Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hate: Actors Who Take Themselves Too Seriously

I dig movies. I dig TV. Probably TV more than movie, actually. What I don't dig, though, is the actors who think that what they are doing is important. I also hate that female people who act are suddenly called "actors" and not "actresses" anymore, but that's a different discussion. Just like overpaid professional athletes who complain about ANYTHING (you're not allowed to complain about anything in the entire universe if you make as much money as some of those bastards), I don't have much patience for actors or actresses who think that what they do is anything more than, you know, acting.

All interviews with actors are the same, no matter who the interviewer is or who the interviewee is:

Interviewer: Tell me about your latest project.
Interviewee: Well, it's a period piece about a woman struggling against the rules that society has placed on her. It takes place in 1843 in a farming town that is run by a ruthless landlord.
I'er: I see. What did you do to prepare for the role?
I'ee: I really wanted to connect with the character so I spent a week living on a ranch. I even wore long skirts and a bonnet to milk the cows. The challenges that those women faced are overwhelming!
I'er: Wow! You really lived it! That must have been difficult.
I'ee: Yes, I had to be up everyday at 6am to milk the cows and slop the pigs. Then I worked in the fields until 3:30. At the end of the day, I made dinner for the ranch hands right alongside the rancher's wife.
I'er: That's real dedication.
I'ee: Well, I wanted to connect with the character -
I'er: Yeah, you mentioned that.

I have one word for you: blah, blah, blah! Who cares?!! I know there is an entire second industry surrounding the entertainment industry consisting of Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Tonight and various other things with "entertainment" in their titles - and that just blows me away. You go ahead and make your movie. I'll plunk down my cash to see it (or not) and then you go make another movie. See how simple that is? Don't talk to me about connecting with anything and if you bitch about how hard it was for you to slop the pigs at 6am, you can just shut right the hell up.

See, here's the deal. Making most movies doesn't save the world. Yes, "Schindler's List" woke up a lot of people to the whole holocaust thing. And "Hotel Rwanda" isn't exactly about promoting tourism in that country. So those movies do have a positive affect on our consciences. But, even though I totally dig "The 40-year-old Virgin", it's not going to cure cancer.

So, below is how an interview should go for "Schindler's List:
Interviewer: Dude, that's hardcore.
Interviewee: Yeah, I know. That holocaust stuff is nasty. Nazis suck.

See? The movie says it all. You don't need no dumb-ass director or actor or actress telling you anything more about it. Perhaps if the movie sucks, the aforementioned director/actor/actress feels compelled to over-sell it. How many interviews were done for "Gigli"? Could have been a good indicator, don't you think?!

OK, so now let's see what an interview for "40-Year-Old Virgin" would go like:
Interviewer: Dude, that's hilarious!
Interviewee: Thanks, man. Glad you dug it! My life is pretty shiny right now and I owe it all to a stupid movie. I'm a pretty funny guy so this whole thing came pretty easy to me. A couple of times I had to get up at 9:30 but I called in sick the next day! Can't talk now - I'm meeting my agent at the Benz dealer - he has a red 2-seater all picked out for me.

The difference here is that the interviewee knows that his life is good and he's not afraid to chalk it up to making a damn funny movie. He ain't connecting with nothin'! Except maybe the cute teller at the bank where he shamelessly deposits his big fat paycheck. And he's smart enough to know not to bitch about getting his chest hair waxed because no one gives a rat's ass.

Lastly, I must harp on a particular phrase that the "bad" (read: one who takes himself too seriously) actors use. That phrase is "honing my craft". If I hear some dumb-ass actor talk about honing his craft one more time, I'm going to hone my craft right in his face! Your craft?! Are you making ashtrays out of clay now? Doing a little macrame`? Those are crafts. What you are doing is reading some lines and pretending to be someone else. Shoot, sometimes when I go to the bar and take my wedding ring off, I'm pretending to be someone else! Some people call that being a two-timing cheating bastard but, from now on, I'm going to call it honing my craft! I'm sure the wife will understand.

So, people of Hollywood, please just shut up and make your movies and TV shows. Don't blather on about getting into character and how hard it was to be a ditchdigger for 2 weeks during shooting because there are plenty of people out there who dig ditches 52 weeks a year and they don't go home to a big-ass house and a trophy wife and they sure don't pull down the cash that you do. And if you feel the need to hone your craft, you just do that in the privacy of a rest area bathroom!