When Celebrity Hands Aren’t Ready For Their Close-Up

When Celebrity Hands Aren’t Ready For Their Close-Up featured image

Have you ever seen Megan Fox‘s thumbs? She’s one of the finest physical specimens in humankind, and amazingly, all the unattractiveness in her entire body has been concentrated into her thumbs-they’re clubbed. It’s like someone’s big toes were grafted onto the sides of her hands. And she’s not alone. That’s where I come in.

In my kit, I have six shades of foundation. They range from a porcelain that’s a shade lighter than I am in winter to a dark sienna. That’s because I’ve doubled for the hands of everyone from Katy Perry to Brazilian supermodels.

There are a few reasons why famously beautiful people need a hand double, but it often comes down to the fact that a star’s hands aren’t pretty enough to showcase a product. Marketers are looking for a certain kind of hand-usually a small hand if they want to make something look bigger, or adroit fingers if there’s product demonstration, or even a special skill, like turning a quarter over and over between your knuckles. Me, I can juggle, and I’m left-handed, and both of those attributes have come in handy (pun intended-sorry).

Another reason is that TV and print shoots take a long time-filming a 30-second commercial can take days-and a big star would never stand around for hours filming close-ups of just her hands.

During my most recent job, Katy Perry swept in with an entourage immediately following a dress rehearsal for the Grammys, read a few lines in front of a teleprompter, held up a smartphone, smiled and winked, and whoosh-she was gone. But the storyboards for the commercial had about a dozen product shots of “Katy Perry” interacting with the phone. They’re only detail shots, but they’re integral to a marketer. My hands are the ones you’ll see in the close-ups.

I was Tina Fey‘s double in an American Express commercial (I literally wore the clothes off her back), and it took six hours to film all the shots of “Tina” swiping the card, showing the card, getting the card out of her wallet, and putting the card down on a table. Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding her and Martin Scorsese in the ad, the client was more concerned with the credit card shots.

Am I chosen because my hands look similar to the star’s? Quite the opposite, usually. On the Tina Fey job, my nails were as they’d normally be for a job: long, with clear polish. Tina Fey’s nails, however, were bitten down to the quick and painted ballet pink. The production company had released the manicurist for the day before I got there (which is why I have a kit-you never know when you’ll be left on your own), so I had to give myself an intentionally terrible manicure to be seen on national television.

But my hands still looked better than Tina Fey’s, which is what the clients wanted, even if it was just for a split second.

Carrie Jacobson’s lovely hands have been seen in Clinique, Leica and Mercedes ads, on Orly products, and in Nails magazine. See more of her hand modeling work at carrie-jacobson.com.

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