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If you was an actor

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Would you take a role, even though you personally disagreed with what the character did, because it was "a job", and had nothing to do with "the real you"?

 

I don't remember if it was the second or the third LEATHAL WEAPON, but it was extremely anti-gun. The plot was all about armor piercing pistol ammo that was being smuggled into the country, and the climactic fight scene had Danny Glover throwing Mel Gibson an Uzi, and telling him that it was loaded with "cop killers", so he was easily able to use it to shoot through a 3-inch bulldozer blade and kill the bad guy.

 

There was much discussion at the time of whether Gibson was actually anti-gun, because he was in this anti-gun movie. Many people said that it had nothing to do with the way he actually felt - he was doing his job.

 

Della Reese was in a TV show called Touched by an Angel. She played an angel, helping mortals here on Earth. She was also in a movie called Harlem Nights, where she played a foul mouthed prostitute/madam. I was watching an interview with her, where the interviewer said that he understood that she was an ordained minister. She said that was correct. He then played a clip from Harlem Nights, that showed her having a cussing match with Redd Foxx's character. He asked how she could use that language if she was an ordained minister. She explained that that character was not her. That SHE was not saying those words. The character was. It was a job. Had nothing to do with how she really was.

 

Lisa Whelchel. Got her first stint in the show business on the Mickey Mouse Club, when she was 12. And when she was 14 or 15 she was on a show called The Facts of Life. Bunch of teenage girls growing up in a boarding school. Her character, Blair, was the star of the show. And when she was about 17 they came out with a script where Blair was going to lose her virginity. She said no. She said she was a born again Christian, and premarital sex was wrong, and she wasn't gonna do it. They rewrote the script so that Natalie was the girl that lost her virginity. And that was the only episode of the four- or five-year run of the show where Blair was not in it. Because Lisa not only said that she was not going to have sex on the show, but if they were going to have one of the girls having premarital sex, she wasn't going to be in the show. She thought it was wrong, so she refused to do it. That doesn't happen very often.

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I would not take on an anti-gun role, a gay role, a transgender role or a liberal role. I guess I wouldn't do very good in Hollywood!;)

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There is an outtake from one of the “Grumpy Old Men” movies that shows Walter Matthau in a bathtub, and he says “If I had known there was a nude scene I woulda asked for another million dollars!”

 

So for him at least, it’s a matter if money.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Like Rye, I don't think I could play anything that I didn't believe in or was too far out of my own character. That way I'd be honest with myself and everyone who saw the movie would leave the movie saying "That guy played a real a$$hole". :o

Edited by Cypress Sun
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59 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I would not take on an anti-gun role, a gay role, a transgender role or a liberal role. I guess I wouldn't do very good in Hollywood!;)

You and I think a lot alike. ;)

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Posted (edited)

I'd probably take the job.  It might depend on how extreme my disagreement with the subject matter was and how it was presented or if I thought I could physically do it.  Bruce Dern made a pretty good living doing things I personally disagree with.  SOMEBODY has to play the bad man.  On the other hand I don't think I could force myself to kiss another man.  I don't want to do it and I don't want to see it, but I won't tell you how to live your life or who you are allowed to love.  BTW, Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline kissed in "In and Out" which was a pretty funny movie.

 

(Edit added)  One of the ladies on Designing Women(?) was a staunch conservative playing a liberal southern lady.  She had it in her contract that whenever she had to spout off some liberal crap she strongly disagreed with she would be allowed to sing in the next episode of the show.

 

Angus

Edited by Black Angus McPherson

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

There is an outtake from one of the “Grumpy Old Men” movies that shows Walter Matthau in a bathtub, and he says “If I had known there was a nude scene I woulda asked for another million dollars!”

 

So for him at least, it’s a matter if money.

 

 

If it were truly a matter of money he would have stalled the production refusing to do the scene until they bought him off

Edited by Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984

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Actors, especially young ones starting out, might need the money.  Personally, I would NOT take a role that went against my personal moral philosophies. OTOH, taking the role of a badguy in some of the older, less violent movies, might be okay.  Of course, there were drawbacks to that.  Bruce Dern said he was hated for a long time because he "killed" John Wayne's character in the Cowboys.  Lee Van Cleef made a good living portraying badguys.

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If I had to do those things which are against my principles and get rich well I guess I'd be a poor ditchdigger.

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1 hour ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Actors, especially young ones starting out, might need the money.  Personally, I would NOT take a role that went against my personal moral philosophies. OTOH, taking the role of a badguy in some of the older, less violent movies, might be okay.  Of course, there were drawbacks to that.  Bruce Dern said he was hated for a long time because he "killed" John Wayne's character in the Cowboys.  Lee Van Cleef made a good living portraying badguys.

 

What do mean "was"?  I can't see Dern in any movie without thinking of him as a low down backshooter.  I know it was just a role, but I can't get past it.

 

But I have no problem with actors playing bad guys; I just don't like to see bad guys rewarded, or portrayed as just the equivalent of a good guy with a different color hat.  Bad guys should be punished, and I see no value in making them out as winners or heroes.  For me, it's about the ending; I expect the bad guy to face justice at the end.  I'm an Old Testament kind of guy; the world is black and white, and we can tell the difference.

 

LL

 

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10 minutes ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

 

What do mean "was"?  I can't see Dern in any movie without thinking of him as a low down backshooter.  I know it was just a role, but I can't get past it.

 

But I have no problem with actors playing bad guys; I just don't like to see bad guys rewarded, or portrayed as just the equivalent of a good guy with a different color hat.  Bad guys should be punished, and I see no value in making them out as winners or heroes.  For me, it's about the ending; I expect the bad guy to face justice at the end.  I'm an Old Testament kind of guy; the world is black and white, and we can tell the difference.

 

LL

 

Oh, I agree! Look how Bruce wound up finally in The Cowboys and Lee wound up in the grave in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.  (OTOH, I wouldn't hold her father's role against his daughter, Laura! :D )

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50 minutes ago, Cheyenne Ranger, 48747L said:

thought he was on the 'right side' in Silent Running, 1972

True, and also "Smile"

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If I am an actor, I would have to review each script

My personal beliefs, values, morals, etc. would take a back seat to the script.  That’s why they call it “acting”!  
 

Pretty much, actors may often become typecast, so their value lies in their ability to embrace and be believable in a role.  Being typecast makes it difficult for many actors to get roles they like.

 

Bruce Dern is a good example of being typecast.  Do you believe John Wayne ran up and kicked Bruce Dern in the leg after some of those scenes?  I don’t.  They probably walked over to the Commissary for lunch together.

 

Speaking of Bruce Dern, I saw John Wayne relate a story wherein he introduced Bruce Dern to his children.  They were frightened by Bruce.  After all, Bruce had killed their dad in (what?) “The Cowboys”(?).   Bruce Dern can portray very well, a  psychopathic murderer.  He’s a pretty good comedian, too.  He gets paid to do that!

 

Dern and Wayne were actors!  We shouldn’t become entangled in entertaining works of fiction and hate the actors.

 

Cat Brules

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This is a little off-track , but a bit of trivia about Bruce Dern. I don't remember the movie this involved , but the studio offered to send a car for him to get to the location , he told them "No , thanks , it is just a few miles from my house , I will just run over there." He must have been in pretty good condition when he was younger.

Rex :D

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I was in a film short this morning called “Leland.”  I played an attorney in it.  That role almost dipped into your no go areas Rye.  The only saving grace is that I played the prosecuting attorney.  LMAO.

6 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I would not take on an anti-gun role, a gay role, a transgender role or a liberal role. I guess I wouldn't do very good in Hollywood!;)

 

EC459A2F-FE33-4DFD-94DA-648A528A976A.jpeg

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I wouldn't have a problem with it in general, though there might well be some roles too far out to play.

 

I practiced law for 44 years and we got our version of this question often enough: how can you represent bad people,?etc...

 

Physicians get it too: how can you help evil people?

 

Most people figure it out.

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I just got off the phone talking to my buddy, Bruce Dern.

 

He said he’d heard y’all were talkin’ trash about him.  I grabbed this still off the video stream!   :o

 

 

image.jpeg.909fae547e9b75a6e7d214e91e4f1ea1.jpeg

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A lot of us really like Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline in their western movies.  However, I've always had this "UNH' feeling when they kissed.  Boy howdy, we'ed have a mutual understanding and a general drunk before that was pulled off...more likely a script re-write or doubles.

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I couldn't get that drunk!

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm... I had to ponder this one for awhile. If I were an actor, I would be reading a script fairly closely before I signed on. Assuming I were an A-List actor with some level of clout, I would want some say over re-writes as well. Barring science-fiction, I don't believe I could act in a movie that was totally unbelievable, as in shooting pistol caliber cartridges through a bulldozer blade. I would also have to pass on any movie with an overt political message I didn't agree with, particularly an anti-2A one.

 

Could I play a villain? Sure. I could play any number of roles as far as that goes. I can differentiate between the role and who I am. I could even play a character I didn't believe in, so long as the movie itself was something I didn't disagree with.

Edited by DocWard
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I would be delighted to play the villain.  The villain controls the plot.  Eli Wallach as Calvera was the most important character in the Magnificent Seven.  

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I can give somewhat of a real life example where I turned down an audition in a community theater production for a show which shall remain nameless, realizing that this is not a situation where trying to make a living was involved.  When I went for the audition, the information sheet stated that the show would have a lot of cussing in the dialog.  I thought about it and decided while I don't tell other people how to behave, I don't have to partake in the behavior.  I figured that if they had to put a warming in the audition information sheet about the language it was going to be bad.  As a result, I declined to audition for the show.

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I suppose if I were an actor and the script called for me to kiss a man, I would probably do it. No tongue, though!!  :ph34r:  :P  :wub:  :o  :angry:  :lol:  

 

Also, as part of a paid acting role, I could probably get into character, follow a script and cuss up a blue streak.  Acting isn’t real and doesn’t reflect who I am as a person.  Of course, I would not blindly follow a director’s instruction and do something that injures a person or an animal, or frightens an animal.

 

Cat Brules

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Having been involved in the technical side of stage theater a number of years, this very question has crossed my mind.

 

Personally, I can’t think of too many no-go areas if I were an actor, as long as the overall production doesn’t go outside my boundaries.

 

Play a villain, pimp, Satan, drug user, gay man, murderer, abusive father, etc?  Sure, I’d do it, as long as the it contributed to an overall positive experience for the audience.

 

I’d have played any role in Rent, except I can’t sing two notes and have them come out right.

 

 

 

 

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I'd never compromise who I am.....

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Andrew Robinson played a really convincing sicko in the original Dirty Harry, despite the fact that he was a hardcore pacifist. He even had to take some gun training for the role because when they started filming he literally was handling them like a frightened girl.

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If your job is to act, and you cannot differentiate your true self from the character you are portraying, you have some issues that would probably prevent you from functioning anywhere in the real world.

 

I could really care less about an actors personal views on any subject.  As long as the actor keeps his personal views personal, then who cares.  If they behave like any normal person and support their own pet causes privately as just a common citizen, that is great.  More people need to stand up and support the causes they have.  As soon as they stand up and start using their "actor" reputation as a soap box to tell us who to vote for, what to buy, or what not to buy, that is when I start having an issue with them.

 

IMHO, YMMV

 

 

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7 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

I would only play heroic leading man roles, in other words I’d wash dishes and wait tables.

 

Just like Jimmy Stewart in Liberty Valance!

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3 hours ago, Hashknife Cowboy said:

I'd never compromise who I am.....

 

Most actors would agree, because who they are is actors.

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Let's not forget the sheer number of actors who played gun-toting tough guys/gals in the movies, who are in fact anti-gun. To be an actor is to be a hypocrite at times.

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49 minutes ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Let's not forget the sheer number of actors who played gun-toting tough guys/gals in the movies, who are in fact anti-gun. To be an actor is to be a hypocrite at times.

 

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue", La Rochefoucauld.

 

Is a good man who plays a murderer in a cop or cowboy move a 'hypocrite'? 

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On 3/8/2020 at 8:11 AM, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I would not take on an anti-gun role, a gay role, a transgender role or a liberal role. I guess I wouldn't do very good in Hollywood!;)

There’s that. Not to mention the fact that most Hollywood actors tend to be a bit taller in stature. 

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