Acting is a strange career, especially, maybe for a man. According to Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, thought it was ridiculous profession for a man….” putting on silly clothes and speaking silly speeches”. I for one do not agree with him. He was one of the finest actors of his generation and brought pleasure and inspiration to millions.
The entertainment industry, theatre, film and television is a vital part of our civilisation, has been for thousands of years, BC and AD and is here to stay. Actors and actresses are integral part of it. Only the very greatest of animated films….Bambi, Fantasia etc, can move and inspire like a production with live actors and real animals. A friend once suggested that actors will be replaced by robots….not so…how boring would that be.
I have worked with many actors…lucky enough to have shared the screen with few of the best, Peter O’Toole, Patrick McGoohan, Anthony Hopkins, Eric Porter, Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Leonard Nimoy, Buddy Ebsen, Timothy Dalton, Paul Winfield, Leonard Rossiter and so many more. As professionals, they were second to none and a joy to be with and work with. I knew little about their private lives, and was not too interested. Work is work and nothing else really matters once the camera turns or the curtain goes up.
I read a story about Meryl Streep, an actress I admire greatly, never met her. It seems an actress with whom she had just finished working said – ” How wonderful it was working with you, we must have lunch”. Meryl Streep replied –
” Why, we don’t really know each other, we’re not friends”. It may seem a rather cool answer, but nonetheless rings true. It might be nice, but we can’t become best friends with everyone we work with.
Meryl Streep by Montclair Film
We actors, live a strange life, engaging in close intimate relationships within the work we do, with people who may be complete strangers, at least to start with. But when that work stops, so usually, does the intense relationship, we may have created in the process of telling the story. It’s called acting.
As actors we need publicity and to maintain visibility. We are quickly forgotten and only as good and memorable as our last job. The trick is to keep it interesting and fun, without resorting to or falling into the less attractive excesses of stupid public behaviour….fodder to the tabloid press.
So I was saddened by the unedifying ongoing press story of Johnny Depp and his former wife verbally slugging it out in public. He is a fine actor, I thought his performance in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS was deeply moving and we all enjoyed the silliness of Captain Jack Sparrow. Here was an actor who has brought immense pleasure to millions and having his personal life spread all over the media in such great detail is a shame. However he must have known that by bringing a lawsuit against a major British tabloid newspaper would have generated the immense exposure to his private life. Is that really what he wanted, maybe? I am sorry, he doesn’t need the publicity, his name is big enough. I think it might have been wiser to keep quiet and let the whole affair die quietly away. Why “shoot yourself in the foot”, when you have so much of the public on your side.
Just musing….till next time ….