Nicholas Braun, who has developed a bit of a reputation for being a guy that fuccs, appeared on a podcast with Dax Shepard where the two discussed the woes of hooking up with randos as famous men. However, given the context, it’s kinda hard to feel sorry for them.
Braun appeared on the Armchair Expert podcast hosted by Shepard and Monica Padman earlier this month, where the two grilled him on his love life.
At first, Braun spoke of his dating troubles as a kid, but Shepard pushed the conversation towards his, uh, prolific dating history ever since he came to fame as Cousin Greg on Succession.
“When that power hits you, in so many ways, it’s the fairytale one’s been having since they were 12-years-old. Girls would like you,” Shepard said.
“Definitely,” Braun agreed.
“I’m still not very good at believing that.”
Padman then jumped in and refused to let Braun get away with that comment.
“But you have to be aware of what’s happening right now, right?” she asked.
“On, like, Deuxmoi: ‘Go to this bar, Cousin Greg is at this bar.’ That’s what’s happening.”
Braun then resignedly agreed that he was often spotted with young women at the bar he co-owns with Justin Theroux, especially around 2019 when fans really started to notice him. However, he kept stumbling over his words, and Shepard didn’t let it go unnoticed.
“You’re so nervous,” Shepard observed.
Braun replied, “Yeah, I’m really toeing the line here. I just don’t know how to…”
Dax then asked Braun what was holding him back, and specifically if he fears being labelled a “player”.
“Not a player, but I’ve seen it so many times where you say a thing and then it gets snatched up, thrown into the internet, Twitter culture, and TikTok videos.
“So it is nice, when I’m like ‘Okay, that girl’s looking at me’, you know, ‘that girl gives me her number’. But I trust almost no stranger — girl — that I meet.”
The unspoken tension on the podcast was seemingly in relation to recent allegations of Nicholas Braun apparently being creepy — anonymous social media users shared anecdotes of him earlier this year where they alleged he hit on and hooked up with high school girls when he was in his 20s and 30s.
Braun said that in 2019, when he really started to make headlines, he was 31, and he didn’t care about reports on his dating habits because there’s no “shame” in being a single man that was seen with a woman. However, he said things have since changed, and he’s a lot more careful now — and Dax Shepard took it upon himself to theorise why.
“There is this weird bent right now where, like, being sexual is somehow predatory and I fucking hate it,” Shepard complained.
Hmmm. Side eye. SIDE EYE.
“It’s like, first of all, no, if we look at the statistics: the younger generations are having sex less. It’s not a good thing, it’s a very bad thing,” he continued.
“Exploring all these different power dynamics that needed to be explored, it’s put a whole haze over anyone just fucking, which is a lovely activity for single people to have.”
Is it just me, or does this sound a lot like when men complain that the #MeToo makes it hard to be around women, because they’re worried they’ll be accused of sexual assault? Inherently dismissing what makes behaviour predatory, and acting as some kind of fear-mongering dog whistle? Yikes.
“Or,” Braun countered. “People are fucking. They’re out there, they’re doing it — men just can’t talk about what they did.
“It’s way better for men in general, but for me as a person of some level of fame, to just keep my mouth shut, never talk about it, because it is just this dance right now and you say one thing like ‘That was cool, that happened’ —”
“And it’s like, ‘This guy’s a misogynist, he likes sex with women,” Shepard finished for him. “What an animal, what a sicko.”
The two then had somewhat of a cryptic exchange where Braun said he considers about being the kind of guy who says “what he does” pridefully (what is he referring to, sex? kinky sex? problematic sex? I don’t know) but he’s “just not there yet”.
Padman then brought the conversation back to the women who Braun was seen with at bars, and said that since they were there to seek him out specifically, it’s not like he was creepy for then hooking up with them.
Honestly, this whole conversation was fkn weird because all three of its speakers danced around the fact that the whole reason Braun’s hook-ups are being scrutinised right now is not, in fact, because he’s a man who likes sex and men are just oppressed — it’s because of age gaps and power dynamics, because people are concerned about what power a Hollywood A-Lister in his 30s has over naive normies in their teens and early 20s. And that perhaps consent becomes complicated when there are influences involved that aren’t limited to just attraction?
But no, let’s just make this about how hard it is to be famous men! And let’s blame any discourse about an older star and younger women to just “young people are prudes”!
Ugh. I guess those allegations are not going to be addressed any time soon, huh?
Image source: Getty Images via Frazer Harrison and Rick Kern