In every group of friends—most notably, in those that happen to form an Arctic-bound oil-drilling team—there will always, invariably, be one member who, at some point, utters the following phrase: “I’m pretty sure I could take down a wolf.”
If you’re like me, you’ve heard this prophecy time and time again, from a friend who you know is far from being up to the task of martially dominating the supreme canis lupus. Sure, he’s lain out his strategy for you—he’ll vie for a stray branch, aim for the legs, a blow to the head, yadda yadda yadda. To be fair, you stopped listening to this frequently repeated rant some time ago. Bottom line: no matter what your friend says, he cannot beat a wolf in a fight.
Unless, of course, he’s a celebrity.
See, celebrities aren’t like normal people. They come from a different world. A world where everyday skills, like cooking and Jenga, are obsolete. But in the absence of these abilities, celebrities have developed their own set of special powers. Powers that grant them the aptitude to mesmerize entire nations, institute new waves of thought and behavior, and maybe—just maybe—to face off with a wolf in ultimate combat…and come out the victor.
We all know that Liam Neeson can easily take down an entire wolf pack. In fact, I’m pretty sure The Grey is just a documentary about a voluntary trip he took into the Alaskan wilderness while on a Red Bull high. But what about other members of the public eye? By what means might some of your other favorite actors, musicians and TV personalities aim to fend for themselves when set against those ferocious and gnarling fangs? Well, I’m glad you asked (reading the previous statement counts as asking!), because we have come up with a few fun theories matching the beloved leaders of the celebrity circle with their preferred method of lupine takedown.
Let’s start right out with the traditional approach to wolf fighting: good ol’ MMA. Gina Carano, the star of Steven Soderbergh’s new action-thriller Haywire, might be one of the few stars in Hollywood who could physically hold her own against an approaching predator.
It’s usually good advice not to say something if you can’t back it up. But some people are so profoundly gifted at mouthing off, that no real substantial proof is needed to accept that what they are saying is valid. Either that, or you just kind of get sick of hearing them yell at you and you walk away. Mark Wahlberg has become synonymous with the spouting of threats, boasts, and all around big talk.
Now, I'm sure Rooney Mara isn't exactly like her The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo character...but her Addams-esque attire on the Golden Globes Red Carpet suggests that Lisbeth Salander's dark, ominous and overall intimidating nature might derive from reality, to some degree. If Mara's haunting persona is any indication, one of her patented cold stares would be enough to deter aggressive growls.
Let’s be honest. Ryan Gosling doesn’t need to lift a finger. The minute any human, wolf, or North American bipedal cryptid gazes into the glimmering eyes of the Goss, all bets are off: sun breaks through the concrete mist, harp music accompanies the settling winds, and the love that Dickinson wrote about pierces the souls of all occupying that and any adjacent hemispheres. Some say that the very first aurora borealis was actually formed when Ryan Gosling smiled into a mirror while trekking through Northern Canada. Thus, any wolf—no matter how vicious or people-hating—would fall victim to the charms of ol’ Ryan with the mere wink of an eye.
Lady Gaga has done a great deal on the offense against human-on-human bullying. So who is to say that her talents would not be equally as effective on other mammals? L-Gags (give it a week, everyone will be calling her that) would simply write an inspiring ballad imploring the wolves to accept her for her differences. Before you know it, you’ve got a pack of wolf-monsters—which, genetically, are quite different from werewolves.
Last spring, the comedy sensation Bridesmaids got a lot of praise for proving that women are more than capable when it comes to delivering comedy traditionally associated with men. Of course, a good deal of the credit rests with the hands of Bridesmaids' star and SNL's MVP, Kristen Wiig. So, logic dictates, if Kristen Wiig can do anything a man can do, she can probably do anything a wolf can do, too. So, if in the given situation, we can expect that Wiig would emulate the behaviors of the wolf, assimilate into their society, and perhaps become their duly elected leader. And if you ask me, a wolf society led by Kristen Wiig is exactly the kind of future this world needs.
The Kid from Hugo
Asa Butterfield might not be physically built for fending for himself in the wilderness (just yet, anyway...remember what happened to Walt on LOST?), but he's got that "I'll make you believe in your dreams!" power that comes along once in a generation. Before him, holders of the power included Shirley Temple, Elliott from E.T. and Feivel Mousekewitz. But the dreams of the present rest on the shoulders of Butterfield—after a quick display of gumption and belief, the young actor will not only find himself accepted into wolf culture, but also convincing each pack member that they, too, can be dancers and cellists. Everybody knows that wolves are just compensating for shattered dreams, anyway.
It doesn't really matter, since the whole fight would actually be a staged performance piece that Franco devised to provoke a resurgence of the Beat Generation.
That's got to have some pull.
Finally, the big guns. The man who has transcended the barriers between human and wolf, bringing to light the intolerant dichotomy that has existed between our races for years. Not to generalize, but I'd say that it's almost a given that most wolves are on Team Jacob. And you've got to figure that all that time spent playing a wolf would have instilled in Lautner a good deal of sympathy for the species. So if Taylor Lautner ever found himself among his real target fanbase, we might be in for a Rise of the Planet type of scenario.
So there you have it. Ten human celebrities (and one demigod) representing the variety of ways one might face off against the mysterious, beautiful canines of the North. While celebrities may be the only ones who can afford these adventures, we shouldn't be kept out of the fun of speculation. Let us know how you would fend against a wolf pack in the comment section, or on Twitter (@MichaelArbeiter).