Shia LaBeouf recently revealed that studios are ruining his creativity and he only wants to work on projects that terrify him. It seems difficult to be terrified when you face no immediate corporal threat and have millions of dollars in the bank (from those oppressive studios, no less). I adore the first two Transformers movies, but Shia is very lucky he landed Even Stevens as a child actor, because there are a lot of people who could chew scenery while working with CGI-ed robots. I, for one, have never thought that if he were allowed to fly free the world of cinema would be changed forever.
Brad Pitt constantly talks about how he’s quitting acting in three years and how he wishes he were an architect and could build a bridge of dreams. Terrance Howard made a lifelong enemy in me when he crapped all over the Broadway work schedule. Trust that there were dozens of less famous, talented, actors dying for that job.
And I have to include Dave Chappelle, who received tens of millions of dollars to create a ton of jobs for creative people and make something really good, but instead chose to go to Africa and find himself. Great, I’m so glad he found himself, but I doubt his famous person life was really that hard.
People study acting for their entire lives. It is a craft. Letting Ryan Lochte take a crack at it sort of undermines the whole thing, but no matter. I don’t think these men* need to be working unhappily in something they no longer love. If you don’t want to be an actor anymore, don’t act. But don’t be publically ungrateful for the opportunities and financial freedom that you, out of millions of starving artists, have enjoyed. Trust that if someone hired me tomorrow to be in a mediocre movie and made me a huge success, I wouldn’t be all, “Oh, but I really want to be a poet because I think my words can unite the spirit animals in humanity onto an ark of peace.”
A bad day job would do these stars a world of good. Channing Tatum was a stripper, and look what a publically gracious, hard worker he is. Wait tables or nanny for one day. Spend a few years learning that generally, no one gives a crap about your deep inner thoughts.** That’s what all the people who dream of the artistic freedom these stars enjoy are doing right now.
*Ed. Note: I do not mean to hate on male actors. Zooey Deschanel and Scarlett Johansen’s “music careers” are irritating for the same reasons. But it’s rare that huge female actresses get to express any dissatisfaction with their lives without being branded huge bitches and ungrateful harpies. Usually their complaints sound a death knell on their careers, while male actors enjoy extra clout for being too cool for the scene. See: Heigl, Katherine; Fox, Megan.
** Thank you, readers of petulantpanda.wordpress.com, for giving a crap about mine.