— By Domani Spero
His name is James L. Bruno. His LinkedIn profile says he was a Foreign Service officer for twenty-three years with prior experience in military intelligence and journalism. He previously served in South East Asia, Australia, Pakistan, Cuba, GTMO and Washington, DC. He is also the author of political thrillers, Chasm, Permanent Interests, Tribe and Havana Queen, all available via amazon.com. Now he wants to join the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful and try his luck as “a soap opera matinée idol.”
What the hey?!
Off the bat, we can’t really say what prompted this ex-diplomat to want to join B&B. But we should note that on November 6, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Colleen Bradley Bell as the next U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. Later, we discovered that Mr. Bruno has written an open letter to Bradley Bell, the Executive Producer of the CBS soap opera who is also the husband of the nominee to Hungary. Mr. Bruno published his letter three days after the White House announcement. Mr. Bruno writes:
“I hereby submit my application to join the cast of your wildly successful soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. After reading about your wife, Colleen, a producer for B&B, being named by President Obama to be our next ambassador to Hungary, I thought, I too, can realize one of my wildest dreams: become a soap opera matinée idol.
Now, looking at my résumé, you might think, “Hmm. Very thin. No acting experience. No background in showbiz. He’s very good looking though!”
Mr. Bruno who at one point in his diplomatic career was Charge d’Affaires in Vietnam explains the compelling reason for this desired career change:
“I’ll confess I haven’t watched a soap opera since my mother caught highlights of As the World Turns during breaks from housework when I was a little kid. But, having failed at getting my own presidential appointment to embassy Rome or Paris because political hack fundraisers always ace out career diplomats for these posts, I need to make a career change.”
Well, so there you go, some sort of non-foreign exchange, is it? Mr. Bruno’s elevator pitch to B&B also includes what he can offer the show:
“…[H]ere’s what I can offer to CBS’s B&B. Hollywood and Foggy Bottom have much in common: plenty of contrived dramas, glitzy superficiality, fragile runaway egos, Machiavellian intrigues and backstabbing. I was immersed in this bizarre culture for two-and-a-half decades. It’s all second nature to me. And here’s how I propose you use it on your show once you’ve hired me on: write me in as J. Huntington Outerbridge III, an effete, conniving, snarky diplomat who sleeps with all the beautiful female characters while engaged in high-stakes diplomacy to foil nefarious plots by al-Qaida and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
Ouchy! He did mention something about ratings “going through the roof” so that’s good, right?
Read his whole letter at Diplo Denizen – The American Diplomatic Spoils System, Part III: My Job Application to the World’s Most Popular Soap Opera. Try not to fall off your chair.
Anyway, apparently, résumés are also on the way to Ambassador James Costos, HBO V-P and current U.S. ambassador to Spain, and Ambassador Charles Rivkin, ex-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, and most recent U.S. ambassador to France.
Mr. Bruno calls it a “spoils system.”
He’s being diplomatic, of course and just want to be a soap opera matinée idol.
- Obama picks soap opera producer as next Ambassador to Hungary (politics.hu)
- Soap opera producer tapped for top diplomatic post (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’: first look at Thorsten Kaye as Ridge (Video) (examiner.com)
- Soap opera producer tapped for top diplomatic post (publicintegrity.org)