The hypnotherapist and micro-gesture expert has transferred his ability to read people into the celebrity world. Tom, Angelina: Your number is up.
What have you observed about the majority of people as we unconsciously gesture through our day?
We like to control how we want to be seen, but our body language reveals exactly who we are. The best is people shaking their head “no” when telling you something affirmative. (Shaking his head): “I totally had a great time with you; I was so busy, I couldn’t call you back.”
Has your ability to read people’s body language messed up your love life at all?
(Laughing) Totally. (The women) almost become schizophrenic. They start to play with their knives and they don’t know which direction they should put it in. And then the thing is: “Are you hypnotizing me right now?” And you’re thinking, what the hell is she talking about? I just asked her if she has a dog.
You just published a new celebrity-focused book on reading body language. Who’s your favourite celebrity to analyze?
Politicians are the best at it. That’s why I love Rob Ford. That guy had nothing to hide and he would always sit with his arms open, open-chested, and he would just wait it out, because he knew no matter what you came at him with, he would just use honesty back. Whereas you look at (George) Smitherman, he always sat with his hands in front of his chest, hunched over the desk; he was fidgety. He was always hiding something.
Who have you found to be the most self-aware or unaware?
Madonna is one of the worst. I think she has a lot of unhappiness inside of her. When she talks, she blinks a lot because she’s often covering up what she really wants to say.
Have you gathered any general axioms about celebrity culture through your research?
I think that a lot of them lie. Not necessarily because they want to, but because they think they have to for their careers. I know someone who was sitting beside Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie at a conference, and he said looking at the two of them, there’s just nothing in their eyes. It’s a blank stare. They’re trying to find happiness by being in the spotlight, and they think that’s all they have anymore.