We all know the image above: that of David Duchovny’s cameo in Zoolander as famed hand model JP Prewitt. Before today, what we knew of the world of hand modeling came from this one satirical scene (and from a plotline in a Seinfeld episode); that hand models were slightly out of their minds, and kept their hands hermetically sealed. After today – well, yeah, that was a pretty accurate assessment.
Meet Ellen Sirot, professional hand model, amateur crazy person.
On her first shot, you already get that “Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard” sense from her. Even her voice is spacey and loopy. I love her description of her hands as well. I get that she’s trying to separate the concept of her hands as a moneymaking tool from her body in general, but it’s still one of the most narcissistic things ever. I GET IT, LADY. You have the greatest hands God ever wrought.
And of course, she wears gloves all the time:
Why do the gloves have to be long? She’s a hand model, not a forearm model. Mittens would be fine. But no, she has to wear the most ostentatious handwear ever, and walk around like a soccer player trying to avoid a penalty.
And during this point in the conversation, she tells us all the things she’s unable to do (really, refuses to do); small things like opening cans, taking out the trash, cooking, cleaning, lifting. Needless things. “Something mundane for you would be a disaster for me.” I know she’s just talking about her hands, but I get the feeling this applies to her whole life.
And why is she laughing at the beginning of every shot? I think we just found the female Tom Cruise.
“These hands haven’t seen the light of day for about fifteen years.” I’m starting to think you haven’t either, Ellen.
She can make thousands of dollars per hour doing this. Which means she’s doing just fine. Which means she has no reason to stop acting like this. Which means she’ll never learn.
The part at the end, when the interviewer tries a “beauty pose,” is especially telling about Ellen. The interviewer tries whatever the hell pose Ellen does, and you can see in Ellen’s face as she corrects the interviewer that she just KNOWS she’s better at this than her. Ellen is slightly horrified at her attempt. “Oh, no, no,” like someone just farted at the dinner table of a Hamptons party. She’s like Emily Post, if Emily Post was a crazy, insufferable bitch. Or at least, more so.
This is the kind of crazy that fascinates me. I’m less interested in the screaming, pants-defecating hobo arguing with a cat about whether Jesus has bat wings or eye lasers. (Answer: he has both.) But this; this is amazing. Glimpses of this are what keep me and the wife tuning in to HGTV. And it’s three whole minutes of it; a woman not only on another planet mentally, but blissfully unaware that no one else acts like this. She’s like Anne Hathaway in Alice in Wonderland, except even she wasn’t so weird about her hands. Great stuff. I expect the parody videos to arrive forthwith.
I wonder if the hammer scene in Casino is her constant nightmare?