On the whole, I think actors get far too much credit for what they do. (Models too.) They're worshipped for essentially pretending to be something they're not. And for being genetically preferable to the rest of us billy goats.
But c'mon. The masses follow celebrities like pathetic drones, behaving as if these actors -- who are made of flesh and blood just like everybody else -- have descended from heaven and are here to teach us the meaning of life. Please. They're fucking actors! They act. They're not seeking a cure for cancer. They're not doling out food to the lowest caste members in Calcutta. No, what they do is they get up on a stage or movie set, put on some fancy duds that most of us could never afford, and for a few weeks, they roleplay a character that someone else created. That a writer created. Okay, so if they're John Travolta and Nick Cage in Face-Off, they're playing two characters. Then they go home to enjoy the assload of money they've made doing something that virtually every child does for the first six years of his or her life: Play Pretend. They stroll through their mansions, drive their Lambos, party at the coolest clubs (I would have inserted a specific reference to a cool club here, but I'm so uncool, I can't even think of one and was afraid to give the name of a club that was out six months ago), and vacation in Cannes. They live large. Then they go to their self-masturbatory awards ceremonies -- the Golden Globes, Emmys, and Oscars -- where they all stroke each other until a winner is declared in each tedious category.
Not a bad life. Which is why every time I hear some celebrity bitch about their "lack of privacy" because one looney fan too many asked them for an autograph at Caesar's Palace, I want to say: Take your wads of cash and move to Idaho if you don't like it. You left your privacy at the door a long time ago, you friggin' whiner! Quid pro quo, Clarice. Quid pro quo. It's the cost of doing business, so quit yer bitchin' or retire already.
I can't decide who is more pathetic, actors who complain about a lack of privacy, or the soulless, need-a-life losers who think a lousy, handscrawled autograph is the Holy Grail. For the life of me, I could never understand the appeal of autographs and why people act like utter fools to get them. It's a signature on a piece of paper! WHO CARES? Paparazzi, of course, are vermin. But they're just making a buck, doing the capitalist dance.
The closest most of us will ever come to this life is watching a fictional depiction of it on Entourage, reading about it in rags like People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, or by suffering through bottom-of-the-barrel t.v. dreck like Entertainment Tonight where obnoxious wannabes tell us all the celebrity gossip in EXTRA LOUD VOICES THAT MAKE EVERY SINGLE VAPID WORD SOUND INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!
Now don't get me wrong, I love movies. Looove them. And good t.v. shows too, like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Lost, 24, blah, blah, and blah. And I honestly appreciate good acting. It's the cult of celebrity that I hate. Perhaps my hostility to the industry has more to do with the proletariat's reaction to actors than it does to the actors themselves. That and extreme jealousy.
Now.... with that rant out of the way, I'm about to contradict myself. Of course, there is an exception to every rule (cough). Notwithstanding my views expressed supra, once in awhile, I say, once in awhile, some actress comes out of nowhere to stir me up. Suddenly, I'm a freak without warning. She appears on my screen -- movie or television -- and I'm all Who the heck is that??? I'm totally mesmerized. Not by the acting, mind you, but rather, by the flawless skin, sultry lips, piercing eyes, and shooty bo-booty I'm seeing on my screen. Sometimes, sometimes, I gets a little smitten.
And so it was with Ms. Sarah Shahi on the Sopranos last Sunday night. She, the stripper who Tony goes to visit in Vegas after he assisted Christopher with his departure to the next world. When Tony walked into her apartment and she was walking around in those cut-off shorts and bare feet and hoppin' on that sofa and looking at him with a nice camera closeup, I'll admit it, I got a little gaga. A little sillyface. Then the bed scene. Then the high-on-peyote scene, where they're walking through the casino ten sheets to the wind. Goodness me she looked druggeriffic. It's funny because at those moments, my sentiments always take the form of vocalized incredulity: "Are you kidding me? Holy-ssh-- C'mon. Unnn-believable." Followed by repeated shakes of the head, like someone just cut me off in traffic. It's Wednesday, and I've watched the episode four times. Can't get enough.
That's body chemicals talkin' boys and girls. "Hormones" to you and me. Make a man forget who he is. What he wants. What he believes in. Make him do funny things. Like blog about an actress he's never met and never WILL meet. Like sprinkle his blog entry with pictures of the same said actress, in a positively adolescent display of misplaced affection.
Like order Showtime so he can watch old re-runs of Sleeper Cell, where a certain someone has a role. And oh yes, so he can also tune in to The L Word, a show about lesbians, so he can watch Ms. Shahi play a Latina uhhhh, lesbian. A man can't be proud at moments like this. When he stares into the abyss of his heart, confronts the lustful, mewling monster inside, and inexorably succumbs to its svengali-like power. A man has to be honest with himself. Admit his weaknesses.
I swear this to you though, dear Reader. If my humble path should ever cross that of the compelling, so-hot-it-makes-me-want-to-cry Ms. Shahi, I will never, EVER ask for her fucking autograph.
(Bow. Bow. Sashay. Exit stage right.)