While you were off being in love and shoveling snow, Forbes released its list of most trustworthy celebrities. And it is a hodgepodge indeed.
On top is Tom Hanks, which completely makes sense. For a person who makes a living pretending to be other people, there is something undeniably genuine about him. No matter the role, you can connect to him. There is a human-ness that just won’t quit. The only other person on this list that makes as much sense is Robin Roberts, the most trusted woman in media and your imaginary brunch buddy.
But then you also have Carol Burnett, who’s wonderful, but not really someone you hear from too often. And, pretty safe bet, she’s not very recognizable to many young people. Can you trust someone you don’t see too often?
Next are Morgan Freeman and Michael J. Fox. OK. Then Betty White, who is the wacky grandma everyone all over the world would love to have. You always trust your grandma. Then there’s grandpa, Bill Cosby, and Denzel Washington, who’s not untrustworthy but not exactly someone you’d expect on this list. And Maggie Smith, who is basically winning people over by playing an early 20th century, British Sophia Petrillo on Downton Abbey. In character, she says exactly what she thinks, so perhaps there’s the perception she does the same in real life? And rounding out the list is Ron Howard.
To compile this list, E-Poll Research looked at 6,600 celebs and assessed them across 46 attributes. The scores are broken down by trustworthiness and appeal.
Even with this level of analysis, there seems to be something missing. For example, Jezebel notes (scroll past Kendall Jenner’s nipples) that Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t on the list and if there isn’t a more genuine person in Hollywood right now, I don’t know who is. You would definitely tell her your secrets because you’re sure she’d tell you hers.
Also not on the list: Queen Latifah or Ellen, two women who come into homes every day with their personal brands of comedy and daytime talk. Audiences are embracing them both with bear hugs. And where’s your drinking partner Andy Cohen from Bravo? Or your favorite boyfriend (even if he dumped you for someone nicer) Matt Damon? Or the guileless young mom who lives next door and happens to run a billion-dollar company, Jessica Simpson? And how about Al Roker, who brings the weather and a dose of honesty each morning?
These suggestions aren’t scientific, but were made based on something in the gut that just indicates a level of trustworthiness that these (and many other celebrities) have.
“Trustworthy, like influential, can be very subjective descriptors based on the nature of their celebrity. For the most part, it reflects how genuine people perceive that person to be,” says Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research in the article accompanying the list. It’s that subjectivity that makes a list like this difficult.
[images via Captain Phillips & @RobinRoberts]