Man Behind Hide The Pain Harold Meme On His Unexpected Viral Fame
The man behind viral meme 'Hide The Pain Harold' has spoken about the surreal experience of becoming internet famous without even trying - admitting he felt annoyed initially, while his wife simply hated it all... until the commercial work started coming through, that is.
Harold is actually a Hungarian man called Arató András, who told LADbible last year that he had found viral fame after a photo of him smiling with a pained look in his eyes surfaced online.
Nine years ago - when András was still working as an electrical engineer - a photographer had seen a holiday picture of his on the internet, and asked him for a 'trial shooting'.
András agreed, but was unsure what the stock photos would be used for. It wasn't until later that year that he realised what had happened when he did a reverse image search on a photo of himself. He was everywhere.
In a new interview with the Guardian, András said: "Once the memes were out in the world, journalists began to contact me, and wanted to come to my home to interview me.
"My wife hated it: she thought it interfered in our private life and didn't like the way I was portrayed.
"People thought I wasn't a real person, that I was a Photoshop creation - someone even got in contact asking for proof that I existed."
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András, now 74, explained how he ended up decided to take 'ownership of the meme', setting up his own Facebook fan page in 2017 and updating it with videos and stories from his travels.
"That started everything going," he continued, saying he was given a role in a TV advert for a Hungarian car dealer.
"The fee for that commercial changed my wife's mind about the meme."
András said that he was now also 'using the meme for good' - and how he wants it to be 'more than just a sad smile'.
He added: "I am the face of a campaign for a mental health service in Hungary, similar to the Samaritans in the UK.
"I'm proud that something more has come out of the last 10 years than just an idiotic smile."
And don't worry, András was keen to clarify that he's not really a sad guy, as the meme would suggest.
"I think I'm rather a happy one," he said.
Featured Image Credit: Hide The Pain Harold/Facebook