Friday, January 17, 2014

Celebrity Interviews: My Thoughts

I have a lot of things on my mind, but I don't want to talk about those things just yet.  Instead I want to focus on something serious, for a change: the interview with Mark Ruffalo in Men's Journal last June.  That's right -- I said last June.  As in, "June 2013."  But really, what do you read in an unkempt mechanic shop other than out-of-date magazines that are directed at an audience of the male persuasion?

I like Mark Ruffalo alright.  It was his picture on the cover, in fact, that interested me in that particular issue in the first place.  He seems like a pretty chill, fun-loving, and optimistic guy.  He also loves his wife and kids, and that's always a big plus in my book.  But here's the thing:  More often than not, journalists paint these pictures of famous actors and actresses as if they're totally normal and "just like us."  They also seem to say, "So-and-so gets it.  He gets life.  No, he gets Life."

Following, are some of the things that Men's Journal Josh Eels supposedly thinks are marks of Ruffalo's normalcy and down-to-earthedness:
  1. He owns 47 acres of land in the idyllic New York countryside.
  2. For a long time, he and his wife -- in addition to the homestead in New York -- owned a house in the Hollywood Hills, where houses cost an average of 1.3 million dollars.
  3. He sends his kids to private schools in Manhattan.
  4. He says that in Hollywood, people tell the truth and things make sense.  But wait -- you don't have to take my word for it:
    He wanted to settle down and take a nice steady job with the family business, and his mom wanted him to go back to South Central L.A. and live on peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and follow his dream. For a while he toiled away, braving the asbestos and the silica flakes. But, in the meantime, he was also going on business meetings with his dad, where he'd watch him gladhand with the businessmen responsible for making bids.

    "What I learned was, this whole American bidding-for-jobs thing is a con," Ruffalo says. "Whatever we want to think about American business – work hard, tell the truth, have morality – it's a myth. There's a lot of graft. They're paying off inspectors. Every day, you're asked to compromise your integrity in some way. And I didn't like it."

    Ruffalo stuck it out for a while longer, until finally, fed up with the lying, cheating, and backstabbing that constituted the Middle American painting business, he returned to Hollywood, where, he says, people told the truth, and things made sense.

Uh, what?  Okay, okay -- obviously I don't know the ins-and-outs of the Middle American painting business, and I don't know the ins-and-outs of Hollywood . . .  But really?  Hollywood is a beacon of morality in America?

I think I'm jumping all over the place in this post, but I guess what I'm trying to say is A) I don't think Mark Ruffalo is quite right about Hollywood's truth-telling, 2) When did Hollywood stars become "just like us," and D) Why do journalists so often write with a worshipful tone?  Or a "look-how-far-he's-come" tone?  They may as well call such articles "Ode to [This Famous Person I Met Up With For Lunch]."  I don't expect anyone to disparage actors and actresses in a published article, but can't journalists write about how someone got to where they are now?  Can they ask them difficult questions?  Or in the case of Mark Ruffalo, Eels could've said, "Aw, Middle America can't be that bad.  Are there things you miss at all?"

I do realize that journalists have to condense several hours of conversation onto a few pages, but I guess I just wish they would be a little more honest, a little more thoughtful.

Thing I'm thankful for: prayers


Blogger cardlady said...

Good comments Sara. I agree with you.

12:38 AM  

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