Helen here and before I get into my actual post I have to tell everyone that today is the official release day for my fourth book, Finding Mr. Right. It’s more of a romantic suspense than an adventure romance, but it’s a lot like Treasure my RITA winner in tone and pacing. Plus the book received a 4 ½ star Top Pick from Romantic Times, so do me a favor and go out and buy it! Now before it’s gone. You know those series romances, on the shelf today, gone tomorrow. And once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
And to celebrate the release, I’m giving away a copy of Mr. Right today!
Now that I got that out of the way …
As I was walking through the family room the other night, my dh was surfing through the channels and stopped on the movie Boys Don’t Cry, the one where Hilary Swank won best actress for playing a transgender character.
I’d already seen the movie way back when and thought it was amazing from a critical standpoint. But I sure as heck did NOT need to see it again and anyone who’s seen the movie is very likely with me on this. In any case, like a train wreck, I stopped, sat down, and watched for a few moments, and all of it came back in a rush.
Except for the part (spoiler here) where I had previously blocked out Peter Sarsgaard playing the homophobic, violent creep who rapes and murders Hilary Swank’s very likeable, if not sad and confused, character.
See I happen to like Peter Sarsgaard. So the first time I saw the movie, my mind had very likely rejected the notion that he could play such a yucky character.
Don’t ask me why I like him. He often plays not very likeable sometimes entirely forgettable characters. There’s just something about the way he talks, or the tone of his voice, or his heavy lidded eyes that gets me all weak kneed whenever I see him on the screen. So there I am, remembering the character he played in this movie my dh is watching and I’m going “Ewww!” How could he do that part?
So there’s my point. What is it about celebrity that makes us all go “Oooh” and “Aaah?” So why do we give these people both heroic and villainous characteristics, depending upon whether or not we like them as people? Why do we impart the characteristics of the parts actors and actresses play in movies or TV to them as real people? As if we could ever know them as people. They are, after all, just men and women, like us who happen to act for a living. Some of them are very, very good at what they do, but that doesn’t make them any more wonderful or evil as people.
It’s not like actors set out to try and make a difference in their chose profession, like politicians have supposedly done, so why are we so disappointed when they do really stupid things, like think Alec Baldwin screaming over the phone and calling his daughter a pig.
So sorry if I’m bursting bubbles here, but my heavens. Look at Mel Gibson. He’s played some of the most heroic characters I can think of in movies like Braveheart and the Patriot. And yet I was flabbergasted and hugely disappointed when he was pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence and goes on all anti-Semitic.
Robert Downey Jr is another one. I love, love, loved him in Iron Man, not to mention almost every other movie he’s been in, and I really hope he’s gotten things figured out and this new health kick he’s on isn’t just about having this wonderful wife making him clean up his act. But this guy’s personal life is really a screenplay in and of itself, and yet I see him through all these wonderful roles he’s played through the years.
And it’s not that I just give all these heroic personal characteristics to actors that I love. Oh, no. It goes both ways.
Take Tom Cruise for example. I can’t stand the guy and that colors all of his movies for me, despite the fact that he’s a great actor.
Why do we make actors and actresses so much larger than life? Can you think of an actor or actress whose real life persona impacted your enjoyment of a movie? A situation where an actor or actress did something that disappointed you? And most importantly why is Mel smiling in that picture?
For the heck of it , here are a few more reality check pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!