Friday, 9 May 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #92: The Brat Factor...

Like my chief source of showbiz-business news, Nikki Finke, I don't like to talk about celebrities and their foibles anymore, but this piece by Ms. Finke about the sagging fortunes of perpetually crashing Lindsay Lohan perfectly illustrates a point that I want to make.

And it's about responsibility.

For those too lazy to click the link, read the piece, and come back here, I'll summarized it for you.

Lindsay Lohan has been dropped from the movie Manson Girls because her bad reputation has kept the producers from finding other actors willing to work with her on the film.

And we're not just talking about her reported drug use, boozing, and being photographed in other people's fur coats, although that's a part of it. The bad reputation is from the effects of her nocturnal activities. Reports have her arriving extremely late, if at all, being hostile and unpleasant to cast and crew, and becoming an over-all toxic presence on set.

This leads me to the point of this little posting.

I call it The Star's Responsibility.

Stars have a lot of power in Hollywood, much more power than their actual box-office appeal, but that's another story. With that great power, to quote Spider-Man's Uncle Ben, comes great responsibility.

When a person is the star of a movie or TV show, they have an incredible responsibility. Their name and image is often the main reason the project got financing in the first place. Also most productions are tightly scheduled and thinly budgeted so they can't afford the luxuries of wasting time and effort.

So when a star is constantly late, or absent, ill tempered, abusive, and engages in behaviour that endangers their ability to play the part they are hired for, they are doing more than just harm to themselves, they also threaten the jobs and livelihoods of the rest of the cast and crew. The majority of these people can't afford to spend some "down time" in some resort-rehab centre, they have mortgages to pay, health insurance to keep up, and families to feed.

I guess the lesson here is that when you are a "star" and all these people are counting on you for their pay-cheques, you don't necessarily have to be a saint, but you do have to act like a professional. Because everything has a limit, and when hit that wall, and no one wants to work with you, the next line you learn will probably be: "Do you want fries with that?"

Thus endeth the lesson.

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