calls “Little Hiltons.” “I feel closer with them than I do with most people I know,” she admits in one of the trailers for the film. “They’re really like my family.” Paris went on say that her parents don’t understand her relationship with her fans, many of whom have her phone number or even come to stay with her. “What makes Paris so unique is she has been around this industry her whole life, and I think to a certain extent she, more than anybody else that I’ve ever seen has this connection to her fans in a very, very personal and genuine way,” Marcus said, reflecting on the scene. “We were shooting in Ibiza, and she had “Little Hiltons” come from all over the world and people she connects with through social media and DM … people she had never met before and they were literally staying at her house while we were filming her. I was shocked. It’s one thing to hear it from someone, it’s another thing to actually watch it.”
“She has this greater purpose because of this connection she has with her fans, and she really does consider them family. It could sound a little corny, but it’s not. It’s actually very true, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. More than any celebrity I’ve met, her connection with her fans is so genuine and so deep that it’s shocking,” Marcus continued. You can stream American Meme on Netflix now, and watch Paris, Josh, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin and more talk about the ins and outs of social media fame.