Gary Oldman, Luis Suarez, and Other Clickbait

So… There is an interview with Gary Oldman in the new issue of Playboy where he makes some controversial statements, huh? I guess this is one time when I will read Playboy just for the articles. That’s kind of sad since I was in the mood to peruse pictures of naked women that are arty and airbrushed.

Man cannot live by Juggs alone.

Part of the crapstorm that Oldman stirred up stems from his seeming dismissal of roles that his fans hold dear. He called some of those films “Just a job.” As much as it pains his fans, of whom I am one, the truth is in many cases actors take jobs for reasons other than pure art. I am not saying that Oldman is like some unnamed actors *cough cough* Nic Cage *cough* who chase money. Maybe he took a part because he wanted to work with the director or one of the co-stars.

There are some actors (Adam Sandler) who use films as a paid vacation in exotic locales. I am sure that not all of the actors in The Hobbit films are Tolkien fans, but having seen what The Lord of the Rings trilogy did for the careers, not to mention bank accounts, of those actors, I’m sure some of them thought, “What’s a few years in New Zealand if it means I get offered better parts down the road?”

The truth is, to a lot of actors, especially those from the UK, acting is a job; nothing more, nothing less. Anyone who has watched Downton Abbey is familiar with the British class structure. The thing is, for every Lord Grantham there are thousands of Tom Bransons, and not all Tom Bransons get to marry a rich girl, and for all that do, there are many Thomas Barrows around to remind him of where he came from.

I say that to say this: the British public likes nothing more that to put people on pedestals and then knock them off, or at least kick them down a peg or two, just to keep them in their place.

As for Oldman’s comments regarding Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin, I cannot agree with him. Maybe in the heat of anger some people will say stuff they don’t really mean; such as when Jonah Hill called a paparazzo a gay slur. However, most of us don’t go around thinking that sort of stuff, much less saying it in everyday conversation. But I know some who do.

Remember: Gary Oldman is not an actual police comissioner; he just played one in the movies. The only power he has over us is what we allow him to have.

As for the latest incident involving Luis Suarez, Charles Barkley said it best when he said, “I am not a role model.” Many would argue that both Suarez and Barkley are role models, but that brings us to the culture of celebrity.

A lot of us see being a celebrity as somthing to aspire to. Not acting, singing, or any kind of performing arts–celebrity. Many want the money and fame and don’t want to put in the thousands of hours of training, practice, etc., that it takes. They think that Jay-Z or Leonardo DiCaprio just showed up one day fully formed. Yes, I believe a lot of us are born with some kind of talent, but we have to work to make it into something more. A lump of clay doesn’t become a statue all by itself.

Parents complain that kids who saw Suarez bite a guy will imitate him. Isn’t it the job of a parent to teach kids right from wrong? A lot of kids who saw Superman on TV or in films tied a towel around their necks and jumped off the roof thinking that they could fly. I never did that because I knew it wouldn’t work–I’m not from Krypton.


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