“Dear Remy”: Hollywood Career Coach Gives Advice to “Weird Crush” Actor and Reboot-Phobic Exec

What’s So Weird About Having a Crush On Me?

Dear Remy,

When I look in the mirror, I see a reasonably good-looking guy. On a good day, I’d give myself a 7/10. Maybe a 7.5 if I pluck in between my eyebrows.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

Why, then, am I constantly finding myself on those “Weird Crushes” lists?

My career as an actor has been neither a soaring success nor a sputtering mess—I’m at peace with that. But every few months, without fail, I get a “ding!” on my Apple Watch—a buddy has sent me a screenshot of my face on another “weird crushes” list. And it always stings.

You know the kind: flimsy gossip magazines or internet “listicles” (which I discovered is not a virus, Remy). I find myself alongside Blake Shelton or Boris Johnson, with captions comparing me to a koala bear or saying I look like I’m from outer space. One year I even topped the list for a major publication and got sent a fruit bouquet to congratulate me. I studied my face at length that evening, chewing on a tulip-shaped piece of watermelon.

It’s confusing. I don’t think I look weird, and I don’t believe it would be weird to be attracted to me. But I’m a bachelor with mainly guy friends, so I don’t have anyone to “sanity check” this.

Remy, what would you do in my shoes? Should I grow a thick skin about it (not literally, as I’ve already been compared to a Klingon four times), or should I ask those around me for their honest appraisal of my face?

Yours,
Weirdly Crushed

Dear Weirdly Crushed,

Ah, the “weird crush” phenomenon. It’s the unsung hero of modern media, ranking right up there with bizarre celebrity gossip and those oddly specific BuzzFeed quizzes. But fear not, my friend! Let’s tackle this with the grace and humor only a “7.5 with a well-groomed unibrow” can muster.

You’ve achieved a unique kind of fame that most people only dream of. Sure, it’s not the “Sexiest Man Alive” list, but hey, it’s a list, and in Hollywood, any list you didn’t make yourself is a win. View it as free PR!

Being on these lists means you stand out. In an industry filled with cookie-cutter looks, your face is memorable. And memorable faces get roles. Just ask Steve Buscemi or Jeff Goldblum—they’ve built entire careers out of their unique looks.

In Hollywood, a thick skin is more essential than a good moisturizer. Criticism, weird compliments, and everything in between are part of the package. Use these lists as a reminder that you’re noteworthy. Besides, every time someone sends you a screenshot, they’re thinking of you—that’s free publicity!

It’s okay to ask friends for an honest appraisal, but you’ve already identified the problem: you’re surrounded by a bunch of single guys who probably aren’t giving you the full picture. Broadening your social circle to include more diverse perspectives, particularly female ones, could be incredibly helpful. Women can offer insights into your appeal that your male friends might miss.

Moreover, having some female friends could also lead to dating opportunities, which might boost your confidence and help you see yourself in a new light.

Turn this quirky fame into an asset. Own it in interviews, make it part of your brand. Humor can be disarming and endearing. Besides, anyone who can laugh at themselves is instantly more attractive.

And if someone says you look like a koala, take it as a compliment. Koalas are universally loved, and frankly, who wouldn’t want to be associated with something so cuddly? Just don’t start eating eucalyptus leaves; that’s a bridge too far.

So, what would I do in your shoes? I’d rock those shoes (and the Klingon comparisons) with pride. Embrace the weird crush status, because in an industry where fame is fleeting, you’ve carved out a niche. And who knows, the next time someone sends you a fruit bouquet, it might be for the “Best Actor” award. Remember: Jeff Goldblum has managed to be on both types of lists. This should tell you everything about how trifling these lists are.

Stay charming, stay unique, and maybe occasionally set your Apple Watch to Do Not Disturb so you can smell the (non-fruit-based) flowers instead.

Yours,
Remy

illustration of Remy Blumenfeld
illustration of Remy Blumenfeld

Rebelling Against Reboots

After a fulfilling decade working as a development producer, these last couple of years I’ve fallen out of love with it. Every pitch meeting I attend, the buyers are only interested in one thing: old IP.

They want to know what sitcom can be rebooted or if there’s an old drama we can breathe new life into. I even got asked by an exec the other day if I could develop a rom-com around their favorite brand of chips.

I bust a gut looking for wild new ideas, only to be asked what legacy titles my company has in their back catalog. It’s like cooking a painstaking three-course meal with all the garnishes and trimmings—only to be asked if I’ve got any Hot Pockets in the refrigerator.

Not only does it hit me as being super blinkered on the part of the streamers and channels—where’s their creative vision?—I feel frustrated that I can’t nurture new talent. It’s disheartening to discover a breakthrough writer with a searing, unique view of the world—only to have to turn around and ask them whether they would instead like to be attached to a serial teen drama based on an 80s tabletop game. And I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to imagine “what beloved 90s characters might be doing now”: Sabrina teaching a witching school, Kevin McCallister running a foster home, and even a mash-up where Ben from Friends somehow ends up in the Jurassic Park universe.

Remy, I’ve had it up to here with resurrecting old characters. It feels like we’re all stuck in some endless TV rerun hell where originality is as dead as Pogs and Tamagotchis. It’s as if the industry has become a time machine set to “90s recycling mode.” Next, they’ll be asking me to create a gritty reboot of Full House where DJ Tanner becomes a crime-fighting vigilante by night.

Do I need to go into something truly artful if this is the way the industry is going? Should I dive into experimental theater? Join an artist’s community in the Arizona desert? Try my hand at Batik?

Suffice to say, I need your help.

Yours,
Gripey at IP

Dear Gripey at IP,

First of all, let’s all take a deep breath and imagine Kevin McCallister running a foster home. Home Alone meets Annie? I’d watch that in a heartbeat! I can see why you’ve been so prosperous as a producer.

It’s called show business for a reason. Gripey, producing is not just art; it’s a balance of creativity and commerce. Yes, you’re surrounded by buyers who seem obsessed with dusting off old IP like they’re trying to find a rare Beanie Baby in their attic. But there’s a method to their nostalgic madness.

Rebooting shows isn’t a new phenomenon. Remember The Golden Palace in the ‘90s? The Golden Girls reimagined in a hotel setting. Or Joey in the 2000s, trying to make us care about a Tribbiani family without his five friends. Even Girl Meets World in the 2010s, which brought a fresh twist to the beloved Boy Meets World.

Some reboots have been downright inventive. Take Battlestar Galactica, which went from cheesy ‘70s sci-fi to a critically acclaimed space opera. Or Westworld, which transformed a campy ‘70s film into a mind-bending exploration of AI and human consciousness. And let’s not forget Cobra Kai, turning the Karate Kid legacy into a nuanced, multi-generational story that’s both nostalgic and fresh.

What’s the lesson here? It’s about finding that sweet spot where old IP meets new vision. Yes, it feels like you’re constantly asked to reheat TV dinners when you’re trying to serve a gourmet feast. But even the most beloved dishes can benefit from a modern twist.

If your heart beats for pure, unfiltered art, there’s definitely room for your Batik-inspired theater piece that plays out immersively next to an Arizona rest stop. But do it on the side, as a passion project.

But if producing is where you truly thrive, embrace the challenge of blending creativity with business. Use those wild ideas and dazzling new talents to breathe unexpected life into old favorites. Pitch that Sabrina spin-off with a dark, Hogwarts-esque twist. Imagine Kevin McCallister as a security consultant for high-tech homes (Home Alone meets Black Mirror, anyone?). Channel your frustration into innovation.

Remember this: creativity and adaptability are your greatest tools. Wield them wisely, and you might just turn that Hot Pocket into a Michelin-starred masterpiece.

Yours in creative rebellion,
Remy

L.A. or Bust?

Dear Remy,

My question is simple: do you think there is life (and meaningful work opportunities) for a producer who is based….brace yourself….outside of LA?

My partner has been relocated to St. Louis, and naturally, I want to move there with them. We have built a life together over ten years, which includes two mini schnauzers, a collection of vintage motorbikes, and a shared love of nights in perfecting our kimchi recipe.

However, as a producer, the prospect of leaving Los Angeles is almost unthinkable. It is the veritable epicenter of the entertainment universe. Sure, there’s a lovely quality of life to be had in many other cities—maybe I could get into the St. Louis board game scene? And yes, I know everyone holds their meetings via video now and self-tapes are du jour, so a stable Wi-Fi connection should be enough to keep me tethered to Hollywood.

But let’s be real, Remy, the serendipity of running into people at Chateau Marmont or Soho House doesn’t happen in St. Louis. During the writer’s strike, folks in LA and New York were having coffee meetups, hanging out at each other’s houses, and forming bonds that those in Seattle, San Diego, or Saratoga could only dream about. And all catered by the wonders of DoorDash—do they even have DoorDash in St. Louis? There’s so much to think about!

It’s been gospel truth to me that if you’re not in New York or Los Angeles, you might as well be producing community theater in a barn. Remy, would this move be career suicide? Is it possible to stay relevant and connected in the entertainment industry while living in a city like St. Louis? Maybe I should lie to folks and say I’ve moved to Pasadena?

Help me, Remy. I need a lifeline before I drown in Midwestern charm.

Sincerely,
Hollywood Hostage in the Heartland

Dear Hollywood Hostage in the Heartland,

Your predicament certainly sounds like a plot twist straight out of a dramatic TV series. But let’s look at this with a bit of perspective before we have a kimchi-fueled meltdown.

First, do you know how many successful writers, producers, and directors live outside of LA and New York? How do they manage to stay relevant and productive? Could their strategies work for you as well? Mark Wahlberg raised his kids in Nevada, Chris Pratt is based out of Washington State, and Renée Zellweger is in Connecticut. As for producers, Ron Howard resides in Connecticut, Michael Bay is in Florida, and Neal Moritz is in Tennessee.

What opportunities might you find in St. Louis that you haven’t considered? Every city has its own cultural landscape and creative community. Is there potential for inspiration or new collaborations there that you might be overlooking? I’ve never seen a movie or TV show set in the competitive world of board games—is there a quirky, wholesome plot to be woven from rival factions in a Settlers of Catan league?

It seems you have some internalized stigma around being outside of LA, but what if you viewed this move as a bold new chapter rather than a setback? How can you flip the script on your own narrative and show that creativity and success aren’t confined to the coasts? Hollywood has long been led by pioneers and frontiersmen—maybe your unique selling point can be your Midwest base, and you will go down in history as leading the charge on bringing the movie industry east of Pasadena.

By asking these questions, perhaps you can start to see the move as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. The industry is evolving, and you have the chance to be at the forefront of that change. Finally, I am happy to confirm that they do have DoorDash in St. Louis.

Keep calm and conquer the cornfields,

Remy

***

Remy Blumenfeld is a veteran TV producer and founder of Vitality Guru, which offers business and career coaching to high performers in media. Send queries to: guru@vitality.guru.

Questions edited by Sarah Mills.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter