If you think about a celebrity bodyguard, you might imagine a tall, heavily built man in an imposing frame protecting his or her famous client. While physical strength is important to this profession, celebrity close protection operatives (CPOs) are more than just human shields. Their duties also include assessing potential threats and devising preemptive strategies, a skill they develop through extensive training and immense expertise. They’re the knights in a game of chess, moving strategically to ensure their king stays safe.
Unlike the typical security guard, celebrity protectors must be able to adapt to high-pressure situations that require quick thinking and resilience. They’re often exposed to a variety of threats that can range from overzealous paparazzi to psychotic fans and stalkers. Keeping a high-profile celebrity safe requires both physical and mental strength, as well as a willingness to put one’s life on the line for the sake of their job.
While the idea of having someone shadow you every step of the way may sound unsettling, these professionals are often considered trusted friends of their clients. They’re there to help their clients navigate difficult personal and professional circumstances with ease and confidence. Many celebrity bodyguards have stories of how they’ve saved their clients from embarrassing situations, ranging from a celebrity who fell off the stage to a paparazzi photographer trying to take pictures of a star’s naked body. In fact, some celeb bodyguards even become celebrities themselves, such as Julius DeBoer, who is one of Jay Z and Beyonce’s three guards, or Mark Billingham, who was Angelina Jolie’s former protector. Joseph Daher