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[In this feature, we periodically check in to see what is up with Topher Grace.]

Funny story. I’m reading Buzz Bissinger’s book Friday Night Lights right now, the one that the TV show (and movie) were based on. It is a good book, and for fans of the show, it is interesting the ways in which the show’s plotlines, characters, and social commentaries both dovetail and diverge from the non-fictional account of Odessa Texas’s Permian High School 1988 football season. That being said, I’m going pretty slowly through the book, and sometimes I like to break it up with another book that I’m reading, which is a collection of short stories by George Saunders called Civil War Land in Bad Decline. If you haven’t read any George Saunders, you should, he is an American Treasure. So, last night, I was reading the short story “400 Pound CEO” and found an old bookmark tucked between the pages. The book belonged to an old roommate. If he is reading this, Andrew, I have your George Saunders book, LOL. Anyway, the bookmark is an old movie stub. And guess what movie it is for? Good Company, the 2005 Topher Grace vehicle. My favorite part is that the ticket stub is for a 10:15 PM showing on a Saturday. What a fun Saturday! (If you have ever seen this movie, you would know that maybe there are other ways you might have decided to spend your Saturday. No offense to my former roommate, Andrew, or Topher Grace, who certainly did his best.)

The point is, Topher Grace is all around us, sometimes we just forget to look. He is kind of like when you learn a new word and then suddenly you start seeing that new word everywhere and you realize that new word was just hidden to you but that you probably read it multiple times a day without even knowing it.

So, what is up with Topher Grace?

Well, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Valentine’s Day has smashed box office records with its tales of love. As ComingSoon reported, it surpassed all expectations! Awesome!

It was widely believed that Garry Marshall’s new ensemble romantic comedy Valentine’s Day would top the four-day Presidents’ Dayweekend, but the movie still surprised, earning an estimated $66.9 million from 3,665 theaters for an average of $18,241 per theater. The New Line/Warner Bros. release, made for about $52 million, set a new record for the holiday weekend, surpassing 2007′s Ghost Rider, which opened to $52 million over the four days.

PAH! That is a lot of million! Now, of course, Topher didn’t do it alone. This was an ensemble comedy, and its success is due to the whole cast. Even Topher would admit that, I think. But let’s also not cut T-Gain short. I’m looking at you, GuardianUK! Look at this review:

To be more precise, Valentine’s Day is 56 of the worst movies ever made. There are about a thousand characters in this movie, nearly all of whom are played by very recognisable celebrities, except for the one who is played by Topher Grace.

That wasn’t very nice GuardianUK! It was also kind of confusing! The way it was worded!

Anyway, most of what Topher Grace is up to these days is more promotion for Valentine’s Day, so let’s just grind through this stuff. It’s not that we aren’t interested in all of it, we are, but we appreciate efficiency, which is a trait I like to think a busy guy like Toph Gra shares.

So,

Topher and Ashton (Kutcher) give a brief interview to the press (via Neurologist.Blogspot.Com):

This film is a love letter to Los Angeles. What do you love about LA?

Topher Grace: The 405.

Ashton, are you romantic in real life, like your character?

Ashton Kutcher: As far as being a romantic, I don’t know. I love life and I love people and I love sharing. So I think, yes, I am, I would say.

Topher Grace: There wasn’t a Valentine’s Day that went by on That ’70s Show where I didn’t get a card or something.

Ashton Kutcher: I did all kinds of nice sh-t.

Topher Grace: It was very, very romantic.

I bet those guys just have so much fun even when the cameras aren’t rolling!

Topher Grace and Emma Roberts give an interview to the BBC1 RADIO (ALLO GUVNAH!):

Topher tells the Press Association a pretty funny story about how he saw Valentine’s Day covered in fake blood (don’t worry, guys, it was from the set of Predators, not from a painful injury to his body):

“It was weird, I finished that the day before I saw Valentine’s Day for the first time, and I was covered in blood, you know, fake blood – it was an action movie, there were explosions and then I came back and watched this and there was me and Anne Hathaway at a dinner table.”

Ha! I bet that was weird! Way to take it in stride, Topher!

His co-star, Emma Roberts, tweeted about him (via JustJaredJr, one of the best sites on the Internet, because kids need gossip websites!):

Full day of press with Mr Topher Grace who I now LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Who wouldn’t love to do a full day of press with Mr. Topher Grace? And at the very least, who wouldn’t fall in love with him afterwards?! No one, probably.

Meanwhile, OK magazine featured a photo at the premiere of Valentine’s Day!:

Looking good! You guys are probably wondering where this so-called fake blood is that we mentioned earlier. Well, relax, Sherlock Holmes. This is actually a photo from the London premiere LOL. You know, you don’t have to so cynical and suspicious of EVERYTHING all the time.

And this one is just for fun, but Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway have challenged the Twilight kids to a dance-off:

I have to admit that it makes me mildly uncomfortable every time Topher Grace refers to Anne Hathaway as “Annie Hathaway,” but I guess they are the ones who have been best friends since they were babies, or whatever, so who am I to judge or be super creeped out?!

In other, non-Valentine’s Day news, Topher Grace has been declared one of the Worst Ways to Die in a Video Game by GamesRadar. Way to go Topher!

What better way to have the last shreds of our tattered dignity obliterated than getting Spidey killed by a whiny That 70s Show reject? Not only is the Tophinator’s take on the once respected and feared Venom one of the worst film baddies ever, his horribly phoned-in performance in the game is like adding Tabasco to an already gaping, shameful wound. Hey, we had no beef with getting taken out by that fat dude who gets offed five minutes into Raiders of the Lost Ark in Spider-Man 2. But being murdered at the mitts of this rubbish, comically miscast actor is taking the piss in the almightiest and humiliating of fashions.

In the words of Oscar Wilde, “the only thing better than being named one of the Best Ways to Die in a Video Game, is to be named one of the Worst.” He said that in jail.

Speaking of Venom, Topher spoke to MTV about the possibility of taking up the role again in one of the upcoming Spider-Man sequels:

“Well,” he grinned, “I died in the movie.”

“Once you die,” he explained. “It’s hard to go ‘No, I’m not [dead]‘.”

Haha, Topher, you should tell that to JOHN LOCKE! From Lost.

And, of course, That ’70s Show remains popular in syndication.

There you go. That is what is up with Topher Grace. Send your Topher tips to tophergracenews@videogum.com. See you next time!

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Comments (64)
  1. George Saunders and Topher Grace in one glorious post? The rapture can come anytime it wants because there will never be a day as great as this.

  2. George Saunders and Topher Grace in the same post?!?! I am so happy right now!

  3. Andrew, don’t interrupt!

  4. Topher appears to have a pretty consistent aversion to properly tightened nick ties. At first glance this may appear to be a move to look ‘hip’ and ‘with it’. My theory, however, is that Topher is contractually obligated to let his glorious Adam’s apple be photographed in full at all times. His Adam’s apple is the source to his power a’la the biblical Samson. God help us all if he ever takes a swift punch to his throat meat.

  5. Can’t wait to drive up and down the 405 looking for Topher’s Tercel to gently crash into, causing him to pull over, get my insurance information and FALL IN LOVE WITH ME.

  6. I need to address 2 things:
    1) Did anyone else notice that Gabe is now putting punctuation at the end of “…popular in syndication”? That is some next level shit.
    2) Please, please, please let the Valentine’s Day/Twilight dance-off be a thing. DanceBattleGum has been a little lacking since the (totally rigged) wrap-up of the M&M/ACDC feud.

    • I am SUPER unnerved by the completeness of the That ’70s Show sentence. It’s like Gabe had to consider it before adding it! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT ’70S SHOW’S POPULARITY IN SYNDICATION, GABE???

  7. Is it sad that I have been on Videogum so much this past month that I’m starting to use Videogum references while talking to my friends to see if they’re monsters as well?
    Ex: I was watching Valentine’s Day with some of my friends and asked “Hey, I wonder what’s up with Topher Grace?”. They replied with “Who?”

    FMLITG.

    • Same here! When I went to Disneyland with a group of friends I kept saying “I hope we see a really good celebrity…. like Topher Grace!” until they started exchanging worried looks with each other.

      • I think we’re all pretty simpatico at this point.
        I was recently thinking about Smoke Monster Locke and THAT got me thinking about a Smoke Monster Topher Grace, or an “evil” Topher twin, Juggalo Topher, whatever, right?
        I decided I would call him Chris DisGrace. He’d be such a pillow. And where he comes from, That 70′s Show would NOT remain popular in syndication!

    • Don’t be sad, I do that constantly. My poor friend got dragged to this shitstorm of a movie. I told him to let me know WUWTG. Hes like, “Double-you You Double-you Tee Jee? What the fuck does that mean?!?”

  8. Is it sad that as soon as I read the opening paragraph I was like, um, that’s “IN” Good Company, thank you very much? Sigh.

    PS. It sucked but Dennis Quaid was so much hotter than the Toph. YEA, I SAID IT.

  9. I would love to do a full day of press with Topher Grace, if you know what I mean.

  10. Werttrew, do you have an explanation of these posts in your records of Videogum’s in-jokes? Even though I have more or less followed the WUWTG column since its appearance, I am no longer clear on whether Gabe is making fun of him or if he loves him or if those two things are even different. MLIWUWTG, you guys.

    • I know for a fact that it isn’t about making fun of Topher or somehow putting him down. That said, Gabe has never really revealed the “why” about this feature, but what I hypothesize is some combination of the following:
      1) A wry, slight parody of the media that obsessively covers the details of the lives of A-list stars.
      2) Making a “who?” into a mascot. Videogum commenters have become invested in the life of an affable young C-list star and adopted him.
      3) Rather than generally covering celebrities, the running feature covers one star minutely. It’s hyper-specialization makes Videogum literally THE best source for Topher Grace besides the man himself. Or his publicist. It’s different, it’s wry, it’s fun, it’s distinctly Videogum.

      Another thing to think of is this: can you think of another C-list actor who would work as well for this experiment? I can’t. Dax Shepard seems obnoxious. Nathan Fillion is too cool. Spencer Pratt is a nightmare. Anyone else I can think of doesn’t seem to fit as well. Topher’s the perfect subject for this experiment.

      • Toph is B-list, Mister!
        But great breakdown Teach. When can I audit your course on Gum-linguistics in the Posting Medium?

  11. A recent New Yorker piece wherein George Saunders makes fun of fat people. I thought this would be up our collective alley.
    Also, I want Topher Grace to be my dad’s boss.

    • I read that while I was waiting somewhere for a friend of mine to meet me. He is a husky gentleman and when he showed up he asked me what was so funny and I didn’t want to tell him. (He is also ex-Army but that was before his large days.)

  12. After seeing Valentine’s Day my sister texted me asking if Topher Grace was in it. I said yes and thus spread the good gospel of TG

  13. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • It’s one of those nice “the day is done” post, like the Monster’s Ball on Friday, or Hunt, or You Can Make It Up. Even if any of those regular features aren’t someone’s cup of tea, it’s a nice way of knowing “Ok, that’s the last post until tommorow”.

        • Right, I see your point. At least those other columns change topics every week, though. (Except for the Monster’s Ball, which is about us and therefore impossible to hate.) This column is the same inconsequential nonsense every time.

          Again, I know this is the point. I thought this column was really funny for the first month or so, when the idea was novel. Topher Grace! What a random celebrity! I have no especially good or bad opinions of him, nor is notably relevant! Let’s look into something mundane with feigned fascination!

          I just feel like there could much more entertaining, interesting, and genuinely engaging content here instead. I know I have the other 90% of Videogum for that, but I think this column serves the same purpose as the Thirtysomething recaps: to hyper-analyze something no one really cares about. And they’re both on Wednesday!

          • I tried to finish with /criticism, but my imaginary code was parsed and disappeared. So this post is just to point out that I’m not sincerely a grump and that Videogum can obviously do what it wants.

      • We’re gonna need a bigger stop button for Velvet Howler.

        • Wait, you mean you, a videogum roadie, didn’t instantly like a blog about theory, poetics and odd/obscure music? I find that surprising.

          My website aside, I think this feature is terrible and now that I know there are no layers of the premise than “Topher Grace isn’t really great, so haha…”, I dislike it even more. I’ll just stop reading it, but I think there are many readers who feel the same way so I was just providing some feedback and support for Funtastik’s comments.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAyKJAtDNCw

          • You are very confused about the premise that you incorrectly think you have figured out!

          • Explain the premise, oh master of snark and commenting on internet videos.

          • Also, as I don’t normally comment, I don’t mean to come off as unfairly cruel. Usually, I read in quiet enjoyment of the posts here. (Except those Mad Men summaries by that guest writer. I also didn’t like those. This is your nielsen survey of what I like. )

    • I think this is the longest HWUWTP post I have yet seen, and I didn’t bother reading anything after the jump. Does that make me a bad person?

    • Yes, even Gabe seemed bored with this one. I think we should at least move from an exhaustive review to a one little nugget of Tohper news. This week, all we really needed to know if that Mr. Grace like to watch his own films while covered in fake blood.

  14. A friend of mine worked on the movie In Good Company. I remember at the time being somewhat angry she didn’t invite me down to meet Scarlet Johannsson during the shoot. Now she works on Mad Men so I wanna go out to LA and meet January Jones. Oh anyway, Topher Grace.

  15. “Well,” he grinned, “I died in the movie.”
    “Once you die,” he explained. “It’s hard to go ‘No, I’m not [dead]‘.”

    Um.

  16. A friend of mine borrowed my copy of Civil War Land In Bad Decline a year ago, and I haven’t gotten it back yet. I love that book. I’m gonna go call him.

    That friend was Topher Grace. LOST.

  17. Just for the record, also on the GamesRadar “Worst Ways To Die” list are a scooter, a crow, disease, a spider, a plant, a deer, a crate and cold… So at least we know that Big Tee is in good company.

    (But we all know which one is the BADDEST of the bad ways to die.. Am I right?)

    • I’m so excited! I totally sent in the tip about the video game thing! Because just like Hard Gabe, I Always Be Looking-for-obscure-Topher-Grace-references!

  18. Only Topher Grace could make a movie better than Ghost Rider.

  19. my name is andrew, and my old roommate stole my copy of civil war land.
    but it couldn’t have been you because i only go to matinees (going alone seems less sad then) and he spells his name with a ‘d.’ and a couple other different letters, now that i think of it.

  20. George Saunders is pretty great. Even in his seemingly slightest bagatelles, he lives up to Flannery O’Connor’s standard: “There is a moment in every great story in which the presence of [Topher] Grace can be felt as it waits to be accepted or rejected, even though the reader may not recognize this moment.”

  21. Where my tip at? Nathan Rabin tweeted that Topher should star in a movie but no one was there to read said tweets and put them in this article.

  22. Wow, remember 2007? When everyone had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to see Ghost Rider on Valentine’s Day weekend? Those were the days, for sure.

  23. I saw Valentine’s Day.

  24. whaaa?

    I can’t agree. I’m still amused by the Topher Grace minutiae and every little detailed aspect of his career.

  25. You know what I miss? TopHerGrace’s pile of burgundy hair from when he was in that 70s show. I really do.

  26. I kinda thought you meant he saw Valentine’s Day, and it was covered in blood. And I thought to myself, hmm, that’s coincidental, because I thought the movie was covered in blood, but it was because my eyes were filled with blood after I stabbed them with my car keys in the theater.

  27. I need to lurk moar

  28. Funny story: The other night I heard the word “Tantamount” used in casual conversation and I’ve heard it three times since. What a life!

  29. Wow, that review was awesome –
    It is possible that Valentine’s Day is a very high-calibre art film, like Un Chien Andalou, in which the goal was for the viewer to viscerally feel that his or her own eyeball had been slit open with a razor (an experience which Valentine’s Day conveys far more effectively than Un Chien Andalou)

  30. While being in the Venom costume, Topher Grace didn’t drink any water during his breaks because he couldn’t use the bathroom with his costume on.

  31. “LA: Real people”

  32. Topher needs to FIRE his Agent! He needs Ari Gold!!! The roles he has been picked for have not been right for him. There’s hope for Topher. He has potential, still.

    Look at Joe Levitt. He emerged from obscurity.. entered into small films, NOW he’s huge. Bradley Cooper could of easily been typed-cast.. NOW look at him and how his career as been shaped. Even Robert Downey has made a come back. It comes down to the RIGHT roles.. and working hard at getting out of being type-cast.

  33. Topher looks like he can be Paul Banks (from Interpol) baby bro. Yup!

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