Archive for the ‘Your Celebrities At Work’ Category

Batman is a Bitch

Monday, February 2nd, 2009


Defamer has audio of Christian Bale giving both barrels to a director of photography who had the gall to walk onto the set during filming of Terminator: Oh God Not Another One. This was far too distracting for precious princess Bale, who proceded to throw a stroppy temper tantrum so ripe with actorly self-importance (and blue language) that Norma Desmond herself would have taken him aside and advised him to show a little decorum. “My mind is not in the scene if you’re doing that,” wailed Bale. “You don’t understand what it’s like working with actors.”

The most remarkable aspect of this diva behaviour is Bale’s accent. Bale keeps whatever accent he’s doing throughout a shoot and even during the press interviews afterwards. “It’s just too weird having a guy playing Batman speaking in a British accent, you know, for interviews”, Bale told one reporter, weirdly. During his crazed tirade, Bale veers wildly from English to American, and it sounds like his real personality, if he has one, is written on a Post-It note that has lost its stick. (Tropic Thunder’s absurd method-acting monstrosity Kirk Lazarus was obviously based on Bale. “Man, I don’t drop character ’till I done the DVD commentary”.) 

I used to be quite a fan of Bale, but after watching his bland Harvey Fierstein-voiced performance in the Batman movies I’ve come to realise that I was blinded by his good looks and pomposity and all that nonsense about losing weight or gaining muscle to transform himself for the role. Despite all that hard work, he still only has two facial expressions (serious and stupid) and two accents in his repertoire. John Gielgud Laurence Olivier famously once told Dustin Hoffman, “Why not try acting, my boy?” This sage advice might be beyond Bale’s capabilities. Christian Bale is a vacant space where an actor is meant to be. This furious rant is how he thinks actors behave. This is what passes for professional behaviour in his mind.

The ‘M’ Stands for ‘Master Race’

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

The twist to the next M Night Shyamalan movie has already been revealed. The movie is an adaptation of the hit cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the twist is… well, see if you can work it out from these pictures. The actors are shown on the left; the characters they are playing are on the right.


Yes, the twist is that everyone in Asia is white! (Also, it was the plants all along! Damn you, the plants!)

I’ve never watched Avatar: The Last Airbender (heh heh heh, ‘airbender’), but I’m sufficiently alert to the realities of the world to see that this casting is, well, offensive. Avatar is set in a fictional world rather than in our world, but the culture and the characters depicted are still recognisably predominantly Asian. 

At best, this casting shows blithe insensitivity on the part of Paramount and Nickelodeon to matters of race. At worst it suggests open contempt for the idea of making a big budget movie with an Asian cast - even though this is a property with an established audience of people who already know and love these characters.

Now it seems a large section of that audience intends to stay away from the movie. A letter-writing campaign has been launched in protest. This can’t be what the film’s makers wanted.


What I find truly perplexing about the all-white casting is that, aside from the blond Frankie Muniz lookalike - washed-up teenybopper Jesse McCartney - none of these people have any box office cachet. If you’re going to cast nobodies, cast Asian nobodies! Some of these actors were cast because they know martial arts, but I’m fairly sure there must be some young unknown Asian actors out there who would also know a bit of kung fu.

It’s not these kids’ fault that they’ve inherited this shitstorm, of course, so I feel a little sorry for them. Except for Jackson Rathbone (first picture), whose response to the controversy around his casting was to tell MTV,  ”I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. … [H]opefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit”.

A tan. He wants to be the Al Jolson of the 21st century.

At this stage I doubt the parts are going to be recast, but even so, I think the letter-writing campaign is a worthwhile initiative that sends an important message. Whitewashing ought not to have a place in modern Hollywood. If you’re part of any minority, you want to see yourself represented in arts, music, movies and TV. When the stories finally get made that ought to include you, and you find that you’ve been cropped out of the picture, that’s worth making one hell of a noise about. That’s the twist that M Night Shyamalan didn’t see coming.

At Last

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Huffington Post gives us the first dance at the wednauguration of Barack and Michelle. What was she thinking, wearing that dress? Too bridal, and yes, her bum does look big in that.

I find this dance interesting. Is this really a tradition? Demonstrations of intimacy in front of thousands, for the public’s approval? I don’t remember the great Bush hoe-down of 2001, and it seems undignified that one of the first duties of a new president is to dance for the people’s entertainment. We should be grateful that no-one started chiming on a wine glass with a knife and chanting ‘kiss, kiss, kiss’.

The soundtrack to the dance was Etta James’ ‘At Last’, as sung by Beyoncé, who recently played Etta James in the movie Cadillac Records. A brazen coup for the movie’s publicity department, there. At the next inauguration I’ll expect to see Coca-Cola glasses on the podium.

Beyoncé sung the song better than I’d thought she might - hey, I might even go rent the DVD - and the choice of song did fit the occasion, despite drawing still further parallels with the first dance at a wedding. It was not just ‘At Last’; it was also ‘Free At Last’. Beyoncé got that message across. It was a wonderful moment, despite all my cynical reservations.

Starring Demi Moore as Harriet Tubman

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Did you see the viral videos where celebrities tried to persuade Americans to vote, using clever reverse psychology? Then there were videos where they would sing songs and strum guitars and get all up in your face about your civic duties. Then there was an election, and Obama won, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s work here was done.

Just when you thought it was over, it turns out the celebrities aren’t done yet! Now they want the people of America to get out there and pledge to help be the change they yadda-dadda-dadda-something world. They’ve made another video about it.

Well, I say ‘they’. Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t in this one. Turns out he’s a political gadabout - he’s all about voting in people to do the hard work for him. When it comes time for him to get out of his trailer and go clean a stretch of highway, where is he? On the red carpet in a tuxedo with Kate Winslet, that’s where. Dustin Hoffman? Kyra Sedgwick? They don’t care anymore. They got their man elected. They’re done here. They’re probably off in South America organising another Communist coup.

But Laura Linney? She still cares. She still turns up for these videos. Well, she’s Laura Linney, what else is she going to do? Eva Longoria, she’s still paying lip service to the idea of doing important stuff, God bless her. While she’s shaking her hair in a L’Oreal commercial, you can be sure she’ll be thinking about the poor people.

I’m being unfair to poor Eva, of course. In this video, she has pledged to plant 500 trees. 500 trees! That’s fairly back-breaking work for a little Hispanic woman in expensive shoes. Other celebrities in the video have pledged to advance stem cell research, help senior citizens to get access to health care, and even cure Alzheimer’s!

And then there’s Demi Moore, who says she’s going to save one million people from slavery. One thing you can say for Demi Moore; she’s never lacked ambition. Demi will free the slaves from bondage and lead them to the promised land.  Meanwhile, her adopted child, Soon-Yi Ashton Kutcher, has pledged to serve mankind. Ashton! No! It’s a cook book!

Keven Zegers is going to buy a hybrid car. Eva Mendes is going to stop buying bottled water. Ioan Gruffudd is going to talk to his neighbours. Hey, Ioan! You’re not American! You don’t have to do any of this shit! Alyssa Milano is going to be the voice of those who have no voice, which I think means she’s taking ventroloquism classes - good to have skills you can fall back on.

Oh, and Dakota Fanning pledges to never stop growing. Years from now, a 60ft Dakota Fanning will rampage across Los Angeles, destroying the freeways and flattening buildings beneath her Hello Kitty slip-ons, until the military is forced to take action and shoot her down with missiles. It will be a dark day for America. I don’t know who you think you’re helping there, Dakota Fanning.

Courteney Cox is going to help end hunger in America - by eating a bagel! And Lucy Liu is going to continue working with Unicef. Continue. Did you get that? Continue. Lucy Liu doesn’t need to pledge to do anything new; Lucy Liu is already a goddamn saint. You’re lucky Lucy Liu even spared the time to be in this stupid film. Lucy Liu has Unicef crap to do!

Happy inauguration day, America! And remember; voteSorry; pledge!