If you think of John Stamos as a perennial Playboy, you're not alone. But there's one person who doesn't agree with the image: Stamos himself.
"It's like all of a sudden you're that guy that everybody's calling Casanova, or whatever. It just sort of snuck up on me," Stamos tells omg! from Yahoo!. "I don't want to be caught up in the responsibility of maintaining that image, because it's not me. I don't like it. I don't think it's a good look, a guy who's dating a bunch of different girls all the time. And I really don't."
In fact, it's quite the opposite, explains Stamos, whose six-and-a-half-year marriage to model and actress Rebecca Romijn ended in 2005. "I've been in sort of mini relationships a lot in the last five years that I don't talk about," he says. "And most of them were not celebrities or known people, so nobody really knows about it or cares. But since I've been single, since I've been out of my last big relationship, I've been in relationships more than I've been single."
[Related: John Stamos' May-December Friendship]
Still, the same swingin' single image that haunts the 48-year-old has come with a few benefits, namely helping land him his first lead in a film, the upcoming indie movie "My Man Is a Loser," in which he portrays a ladies' man whose two beleaguered married friends (played by "True Romance" star Michael Rapaport and former "MadTV" actor Bryan Callen) enlist him to help them spice up their own relationships.
According to Step One of Many Entertainment's Eric Bamberger, one of the film's producers, he and his colleagues were looking to cast a 40something "ultimate Playboy" who was both likable and could connect with a variety of demographics. "John Stamos popped up as the obvious choice," Bamberger says.
But for a guy looking to shed that reputation, is signing on to play this kind of character only perpetuating the stereotype? Stamos doesn't believe so. "It's showing you exactly what I'm saying is the chink in [the character's] armor," he explains. "They pull back the curtain … and you see that he's just a lonely, insecure guy that doesn't really have game and … the advice he's giving, his guidance, is not working. It certainly doesn't work on him. He's not happy, he's not in a relationship."
That's not to say Stamos isn't satisfied with where he is in life. "I'm not unhappy. I'm happy. But I think people, when they meet me, the word they use is that I'm a lot more neurotic than they thought I would be. So I don't know what that means. But no, I'm not as secure."
It's not how he's often described by fabled radio talk show host Howard Stern, who never misses an opportunity to talk about his pal Stamos, whether it's to hypothesize about his sex life, express envy over his handsomeness, or poke fun at his recent appearance on "Glee," where he just happened to play an extremely suave and attractive dentist.
"Howard has been a great friend and supporter. I don't go on [his show] very often, every couple of years. It's safer for me to stay off," Stamos confesses. "Every once in a while I'll email Howard and say, You know what? Thank you for keeping my name out there, because every day someone comes up to say 'I love you on Howard.' I'm never on it, but he talks about me so much. I consider myself lucky to call him a friend."
And the friendship is for real. The two socialize when Stern is in Los Angeles, Stamos helped facilitate getting the shock jock's increasingly famous limo driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Mund, a small role in "Loser," and Stern even named his beloved bulldog after the actor, who was married to Romijn back when Stern first got the pup he named Bianca Romijn-Stamos. With Romijn now remarried to actor Jerry O'Connell, Stamos eventually discovered the dog's name had been changed in light of his ex's new nuptials.
"They added O'Connell," Stamos says with a straight face. "I know that because I got a Christmas card. It's now Bianca Romijn-Stamos-O'Connell."
While Romijn may have gotten married again, Stamos isn't sure whether or not he'll take another walk down the aisle. "I believe in marriage. It scares the sh** out of me, because … in a heartbreaking way, it just seems like it's an institution that's starting to crumble," he admits. "I go back and forth. I like being in a loving, healthy relationship. I like being in a relationship versus being single. I would much rather come home to someone that I love to be with and laugh with than date different girls."
Whether or not he becomes a husband again, it seems he'll always be an actor. At this point in his life, Stamos has been a celebrity much longer than he hasn't, joining the cast of soap opera "General Hospital" when he was just 19, before being catapulted to serious stardom just five years later in what's still his most famous role of his career — Uncle Jesse on the much-adored '80s sitcom "Full House" (a show that also happened to give the Olsen twins the first of their many millions). While plenty of actors have spent decades trying to get out of their iconic characters' shadows, Stamos has no problem with the fact so many fans still remember him best from that wildly successful sitcom, despite the fact he's since spent a full four seasons on the medical drama "ER," recently had a multi-episode guest gig on the buzzy Fox series "Glee," and has had several Broadway stints over the years, including an upcoming stage role in "The Best Man," opposite James Earl Jones.
"It's on all the time and there's a new 'Full House' fan born every four years, so it's not like I needed something to get new people to know who I am, right? I think I look a lot different now, but I still get 4- or 5-year-old kids who come up to me," says Stamos. "'Full House,' it just never ends.'"
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