Brett Cohen always wondered what it would be like to be famous instead of just an average Joe. Cohen enlisted the aid of a few buddies and some folks he found via Craigslist to find out what the life of a celebrity is actually like – if only for a few hours. Call it living out a fantasy, a prank, or even an experiment, but, regardless of the label, Brett Cohen succeeded in achieving star status on the streets of New York City.
Cohen duped New Yorkers and tourists alike when he posed as a celebrity while walking around Times Square. Brett Cohen did not lie to the crowd of people who approached him and wanted their photos taken next to the paparazzi flanked man, he simply told them his name and allowed their imaginations to do the rest. Some Brett Cohen fans reportedly thought he was a pop singer and others an action hero star. One man who stopped to check out the celebrity spotting thought Cohen was in the Spiderman movie.
“The idea was, ‘I bet if we walked through with bodyguards and photographers, people would go nuts. And that’s exactly what happened,” Brett Cohen,21, told the New York Daily News. “It was insane. The crowd kept getting bigger and bigger. I got a taste of fame, and it was good, but it’s not something I would want as a part of my everyday life,”
Cohen, a New Paltz student and his celebrity prank cohort Edward Sturm, 23, posted a video of the experience on YouTube titled “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City,” ABC News reports. Cohen also noted he was attempting to channel his “inner Tom Cruise” during the fake celebrity prank.
Earlier the same day as the fake celebrity prank, Cohen walked around New York dressed in a t-shirt and gym shorts and did not attract the attention of throngs of young women. Later, Brett Cohen dressed in more fashionable digs and cool shades, got a “tan,” and walked around Times Square with photographers and body guards — and got an entirely different reaction from folks on the sidewalk and in stores.
Although Cohen’s appearance did not cause a Justin Bieber mobbing, he could hardly walk down the sidewalk or stop at a shop without being crowded by girls who wanted to pose for a photo with him during the fake celebrity prank.