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Not Judging Amy

Monday, December 2, 2013

Have you watched any of The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtable series this year? I always enjoy watching these and I haven't been disappointed this year. The actors gave a decent interview - Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were the most charming and had the best anecdotes. Also great to see Michael B. Jordan there. The directors were rather odd and eccentric but interesting nonetheless - would you expect anything else from directors? However, the actresses roundtable was the most interesting. It seemed like they pulled the veil back a teensy bit more than the others. 

First of all, how lovely to see such diversity! Makes a change and also makes for a more three dimensional interview in my opinion. You could tell Oprah wanted to ask more questions but for the most part she seemed pretty much in awe of her fellow seat mates. I've grown up watching Oprah and she's been a true inspiration - an excellent role model - so it was great to see this side of her too. That is, the side where you can see her actively learning rather than doing the teaching. 

Julia was fairly quiet but she still oozed 'movie star'. Again, when I was growing up, if someone asked me to name a movie star I would probably have said Julia Roberts. 

Emma Thompson was a RIOT. She's so sharp and witty - Oprah even noted that Emma is the guest you want at your dinner party. She also - quite rightly - brought the interview down to Earth a few times too. She has a very British point of view. I think over here actors and actresses are still thought of as actors and actresses, not movie stars, if that makes sense? There's no sense of Hollywood and all that glitters. You're respected more for how often you tread the boards rather than how much your last film grossed. It's quite normal to walk into HMV and see Bill Nighy browsing the DVD's or see James McAvoy popping to a cash point and not get mobbed by fans or paparzzi, despite what the Daily Mail might have you believe. 

Oh and Lupita...bless. You know when you see any up and coming actor or sports star and they just win your heart? You just want all good things for them? That's how I feel about Lupita. So very eloquent and humble, how can you not love her?

Octavia brought some realness to the table. She spoke of her struggle to make it and avoiding stereotypical roles. I like Octavia Spencer. You think she's one way and then she moves in another direction. I look forward to her next few films - although I'm still waiting for Fruitvale Station to be released here- and, of course, Murder She Wrote! 

However, the standout for me was Amy Adams. Amy was my Lupita from when I first saw her on the Oscar red carpet back when she was nominated for Junebug. She gave her interview to whoever it was back then (remember when Debbie Matenopolous used to do the red carpet and it wasn't all about Ryan Seacrest? It was much better). I've been rooting for her ever since and it seems everyone else has been too because she's nominated ALL THE TIME yet still hasn't won the Oscar. I haven't seen American Hustle  but can it really beat out Lupita or Julia or Meryl - depending on which category she's canvassing for?! Anyway, Amy endeared herself to me yet again in this interview when she talked about not taking any breaks because she didn't start working until she was thirty. I love stories like her's. I think they need to be told more these days because it seems as though we've got a skewered view being fed to kids these days about success. When you have the Kim's and NeNe's and all the others turning into celebrities overnight there's a danger that kids will think that's how it works. You see it on X Factor or America's Next Top Model and all those other talent shows - contestants assuming they'll just make it and then falling apart when they're cut after the first round. You see it in the real world when new graduates go for their dream job, don't get it straight away - or it turns out to be different to what they expected - and so they give up/lash out/ get disproportionately upset. Heck, isn't Girls based on this? I never saw season 2 but in season 1, Hannah thought the world owed her something because in her eyes she was a gifted writer. She may well be a gifted writer but she's got to blimmin' earn her stripes first! 

Anyway, back to Amy. Amy (and Octavia to a certain extent) is the perfect example of the oldie but goodie - hard work pays off in the end. I hope this year she'll reap the rewards - goodness knows she's overdue! If you haven't seen it yet, do take a look. You won't be disappointed. 

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