Paul Marcarelli is famous as the guy in the Verizon ads, but the fame came with a price.
The worst: at his grandmother’s funeral, a family friend whispered “can you hear me now?” as her body was being lowered into the ground.
That’s according to a profile in The Atlantic published this week.
What else did he have to deal with?
- Marcarelli’s initial five-year contract forbid him from talking about his job or from taking any other acting gigs. Verizon refused to confirm his identity even after AdAge published it in 2002. Later, his contract was amended, but he still felt that talking about the job was too risky.
- Marcarelli, who is gay, was frequently harassed by teenagers driving by his home, but didn’t file a police report because he was afraid of the publicity.
- At a cousin’s wedding, he felt embarrassed as more people lined up to take pictures with him than with the bride.
- He did 20 to 40 TV ads per year plus a bunch of live events.
Marcarelli is happy he had such a well paying gig for the last nine years, but he’s excited to move on to more artistic pursuits, like a movie called “The Green” that he wrote and co-produced.