Monday, October 23, 2006

Angelina: No Longer an Actress


Angelina Jolie announced that she, too, is going to take part in this ridiculous epidemic that is actresses not taking their clothes off anymore. Now, it's not that I'm resentful or anything, but I've just always had this problem taking any actor, male or female, seriously if they take an anti-nudity stance. I'm sorry, but, if you have a problem taking your clothes off, you're not an actor to me. Because a real actor is thinking about the character. A celebrity is thinking about what her kids are going to say about it. And a celebrity is not really an actor; an actor thinks about the art...a celebrity thinks about their career. And I especially don't respect Angelina Jolie for saying that she's going to stop taking her clothes off because she doesn't want her kids to be embarrassed. Way to hide behind your kids and what society thinks. Didn't that used to be the opposite of what Angie was all about?

At least Angelina is, like, a real actress. She's given some of the greatest performances any actor has given in the last decade; she should have won an Oscar for Gia. I know it was an HBO movie and wasn't eligible, but fuck it, that was the best female performance of 1998. But when Jessica Alba says she's not going to take her clothes off, that's especially ridiculous. Why does she think she's famous? Because everyone is waiting with bated breath to see her dramatic reading of Goethe? Or because she's getting in a bikini and sticking her ass in the camera all the time? And when I hear Scarlett Johansson, who is so greatly blessed with talent, say something that stupid, I just think about how she's already stopped being conscious of her art and is only concerned with her career.

Seriously, whose career does nudity hurt? Jane Fonda didn't shy away from nudity in the sixties and seventies, and she won two Oscars. Emma Thompson, also a multiple Oscar winner, is no stranger to nudity. Ditto Oscar winner Susan Sarandon. Jennifer Connelly, who won a Supporting Actress Oscar for a lead role in 2001, has graced the screen with her natural beauty. Kate Winslet, who deserves to have won an Oscar, has never let nudity hinder her being one of the best actresses alive (and thank you so much for that, my darling Winslet). And check this action out: Jodie Foster, Holly Hunter, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, and Charlize Theron won Oscars for movies that they were actually naked in. Helen Hunt at least wore that wet tee shirt in As Good as It Gets and Julia Roberts didn't win an Oscar until she pushed her boobs up to her chin in Erin Brockovich, which goes to show that sometimes good cleavage can supercede a lack of talent. Nicole Kidman got to Hollywood by flashing her pretty pink Christmas ornament of a heart-shaped ass in Dead Calm; now she, too, is an Oscar winner. And though no one seems to remember it, a plumper, more attractive Reese Witherspoon got her kit off in Twilight in 1998.

What I'm getting at is this: nudity doesn't hurt anyone's career. It's all about the talent. Kate Winslet could have descended into bad B movies, but she was too talented and too determined to be a great actress, so it never happened. And if you're thinking about what other people will think, you're not in the moment, and you're not acting. And don't pull that "it's gratuitous" saw on me, because that's a non-starter. Every single thing that happens in a movie is gratuitous. Nothing in a movie is necessary. Do you think all of the violence we see in movies is necessary? Think carefully about that. Because there were several glorious decades of moviemaking without graphic violence and without nudity that were still able to get the point across.

I'm just sorry that one of our best actors, Angelina Jolie, has decided to cave in to the celebrity life. But it's her choice. Just as it's my choice to not take her seriously as an actor anymore. Posted by Picasa

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

ohhh nooo, I am all for nudity- I want to see a little tits and ass in my flicks- kinda the fun of going to the movies ya know.... Personally I liked Angelina when she was dry humping Billy Bob down the red carpet- this save the world bit she has going on- is sooo boring.....

2 Dollar Productions said...

You fleshed this out better than I did as I had Winslet and Sarandon in mind when I was thinking that nudity is NOT a career killer.

Making shitty movies, however, can be.

Sherry said...

Ditto on the feelings expressed here and on the post. And I just have to say that I am loving that pic of Jolie. She usually works my nerves in most of her photos, but I's likes this one.

Mob said...

Wow, talk about the last bandwagon I'd expect her to jump on...

SamuraiFrog said...

Shroomy: Agreed on all counts. I was fine with saving the world before it became the only thing she was about. Now she gets so damn smug.

2 Dollar: I have liked maybe one movie Angelina did in the 21st century.

Sherry: It's a good one.

Mob: Tell me about it. I thought her whole thing was being unconventional and different. That's kind of why I liked her in the first place.

Anonymous said...

In which movie did Sarandon drop trou? She stripped down to her skivvies in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' and I remember a few scantilly clad scenes from other movies, but how did I miss her full monty? I'm not a perv -- just a movie buff, and was suprised to hear that revelation.

M

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, M, I don't know how you could've missed it. I'll never forget a key moment in my life. At age 14 I saw "White Palace" on video. Susan Sarandon climbs naked on top of a sleeping James Spader...I've been in love with older women ever since. 16 years ago, but that moment is laser-burned to my brain.

I believe Sarandon was naked in her very first movie, "Joe," in 1970. Since then, she was INCREDIBLY naked and beautiful in "Pretty Baby" (1978, a hard but underrated film), as well as "Atlantic City" (1980), "The Hunger" (1983, in a pretty famous lesbian love scene with Catherine Denueve), very blink-and-you'll-miss-it in "Bull Durham" (1988), and in "White Palace" (1990). And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head, I'm sure there are others.

Susan Sarandon is a beautiful woman and an amazing actress.

Anonymous said...

While I generally agree that saying they'll do no nudity is a limit that actors/actressess probably shouldn't impose on themselves, I'm not sure it's fair to assume that when they say that it's for 'career' reasons.

SamuraiFrog said...

I'm not sure what other reasons there are. If it's because they're embarrassed, that is also not acting.

Woodstock said...

One of the best posts I've ever read in my life. I've always thought like you about the whole nudity vs. celebrity thing, but never had found such clear and enlightening text as yours. As a fan of art I agree with you that an actor is not preocupied with his starlet-image, he's just about the good acting and improving his skills.

SamuraiFrog said...

Thank you for saying that.