Wednesday, March 03, 2004
No, it is because I have admired the way he runs his career and the risk-taking intelligence of his choice in roles ever since his days on "21 Jump Street." Truth to tell, other than as eye candy I have comparatively little interest in the run of the mill Hollywood leading man. Most are obsessed with personal image and madly afraid of doing anything that will threaten or challenge their fan base. Also, during my years raising my two daughers, I saw just about every Tom Cruise movie ever made--one by one they were brought into the house as videos and I formed a clear picture of just how empty and unskilled an actor he is. (Also, has anyone noticed how dull and lifeless sex is in a Tom Cruise movie? No heat, no excitement. I think it's because he never wanted ratings to jeopardize his massive pre-teen girl audience. But if sex were THAT inert, why bother?)
The guys whose movies I look for are Ed Harris, W.H. Macy, Johnny Depp, Campbell Scott and, quite surprisingly for me, Ethan Hawke. Because of some of the movies my girls rented, I knew him only as a fairly vanilla actor but Fritz and I caught a performance of Tennessee Williams's "Camino Real" at the Williamstown Theater Festival several years ago and were knocked sideways by his work in a long, demanding and difficult role. I realized that what I had seen were the movies that he did to establish a career platform and make enough money to support the less lucrative work he really wanted to do, both on screen and on stage.
I am not a consumer of the current standard in Hollywood movies--I am much happier with independent and foreign films. I think that "Pollock" is a great movie and worth 100 of the type of thing that has people playing humanized cartoon characters in situations where every fender bender turns into a thermonuclear explosion.