Jodie Foster recently spoke out about Kristen Stewart’s very public break-up with Robert Pattinson on the website The Daily Beast. Her thoughtful piece (you can find the link here) blasted the paparazzi’s intense scrutiny for not only destroying Kristen’s innocence but quite possibly making it virtually impossible for her to ever be vulnerable enough to become fully engaged in a role. Her post went viral and I was moved by how, as a child star herself, Jodie connected with Kristen’s struggle.
My good friend Deb Hiett, who is also a talented actress (you can find her imdb link here) didn’t connect to Jodie’s piece the way I did and had this to say on Facebook, ” I get her point, but she’s a bit melodramatic for me. “Public horrors?” Really? If she really thinks the (admittedly ridiculous) media’s treatment of two canoodling millionaire adults qualifies as a “public horror,” Jodie might want to read some real news for a little perspective.”
I asked Deb whether she agreed with Jodie’s take on how the media can interfere with an actor’s ability to take on a role. “No, I think a lack of acting skill and training makes it harder. Media scrutiny can affect how people perceive you within the framework of a role, but ultimately it’s up to you to surrender yourself to the portrayal of a character, and then release expectation of how it’s received. And when you can practically have your pick of roles (or at least afford to get anything produced that you want), you get to be as serious an actress as you want to be. Look, I think it would suck to be hounded all the time and know that photographers follow your every move. But that’s the way of it for a privileged few, and so their image can suffer consequences when they make reckless personal choices. One’s talent and training (or lack thereof) is still intact. Elizabeth Taylor was a reviled “homewrecker” before she soared in “BUtterfield 8” and “Virginia Woolf.” (God help me, I’ve just put Taylor in the same thread as Kristen Ferking Stewart. My cue to log off and get back to work.) 🙂
I think Deb makes a really good point here hence my desire to share it! Is it the media or skill that makes or breaks an actor? Something to ponder.
Peter Duke says
I don’t think it matters, hence “reality television”. The erudite elite believe that skill in execution and craft have merit, but it turns out that the only ones paying attention to the nuance of skill are ones peers.
Audiences and magazine editors don’t care about skill, they care about attention or “metadrama”, drama about drama. Butterfield 8 was probably a good move for Taylor at that moment in her life as she, pretty much, channeled the “No Sale” moment for the rest of her career. Maybe Kristen Stewart should option Butterfield 8, it could be a good move… if Lindsay Lohan didn’t grab it first!