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Hollywood Actors On Silver Screen Changed Forever


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Two new movies out have proven Hollywood actors as our betters. They are better than their audience. Paying to see them is one measure, watching them get their asses kicked is another.


In both Blade Runner and Mother the stars suffer hellacious beatings, Rodney King style stompings, Hell’s Angel fashion horror. Ryan Gosling gets his several times in Blade Runner, Jennifer Lawrence takes an extended attack in Mother.


As awful as the violence portrayed was, and it was awful, no spoiler, it followed a long tradition of Hollywood actors getting messed up. The prettier they are, the worse it seems.


I didn’t recognize Charlize Theron in Mad Max. As beautiful as she is, she was just as gritty.


My own tradition with Hollwood actors includes avoiding anything with Nicole Kidman nude. A millennial had just seen Eyes Wide Shut. I haven’t seen it. I asked if Nicole Kidman was nude. They thought it a weird question. After I explained why I asked, they thought it was even weirder.


Maybe it is. I like Nicole Kidman with clothes on just fine. Instead of sounding like a prude, or drinking the Puritan kool aid, I’ll say nudity isn’t a problem. That’s not it. I’m a fan of gratuitous nudity in movies, even gratuitous sex scenes, just not with Nicole Kidman.


Maybe you’ve got your own choice on a pedestal? Well, she’s mine. All dressed up.


At the same time Jennifer Lawrence can do whatever she likes and I’m still a fan. Can you guess where this is headed?


That’s right, Harvey Weinstein.


For all of his misdeeds, including sexual harassment and rape he’s been accused of, he’s done more harm to movie fans than he’ll ever know.


And he’s not alone.


When it comes to the casting couch, Marilyn Monroe is an interesting example. Dubbed one of the earliest “bimbos” in the Fifties (on early film sets it stood for “body immaculate, brains optional”) the lush Monroe submitted to the casting couch to propel her from plain Norma Jeane Mortenson to international fame. She dismissed the trading of sex for stardom airily as “no big tragedy – nobody ever got cancer from sex” and added: “I’ve slept with producers. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t.”


Other comments, however, ­suggest she wasn’t so laissez-faire about the whole business. When 20th Century Fox awarded Monroe the richest contract of any actress in 1955 she triumphantly declared: “It means I’ll never have to suck another **** again!”


Harvey Weinstein joins Harry Cohn, Darryl F Zanuck, and Howard Hughes on Hollywood’s casting couch of shame. These men have cheated the rest of us out of our own movie experience. How?


There’s a good reason movies get made with handsome men and beautiful women. We see ourselves in their roles and we like the way we look. If the hero gets the girl in the end, we feel heroic. We feel like we got the girl too. Just sitting in a dark theater watching light flicker across the silver screen makes our day.


Now we have to think of Harvey Weinstein getting the girl? No matter who wonderful they look on screen, they had a different look on the casting couch. Trapped. Afraid. Exposed. And that’s what gets it for Harvey and his pals? Frightened Hollywood actors forced to compromise themselves makes their day?


If that’s the experience they enjoy, try this on for size: An older woman told me about her marriage. It wasn’t what she thought it was. The husband she knew was kind and loving. The same man was slipping around on her. When she found out it crushed her. Ruined her life.


The face I saw in the telling was so hurt it made me want to cry. Who does this to people they care about? Maybe they don’t care.


Now we’ll see Hollywood actors on the screen and wonder if they got there with some Harvey Weinstein help, or others who see women as disposable objects.


There’s a reason guys like Weinstein make movies, but why ruin it for the rest of us? We want to believe what’s happening on the screen, not what happened behind the scenes.


And now we see Harvey’s face in close up. With more women coming forward, some men are too with stories of their own at the hands of movie kings like Weinstein.


This can only get worse.
About David Gillaspie
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