Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Topic Of The Day: Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too In Tinseltown?


A year ago, I fell deeply in love with a sweet musical dramedy called Begin Again. I love the chemistry between Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley as well as the songs made for the film. It's a near perfect neat little movie.

But it's a shame that the film's director, John Carney, had to almost ruin how I feel about it. When Carney was reflecting on Begin Again when promoting his latest film Sing Street, he had some unfortunate things to say about Keira Knightley, comparing her to a supermodel, saying how she lacks a "certain level of honesty and self-analysis" that actors have and he doesn't think she's ready for yet. I guess Carney has forgotten that Keira Knightley is a TWO-time Oscar nominee (and deservingly so).

Interestingly, Kate Beckinsale has confessed a similar story about the making of Pearl Harbor and how director Michael Bay would constantly point out, you guessed it, her looks. Apparently, Bay was baffled that Beckinsale's breasts weren't bigger than her head yet still said he casted her because she wasn't so attractive, she'd alienate female audiences.

The reason I wanted to discuss both stories is because both make it seem like women in Hollywood can't have it both ways. They can't be beautiful and an amazing actress or, according to Michael Eisner, be hilariously funny. Sometimes whenever actresses are being taken seriously, it is when they are downplaying their good looks. Despite this mentality of women not being able to have it both ways, it's been disproven before.

Look at Charlize Theron. She's one of the most beautiful women on the planet and she's also an Oscar-winning actress. You also have an actress who is picking up where she left off early on in her career, Scarlett Johansson. She's reinvented herself as an action hero and she hasn't had to sacrifice her beauty while doing so. Marion Cotillard has been on the cover of different magazines yet all ever people talk about is how she is a hell of an actress.

However, what these three actresses have in common is that they've managed to avoid roles that focus on their looks. Johansson has been hit with those kind for a while but she's avoided them recently. I think that one way for Hollywood to avoid this type of mentality from running rampant is for them to write less roles where the focus is on the woman's looks or less sexpot and hot girlfriend roles. Now, that wouldn't fix the problem tomorrow. But it would be a step in the right direction. That way, women don't have to keep their sacrificing their good looks to be taken seriously.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with me that this mentality of women not having it both ways is egregious? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!