Bret Easton Ellis

Started by children with angels, June 17, 2003, 08:59:29 AM

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Last week BEE spoke with Tom Sizemore (9/15/14) about the place character actors hold in the current film industry. I wasn't going to post this but then this other thing came out on The Playlist today and it seems more relevant than before.

This subject has been on my mind for a while, a discussion I've had with friends — that the changed film landscape in the US also has to do with a changed acting pool — that with film projects say pre-2000 or mid 90s, all looks and types of people, not traditionally handsome or necessarily beautiful people, had an opportunity to act as leads or in large supporting roles (for a living), and maybe a lot of the leading actors of the previous generation weren't even considered (as) good looking before they became famous - it was their stardom that made them so. Would Keitel or DeNiro get all their roles today? Dustin Hoffman, or Cagney? Or Nicholson, even, given his hairline? Where would Lily Tomlin be? Or Shelley Duvall for that matter?

As Tobey Maguire and Ed Zwick mention in the following interview excerpt, the majority of opportunities for young American actors are primarily in network television, where attractiveness often trumps acting chops. I'm betting a lot of interesting faces who might have considered an acting career twenty years ago don't even attempt to make a go of it now, recognizing that that just isn't what the industry is anymore.

Quote from: Tobey Maguire and Ed Zwick
"Movies now have more to do with an aesthetic, than they do with a performance," Maguire said. "Growing up, it was always my ambition to work with great actors and great directors, and it was Leo[nardo DiCaprio]'s ambition, too, so that's what we were focused on and aiming for. Parts like those start to shape you as an actor, and they shape people's perception of you, too. Leo going into 'This Boy's Life' at 15 years old and working with Robert De Niro, that shapes the rest of his career — and the studios aren't [making] many movies like that anymore."

Ed Zwick, who directed "Pawn Sacrifice" and did the interview with Maguire, sees the rush of franchise projects as particularly damaging as well. "There's a poaching of young people where they're put into CW television shows, and they learn bad habits. They're given too much responsibility too quickly, and without the opportunity to work with these great directors that Tobey and Leo had. Young actors used to be cast as the third lead opposite stars like Spencer Tracy or Henry Fonda, and they had apprenticeships of a kind, learning their craft. That doesn't happen now."

"If Leo and I were young now, I'd still aspire to work with great people, but those jobs don't exist anymore. I would feel like my only opportunities were in YA franchises and superhero movies. You can hold out for something better only for so long until you're like, Okay, I need a job!"

It depresses me. This is half the reason why the American film market has turned to shit.


i think the market dictates price and always has


Blah you know what I'm saying


yeah. it's a big topic that requires outside perspective and i'm being short. my bad


Listen to the interview, probably the most decent I've ever heard Tom Sizemore be


The opening monologue on with Gerard Way is both horrifying and invigorating in the way that Ellis' early books were - words creating a menace and tone so singularly his voice/style. If you were ever a fan of his writing give it a listen.


The podcast is back, first interviewee: Alex Ross Perry

Edit - now behind a paywall ($7.50/mo)


Sizemore is great along with the rest of the cast in The Red Road, the writing is awful and the directing is limp but the interplay between the actors is gold



I know that Orpheus looked back because he's an anxious idiot. But why did that man looked back? Because he was scared he wasn't cool enough? Nice narration, though.


Quote from: wilder on June 04, 2015, 03:20:55 PM
It's free again

He also made a "short film"

Thanks, I love this podcast. The commercial was super meh, but some of the driving shots had a cool film look to them.


holy shit, Quentin Tarantino did the BEE podcast!? Very exciting...


It was pretty good. Bret is his usually insufferably smug self, and I generally disagree with about 70% of his opinions on pretty much everything, but Tarantino is fun and interesting when he's allowed to talk. Bret continues this amateur interviewer habit of talking too much and stacking questions, making this less of an interview and more of a Bret monologue where the guest occasionally chimes in.


no matter how petulant and repetitive bret is in each show, i admire his balls for renouncing to his novelist ethos and opting for this new way of his of engaging with pop culture. it's fun.