Over the past week, I have been growing more and more worried about Anne Hathaway.
A whole other bunch of people too, but Anne’s as good a poster-child for my concern as any.
I approve of Anne Hathaway. Not her biggest, craziest fan, never gonna take a bullet for her, but she seems pretty okay. It occurs to me that I’ve seen about two of her films, and yet I still know her name, what she looks like, and that I approve of her. But I’m not here to trip out over how I can read all about this complete stranger’s messy break-up with an italian real-estate developer on Wikipedia – I’m over that now. What I’m here to trip out over is that I approve of her. I mean, when you think about it… isn’t that kind of messed up?
Why is Anne Hathaway – the person – up for my evaluation in the first place? I know, I know, ‘Star culture’, actors are part of marketing now, this is just how things work. But as much as it’s been staring me in the face all these years, I’ve never really thought that much about it, and now that I’ve thought a little more about it, I refuse to take it lying down!
You are, as has been established, nigh-on constantly playing a character, who is also called Anne Hathaway. Other Anne’s personality is dictated by a team of highly trained advertising ninjas. Your job – when you’re not, you know, acting – is to make sure nobody ever notices the real you. Feeling tired this morning? Suck it up, Other Anne’s never tired. She’s just so constantly perfect and poised and smiley and, by definition, better than you. Other Anne is super-human, and the whole world wants to be her best friend. So just pop along and pretend you’re some ageless, perfect alien. Don’t screw up.
I recognise that I’m ramping the hyperbole up to eleven over here, but at the same time, the other week someone spotted Cillian Murphy shopping for skin care products in Winnipeg and you can read the conversations between people on Twitter, gleefully commenting on how his hair doesn’t look as good as normal. Our ace internet reporter goes on to say that while he seemed a bit grumpy he was still nice enough to chat with her. As well he should, because if he’d just smiled thinly and then walked off while desperately avoiding eye contact like the rest of us would, there would be hell to pay.
Again, I know it’s nothing new, but… seriously, when did we start letting ‘ticket sales for the next blockbuster’ consume the lives of actual, living people? Anne Hathaway can’t stub her toe on a table-leg and then swear the pain away like a normal person without a tape recorder hidden in the lining of her cat’s stomach by TMZ picking it up and plastering it all over the internet; and the worst part of it all is that we’re the ones doing it to her. If we weren’t all so bloody besotted with Anne Hathaway TM, she could live like a regular person! Our love for her is what made that horrifying person take a low-angle photo of her getting out of a car – we didn’t ask for it, but it wouldn’t have happened without us. How is that a healthy relationship?
There’s no stopping it, of course. This engine of stardom could literally buy us and everything we care about. But on the other hand, it’s ludicrously easy to imagine a world in which all this didn’t exist. A world in which we all respected our favourite actors for their dramatic abilities, went to see every film they were in, and that was it. Don’t ask any questions about their private lives, because hey man, that’s private. And if you bump into Cillian Murphy at a body shop in Winnipeg, and he just scowls, confused, at your greeting and turns away, maybe we could all just shrug and say ‘Yeah, we’ve all been there.’
In short, imagine a world where we treated our heroes like people.
… that said, I’m pretty sure I would chase down and (violently) hug Neil Patrick Harris if I saw him walking down the street. Don’t want to be all ‘holier than thou’ here. We’re all messed up is my point.
Isaac Mitchell-Frey (9985182)