Celebrity Showmances: Real Deal or Camera-Ready?

Michelle Rodriguez kissing a camera

Michelle Rodriguez and Zac Efron were photographed while kissing. Is it a showmance? Let's explore!

This weekend, that unfairly good-looking hunk Zac Efron was photographed kissing beautiful Avatar actress Michelle Rodriguez, who has not hidden her smoochfests with Cara Delevingne, sparking a flood of "NEW COUPLE ALERT!" headlines. Do we need to start calling 'em "Refron" or "Zichelle?" Or do we need to call "BS" and label it a "showmance?" Well, as it turns out, the answer is not that simple.

Efron had dealt with some unsavory publicity due to his issues with drugs, while Rodriguez, who also stars in the Fast & Furious franchise, was repeatedly loved up with British model Delevingne while courtside at NBA games and on vacation in the earlier half of the year. (And Rodriguez ha dealt with substance issues of her own, as well.) As it turns out, Efron and Rodriguez came togeher and kissed while on a yacht in Italy this weekend. Wow, so their lives really don't suck at all, now do they?

But how real are these PDAs? Actors know the cameras are usually nearby and always ready to catch them in the action, engaging in behavior both good and questionable, so are they playing into the media's hands on purpose and having showmances to keep their names out there during the quiet career period? Are these celebrity showmances pandering to cameras and the paparazzi in order to generate more publicity?

Efron, who had been linked to Lily Collins since splitting with High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens ages ago, has gotten more press for getting punched by a hobo on L.A.'s Skid Row than for his dating life as of late. He starred in the hit comedy Neighbors in May, but since then, it's been kinda quiet on the Efron front. Rodriguez and Delevingne grabbed loads of headlines, with much of the media applauding this generation's Kate Moss for her openness when it comes to her sexuality; Rodriguez, who should be much more famous felt like the secondary part of the story, even though she has dated girls before and her career arc dwarves that of Delevingne's at this point.

Efron has seen his reputation take a beating and he could use some positive press that focuses on something, anything other than the fact that he was allegedly probably buying drugs while driving in a shady part of Los Angeles with a flimsy excuse that he was trolling for sushi.

Rodriguez's recent showmance with the fashion world rebel that is Delevingne seems to have cooled a bit, and she doesn't have any high-profile acting gigs on the horizon, so perhaps she was looking for a little good press herself that didn't involve a romance with another woman. She has identified as bisexual, but it's her relationships with females — she had allegedly hooked up with actress Kristanna Loken, as well — which garner the most attention. Rodriguez is a notable Latina in the action genre and she often stars in films that are usually runaway successes at the box office, but it's not she who carries the film or who is instantly recognizable. In her personal life, these dalliances with incredibly attractive people, the Efronator included, end up keeping her name fresh and at the forefront.

While Delevingne and Rodriguez generated more media heat because they had a same-sex dalliance, it's worth nothing that these very famous A-listers did shift the spotlight to a non-conventional, LGBT romance, putting the notion of "love who you love" out there on display and that's always a good thing, since it reminds LGBT people in podunk towns without much of an outlet that what they feel is okay and right and normal.

So in that respect, these sorts of showmances are good. And, at the end of the day, when you are crushing on someone, you don't care who knows or who sees you swapping spit! If you are into someone, someone watching you exchange bodily fluids via a kiss ain't no thang. (But watching you exchange bodily fluids any other way? No thanks.) If you are crushing and the feeling is mutual, you want the share it! 

But because such a spectacle is made — people who don't want to be photographed kissing in public usually don't kiss in public — we can't help but wonder if some actions, like the Efron x Rodriguez kiss, are done for show. 

Then again, if you are going to have a showmance, why not go all out, have fun and do it with someone as attractive as Efron and Rodriguez, right? Who wouldn't be proud of being seen in public, getting all liplocked and loved up, with actors of this caliber and of this level of hawtness? If you're going to engage in a showmance, it may as well be with someone photogenic and camera-ready.