迈克尔, a famous actor is being quoted proclaiming he is ‘a human man’ and not, as apparently alleged, CGI. What is going on please?
Steph, great question. There is a supposedly human man called Brett Goldstein who plays a grumpy footballer in the show Ted Lasso, on which he’s also a writer. Unfortunately his face is extremely matte and slightly too chiselled, and there is something deeply unsettling about the specific shadows cast by his football jersey – which has led many people on Reddit to believe that he is not, in fact, a real actor but instead a CGI animation of a grumpy footballer.
Wait, go back a step.
Where to even begin! Ted Lasso is a show about an American football coach – a very mustachioed Jason Sudeikis – who moves to the UK to lead up an ailing football team. Ted is relentlessly optimistic; his players, including captain Roy Kent (AKA the grumpy footballer played by Goldstein), are not.
There is light intrigue and the usual suspense of a sports show, but mostly it is just an extremely wholesome series filled with sugary one-liners which feels like a salve in these trying times – so much so that it has been nominated for 20 Emmys this year. (Also, it has a lot of people h-word 为了 Jason Sudeikis, which is a matter I will not be commenting on at this time.)
And what is it about Roy Kent that makes people think he’s CGI?
To paraphrase US supreme court justice Potter Stewart, I cannot define it, but I know it when I see it. And here is what people saw amid the quagmire of Reddit conspiracy threads: a glow around Roy Kent that reminded them of a video game character, the eeriness of his “slow eye movements, blinks, and odd body movements”, and uncanny valley callbacks to Grand Theft Auto 和 motion-capture Tintin.
If I were to extrapolate, I’d also say it’s reminding us of the dead-eyed Polar Express – the singular most terrifying Christmas movie – and glassy CGI influencers like Lil Miquela 和 Shudu. It’s all in the eyes!
It’s also worth noting that the latest release of Fifa – a blockbuster football video game – features players which appear remarkably lifelike. Just look at this (actual) CGI man, Kylian Mbappé, who plays for Paris St Germain in Fifa 21. You can practically see every sweaty pore.
So perhaps the question isn’t “is Roy Kent CGI?” but rather: why do CGI characters look so real? Has science gone too far??!!!
This whole thing started on Reddit. Why is Reddit like this?
Reddit is where conspiracy theories are born and born again – there are entire threads dedicated to defending the most outlandish pop cultural claims, my favourite of which is that Lea Michele cannot read.
Reddit users are convinced that famous cyclops Mike Wazowski actually had two eyes; 那 the ocean could actually be bottomless; and that Inspector Gadget and his foil, 博士. Claw, are the same person.
On a darker note, Reddit was also where QAnon was largely propagated before it was stamped out by moderators. Luckily, the Roy Kent CGI theory is safe – for now.
And what has the actor said?
The first official word from Brett Goldstein was simply a robot emoji, 发布到推特 星期四. But he has since followed up with a “final statement on the matter”, explaining in very Roy Kentian language: “I am a completely real, normal, human man who just happens to live in a VFX house and does normal human basic things like rendering and buffering and transferring data.”
“I don’t know what everyone’s F-ing problem is.”
Well that clears it up then. Thank you.