Well, crap. I wrote up a long response and the hamsters ate it.
astorian is correct about the “deal with the devil” many actors make in order to maintain their celebrity status.
To see how it works, look at the career of Jennifer Lopez. Her movies have been mediocre, her acting talents questionable (lately, anyway; the smoky charm she displayed in Out of Sight has apparently evaporated), and her movie-star status has been tenuous at best. Was Maid in Manhattan profitable because of J-Lo’s star power, or because there weren’t any other romantic fantasies in the marketplace at the time?
J-Lo has been fairly smart about manipulating the media in order to keep up her profile. I mean, look back at the Infamous Green Dress. The day before she wore it, nobody but a few movie and music geeks knew who she was. The day after, Instant Mega Star. She knew exactly what she was doing; she got on the cover of everything within a week.
Just a couple of weeks ago, she got more coverage for demanding a fleet of limousines to take her and her entourage of like thirty people on a trip of five or six blocks. Now, I suppose it’s possible that she’s stupid and self-centered enough to think that’s normal behavior. I find it unlikely, though, given the razor-sharp career management she’s displayed behind the scenes. I think it’s far more probable that she engages in this outrageous diva-style behavior because she’s well aware she can get all sorts of free publicity about it. That’s what being a big star is; we read about them all the time, and occasionally they put out an album or a movie. It’s death to their stardom if we forget about them between release of actual product. J-Lo knows this, and works it.
Of course, once you communicate to the Machine that you’re willing to feed it, it demands more and more, because it has a bottomless appetite. Us, People, Access Hollywood, all the tabloids, and on and on: they need material. The British tabloids in particular are so ravenous for celebrity gossip that they regularly make shit up. Just plain fabricate stories, in order to have something to print. Someone like J-Lo is a dream celebrity, as long as she’s willing to keep producing outlandish behavior for them to report on.
The tradeoff is that she gives up her private life. It’s how she chooses to maintain her celebrity status, and keep people interested in her movies. But based on astorian’s examples, that’s not the only way to do it. Johnny Depp, to name another option, moved to Paris. Nobody really bothers him there. Of course, he isn’t a big megastar like J-Lo or Leo, but that suits him just fine.
So there’s no way to generalize. Everybody does it differently. Some thrive, some self-destruct, some go into seclusion, some remain normal people. That last is rare, because how many of us could maintain an objective point of view when literally millions of people are fawning over us and telling us how smart and funny and beautiful we are? But it does happen.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. The version the hamsters ate was better. :mad: :rolleyes: