Familiarity Breeds…What???

You’ve heard the old saying, familiarity breeds contempt?  It seems to prove especially true when it comes to any quasi-famous person who spends a little too long in the limelight.  For some it takes only a 30-second film clip (think Joe the Plumber) before people have had enough.  Others, athletes and movie stars for example, take…oh, say about the second time they open their mouths in public.

I think the stars of my parents’ generation had the right idea.  Let the film persona speak for them and keep their real selves…well, to themselves.  Did anyone need to know that Rock Hudson was gay?  Should they care?  And Gregory Peck.  Wasn’t he the most stalwart, quietly intellectually heroic leading man of the time?  And that was all accomplished without him feeling the need to go on weekly talk shows and, well…talk.

Wasn’t it okay to believe Jimmy Stewart was every bit as earnest and good hearted as he appeared in films?  Do we need to hear any different?  (For the record, from everything I know, he was.)  I happen to believe Errol Flynn and Clark Gable were hot precisely because they weren’t followed by papparazzi and featured on Entertainment Tonight ad nauseum.  Because it turns outs that the famous don’t always wear well once we know more about their personal iives and opinions.

Some of the actors who have lost their luster for me–due to overexposure–are Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Charleton Heston, Tom Selleck, Melanie Griffin, Charlie Sheen and Meg Ryan.  Sigh.  Sometimes I want to cover my ears and sing “La-la-la” very loudly when the news comes on so I won’t ruin future movie goling experiences.  But some train wrecks are impossible to evade indefinitely (think Mel Gibson).  I don’t need to be deprived of my Johnny Depp fantasy life with details of his hillbilly roots rate and failed marriage.  Likewise, I happen to like Demi Moore, and really don’t want to be bombarded with constant scuttle of her addictions, failed marriages and life-threatening (or not) escapades.

Less really is more.

I’m not trying to romanticize the old Hollywood.  I know that stars of yesteryear were almost slaves of the movie studios and had personal lives that were just as tragic and dramatic as those today.  But their mystique was preserved due to the fact that the public wasn’t bombarded with those facts.  When I go to movies, I want to be entertained, not recall the leading actor’s deranged couch jumping, Neanderthal outbursts, infidelity or sexual preferences.  I want the fantasy.  For eight bucks a ticket, I think I’m entitled to at least that.

By the way, saw Wanderlust this weekend.  Would have preferred NOT to have been thinking the whole time, “Ewwww.  *That’s* Jennifer Anniston’s new boyfriend????”  Maybe it was the facial hair 😦

Do you have a favorite ‘oldie’ movie star?  Who’s the celebrity that you’ve heard *way* too much about lately?  Is there anyone whose movies you no longer want to watch or whose music you turn off because they’re overexposed?

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32 Responses to Familiarity Breeds…What???

  1. Doris Day. And Judy Garland. They were two of my favorites and still are. I grew up watching old movies with my grandmother when I’d go stay at her house for the summer and my favorites were always the ones with Doris or Judy.

    Does Elvis count? smiles… His were flaky movies but there was something about him. My favorite of his was G.I. Blues.

    A current celeb that I’m tired of? All of them. Smiles…

  2. Tanya says:

    My favorite oldie movie stars are Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart (loved him in Rear Window), and Vincent Price.

    • kylie brant says:

      Vivien Leigh! She was gorgeous wasn’t she? I’ve never quite forgiven her for playing Scarlett O’Hara, who I’ve always despised, LOL. Loved the scary Vincent Price movies. And to this day I still have a soft spot for Jimmy Stewart.

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    I am so with you, Kylie. I simply want to enjoy the fantasy of the movie as I’m watching it. I want them to be movie stars, not open books. It’s all about the mystique.
    Charlie Sheen is a case in point. He was so funny on Two and a Half Men. His shenanigans ruined that show for me long before he finally got himself booted off the cast.

    • kylie brant says:

      Yes on Sheen 😦 Even knowing that he probably wasn’t really *acting* in that role, it was funny until he started being himself…with a vengeance. I can feel sorry for someone without wanting to watch their meltdowns in public.

  4. Ivy says:

    Cary Grant…*sigh* Gene Tierney, Barbara Stanwyck, so many good ones.

    I try to avoid the news about them. Usually, I wind up not really caring for who they really are. There are very few “stars” who act that way, unfortunately.

    • kylie brant says:

      I just read that Cary Grant was quite a womanizer. But I’m sure it wasn’t public knowledge back then, and boy it’d be nice to keep those foibles away from the public eye!

  5. Carole Fiore says:

    My favorite actor would be Paul Newman, and Robert Duvall…sorry have 2 but they are such strong actors and love their movies. I was a waitress in my hometown and Paul Newman came in a few times and I was tongue-tied and had to go back into the kitchen to calm myself, then I went back to his table and he took my hand and said, I’m just a regular guy not a movie star, I got all red in the face, the guy he was with knew me all my life and from then on everything was cool. I don’t believe everything I hear or read, Charlie sheen and mel Gibson I never cared for and they both get too much TV. time…I like Demi Moore and hope she gets her life back in order, when I go to the movies i like to laugh or just a plain good story. Just went to see Tyler Perry’s movie Good Deeds and came out feeling like we need to do more good deeds in our lives…(I send care packages to our soldiers all over the world)

    • Omigod, Carole. Close encounters with Paul Newman. How dreamy. And what he said to you–just the kind of thing I knew he’d say. Be still my heart. I fell in love with him when I was about 12 and never fell out. Talented, always put on a fine show AND a good and generous man who just got better.

    • kylie brant says:

      Carole, I grew up loving Paul Newman because my mom and Grandma did. And I admired him because he and his wife stayed married without the serial Hollywood marriages so common today.

  6. Oh, Robert Redford. Sigh. Paul Newman. Sigh. And yes, I’m pretty tired of the current crop also. I try to tell myself that the personal life of a star has nothing–NOTHING–to do with my evaluation of the performance in a film. Unfortunately that doesn’t work 100% of the time…some of the egregious antics really do spoil my enjoyment.

  7. Pre-paparazzi/tabloid era – we only knew the artificial movie star. Any stories in magazines were carefully made up by publicists, pictures were posed, the stars had private lives. We loved them! Now it’s overkill. Thank Goodness Britney mayhem has cooled, but I was so sick of her Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton! I wish the Kardashians would go away, and also any reality housewife or
    teenaged unwed mother. I don’t watch any of their shows, but they are everywhere and just need
    to crawl back under their rocks.

  8. Robert Redford is a favorite of mine who has done good work on many fronts but still guarded his privacy. When he does an interview he has something interesting to say. I met Judith Guest when she spoke to my local RWA chapter a few years ago, and she talked about working with Redford on turning ORDINARY PEOPLE into a movie–her first book, his directorial debut. He saw that the story needed another scene to fully realize the mother-son relationship, and he had the good sense to ask Judith to write it. She said he explained what he thought was was missing without trying to tell her how how to resolve it. He respected the writer. He put his finger on a missing link and then stepped aside, knowing that she would craft the solution. And she did.

    Redford did some of his best acting alongside my other fave, Paul Newman. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting.” They played off each other beautifully. Two actors who used their fame and fortune in behalf of the greater good while they handled their dirty laundry–isn’t making dirty laundry part of being human?–in their own laundry rooms.

  9. Two of my favorite current stars–Johnny Depp and Viggo Mortensen–somehow manage to keep a low tabloid profile these days. Getting out of Hollywood seems to be one big key.

  10. michelehauf says:

    Oh goodness, if I’m channel surfing and see a flash of Doris Day, I stop. Love her, and her perky cuteness.
    A lot are overexposed, and I’m worried for Michelle Williams, who is an amazing actress, but seems to be overexposed lately. I realize around Oscar season it’s a must that they must be seen and heard everywhere. I guess it’s all part of the business.

    • kylie brant says:

      Michele, it’s telling that I have no idea who Michelle Williams is 🙂 I recognize the name…but no clue what she’s been in. Sometimes I flip through the movie mags waiting for my nail appointment and am struck by the fact that I don’t know 90% of the ‘stars’ they’re writing about!

  11. TrishJ says:

    Loved Paul Newman and his wife Joanne. And Tom Hanks and his wife. They just seem to be happy and out of the limelight (plus i love watching them in movies) I wont go see any movies that Jane Fonda or Sean Penn. are associated with.

  12. catslady says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to keep it separated any more. I no longer watch Gibson, Cruise, Heston, or Sellick. It makes me appreciate the Hanks and the Redfords. When actors start believing all the press and acting too big for their britches, then I think they deserve to be taken off that pedestal.

  13. kylie brant says:

    Catslady, I think stars have to grapple with the reality that the more they spout off in public the more people they will alienate from their works. To some extent, the same could be said for authors 🙂

    • catslady says:

      I am all for everyone being entitled to their opinions but when they are so deranged or derogatory I think they should keep it to themselves if they depend on the public. I just recently was so disappointed and shocked at what an author had to say politically that I know I now cannot buy her books. Isn’t that a shame.

  14. Tina says:

    Cant stand Brangelina! And I’m afraid to hear more about Jonny Depp who is one of my favorites.
    I love Jean Connery though I do not know anything about his private life!
    Also Sandra Bullock is great and I admire how discreet she dealt with her divorce! She could have run from one show to the other and would have had every right to dish the dirt out about her ex but I haven’t seen her doing it (at least not in German TV).

  15. christieridgway says:

    I grew up on old movies. My mom was a big fan. I think they did have tragic and dramatic lives, lots of them, as you said. But yeah, thank goodness we didn’t have to see it all the time. However, I’m doing some research for a book and the silent film era had lots of scandals that were written up in salacious detail in the papers. I think when the big studios came into power they controlled a lot of what came out in the press.

    Okay, did anyone notice how stick-like Angelina Jolie’s arms looked last night? Eek.

  16. Kylie Brant says:

    Christie, you’re right the studios controlled the PR with an iron fist. And yes I absolutely noticed AJ’s arms!!!! Gad what does that woman weigh???

  17. laurieg72 says:

    Grace Kelly ,Gregory Peck, Sean Connery

    Dislike Angelina. I don’t find her attractive at all. Brad Pitt , I fail to see his appeal.

    I don’t watch Jim Carey or Adam Sandler.

  18. Leanne says:

    Alas, someone ruined Sean Connery for me with some info on his private life. I used to LOVE him!
    Maybe some of these people we love watching in the movies aren’t so great personally. In that case, the truth is likely to come out at some point.:(

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