Via social media, our Hollywood Reporter colleague Scott Feinberg teased one of this weekend’s most pleasant Oscar surprises. Roger Federer has come to the West Coast to attend the big show. The tennis superstar was also at last night’s Montage Beverly Hills hotel bash hosted by Harvey Weinstein, which is where Feinstein learned the news and had the photo at right snapped.
This unexpected, extra star power is a perfect excuse to delve into Federer’s very brief IMDb acting credits. According to the popular site, Federer appears as Lobster in two portions of Israeli artist Keren Cytter’s 2012 soap opera spoof Vengeance: Episode 4 (Wet Dreams) and Episode 7 (The Daily Standard).
However, as far as we can tell, Federer in fact never does appear. In Episode 4, there’s an Annie Hall-like scene where a couple chats comically while he helps her prepare and boil a lobster in the kitchen. And the Episode 7 credit for Federer seems to be nothing more than an end-credits scroll recall of his earlier non-participation in the seven-part series.
For another one of Cytter’s films, 2010’s The Hottest Day of the Year, Federer was also listed in the credits. In a piece in Art in America magazine, a clue was offered for the ongoing ruse:
It’s an open question whether the story presented has any relation to actual events. At several points in the video, characters watch Antonioni’s film Blow-Up, a fable about the unreliability of images – a sly implication that Cytter herself is untrustworthy in regard to the purported facts presented in the video. In a similar vein, Roger Federer appears in the credits. Asked why, [Zach] Feuer [Gallery] director Grace Evans replied, “She’s a fan.”
Aren’t we all! Another one of our THR colleagues, Tatiana Siegel, tweeted that she majorly “geeked out” upon meeting Federer and that the 34-year-old athlete will be rooting tonight for 41-year-old pal Leonardo DiCaprio, the all-but-guaranteed winner of the Best Actor prize. If the producers of the ABC telecast are wise, they will have properly located Federer in the audience and be ready to cut at some point during Leo’s acceptance speech to a reaction shot of the 17-time Grand Slam winner.
P.S. Per an Adweek piece last fall, Federer earned most recently in yearly endorsements more than twice what DiCaprio was paid for The Revenant. The tennis legend’s reported annual take on that front? A staggering $58 million.
Update (8:30 p.m.):
Federer hit the red carpet around 8 p.m. and gamely stopped at one point to partake in a tequila shot with Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Guillermo.
— Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) February 29, 2016