Dear Diary – Evolution Screwed Us

Dear Diary,

It’s no newsflash that the human brain is seriously flawed. We are the only species who can comprehend and seemingly feel hatred and jealousy. No other animal kills another animal in cold blood or just because they feel like it. It therefore raises questions of “can our brains be tricked into feeling feelings that aren’t necessarily real?”.

I just heard today that Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have separated. The latest theory is that he had a bit of a thing with Jennifer Lawrence on the set of Passengers. Whilst this might not even be true, it did get me thinking. Can actors get so into their characters that their characters’ feelings become their own and their brains get confused and develop these imaginary feelings into real feelings? Sounds confusing. Let’s create a scenario:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Brad is happily married to Jennifer Aniston and Angelina is a happy career girl. They meet for the first time on the set of ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’. They play a husband and wife and are pretty much only in scenes involving each other. They fall for each other, have a fling and get eventually get married. Did they get so into character that they mistook their characters’ feelings for their own?

A few more examples – Ginnifer Goodwin and David Nolan from ‘Once Upon Time’, playing Snow White and Prince Charming. Fall in love and get married in the TV show. Fall in love and get married in real life. David Guintoli and Bitsie Tulloch from ‘Grimm’, playing Juliet and Nick. Partnered in the show, fall in love and get married in real life. Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie from ‘Game of Thrones’, playing John Snow and Ygritte. Fall in love on the show, fall in love in real life.

These are just some examples where I believe it’s possible our brains have misinterpreted feelings whilst we are “pretending” to have them, resulting in the brain eventually believing these feelings are our own. As a result, marriages and relationships often dissolve. Might this also be the case with Chris and Anna? Chris and Jennifer have been on the set of ‘Passengers’ and in every scene pretty much alone but for each other.

Of course, there’s obviously the likelihood that these people genuinely do fall in love since they evidently have common interests and similar personalities, so this entire theory could be utter bull. But it does get me thinking – with all the defects that our brains already have developed over evolutionary time, it is so impossible that we can misread the imaginary feelings of someone we are pretend to be because we get so into character?

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