British actress Lindsay Duncan was recently on a press junket promoting her new movie Le Week-End. In a fluff piece printed in New York Times, she dropped this bomb:
“I would rather give up acting than become world famous.”
Not this again. This sort of thing really rubs me raw. Sit back from your monitor or you’ll get scorched.
The acting community has no greater friend than me. I see +/- 45 plays a year. It’s my thing. I enjoy the theater. But, oh, Mother of God, I wish actors would either check themselves when being interviewed or keep their mouths shut all together. When they prattle on about how “dangerous” their work is or refer to their characters as if they were actual people, I want to rip my hair out. And I especially can’t stand it when entertainers turn their success into a crippling burden.
While promoting box office bomb The Young Victoria, dim bulb Emily Blunt went on one of those “I am a serious artist” rambles you occasionally hear from actors for whom success came too soon and too easily. Can you imagine laying out millions of dollars to produce The Young Victoria,sending your lead actress out to promote the film (first class accommodations) and read that she said this in an interview:
“It’s just never been important to me to make a big splash and I don’t care for it.”
I’d kill her. I’d want my movie to make a big splash. Production budget on The Young Victoria: $35 million. Worldwide gross: $27 million. Well done, Emily. You’re an idiot.
Singer/mope-meister Nora Jones (each album repackages the same boring songs) said this of the meteoric success of her first album:
“On the first record I was everywhere, and it was, like, the worst time in my life.”
Nora, you are, like, an idiot. That album generated an audience that most singers don’t dare dream of, not to mention financial independence for life. Way to turn it into a negative.
While out promoting box office bomb Scott Pilgrim vs The World, actor/human insect Michael Cera (each performance is the same boring character) said:
“I don’t really want to be famous, and I’m kind of scared that might be happening.”
Then DON’T BE AN ACTOR. Looks like you got your wish. Where’ve you been? Production budget: $60 million. Worldwide gross: $47 million. Nice work, stupid.
I’m reading The Richard Burton Diaries. A fantastic book. In August of 1969, at the pinnacle of his career, when he was in great demand and had the power to pick and choose whatever and whomever he wanted to work with, had both critical and popular respect and more money than he ever imagined, he wrote:
“I loath loath loath acting. In studios. In England. I shudder at the thought of going to work with the same horror as a bank-clerk must loathe that stinking tube-journey every morning and the rush-hour madness at night. I loath it, hate it, despise, despise, for Christ’s sake, it.”
Take it from me, Dick, what you were doing was NOTHING AT ALL like the grind of a daily commute. Hilarious that you would think it would be.
Stand aside and watch these nitwits get schooled. While on a press junket for Inglourious Basterds, Brad Pitt said:
“It’s so tough being an actor. Sometimes they bring you coffee and sometimes it’s cold. And sometimes you don’t have a chair to sit on.”
Production budget: $70 million. Worldwide gross: $321 million. That’s how it’s done.
Finally, these words from British renaissance man and genius director Sam Mendes. Rule #25 of his 25 Rules for Directors:
25. Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something that you love.
I’m full of spit and vinegar so I’ll rerun this gem from last year.
I was taking pics of our neighbor’s photogenic white cat, Smudge, when, for NO REASON WHATSOEVER, their other cat, Skippy, walked into the frame and BIT HER IN THE EYE! It was an hilarious unprovoked attack. I couldn’t stop laughing. Cats are the best.