Summary of “The Shaming of Geoffrey Owens and the Inability to See Actors as Laborers, Too”

I remembered Geoffrey Owens not from “The Cosby Show,” on which he played Elvin Tibideaux for five seasons, but from my sophomore year at Yale, where he was teaching undergraduate acting.
In other words, Owens is what we think of as a successful working actor: known but not a “Celebrity,” with an IMDb page that rarely skips a year.
Apparently, that’s why a woman shopping at Trader Joe’s last week, in Clifton, New Jersey, was so jarred to see Owens bagging groceries that she snapped his photo and sent it to the Daily Mail, which ran the headline, “From learning lines to serving the long line!” Fox News picked up the story, and on Saturday a Twitter storm erupted-most of it shaming Fox News for shaming Owens for working for a living.
The editor Max Weiss wrote, “RT if you think Geoffrey Owens took a much more honorable path in his life than Bill Cosby.” Even Dana Loesch, the N.R.A. spokeswoman, weighed in: “I hate stories like this. He’s a man working hard, there’s shame in publishing this story but not in this man’s job.”
We don’t tend to think of actors as laborers, despite the robust unions that represent them-Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA. The most visible actors serve as aspirational figures, celebrated for their glamour and luxury.
As plenty of people pointed out on social media, conservative outlets like Fox paint Hollywood actors as coastal élites, out of touch with working Americans, only to turn around and “Expose” one of them for earning a paycheck.
There was, of course, a racial element as well, which the writer Mark Harris described as a subtext that begins “See? Even when you give them every opportunity, they still end up….” One wonders if Owens would have drawn any attention if he’d been spotted working as a coal miner or some other “Salt of the earth” job thought of as honorable and manly, rather than in a “Softer” form of labor that is itself suffering from what The Atlantic called “The Silent Crisis of Retail Employment.”
Geoffrey Owens and Cynthia Nixon both became famous after starring on beloved sitcoms, which means that their work had value for millions of people.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I watched Nicolas Cage movies for 14 hours straight, and I’m sold”

What kind of masochists would attend an all-night Nicolas Cage movie marathon? What kind of sadists would program seven of his films in a row? If one wants to observe the famously extravagant American actor for 14 hours straight, why not do it from the comfort of your own home?
Any casual observer can see that Cage is entertaining, charismatic and wildly flamboyant, but what is it about the 54-year-old performer that deserves seven movies, played back-to-back?
Five years ago, in a Reddit AMA, Ethan Hawke described Cage as “The only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art”, by taking audiences “Away from an obsession with naturalism into a kind of presentation style of acting that I imagine was popular with the old troubadours.”
Covered in blood and dressed in briefs and a shirt, Cage gulps vodka straight from the bottle and pours it over a gaping wound.
Advertised as a 12-hour event, the schedule – which includes short breaks and a dozen or so trailers for Cage’s lesser-known works – has blown out to 14.
Cage is usually interesting even when his films are not.
When I leave the Cage-a-Thon, dimly remembering a time when I watched movies that didn’t star Nicolas Cage, I resolve to never ever attend another movie marathon.
If it’s another one with Nic Cage movies, I’ll think about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Movie Has the Most Peak Performances?”

Some projects are lucky enough to cast a group of actors who peak at the same time and each deliver career-best performances.
Inspired by a tweet regarding The Talented Mr. Ripley’s window, staff members of The Ringer were asked to submit which movie they think captured the most peak performances from a group of actors.
Frances McDormand is in peak shape no matter what the movie-but her performance as the formidable, worrying, god-save-my-child loving Elaine Miller may be my favorite of hers.
Independence Day Michael Baumann: It’s no surprise that one of the five greatest works of 20th-century American cinema would be so stuffed to the gills with great performances.
Harry Connick Jr. was robbed of Best Supporting Actor in a loaded field that included Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire and William H. Macy in Fargo; Bill Pullman delivered the most moving monologue since Hamlet and the best American presidential speech since JFK dared us to go to the moon; even Brent Spiner, whose peak is undoubtedly Star Trek: The Next Generation, may never have delivered a better performance in a film.
Mulholland Drive Miles Surrey: David Lynch’s masterwork has a trifecta of performances that remain the best the actors have ever delivered, all for different reasons.
While basically all of those actors have given more iconic performances throughout their careers, their complicated, empathetic, and hilarious work in this movie qualifies as their best.
Somewhere along the way of Malkovich playing John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and a bunch of other strangers inside his own body-not to mention a trippy scene when every single person in a crowded restaurant is Malkovich saying “Malkovich” over and over-he delivered a signature performance to match the stakes of being in a movie with your own name in the title.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hollywood Wanted An Edgy Child Actor. When He Spiraled, They Couldn’t Help.”

It had been years since Renfro had delivered a performance that caught the public’s attention, and at the time, he was treated as yet another addition to the mournful legacy of former child stars – Dana Plato, River Phoenix, Judy Garland – whose lives collapsed from Hollywood darling to death by overdose.
Renfro became an overnight star because he was a rowdy kid with natural talent who stood apart from more seasoned child actors.
10 years after Renfro’s death, interviews with Renfro’s former colleagues make plain that the mechanisms in place to protect child actors – mechanisms compromised by conflicts of interest and a dependence on parents and guardians – were scarcely capable of protecting kids like Renfro, and largely remain so today.
Renfro’s parents divorced when he was 5; his mother remarried and moved to Michigan, and Renfro’s paternal grandmother, Joanne Renfro, became the primary caregiver for an increasingly wayward child.
None of the adults who worked with Renfro as a child who spoke with BuzzFeed News said they suspected Renfro might be addicted to a drug like heroin.
With no boundaries off the set, Renfro kept getting pushed past perceived limits for child actors on the set, as well.
Instead, throughout the ’90s and Renfro’s early adolescence, Hollywood kept courting the child actor, trading on his name and fandom.
If the parent or guardian is checked out, and their child’s darker facets are what keeps them employed, it’s not in any way surprising that an actor like Renfro would slip through a system so ill-equipped to save him anyway.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Game of Thrones to The Crown: the woman who turns actors into stars”

“You look at those kids, even the ones who weren’t that brilliant, and they were really giving it their all, weren’t they? They had to get up there. I mean, can you imagine?” Over 30-odd years, Gold has become the most powerful casting director in the UK, her taste shaping everything from Game of Thrones to Bridget Jones’s Baby, yet she can still be mystified by what actors do and why they do it.
There was a moment, somewhere in the nexus between Game of Thrones and The Crown, where it felt as if Gold’s name was gliding through the credits of every high-end show on TV. Her 167 credits include many grand British success stories – The King’s Speech, The Theory of Everything, the Paddington movies and every Mike Leigh film since Topsy-Turvy.
Gold is partly responsible for the impression that British actors have colonised Hollywood, sneaking unknown young pretenders, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, into Star Wars, and concealing Gwendoline Christie beneath a silver helmet as a stormtrooper commander.
In the opening credits of one recent film – On Chesil Beach – “NINA GOLD” arrived, alone and vast across the Dorset coastline filling the screen, shortly after the lead actors.
Agents hound her with suggestions for parts, but Gold usually calls in a wide range of actors to “Get her head into it”, to figure out what she wants.
Trawl through Gold’s back catalogue and you see actors hopping from show to show on trajectories that look like the GDP-growth graph of a small developing country that has just discovered oil.
One busy morning in her office, Gold recalled some auditions she had held 15 years ago for parts in an unlikely sounding film about a pair of conjoined twins in a rock band, called Brothers in the Head. She had called in a group of young actors in their early 20s, then unknown: Redmayne, Ben Whishaw, Dominic Cooper, Andrew Garfield.
An email in late March: “I can tell you about Gorbachev.” The splodge, Gold could finally reveal, would adorn the face of David Dencik, a Swedish actor who Gold had previously cast in Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Five Types Of Nicolas Cage Movies”

Cage has made 73 kinds of movies – a few too many categories.
Cage has been in only two direct sequels, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” That’s two movies out of 79 appearances as a lead or supporting actor.
Quick, name the protagonist of “National Treasure.” Prior to watching 73 Cage movies, I couldn’t.
Cage has no such defining franchise and no such defining role; his challenge is to make a role unique – and to build a career outside of being Nicolas Cage.
Now we come to the heart of it: Cage has been in many, many enormously bad movies.
For a master class in this, check out “The Runner,” with Cage as a Louisiana politician who’s having a post-Deepwater Horizon personal collapse, or “Rage,” which is a captivating spin on revenge movies like “Taken.”
Looking at the list of box office stars who have made the most money from movies based on an original screenplay – the people who make a living outside of adapted franchises – Cage comes in ninth, with $1.7 billion derived from 45 original screenplay films.
P.S. As a service to both Mr. Cage and society as a whole, I programmed a Twitter bot to take the plot components of his enormous and still-growing filmography to pitch loglines for as-yet-unmade Cage flicks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Résumé: The Winding, Everlasting Career of William H. Macy”

“You know, as I get older I think we all should just fucking say it. Just say it,” he told me.
No. There’s a line in a Dave Mamet film, “Always tell the truth-it’s the easiest thing to remember. And I’ve got a bad memory.” You know, as I get older I think we all should just fucking say it.
As Felicity says, “Our goal is that everyone is blessed.” I think it gives you an edge up if you’re a person who says what he or she thinks and means it and will stand by it.
Which is sort of the essence of art, I think: If you can cut it and still tell your story, then you have to cut it.
So you’d think at the end of the day, “Well, I got praised for some work I don’t think is that good.” Or, “I did great work and nobody saw it.”
You have to convince people, “Wait, I’m an actor, too. Even though I lost my looks you can still hire me.” It doesn’t happen for some people.
Do you think that’s going to get better-or easier-for women moving forward?
I’ve always found at various times in a project, even if I’m just acting, it’s nice to smoke a fatty and think about the whole thing again.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck”

In March of 2016, Jennifer Garner had recently separated from her husband of ten years, the actor and director Ben Affleck, when she was asked by Vanity Fair to comment on what the magazine referred to as her ex’s “Midlife-crisis tattoo”-a large, multicolored back piece of a phoenix rising from the ashes.
“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart,'” Garner said dryly, then added, “Am I the ashes in this scenario? . . I refuse to be the ashes.” When he was approached about the tattoo that same month, Affleck insisted that it was temporary.
Affleck had been one of Hollywood’s marquee male celebrities for almost two decades.
Since the split, Affleck has been photographed more than once by the paparazzi, looking despondent.
A series of images of Affleck vaping in his car, his eyes shut in seeming resignation, made the rounds; so did another picture, of the actor smoking a cigarette, his face a mask of exhaustion.
Affleck’s was the kind of middle-aged-white-male sadness that the Internet loves to mock-a mocking that depends, simultaneously, on a complete rejection of this sadness, as well as a hedging identification with it.
Affleck was on the beach in Honolulu, shooting the Netflix action movie “Triple Frontier.” As his younger co-stars, the actors Garrett Hedlund and Charlie Hunnam, wrestled in the surf like purebred puppies, Affleck, who is forty-five, was photographed wading into the ocean carrying a small red life preserver, running in the shallow waters, and towelling off on the beach.
Staring at the water before him, his gaze obscure and empty, Affleck is a defeated Roman senator, or, perhaps, the most anti-Romantic version imaginable of Caspar David Friedrich’s 1818 “Wanderer in the Sea of Fog.” The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where the ‘Crisis Actor’ Conspiracy Theory Comes From”

The term ‘crisis actor’ has been in the news a lot lately, because conspiracy theorists have accused survivors of the Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, of being actors-people paid to pretend they witnessed a horrible tragedy that actually never happened and was instead staged by the government in order to garner the political will necessary to ban guns.
The resurgence of this conspiracy theory led me to attempt to track down the origins of the term “Crisis actor.” I spoke to an emergency response trainer who has used “Role players” to simulate crises for 40 years and went down the rabbit hole to find its origins as a completely unfounded conspiracy theory.
Though the term “Crisis actor” wasn’t coined by conspiracy theorists, it was almost instantly co-opted by them.
In his first post about Newtown, Tracy does not specifically suggest that Newtown victims were “Actors,” but a commenter on that post does: “To broadcast gunshots and mayhem over the intercom system would be a very effective and easy way of pulling off a false flag operation where there actually was no shooter, it adds a bit of zing to what is essentially a drill and allows the actors and children to actually relate what they heard and did with a bit more reality.”
The group-and its “Crisis Actors” have become patient zero for the larger crisis acting conspiracy.
Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Sentinel was the first mainstream outlet to cover Tracy’s posts, forever enshrining “Crisis actors” in our mainstream national lexicon; Tracy’s posts ultimately became a national controversy that was discussed by Anderson Cooper on CNN. Before Newtown and Tracy’s blog posts, conspiracy theorists had often said that events like the 9/11 attacks were inside government jobs or false flag operations, but I can find little evidence of anyone suggesting that national tragedies were outright faked.
Anytime there is a shooting, terrorist event, or other mass casualty event, conspiracy theorists suggest that crisis actors are part of a government false flag operation, which more or less brings us to today, where YouTubers, InfoWars, and many on the far right doubting whether or not the Douglas High School shooting actually happened.
What Crisis Actors Actually Do. Like any conspiracy theory, this all started with at least a shred of truth that was stretched way too far.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hear Me Out: Jack Black Rules”

Yes, Jack Black was in Nacho Libre, but Jack Black still absolutely and unequivocally rules.
Over the past few relatively Jack Black-free years I’ve often wished more people would cast him in more things, and now maybe that wish is coming true: 2018 has so far provided us with only a handful of small mercies to be thankful for, and one of them is Jack Black’s low-key return to non-Kung Fu Panda acting roles.
The peak 2000s Jack Black era of comedy ended not exactly because Jack Black comedy was bad but because Jack Black comedy had reached a painful ubiquity.
After the Tenacious D movie and Nacho Libre and, god, Gulliver’s Travels, it definitely felt like Jack Black wasn’t bringing a whole lot to his movies other than Jack Black.
How much of a problem is that, actually? Jack Black characters are funny and nice and there’s nothing wrong with people breaking into song in the middle of movies, okay?
Jack Black, too, is able to take advantage of his unerasable selfness and mix it in with whatever else a particular role requires.
Jack Black is an actor and entertainer in the forgotten and traditional and frankly underrated sense.
While most men in movies serve as bad reminders of men in real life, Jack Black specialises in a rare genre of non-threatening screen presence that strains, at all costs, to cheer up the audience.

The orginal article.