"I get the looks no matter where I am".
If you've read the most recent instalment of the OMGWACA books, no doubt you're having vivid flashbacks to the presidential event where Aisling finds herself landed with the task of convincing a room full of delegates that a worryingly unconvincing U2 tribute act are the real deal. If only she knew about San-Fran based Pavel Sfera, who earns a living impersonating the frontman. He gets stopped in the street regularly, and was even hired by Vogue to fill in for Bono for a photoshoot.
Speaking to Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk, Pavel said: "They (Vogue) called me up out of the blue and said we're doing a photoshoot... and we need you to come in if that's cool with you". He added that he can earn anything from €1,000 to €3,000 per appearance as Bono.
Pavel is also a poet and avid gardener and, like Bono, passionate about charity work. He recently spent time working in Romania with Ukrainian refugees. He said of his time there: "I bought a one way ticket, I thought I was going to die there".
Pavel also spoke on Newstalk of being mistaken for Bono at particularly sensitive times - with people sometimes approaching him to tell him about loved ones who have passed away, who were huge U2 fans. He said:
I'm a poet - above everything in my life, I want to connect with people and so when I get these stories that people have lost their mum or their dad I can't break character, I can't say "look, I'm not who you think I am so you know what I do? I give them as much humanity as possible.
His method in those moments is to neither confirm nor deny that he's Bono - if the people approaching him say they're massive U2 fans, he simply says "me too!"
In an Instagram post, Pavel said:
What an odd life I've found myself in doing the Bono impersonation work. It has opened extraordinary doors for me by way of meeting people and sharing stories. Sometimes over coffee or a meal and oftentimes just in passing. Always a point to be gracious and kind. People love Bono plenty. For a brief moment, we may share a mutual affection for U2 and what Bono's brought to the world.
Header image via Instagram/pavelsfera