Damien on… Why Being A Movie Star Is A Pain In The Arse
As stated elsewhere in these columns, the most important thing in the World is your life-partner. However, there are other things in this life which appeal. I call them The Five Impostors. They are Experience, Wealth, Power, Achievement and Fame.
Of these, the most worthy is Experience. Despite all of the bullsh*t in the World (some of which is discussed below) this is still a fantastic existence – and you owe it to yourself to see, feel and absorb as much of it as you can, before that existence is cut short.
The other Impostors lag behind. Wealth SOUNDS great, but the only REAL value of money is the FREEDOM it gives you to get the above-mentioned EXPERIENCE – assuming you have the IMAGINATION to use it for same, rather than live the life rich people are EXPECTED to live.
Power is supposed to be an aphrodisiac – but Viagra works better.
Achievement means having your name on buildings, while pigeons crap on the head of your statue. Those entering said buildings or eating their lunch seated on the plinth of your likeness will not give you a second thought. Why should they? They do not know you.
And the LEAST worthy is FAME.
Fame is typified by being a big huge MOVIE STAR. But it is BOGUS.
First, millions of people dream of being one – and thousands have the talent to BE one – while the only reason YOU are one is you just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
So there you are. You are a star. Billboards carry your image, Google has thousands of entries for you, your mug gets shown on TV – and you are RICH. Hallelujah!
But what about the downside? Well, you can forget about living a normal life. The paps will follow you constantly. People will come up and start talking to you – by NAME – as if they know you. And if you brush them off, your name will be mud. You will be expected to be “on” all the time.
And if one of the characters you have played has a popular catch-phrase (movie-makers LOVE those) everyone will CONSTANTLY refer to it – while imagining they are the ONLY people to have thought of it. And you will have to grin acknowledgement EVERY time (telling them they are the 477th person to say that TODAY will only piss them off – and will not make ANY difference to everyone else, who will continue to do likewise).
And while everybody will TRY to talk to you like you are an ordinary person, you will know they can NOT. Because you are a CELEBRITY.
But what about the WORK? Surely THAT is worth all the aggravation?
Well, given the amount of location work involved with most modern movies, you will STILL have to endure the above. GONE are the days when movies were made in studios, where you could virtually LIVE on the lot – cossetted and shielded from the plebs.
And when all is done and wrapped, you still have your contractual obligation to do the PUBLICITY. Not for the movie you have just finished and are exited about. That will be in post- for two, three months. Then previewing. Then awaiting its release slot. No, right NOW you have got to hawk the one BEFORE – or even, if you are in constant demand – the one before THAT.
This will consist of whistle-stop tours of interminable chat-shows and interviews, where every hack will ask you the SAME questions. But you will have to pause, pretend to formulate an answer, then talk as if you have NEVER been asked that question before. This will stretch your acting prowess more than the blasted MOVIE did.
Then comes the schmoozing. You will have to attend COUNTLESS posh dos, in order to keep your profile up – unless you become an A-List star (and that is as likely as your winning the Lottery).
And all of the time, you will have to jockey for the best parts. You would not BELIEVE the roles ALL top stars were unwise enough to turn down. Their nightmares are haunted by them. And if you appear in three turkeys in a row, you will be left trying to make a COMEBACK – possibly for the rest of your life.
So NOW you know why ALL movie-stars want to DIRECT. Sure, there is still the need to produce constant hits – but at least you can go shopping at Safeway…