Savini and Me: Part Six, Not an A**hole
For a long time, there have been rumors floating around that Tom Savini is an a**hole. When I was first in talks with Tom to do a book, I’d mention that more than a few times I had heard fans say things like, “I heard he is a jerk,” or “I was told he is an a**hole.” “I don’t want to meet him, he’s a d*ck.” The funny thing is, pretty much all the people who said such things had never met him. It was all what they “heard” from other fans or read on boards. The rumor was rampant. I hadn’t talked to him much at this point, but from all of our communication, he seemed completely nice and civil. Then again, I was “working” with him; maybe he was just being nice? If I was a fan approaching him, would things be different?
Having worked with Kane Hodder for a long time and knowing he had worked and done many conventions with Tom, I asked Kane his opinions on the rumors. Having just finished filming a movie with him in Germany, Kane couldn’t speak more highly about Tom. He even went on to say he had sat next to him at numerous conventions and never, ever saw him be rude or mean to a fan. This eased some of my fear that Tom really was a dick, but I was still nervous that some dark side of him would come out at some point. During our first meeting, I tried not to worry about him being “mean” to me. After seconds with him, that fear was gone, he was more than nice. The man invited me into his home, showed me his treasures, toured me around his town and even took me out to dinner. The entire time of which, he was happy, excited and very, very nice. This rumor was starting to puzzle me. So much so, I just straight said to Tom, “I hear from so many people that they think you are a d*ck or an a**hole, why do you think that is?” Obviously, Tom was aware of these rumors. Sadly, it hurts and offends him that fans think of him that way, though he did have a theory about why.
Basically, at a convention one time, a friend tried to hand Tom a phone to talk to someone, but he didn’t want to talk to that person and said so. A fan in line thought Tom was talking to her and ran off upset. Tom tried to catch up to her, but couldn’t. Very soon after that, there was a blog about how Tom was an a**hole posted and while I’m sure there has been other misunderstandings, this is the one that sticks out in Tom’s mind.
While Tom was amazing to me in person, being one of the nicest people I know, I had yet to actually see him with fans. When I had the opportunity to do a convention with him, I was more than excited to see the “real” Tom for myself. When I arrived at the convention, about fifteen minutes before doors opened, I was thrilled to see that my table was next to Tom’s. I had requested that, but you don’t always get to be where you want at conventions. As I walked in, I was more than shocked to see Tom was already at his table, dressed nicely and ready to meet fans. Most stars come down well after the start time. Not only did Tom show up before the doors opened, when he saw I didn’t have a table, he personally went and found one for me, carried it through the banquet rooms and set it up next to him. The fact that he went way out of his way really impressed me; not really the actions of an a**hole, if you ask me.
When the convention started, Tom instantly had a line. While I sold my books and signed them, I kept a close eye on Tom to see how he was with fans. One after another, he was polite, kind and went out of his way signing autographs and getting up for pictures over and over again. Not once in three full days, hours upon hours, fan after fan did I see Tom be rude, mean or anything that could even be construed as being an a**hole. Admittedly, he was on his phone a lot. A few fans had to wait a few minutes to get an autograph as he talked or texted. Some might find that rude, but knowing him, I knew that he was on the phone with business, nonstop.
While Tom was great the entire time, I was amazed and horrified to see that even though he didn’t do a single thing wrong, rumors were still flying around the convention about him. The first one was that Tom was afraid to fly. One fan said this to me and it instantly struck me as odd since I knew that Tom had just came back from Australia. He obviously didn’t drive there. Of course, I quickly asked Tom if he was afraid to fly. “No, not at all,” was the answer. So how did this rumor start? After some searching, it seems that someone found out that he drove to a convention that was about eight hours away from Pittsburgh. Just because he drove, he was suddenly “afraid” to fly. I was a bit saddened to see people trying so hard to find fault with him. Then, out of nowhere, another rumor found my ear. It seems Tom was sunbathing at the pool wearing bikini briefs and had a huge amount of pubic hair sticking out of the tiny bathing suit he was wearing. This one, I instantly knew was not true. Tom was with me almost the entire time, there was no way he was out at the pool.
Tom found this rumor rather funny, and said, “See, I don’t even do anything and rumors start about me, I don’t get it.” And to that, I agreed. Again, we come to find out, a guy that looked almost nothing like Tom was out at the pool with the massive amount of pubic hair. Just because he had long hair and a goat-tee, the man was “Tom Savini.” The rumor quickly found its way around the hotel. At this point, I really felt bad for Tom. He truly is a great guy and good to his fans, yet the fans for some reason want him to be the bad guy. The one they can talk about, whisper amongst each other that he was a jerk to them and have someone to unite together about. I guess everyone needs a villain to love to hate, but Tom does not deserve to be that person at all. I know a few other celebrities that deserve that title rightfully.
Tom is quieter, more subdued than a lot of the stars. He is a thinker. In my opinion, Tom is a genius and not just because of his work. I can tell in his conversations. I can see Tom’s mind at work when he is sitting at his table quietly and I think his keeping to himself gets misconstrued as him being cranky or rude. For those who say Tom was “a d*ck” to you personally, I guarantee it was just a misunderstanding, that more likely than not, you went to meet him with the conception that he was a d*ck, so the second he wasn’t boisterous and joking around, he was rude in your mind. If that was the case, give him another chance, ask him a question that makes him think, because if you do, he will start up a great conversation with you. And if you haven’t met Tom yet, get that thought out of your mind, because Tom Savini is not an a**hole.