Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If You're An Actor, Act; Play a Mime and STFU!

Over the past six or so weeks, I've quietly observed the highly public "romance" between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I've read how he's 42 and she's 26 (age, not IQ), watched the two of them cavort publicly in ways that are largely baffling. They're both attractive people, although, from what I've heard, Tom's got a bit of a natural odor thing happening, and Katie has a permanent look on her face like a deer caught in the headlights. She seems out of place and completely uncomfortable each time she's promoting a movie or photographed outside a movie/TV show set. An ex of mine was like that: completely and thoroughly uncomfortable in her own skin.

So why is any of this relevant? Well, since Mr. Cruise and Ms. Holmes opted to publicize their "romance," the backlash from the public has been unanimous; many believe the two are merely pretending to be seeing one another to enhance the publicity for each of their respective summer films (he of "War of The Worlds" and she of "Batman Begins"). In response to the complete disbelief of the American public, Mr. Cruise opted to visit Oprah and proclaim his true, genuine love for Ms. Holmes. Not only did he do that, he did so by jumping around on a couch, dropping to one knee and, generally speaking, making a complete asshole of himself. All, he claimed, in the name of true love.


Problem is, this only further engorged the nation's disinterest in this farce. And the more irritated the two became, and the more Mr. Cruise pointed a finger at the public for ridiculing his and Ms. Holmes' love as the farce that it seemingly is, the more the public responded with disinterest, apathy and ridicule.

So Mr. Cruise, not content to be pushed to the back-burner of the American Celebrity Lexicon, publicly criticized Brooke Sheilds for her decision to take anti-depressants after she gave birth to a child earlier this year. Simultaneously, Mr. Cruise also began fielding questions and defending his choice to practice Scientology, a religion created by L. Ron Hubbard, the guy who also created a 400-page sci-fi tome called Dianetics. In discussing both topics with Matt Lauer of the "Today" morning show on NBC last week, Mr. Cruise was accusatory and went so far as to refer to Psychiatry as a 'pseudo-science' and argue with Mr. Lauer by saying "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."

Subsequently, in the midst of all this activity, Mr. Cruise opted to answer questions for a French red carpet interviewer last week en route to the War of the Worlds premiere; during said interview, the man conducting the interview apparently had been using a gag microphone and squirted water into Mr. Cruise's face. Rather than laughing and accepting the joke, he called the guy a jerk and had him (and his associate) arrested for assault.

And today Mr. Cruise's film was finally released. Not to be outdone, Mr. Cruise recently in a German magazine claimed that there are likely aliens out there.

I don't know what the fuck is wrong with him, but it seems that Mr. Cruise is on the same collision course with Total Asshole Status that Mel Gibson achieved over the last year or two during the making /release of The Passion of the Christ. With all due respect to Mr. Gibson, however, it took him awhile to reach this plateau, whereas Mr. Cruise has managed to rebrand himself a complete asshole in less than two months. That's talent!

Both Mr. Cruise and Mr. Gibson are talented actors, and they have made films I have and continue to enjoy. But what they have in common -- in my opinion, anyway -- is that they'd be better keeping their opinions out of the public eye. If Mel Gibson hadn't spouted off like an authority on Catholicism last year, most people would never have learned he and his family are anti-semitic, closed-minded people. We would have never learned both he and his father deny the Holocaust took place, and we would have continued to support and respect someone who is, ostensibly, a piece of shit.

Mr. Cruise isn't hateful, but he's arrogant, judgemental and -- these days -- a bit loopy. I always had a respect for Mr. Cruise; even if I didn't enjoy all of his films, I always respected his work and never really had a problem with him per se. And then the last six weeks, and his personality, came out of the closet. After all this, not only do I not want to see "War of the Worlds" (a movie I wanted to see before he began his PR tour for same), I hope it ends quickly so I don't need to see or hear about Mr. Cruise, Ms. Holmes or Scientology for another decade.

Now that's unlikely, because I hear the movie is actually good, if not downright solid. But from this point forward, my opinion of Mr. Cruise -- much like my opinion of Mr. Gibson -- has changed dramatically (and permanently) since he decided play himself in public.

When are actors going to realize the reason why they are successful is because we, as the public, would prefer them to be/portray someone else and not themselves? I don't want to hear Barbra Streisand's opinion on how to defeat Al Qaeda, I don't care what Alec Baldwin thinks of Proposition 162 in Albany, and I could care less what John Travolta thinks is the source of happiness in the universe. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, I am sure, are good people, but I could care less what their thoughts are on the economy or prisoners at Gitmo.

These people are not famous for their thoughts, they are famous for portraying and reciting the thoughts of others: so stick to the script and keep your mouth shut when there's no pre-printed words on the page.


That's a wrap.


Kaia said...

I said this to someone earlier this week - i give Tom until the end of this year before he goes all 'margot kidder' on us and we find him curled up in the fetal position, naked, in the bushes of some strangers backyard.

This has actually been a PR nightmare for War of the Worlds and Batman - Katie was not asked back to appear in the sequel - while the other cast members have already been signed. And his antics has totally overtaken the PR of War of the Worlds - with PR budget was roughly 50M - I still don't know much about the movie - but i do know what katie and tom are up to....

The studios are pissed.

Oh - and i agree, Gibson is a piece of shit.

Sarah said...

I also agree that Mel Gibon is full of shit. However, I also disagree with the fact that you're hell bent on forcing the actors to keep their mouths shut. What's wrong with Tom Cruise expressing his opinion to the media. You don't have to agree with it because let's face it, I don't agree with his stance on anti-depressants. However, you'll never see me ordering actors to play a mime and stfu. They're people too, just because they're celebrities doesn't mean that their right to express their opinion on certain issues or current events is taken from them. You really need to get over yourself, what's wrong with a celebrity voicing their view on one issue? Nothing, they can still express their opinion given that it's a free country and they, much like you and I, can do whatever they want(at least within legal boundaries). You may not agree with whatever it is they say, but that doesn't give you the right to force them to give up some of the same rights that we 'regular' people have as well.

Sarah said...

Yet when it comes to being judgmental, you don't seem to be any better.

Boogie said...

First of all, I'm not hell-bent on removing actors' rights to express their opinion(s) about anything; the title of this particular post wasn't a command, it was more of a suggestion ;-) If Mel Gibson wants to share with the world his anti-semitic beliefs, that's his right. If Tom Cruise wants to come off as some kind of insane crackpot, that is similarly his right. I'm not advocating some sort of celebrity moratorium, I'm merely amazed at the scope and the speed with which Tom Cruise (and other celebrities) have demonstrated themselves to be freaks, especially when I've actually respected their "onscreen" personas.

As far as me being judgemental, and getting over myself, I'm not denying my proclivity to share my opinion; however, judging by the fact that many people seem to be echoing these same sentiments about Tom Cruise (as well as Mel Gibson), I think you're assuming I really support censoring these idiots. I do not. I am thankful, in a way, for their lack of discretion when it comes to them expressing their bizarre, baffling beliefs.

And there's a difference between me, a member of the public, having Mr. Cruise's beliefs and stupidity shoved down my face on an almost-daily basis and him somehow opting to tell a mother (Brooke Shields) that she is somehow not worthy because she took anti-depressants after she was diagnosed with post-partum depression. It's my job as a consumer and a member of the public to react to Tom Cruise's "Media Image Destruction;" but his interference and passing judgement on a mother's worthiness is repulsive, judgemental and thoroughly and completely out of line.

In either case, if it hasn't been clarified by now, I am thankful these nitwits open their mouths between takes so we know exactly how fucked-up they really are. Thanks to his frequent and varied expression of his thoughts and beliefs, Tom Cruise has managed to convince me not to pay another dollar to watch him onscreen ever again. That, as a consumer and a member of the public, is MY right. Right or wrong.