Unlikely heroes...and heroines
by Kayla Perrin
This week, unlikely heroine, Susan Boyle, took the entire world by storm. If you've somehow missed the news clips on television, she was a contestant on BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT. The unemployed 47-year-old, who admits she's never been kissed by a man, went onto the stage in front of hundreds, and was ridiculed immediately. Why? Because of her appearance.
Now I'm the type of person who knows you can't judge a book by its cover, but I can see why the judges (especially Simon Cowell, who always comments about people's appearance) didn't expect much from the dowdy Susan Boyle. I loved her totally fun spirit, which she displayed the moment she began to talk. Unfortunately, the people in the audience even laughed at her sassy attitude. Even Simon Cowell rolled his eyes. None of them could see past Susan's outward appearance, snickering and rolling their eyes, expecting--solely based on her appearance--a horrific audition.
And then Susan Boyle opened her mouth and began to sing. And blew the judges away. And the entire audience.
And the whole world.
If you know me, you know that I love to champion the underdog. It's just my nature. But the fact that Susan Boyle is such an unexpected heroine, she's gained the respect and adoration of millions around the world.
She was incredible, and proved to everyone that it's not what you look like on the outside that matters. A lesson people clearly need to learn over and over.
This is one of those times when a nice person actually ends up getting much-earned publicity, well-deserved fame, and hopefully the cash to go along with that. It wasn't a raunchy porn video or some other bad behavior that gained Susan fame, which happens so much these days. It was talent, pure and simple.
She's never been married or even in a relationship, but I can see that changing real soon. Let's hope she lands herself a nice guy with some spunk! However, judge Piers Morgan may be interested...he offered to be the first man to kiss her, and I just saw him ask her out to dinner on CNN. Susan accepted!
Now, onto unlikely heroes. Recently, I had the chance to watch TAKEN, a story about two American teens abducted into sexual slavery in Paris. I happen to have just finished writing a novel about the very same topic, a story called SPRING BREAK that St. Martin's Press will release next year. In my story, a young college girl goes missing on a Caribbean island, and her friends aren't sure what happened to her--but it soon becomes clear the island has a history of women being abducted into white slavery. In the movie, two hapless young women--seventeen years old--are in Paris for their first solo vacation.
Liam Neeson plays the father of one of the girls, and as a former U.S. operative, he knows the world is full of seedy types. He wasn't thrilled about the trip to Paris, but gives in because his daughter really wants to go. But their first day there, they are abducted. It started with a "scout" at the airport, and went terribly wrong.
But they messed with the wrong man's daughter, and Liam Neeson is catapulted to action hero status with his role in this movie. He was credible, likable, and the kind of hero you root for from the first moment. He will move heaven and earth to find his daughter, which you know means a few bad guys will get killed along the way. But you want him to do this dirty work. You find yourself wishing there were more men in the world who would.
He is real. He is a father facing a heart wrenching situation. And he'll stop at nothing to bring his daughter home. I didn't expect this sort of role for Liam Neeson, so for me, he is an unexpected hero. He totally blew me away. In fact, if there was another movie with him headlining as an action hero, I would be one of the first in line to see it.
I love when people do the unexpected, and surprise us in the most pleasant of ways. Who have you seen as unlikely heroes or heroines?