Longevity

‘OOA’ Introspection

6.) Which Actor That You’ve Followed Still Lingers the Strongest?

Christian Bale

I have a great respect for Christian and that has never wavered. there’s never been a point where I’ve thought ‘he bores me’ or ‘he turned me off by saying that thing/ making that choice’. while there were several movies during his young adult years that became favorites and kept me familiar with his name, it wasn’t until The Dark Knight that I really surrendered to my interest in him. during that time I delved into learning about him as a person off screen–what his childhood was like, what motivated him, what he struggled with, as well as onscreen–how he throws himself into a character, how important it is to get the accent right, and how he strives to keep his character true to form.

Christian not only learns about what makes his character tick, he also fights for them, if need be. before shooting for American Psycho began, Christian was the director’s choice for the role. the studio executives didn’t agree, opting to go with the bigger name of Leonardo DiCaprio, thus ousting Christian before DiCaprio had even agreed. the director was let go as well, for her insistence that Leo was too boyish for the role, and when the new director butted heads with Leo over creative differences, he ended up leaving anyway! the studio then sought out Ewan McGregor, but when former Velvet Goldmine costar Bale told him about everything that was going on and how much he still wanted the part, Ewan declined the role, resulting in both Christian and the original director being brought back. Christian passed up several opportunities during that time, holding out for the role he really wanted.

Although I may not always be aware of the projects he’s filming or what is going on in his personal life, there’s a genuine affinity that I’ve developed for him over the years that’s never gone away. Yes, he’s intense when it comes to his acting, and yes his demeanor can sometimes appear gruff or intimidating to some, but really he’s just a guy that loves dirt bikes and pick up trucks and taking his kids to Disney Land. and sometimes pretending to be other people.

Remember When

‘OOA’ Introspection

5.) Which Actor Were You Enamored With the Most?

This one took a lot of introspection to answer. my automatic reaction was to assume it’s the current one, but I was different people when I followed the individual actors closely and so they each fulfilled different needs for me, which makes it hard to measure how each affected me in a way that can be scaled as ‘most’ or ‘least’.  so I tried to put current feelings aside and remember what it felt like without getting too deep about it, like a ‘think fast’ reflex to put me in that past headspace, and then compare. when I think back to that time when each dominated my thoughts, here are some of the things I remember:

I remember saving pictures of Christian Bale to my newly formed Photobucket account and how quickly the pages filled up. I remember watching a behind the scenes photoshoot and realizing how shy, and not intimidating, he was. I remember gathering up my used books and CDs to trade at the used book store so that I could collect as many DVDs of his movies that I could (I stopped at 14). I remember how I talked about him so passionately on the fan forum I frequented, praising his acting skill and lamenting how misunderstood he seemed to be. I remember watching him sing Santa Fe in the Newsies movie and having such a warm feeling in my heart for him, and how I vowed to sing that song aloud if I ever visited Santa Fe. that video still makes me feel that way.

I remember loving the way Robert Pattinson jumped on his Goblet of Fire costar in a full arms and legs hug and how cute he was when Emma said he looked manly. I remember him filming Remember Me on the streets of NYC and how the paparazzi shots of him lighting a cigarette memorized me. I remember the button fly jeans and the blue sweater and the way he could bend his thumb back until it touched his wrist. I remember listening to his raw live version of I Was Broken on repeat and feeling so connected to the emotion in his voice. that performance still makes me feel that way. 

I remember watching Richard Armitage in a BBC interview for Robin Hood and liking the way he seemed to really care about his character of Sir Guy. I remember thinking he gave off a classic Cary Grant vibe in a photoshoot with yellow cabs in NYC. I remember thinking how cute he was when he was bashful and how funny he was in the fan messages and how shocked I was when I learned he used to be a dancer. I remember how impressed I was with him in The Crucible and how scared I was with the masked Dragon and how sad I was about Lucas. I still tear up when I watch the rooftop scene.

I remember when Jamie Dornan sang My Burning Sun in a random back alleyway and walked through traffic in Levi Jeans. I remember the funny walk demonstration and how musical his Belfast accent sounded any time I heard him speak. I remember how cute Graham the Sheriff was and how intense Paul the stalker was and the way Fifty said Ms. Steele. I remember how he teased Cillian, and the 41 Irish terms for drunk, and the Five Guys selfie. cheeseburgers still make me think of him.

I remember the way Dan Stevens’ hair fell across his forehead when he admitted his crush for Private Benjamin. I remember how seductively he read Madame Bovary and how happy he seemed anytime he was wearing a hat. I remember how sweet it was when he talked about his kids and how romantic it was when he talked about his wife and how hilarious it was when he shouted out Curling terms. I remember how cool it was to hear him sing Behind Blue Eyes, and how goofy he looked dancing in The Late Late Show parking lot. the color aquamarine still reminds me of him. 

I remember how excited Ansel Elgort was to get his picture taken with Ryan Gosling, and how cute it was when he pulled up his suspender while Swing dancing, and how funny it was when he ran that stop sign with Josh Horowitz. I remember how utterly blown away I was when he crooned out Sunday Morning on The Late Late Show… or I’ve Never Been in Love Before at his cousin’s wedding…. or Maria on the closed set of West Side Story. I remember how hard I fell for his Brooklyn Brownstone, and how charmed I was with his smile. I’m still a sucker for both

I remember how cute it was when Joe Keery messed up his rap in Empire, and how his voice cracked in the Nintendo commercial, and his ridiculous duck ringtone in the Alex & Tuckie skit. I remember the Dirty Dancing lift with Maika, and his big brother relationship with Gaten, and his praise for Mable the dog. I remember his knees in the Scoops Ahoy uniform and his soft speaking voice and his spot on comedic timing. Poutine still makes me think of him.

I remember Hayden’s dry sense of humor in the Bullrun car rally and Lucky 13 in the Echo Challenge. I remember liking that he was a self proclaimed mama’s boy and how it pulled my heart strings when he said he wasn’t sure if his dad was proud of him. I remember our shared favorite movies and how excited I was to hear him play ragtime on the piano, and how intrigued I was with his eyebrow scar. I remember how the details of his acting felt like a scavenger hunt to follow and not caring if the critics found the treasure or not. I remember the Latin sign in his kitchen that said ‘don’t let the bastards get you down’ and how tangible he seemed in the Mike on Much podcast, and how at peace the thought of his farm made me feel. he still makes me feel that way.

[by all rights, Ewan McGregor should have been included in this reminiscence too but ‘his time’ was over 20 years ago and it’s harder to remember the content that I indulged in without giving it too much thought.]

Enamored can mean different things when applied to different people but overall I think my gut reaction of the answer being Hayden remains the same.  but what do you think? many of you have known me over the course of several actor interests, who do you think I was most enamored with?

 

Sunshine Bouquet

‘OOA’ Introspection

4.) Who’s Been Your Favorite Actor to Follow?

Dan Stevens

While I didn’t interact with many fans in relation to Dan, just learning about him on my own was fun. I discovered him in early spring of 2017 in FX’s Legion television show, which was loosely based on a Marvel comic. I loved Dan’s character David Haller, who struggled with what he was told was Schizophrenia but soon learned was something quite different. once I started looking into the actor who played the confused superhuman, the information seemed to be endless!

come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…

Dan was promoting both Legion and the Beauty and The Beast live-action remake at the same time, so he just kept popping up everywhere; morning shows, late shows, and even the San Diego Comic Con. I had never followed a fan convention before, and so it was a new experience for me. Dan and his Legion costars took part in press conference type panels, photoshoots, and various video interviews conducted around the convention center property. Dan also documented his own experiences attending as a guest, viewing some of the exhibits and sharing photos of his favorite Cosplay costumes. checking the hashtags on Twitter and refreshing the few Dan-centric Tumblrs I had started to follow, was so exciting! as the months of being a newbie fan went by I caught up on his older films, I watched him read books, I read his short stories and newspaper column, I started collecting all the amazing gifs and fanart that fans made, and even read a few fan-fiction stories.

Buzzfeed photobooth, San Diego Comic Con 2017

That summer, I started a year long battle with an undiagnosed health problem and so Dan became the bright spot in my days. I can’t tell you how many times I watched The Guest and Criminal Activities that year (it was a lot) or how often I watched his past interviews and how much I looked forward to the new ones. Dan made me laugh with his witty humor and smile with his clothing choices (tracking his Doc Marten shoes became my favorite pastime) I grew to depend on his level head in the face of drama, and the way his interests and projects enlightened me to things I may not have been open to before. he was a ray of sunshine, pure and simple.

Eventually the media promotions died down and Dan retreated from the public eye to spend more private time with his family. the third and final season of Legion aired and the projects he was doing didn’t excite me as much as his previous choices had. his wittiness veered more towards sarcasm as the political world overtook every nook and cranny of the internet, and all the fan sites started to disappear due to terms of service issues and hosting costs. and so my attention waned and eventually changed direction, but my affection never did. discovering Dan on my own, with limited fandom contact, and blogging about him here to my small readership was comforting for me at a time when I sorely needed it. it’s been my favorite celebrity crush experience overall because it was so easy and warm and bright. sunshine is like that.

Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way

[song lyrics from Sunny by Bobby Hebb]

Settling In

‘OOA’ Introspection

3.) What’s Your Usual Process for Following an  Actor? 

[part 2]

My daily process depends on the actor, the actor’s fandom, and what I’m looking for at that time in my life. I usually check my e-mail first thing in the morning for any Google alerts I’m subscribed to. I used to have several but since the alerts tend to include any article where the actor’s name is mentioned, even in passing, that can get out of hand really quickly! so currently I just have Hayden Christensen on alert, though it can still get tiresome because of all the speculation involving the Kenobi television show.

bulking up & letting his hair grow points towards Anakin flashbacks!

Next I go to Instagram/Twitter. with past favorites, I liked to read conversations among the fans and even join in sometimes, but this time around I just think there’s too big of an age gap between myself and the fans who are the most active. the young ones generally don’t have the life experience to understand where Hayden is at this time in his life, and the older fans have been around so long that they don’t have the desire to say all the things that have already been said before. so I lurk through the few accounts I do follow and every once in awhile I’ll check the tags for the other actors I like, but mostly it’s just a drive by luck-of-the-draw situation.

[l originally saw this on Twitter but Youtube let’s me cue to the exact part I want. it’s my fav interview clip]

In the evenings, I browse around old fan sites and forums to find photoshoots I haven’t seen before or magazine scans of interviews I haven’t been able to find. Hayden was really popular 15-20 years ago and so it’s interesting to look through the old fan collections that are still online. truthfully, it’s the collecting and fact gathering that I enjoy most these days. I like knowing who the photographer of a photoshoot is, and matching print articles with their magazine covers, and just generally connecting things that have been said in one place with the corresponding visuals from another.

this pic is by Thomas Monaster:

and this pic is by Elizabeth Lippman:

but they’re both from the same event- Shattered Glass promotion October 15, 2003 New York City

I like soaking up information about Hayden during all the different phases of his life. I like seeing how his personality has changed, along with his interests and the way he presents himself, how his clothing style has changed, and what still fires him up and what he’s learned to let go. all that info can be difficult to piece together and so I spend a lot of time, with very little to show for it. but I enjoy it. 

“Lifestyle has a lot to do with how often you end up in the tabloids. Daniel Day-Lewis went to Italy and became a cobbler. I went out and bought construction equipment.” ~Hayden Christensen
 
Then, before I shut down for the night, I usually watch a video from the small list I consider my absolute favorites.
 
and if I’m lucky, I’ll have pleasant dreams (of his farm).

 

This is Where the Fun Begins

‘OOA’ Introspection

note- at first I wrote a post about the process of discovering an actor, and then I realized that the question actually asks about the following, not the discovering. so then I wrote another post detailing what I do on a daily basis once the frenzy of the discovery stage has passed. this is part one.

3.) What’s Your Usual Process for Following an  Actor?

[part 1]

Although it’s exciting to jump right in to all the researching that comes with discovering a new actor, there is a period of time at the beginning where I play it safe. I dip my toe in to test the water first, because if I’m going to open myself up to the frenzy that will follow, I want to make sure this guy is worth it.

Joe Keery vs the Ozone Layer

First, they have to catch my eye. I see them in a movie or television show and I walk away thinking about the character they were portraying. so they have to be someone who picks interesting characters, while also portraying them with skill.

Next, I look them up on IMDb to see what other films they’ve done and to read the mini biography that is available there. I also Google them and browse through some images to see what they look like ‘off screen’ at award galas and promotional tours. I have an opinion of them physically now, which may or may not be entirely favorable, but I shelve those judgements and dig deeper.

friends don’t let friends… do this.

I start reading print interviews from the major magazine sites, and viewing video interviews and film clips on Youtube. if I’m lucky, someone will have uploaded full movies or episodes of his older work for me to consume. if not, I rent a few (and look for others in places where I can watch them for free, hoping that I don’t pick up a computer virus along the way)

%#$@!!

By this time, I have a good opinion about their skill as an actor, and I’m intrigued with the way they conduct themselves in interviews. so next come the fan forum threads: who have they dated and for how long? what are their hobbies? what type of music do they listen to and do they play any instruments? do they have pets?

Among those fun little tidbits, I start to uncover the important things through what their costars say about them, the stories fans tell about asking for autographs and selfies, and how they react to the gifts fans give them and the praise they heap on them. I learn about their family dynamics, if they have lasting friendships, how they treat critics and autograph hounds and intrusive paparazzi. If I make it through all of that and still want to know more? then I know he’ll be worth all the hours of creative energy and self reflection that are ahead of me. and I’m all in.