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Friday
Aug172012

Jodie Foster is Wrong. On the Mandatory Price of Fame.

Though I'm late to this discussion -- damn that day job! -- I'm curious how many of you read Jodie Foster's piece at The Daily Beast on the pressures of stardom and her feelings about the current Kristen Stewart media witch hunt? I am, by no stretch of anyone's definition, a fan of Kristen Stewart's but I agree that the treatment she's getting in the press is hideous. While it's not directly comparable the obvious sexism of the whole thing reminds me of the Janet Jackson / Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" fiasco. The woman is blamed and the man in the equation emerges unscathed -- in this case the Snow White and the Huntsman director keeping his sequel job while the actress loses hers. Men we are free to "tsk tsk" for a couple of seconds before they get back to work but... women? Women have to serve time as Human Dartboards of Shame before they are publicly allowed to yank the Scarlet "A" from their garments and go on living.

Deplorable really.

Foster has a right to defend her former co-star and I'm glad she did and with so much spirit, too. But does this mean we have to start reinterpreting Panic Room (2002) as a metaphor of the insaitable media mob vs the trapped movie star? Damnit, I hadn't thought of that...

Foster's well written opinion piece and semi-memoir, is a fine catch for The Daily Beast even if the actress arguably takes herself a smidge too seriously, threateningly to retroactively withdraw her signature characters from us. All in all, it's quite a good read. But I can't help but call Our Ms Foster to task for one particular comment. In this day and age of robust discussion of economic disparity in which an out of touch billionaire who pays less taxes than you is running for president, I must vehemently object to this part:

 Actors who become celebrities are supposed to be grateful for the public interest. After all, they’re getting paid. Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self."
-Jodie Foster in 2012 

Oh, Jodie... Actually to set the record straight, it does. 

Do the amazingly wealthy and fortunate, like Foster herself, not realize that the average person's sense of self is regularly challenged from the outside? It can seem impossible to maintain your sense of self when the wolves come but EVERYONE, no matter their circumstance, faces this challenge; Maids, garbage handlers, librarians, hamburger slingers, chorus line kick girls, middle managers, accountants, bouncers, human resources personnel (that's what I do when I'm not writing), and EVERYONE who has to work for a living faces regular threats to their sense of self. The only people who escape this are people who are 100% autonomous in their work and who are completely okay with their paycheck job wholly defining them. And how many people fit that description?

Do the amazingly wealthy and fortunate, like Foster herself, not realize that the average citizen has to give up A LOT for whatever pittance they are given in return. True, they aren't asked to give up their privacy to the extent that celebrities are, but they sacrifice plenty. Each regular person job has its own mandated sacrifices -- usually Time, a sacrifice that the famous rarely have to make -- and though it may be unpopular to say, isn't Privacy the single most-defining mandated sacrifice of stardom? 

I think everyone with a little perspective understands that the enormous salaries movie stars can command for only a few weeks work (remember Kristen Stewart made $34.5 million last year which is more than most of us will earn in a lifetime) are not paid to them for simply "giving an on-screen performance" as Foster states. The obscene salaries are in fact mortgage payments on Stardom. The crushing stacks of money can then be used to restore some Sacrificed Privacy equilibrium in the form of bodyguards, impenetrably secure mansions, private jets, plenty of time to oneself in luxurious remote locales, and so on...

The A'est of the A List in the early 90s (Pfeiffer, Foster, Ryan)

This reminds me of a favorite quote of mine from Michelle Pfeiffer, one of Foster's contemporaries who shares her distaste for being a "celebrity". Pfeiffer's fame came in her mid twenties which possibly alloted her more perspective on the matter than child star Foster, who has no recollection of not being famous. Pfeiffer worked in all sorts of humble regular people jobs (most famously as a grocery store checkout girl) before fame hit.  At the peak of her career when she and Foster were both regularly pulling down 8 figures for "giving an onscreen performance," Pfeiffer did her own setting the record straight with Esquire Magazine...

I act for free, but I demand a huge salary as compensation for all the annoyance of being a public personality. In that sense, I earn every dime I make."
-Michelle Pfeiffer in 1990 

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    [...]Jodie Foster is Wrong. On the Mandatory Price of Fame. - Blog - The Film Experience[...]

Reader Comments (33)

Nathan's a p'magician. Writing Jodie Foster paragraph after paragraph ending with the reader desperate for Michelle Pfeiffer wisdom.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

Just when Jodie Foster had made me feel unbearably guilty and terrible for participating in the media consumption of celebrities as a whole - you remind me that this was actually my opinion all along. (Foster just writes so damn well). Thank you!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAir

LOL @ 4rtful

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

This reminds me of the scene in the beginning of Broadcast News where Holly Hunter's berating Bill Hurt in a hotel room after he complains about being professionally unqualified for the high-paying jobs he's getting offered as an anchor. She says, "What about the obvious remedy? Go back to college; get a job working for a newspaper. It is your LIFE; no one's tying you to the FAST track." Relative obscurity is there for Kristen Stewart if she wants it; it's not as if she has the REAL burden of Angelina Jolie's good looks that preclude her from being anything in the world BUT a movie star. She has upwards of a $100 million golden parachute the moment she chooses to scale back her exposure.

I also think it's a damn shame someone who is as proud of her world-class schooling as Jodie Foster wouldn't say first and foremost that Stewart should just go to college. I'd wager Hollywood would be somewhat less of a shitshow if more celebrities just got fucking educations.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

I'll ignore the fact that you really felt like talking about your favorite actress and admit that what she has said back in 1990 is something exceptionally smart! I hadn't known that until now.

I also have to say that this is one of the best pieces you've written.

We do not know the other side of the story because none of us are movie stars and we do not know what it feels like to be in these people's shoes. Additionally, the fact that someone is a mega star doesn't mean that we can savagely trash them around and cover them in sperm, shit, and blood, least of all cerebro-spinal fluid.

HOWEVER! Here comes your reminder of the ACTUAL world we live in.

Capitalist industrialized America is disgustingly perverted when it comes to achievements and stardom, yet this is how it works. The molecules that raise you to the throne (luck and some talent [in some cases] aside) also dethrone you and have the right to do so. It's just the way it works! You wanna change how that works? FINE, let's attach stardom to people who actually deserve it! Let's see mostly incredible scripts made into films, let's see people going after quality not quantity (yes, money) and we will actually have more Meryl Streeps, Cate Blanchetts and Jessica Chastains a.k.a people with talent and training who peaked after knowing how to handle life. In this better world what are the chances of people like K.S. becoming mega stars? Quite slim, I think. Let's have talk shows about people's work, not about their families and clothes. The world, however, goes after sensationalism "oh, look at her, she's so young and she doing it' but the reporter who complements you with that line will throw you in the dirt the next day. No surprises here.

Steward became unbelievably popular via a mediocre (even for teenage standards) franchise. She was raised and praised for I'm not sure what, she was given millions, as you have pointed out, and now she was caught red-handed with another man (something I actually taught to be really refreshing, I guess she experienced the passion of the moment or something). But why is the "oh poor her" part of the world shocked by the fact that the media discovered this event? One of the most popular people on the planet was ACTUALLY caught doing something not particularly sweet and her virgin fans are now disappointed, OMG whatever shall we do?

Oh yeah, we're also living in a world dominated by mostly heterosexual white men, yes Kristen, get used to that too. Poor you. I wanna see how the struggling Asian actors in NY/LA care about all that, or people with student loans, or and or and or...

I also like the fact that you bring in the sacrifices that each person has to make and the dreadful decision making.

I read somewhere this year an article that stated something in the thought of "The rich also cry, but they live longer" and here is where and why I can hardly be touched by K.S's story.

Here is where our brains have to be activated, the moment of truth when you have to look at how shitty the world is for millions of people, probably billions and that YOU are actually one of the few exceptionally fortunate. Superstars need to remind themselves of that more often.

The world has to change, yes! But why not start the change by giving millions of people the first and basic right - that of life and the means to sustain it and then cry over the Internet about the sexist treatment a millionaire is receiving.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Okay, but you're wrong (too?).
"EVERYONE who has to work for a living faces regular threats to their sense of self"

Technically every human who's ever lived amongst humans faces threats to their sense of self every day in many ways, famous or not. There's no escaping it.

And the piece reads like she's talking about ideals because obviously in practice, it doesn't work, even for her.

I'm still not sure where you're coming from though. You think because they're making this much money (salaries they reach because the properties they're in also earn huge amounts for their employers) they should just smile and look pretty and wave to the photographers as they let them into their homes for our pleasure? That seems odd and entitled.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenteraleX

Foster has always taken herself way too seriously. Maybe that's why she can't do comedy.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I have to admit that I'm not sure I get where you're coming from. If your objection is just to the "sense of self" line, okay, I get that. Not because it's fundamentally wrong, but because it's just a eye-rolling, ninny-minded line. There are plenty of ways to express that same sentiment without it sounding so "I am a special snowflake"-ish.

But I'm totally scratching my head at the Pfeiffer quote that you then claim to love. How is she not complaining about the burden of being a public figure? That quote seems to directly contradict what you're talking about in the rest of the piece.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

Yavor, 100% agree

While I agree is an unfair situation blaming Stewart for ALL this scandal and having pass for Saunders -Especially because he's unknown for the tabloids-, maybe will be an unpopular statement here, but I don't have pity for Stewart. She's an enabler of this situation and she took time with the children and worked with the wife. Again, saying as a person who thinks Saunders is a d-bag.

Also, I think this scandal is bigger that expected for two reasons:

a. Stewart isn´t exactly a beloved actress. She was considerated as a spoiler brat, ungrateful with an attitude of "F-you" before. Also, she's more an average actress with narrow range in most of her films and, as Yavor said, famous for a mediocre franchise as "Twilight" isn't make it wonders. I would think if Emma Stone was in this mess, the reaction would be "less" hateful.
b. The Twilhards are actually worse in this mess. Constantly making excuses for Stewart's behaviour. Last time, I checked one of them saying Pattinson's size of manhoodwas a motive or comparing her with Katherine Hepburn - LOL. Personally, I hate when her efenders use her age as an exccuse for her behaviour. Being young isn't equal to being an inmature or dumb. Actually, I'm sure many of other youngers around that age have other problems and challenges in their lives.

Around Foster paraghaph - Spot on....

Maybe Stewart needs to go to college and change a little bit her PR team -Who's making worse work-.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Looking at that photo of Meg Ryan...damn, so sad about the surgery she did.

And yeah, the Michelle mention is a wise one...usually actors who achieve fame and success later than the norm tend to be far more level. Not a big surprise, but they tend to be the ones we all like.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I'll add myself to those commenters who don't agree. I don't know if anyone with a regular job suffers continuous threats to the her/his sense of self. That reads as too big words for me, but maybe I'm lost in translation. I don't feel my sense of self is threatened at work, or not particularly. If I'm getting everything right, one could also say that everyday activities also challenge your sense of self. When you take the escalators, you have to decide whether you're going to let others hurry up and so you'll place yourself aside, or whether you need to climb as fast as possible and the others are just obstacles in your way. Maybe you are one of those whose sense of self would put on the side, but you need to become the other kind, and by doing so you're challenging your own sense of self? Sorry, it's quite a pedestrian example, but a sample anyway.

Of course in every job there are certain things you'll have to give in. If you work in an office, you'll have to dress in a certain way. If you work in the street, you'll have to assume your legs and feet are going to suffer the consequences. I don't know if those are examples of challenging your sense of self, but Foster says "destroys". I honestly don't know of any job that can destroy your sense of self, maybe jobs that need you to give your scruples at home? But I'm quite sure that if Stewart herself had been told in advance, hey, this and this is going to happen to you, she would (at least) have hesitated to accept the "celebrity jjob".

Personally, I don't think paying a ticket for a movie gives me any right to judge what someone does in his/her private life. At all. But even if that was the case of the majority (it may very well be), I think actors and actresses assume a part of the damage that comes with being a celebrity is mandatory (like in Pfeiffer's quote), but certainly not a witch hunt like this one. For this one, there's no justification. And I'm not a fan of not even one of the Twilight stars.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I'm not sure I agree with the sentiment that rich people being treated disrespectfully should be swept under the carpet because they have money. I don't judge people or treat them in a different way because of their social class. The media's inappropriate intrusions into people's lives doesn't necessarily have to be related to the rich and famous. It could happen to anyone - someone involved in a high profile crime case, or in a political scandal. They have to deal with libel and unscrupulous photographers. Someone could go to bed with total anonymity and wake up facing intense scrutiny. Celebrities have to deal with that all of the time. I understand that no one wants to hear fortunate people whining - but it's all relative. Working class people in the western world are living in luxury compared to those in third world countries, but they still have their legitimate complaints which could be scoffed by those poorer than them.

The insistence that we know everything about actors and musicians is getting out of hand. Anne Hathaway's 'you have given them everything' speech in TDKR springs to mind.

I also hate it when people say that others should focus on the 'starving children in Africa.' Funnily enough, my small and feeble mind has enough space to think about poverty and understand the complex life of Kristen Stewart.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbs

I'm not entirely on board with Nat's sentiment. I've done my best to avoid everything regarding this thing with Stewart because, frankly, it's none of my fucking business. But the vitriolic, over-the-top reaction to her infidelity is just astonishing.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Hayden --i love you. The notion that Angelina Jolie had NO SAY in her fame due to her face is hilarious and also wholly plausible :)

Yavor -- exactly. If you are paid tons of money to be a public figure -- and honestly nobody is paying Kristen Stewart for being a brilliant actor (if they are they're throwing away money) -- you have to accept that being "a public figure" comes with a price. some people think the price is worth it, some don't. Jodie Foster thinks it isn't worth it obviously but it's interesting that she keeps coming back to it despite that.

Liz -- it's fine to complain! Everyone I know complains about their job :) It's just that Pfeiffer did it in an honest way and Jodie is delusional about it. Stardom IS what they're being paid for, no matter how talented they are. Stardom is what's used to sell the product and PUBLIC and PRIVATE are not synonomous things. Stardom requires putting yourself out there to be judged (the bad) and adored (the good).

Abs -- i'm not trying to say it's all good and fine that rich people are treated like shit. I very much object to the witch hunt in the media over Kristen's sex life. I'm merely stating that it's part of her job when she accepts milliions upon millions of dollars to be a celebrity

August 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

PUBLIC and PRIVATE are not synonomous things.

Wait a minute, that doesn't sound like what you've been saying. It seems like you've been saying that they are synonymous, at least for certain people who have a certain profession and make a certain amount of money within that profession. If they weren't synonymous, then you would be agreeing with the people who say that a part of these people's lives should be free from media and public scrutiny. But when you say that privacy is "the single most-defining mandated sacrifice of stardom," then you seem to be saying that again, for this certain section of the population, their private lives should become part of their public lives.

I'm just seeing so many contradictions and double-standards in what you've said in the piece and in your comments. Okay, let me give you an example:

A. TMZ photographer trails an actress down the street, taking pictures and shouting lewd and invasive things at her in order to provoke a reaction.

B. Wal-Mart cashier trails his ex-girlfriend (a Target cashier) down the street, taking pictures and shouting lewd and invasive things at her in order to provoke a reaction.

I think we can all agree that situation B is harassment. But why is situation A not harassment? Because the actress made $15 million for her last movie?

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

I have to disagree with (what I understand to be) the major thesis of your argument. Jodie's argument is " Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self." and you're saying the salary DOES include that right? I'd be willing to agree if you'd said that the invasion of privacy becomes an unfortunate add-on but it's hardly a "right" which fans/media have to invade the privacy of celebrity.

Yes, that invasion does unfortunately, often, inextricably becomes linked to the performances they give but it's not the crux of what they're there for (i.e. entertainment fodder)....or it shouldn't be.

You say, for example:
"Do the amazingly wealthy and fortunate, like Foster herself, not realize that the average citizen has to give up A LOT for whatever pittance they are given in return. True, they aren't asked to give up their privacy to the extent that celebrities are, but they sacrifice plenty."

Which suggests to me that you think that poorer folks would have legitimate rights to complain about the sacrifices they make because as you say we have to sacrifice a lot for our "pittances". In the same way, I think Foster is more than right to complain about the unjustified sacrifices she makes.

Take my job for example. I work at a news agency, and sometimes we'll go out on interviews and we'll get cursed at by protestors, hurled insults by officials and whatnot. My actual job is doing the news, the add-ons are dealing with (sometimes) irate people. I'll complain about the add-ons. Would I be unjust to complain because that comes with my job and I get paid a hefty salary?

I understand how it might be gauche to hear the very rich complain about their problems, but someone's problems being less "difficult" to endure than the lesser fortunate doesn't make them non-problems. I don't think.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Andrew K.,

I actually don't think Nat is suggesting that Foster shouldn't complain, from what I gather. It's just that her complaint is irrelevant. He's actually saying what you think he's saying. We all have things in our lives that we cannot control, and there are things that we all have to sacrifice regardless of whatever job we choose. We can complain if we wish, but we can't pretend that these sacrifices don't come with the job.

Jodie Foster isn't just complaining, she's pretending as if the sacrifice doesn't come with the job. She's acting as if actors are only being paid to give performances, when, as Nat suggests, they're being paid to be celebrities. They sacrifice their privacy for the job and all the money they make. Just as a nurse sacrifices her time and perhaps the larger salary that the doctor would make. Just as a PhD sacrifices years having a family and saving money for the pursuit of knowledge.

All of these people have a right to complain, but none of them can act as if what they are complaining about doesn't come with the job.

Maybe things need to change, but for now, this is the way it is. Celebrities make millions of the dollars while the rest of the world struggles to get by, so celebrities have to deal with public scrutiny, while the rest of the world has privacy without other luxuries.

I'm sure Nat is also trying to say that it is very doubtful that Foster or Stewart give up their hefty paychecks for more privacy and less public scrutiny. So, in other words, they just need to deal with it.

It's a cruel world, to be sure, but we're all living in it. Not just celebrities.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJon L

Astute point, Jon but I disagree that the analogies you came compute. In the case of a doctor and someone with a PHD you NEED to sacrifice your time to be a nurse or a doctor since you can't do that being at home. One does not NEED to sacrifice privacy to act in a movie or a play or a show. That's just something awful/annoying which comes with the job in the same way that for a nurse being constantly made to feel lesser by doctors may come with the job. Something awful, but something which almost all nurses go through but not something which would make a complaint from them irrelevant.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Nat's argument would hold if the amount stars make is always proportional to the degree to which they are hounded by the media. They could then choose to scale their work to the amount of scrutiny they are willing to take. But that simply isn't the case. Adam Sandler has long been among the highest paid (he made $37M last year) but he gets very little scrutiny. Using Sandler as a base, a lot of the tabloid/paparazzi hounding stars like Pitt, Jolie, Depp, Cruise get is uncompensated.

Stewart is different from these bonafide stars in that her fans who fuel the demand for tab stories and pap photos are the same ones who are directly responsible for Twilight's success and her huge paycheck. In contrast, very few of those who are devouring rumors about the Pitt-Jolie nuptials will turn out to watch Pitt's Killing Them Softly or have seen Tree of Life.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKit

I find some of the reactions here impossibly funny

Again, I don't know what it feels like to be in her shoes, but I think that a smart Kristen will reflect on the whole situation + the world (some people do study about the world), she'll sit down on her lovely sofa and relax.

Who knows, maybe she's done that already? Rather uninteresting acting does not necessarily equal limited reasoning of the world.

And then... isn't it horrible how sexist the industry can be? The industry due to which you made 30+ million last year? Due to the fabrications that this industry nurtures and finances; The industry that makes it possible for hot teenage chicks to kick off their careers in dumb films seen by 14-year-olds, with tickets paid by their parents' money :)

-> P.S. NO! watching Twilight is not the same as going to college! Thanks for College and for Twilight mom!

oh yeah, everything's relative, of course!

I definitely don't comprehend the problem in this story, I'm rather narrow-minded you see. But Kristen doesn't have a problem, and if she hasn't realized it herself, I'm sure someone has eloquently enlightened her on this fact.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

by the way! I wanna see the (filming) sing on IMDd next to that Snow White (or Huntsman) sequel, with the same director in the driving seat and with Kristen out, to be able to call the whole story sexist/unfair etc.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Kit -- great rebuttal points actually. It doesn't always line up just so, it's true.

Jon L -- this is EXACTLY what I'm saying. Thanks for making it sound so reasonable. Hee. I'm not sure if I was unclear or if people are willfully misreading in defense of stars they love (I get that reaction. Lord knows I've done it) but what I'm saying is exactly this that you sum up so succinctly

Jodie Foster isn't just complaining, she's pretending as if the sacrifice doesn't come with the job. She's acting as if actors are only being paid to give performances, when, as Nat suggests, they're being paid to be celebrities. ...All of these people have a right to complain, but none of them can act as if what they are complaining about doesn't come with the job.
That's it exactly. I'd complain if i were Jodie too ;) but I wouldn't pretend that my salary only came from acting for a few weeks a year and that becoming a public figure wasn't an essential part of the job.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I'm surprised that nobody seems to think it is relevant that Jodie Foster had to go through the experience of having John Hinckley Jr. try to kill President Reagan to impress her. So she sounds a little bit serious about this whole fame/celebrity thing? I think she earned that right that hard way. Anybody who wants to tell her to lighten up on this topic needs to at least give five minutes thought to what that experience must have been like for her.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna

Joanna -- true. It's interesting that Jodie herself was a strong enough person with a strong enough sense of self to make that story a footnote in her career rather than something that defined her publicly. Well done, Jodie. I've always been so impressed at the way she handled that with the press (until they finally gave up... which is not what they'd normally do)

in an early draft of this post i went on at length about "nobody can destroy your sense of self but yourself" and decided it was too psycho-babbly / annoying to include . But now i wish I'd kept it because Jodie is such a perfect example of this. She did not let fame erode her sense of self but she seems to think that Kristen doesn't have the same option which I think is a little odd.

August 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yeah, these are pretty good points, but at this level of stardom, can the word "job" even be applied anymore? Almost any of us can quit our jobs (okay, barring economic necessities) but Famous Person can't really quit being "Famous Person".

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmes

Jodie Foster can go fly a kite. Going to bat for that pig Kristen Stewart. Wasted essay, Jodie. And was this just another excuse to write something about Michelle Pfeiffer? Honestly.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMV

MV...dont want to hear about MP then visit a different blog.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMP

Man the discussion on this article is as interesting as the post itself! I'm annoyed I didn't see it til now.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Nat-- You wrote it well and I'm glad I understood what you were trying to say. Sometimes our words make more sense when they come from others.

Andrew K-- You're right in suggesting that there is a difference between necessity and unfortunate things that probably aren't necessary but come with a job anyway. But the fact that they do come with a job makes it harder to differentiate from what is actually necessary and what just sucks. I guess I was just trying to put it into perspective.

I'm currently a student right now pursuing a PhD, and though I love my subject and feel lucky enough to get into a program, etc. etc,, it kind of sucks. Many of my contemporaries are making more money than me and they also have more time on their hands and more security. I'm more or less being exploited for a meager salary to spend all of my time doing my own work and work for other professors. Only to understand that I may go through all of this and still not find the kind of job I want. Alas, I know that this is the sacrifice that comes with wanting to be a college professor. It may not happen, but if it does, I know what I have to give up in order to do it. Sacrifices that are a pain, but that also come with the job.

Celebrities--or in this case--movie stars also have sacrifices they need to make. It sucks to say, but Kristen Stewart is a young starlet. She's in some of the most widely seen movies of the 21st century. If she wants to be a movie star, she needs to give up her privacy. It is as simple as that. The fact that she is young, a woman, and in a popular teen franchise makes this unavoidable. Yes, her large salary allows her to pay for security, a large mansion, and at least a few private vacations which can enable her to be as private as she'll ever be. But rest assured, she will live in the public eye for as long as she is on the screen.

There is a solution. She could just be a stage actress or a struggling actor who makes a living some other way. Or, she could retreat like Julie Christie did, live comfortably in a secluded area with her millions, and only work on occasion when her house needs the roof fixed. She would get her privacy back and would not have to deal with as much public scrutiny, but she'd also probably have to give up the greed.

I have a solution to my problems as well. Instead of getting a PhD, I could simply adjunct at colleges for less money, and pursue another full-time career with a salary. I don't want to do that, though. So maybe I complain some of the time, but I always know in the back of my mind that this is my own doing, because this is the life I chose.

This brings us back to Nat's point. Kristen Stewart may know this, but Jodie Foster--one of the few public personalities who is standing up for her--doesn't seem to get it.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJon L

MP, you don't dictate what the hell I browse or post.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMV

"an out of touch billionaire who pays less taxes than you is running for president"

Haha, this cracked me up! So random! Still, I'll take the billionaire out of touch over the millionaire out of his depth. #gomittens

On topic: Kristen Stewart is finantially set for the rest of her life. She could retire tomorrow and be better off than 99% of Mankind. She doesn't even have to do that. She can still act regularly and get by life with a lower profile. There's an amazing career to be had as an actress doing indies and theater. It pays less, sure, but (along with the big bucks) exposure is part of the deal with movie stardom, you can't have one without the other. Make your choice and bear its burdens. In her defense: she's not the one whining.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLila

I still believe there's a huge difference between assuming you're going to lose your anonymity which I suppose every celebrity is well aware of, and "destroying" your life.
Anyway, it's Sunday so I was bored and made a list of feelings we have the right to have about stars. They're in direct relation to their status/salary.


Best paid in Hollywood, powerful. Hatred, of course. You've got everything, what? Do you want our love too?. Real life samples: Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts.

Second/third best paid. Sympathy and/or pity. Yes, we like you because you're not that bitch at the top, but still, you're a millionaire. Real life samples: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon.

Established star with a huge salary, has known better and worse times. General likability because you've been there for so long behaving the way we want you to behave, you've earned the spot. Still, we have the right to criticise your terrible choices: clothes, boyfriends, movies... Real life sample: Sandra Bullock.

Average hot girl whose name I may not always remember. Did you say hot? Then, jealousy. Real life sample: Eva Mendes/the one in that movie with ... yes, the blonde one...

Average foreign (=French) girl whose name is difficult to remember. May or may not be interchangable with the previous category. If hot, see above. If not, indifference, ennui. Real life samples: Marion Cotillard,Audrey Tautou.

Starlette, newcomer. General curiosity to see if you fit into our stantards. It's not that you're in the spotlight, the spotlight was made to scrutinize people like you. Real life samples: Rooney Mara, Emma Stone.

:)

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

You make some great points Nathaniel, and Foster sums up the whole fiasco perfectly. Unfortunately times don't seem to have progressed enough with women in Hollywood being completely lambasted if they do anything 'wrong' or out of the ordinary, whilst the men of Hollywood are allowed any number of slip ups and can actually keep their careers. Probably the best example I can think of is Winona Ryder - essentially exiled for 10 years and is still struggling to maintain a decent career outside of poor, 'B-movies'. But on the other hand you have Robert Downey Jr. now one of the most beloved and successful current Hollywood stars.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven
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