HIRING AN ACTOR TO BE YOUR CHILD’S PARENT. I tend to trust internet stories more than I should, but Roc Morin had a story in the Atlantic (November 7) that I find hard to believe.The story is about a Japanese company (called in English “Family Romance”) which “provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients”. The company has a staff of 800 actors to accomplish this.The article consists of a long interview with the founder of Family Romance. I found it very moving.
The founder tells this story to explain the services that the Family Romance company provides. A mother rented him to serve as the father of her 12 year old daughter, who was being bullied at school because she had no father (her birth father, a violent man, had disappeared). The founder has been seeing her for 8 years. She believes he is her real father, who can only see her for four hour sessions because he has another family.
The rules of the company provide that if the client never reveals the truth, the father will continue to play the role indefinitely—father at the girl’s wedding, grandfather if there is a child.