Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “robert downey jr

Why I won’t be hooting at Meryl Streep

When the Oscar’s come to LA (well, my part of LA, which is the Hollywood part), everything shuts down. I mean, seriously. The street is closed. Events are cancelled. This is our Super Bowl.

I thought that I could fulfill my lifelong dream of hooting at Meryl Streep.

All right, so it’s not really a lifelong dream to hoot at Meryl Streep, it’s more of a last four days dream.

Anyway, I looked up tickets for the red carpet. They’re free. Which is nice. But, then there was this.

  • Write a short essay explaining why you deserve to be chosen.
  • Upload three photos: full length photo, real passport photo and a recent photo with friends.
  • Complete a “Background Check” conducted by the Academy’s Security Team.  A passport-type photo will be required.

I can understand the background check, but an essay? A full-length photo? A recent photo with friends? I don’t even think I have this stuff on my Facebook page. In response, here’s my essay on why I DON’T deserve to be chosen for the Academy Award Red Carpet Grandstand:

I don’t care about the Oscars. I really don’t. I just wanted the opportunity to yell at celebrities in their natural habitat; award shows. I wanted the chance to see Robert Downey, Jr.  I’m not even sure he’s invited to this year’s Academy Awards. I wanted the opportunity to see how tall George Clooney is (he’s short, isn’t he? I bet he’s short). I wanted to Instagram a bunch of famous people and also the back of some guy’s head. I wanted to check-in on Foursquare at the Kodak Theatre (I live pretty close; I can probably do that anyway).

The only Oscar nominated movie I saw this year was Silver Linings Playbook, so if they don’t win any awards, I’m at a loss. There was something in French, right? I don’t even know. It was probably boring.

I have no appreciation for clothing. You could point out some famous designer, and I would have no idea who you were talking about. Tuxedos. Yeah!

To be honest, if I went anywhere, it should have been the Golden Globes. Or the SAG Awards. Or the Emmys. Because I *heart* TV.

Here’s a photo of me with a finger mustache.

stache

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The Babbling Paradigm

Recently, at a book signing, an author told at story about meeting Sue Grafton.

This author was at a major publishing event, one of those ALA’s or RT’s or RWA conferences where authors at different stages of their careers hobnob with the other members of their profession.

You all know who Sue Grafton is, right? The Alphabet Mysteries? A is for Alibi? Chances are you’ve seen these wildly popular mysteries around. She’s a very popular author.

While Jane Author was hanging out, someone said to her, “Don’t look now, but Sue Grafton is standing right behind you.”

Like all self-respecting human beings would do in that situation, Jane whipped around and yelled, “SUE!” For the next few minutes, during which she was shaking Sue Grafton’s hand, Jane blabbed her way through the encounter and didn’t actually remember what was said.

Which brings me to my point:

Who, if you had the chance to meet them, would you absolutely flip your shit over?

During lunch (with the author), she laughed about her Sue Grafton encounter and admitted that she would do it again. I answered, “We all have someone we would so that to. It’s just finding that person.”

I think this is an interesting question. Everyone has someone they would become a babbling idiot over. In the recent Nerdist podcast, host Chris Hardwick admits that he got a little flustered when talking to Tina Fey. If Tina Fey made time in her schedule to hang out with me for an hour and a half, I might lose it a little bit myself.

We’ve all seen that moment when the little girl meets the Disney princess at Disney World. Her eyes light up, she gasps, she runs across the park paying no heed to what’s going on around her. She wants to tell her everything. She babbles.

We never really grow out of that phase.

I have my stock answers: Robert Downey, Jr. and J.J. Abrams, but I don’t know if that’s particularly true. I suppose I would actually have to meet them in order to know whether or not that’s true.

You’re Iron Man. I-you-you’re Iron Man.

When does the mere idea of a meeting person become life-changing?

At the same event, a girl hung back and waited a little, quiet and unassuming. She stood in line, got her books signed, and walked around the store until the rest of the crowd cleared out a bit and the authors were left alone, signing stock and making plans for later.

When the time was right, she walked up to one of the authors and asked, “Are you ____?”

Author: “Yes.”

Girl: “Did you write _____?”

Author: “Yes, I did.”

Girl: “It’s one of my favorite books! I read it, like, a year ago and I want to read it again every time I finish another book!” She became a babbling idiot.

What does it take to be the person on the other side? How do we accept that praise? It’s not just admiration, it’s adoration. It’s breathtaking to behold. As a storyteller, I can only pray that I can reach someone on that level. You can write it off, play it down in front of your peers, ignore it in front of your friends, but that has to be an amazing moment.

You changed someone.

And, in the end, that’s all we can ever hope for.


4 Reasons Joss Whedon deserves an Oscar for the Avengers (Spoilers)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of The Avengers. After Hulk smash puny wizard by knocking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II from the top spot for domestic grossing opening weekend, The Avengers is headed for another record breaking weekend. The second weekend will be in the $95-105 million range pummeling current record holder Avatar, which earned $75.6 million in its second weekend.

No film has ever done it faster.

A moneymaker does not an Academy Award make, but Writer/Director Joss Whedon deserves a nod all the same. For at least three categories, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture, here’s why I nominate Joss Whedon for the Academy Award.

BUT BE YE WARNED, THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD

1. He made the Hulk work.

When most people walked out of Avengers, the name playing across their lips wasn’t Stark or Loki. It was Hulk. Whedon installed a personality upgrade to the big green rage monster. Hulk wasn’t just fueled by the most brutal of human emotions, which seemed to be the trend of the Hulk’s previous two films, Mark Ruffalo’s CGI monster has a sense of humor.

And Mark Ruffalo’s teddy bear face

There’s even a moment when he saves Iron Man’s life and practically shouts him back from the dead. There was plenty of concern pre-release on what role man’s bestial nature would play and if Whedon and Ruffalo could pull it off. They did.

2. He got that cast to make that movie

Let’s crunch some numbers.

Gwyneth Paltrow – Winner Academy Award Best Actress, 1999

Robert Downey Jr – Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor, 1992; Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 2009

Mark Ruffalo – Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 2011

Jeremy Renner – Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 2011; Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor, 2010

Samuel L. Jackson – Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 1995

That’s six noms, 1 win.

If you’re judged by the company you keep, the Avengers is a pretty good crowd to hang around.

What’s even more impressive: find any interview featuring more than one Avenger and you might get an idea of what it was like to work with these guys day to day. They are impressive. They are hilarious. It’s remarkable they got any work done at all. But, you can tell from the linked interview that Joss Whedon can take control and command the personalities.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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